Taking in a stray cat is a great way to adopt a new pet that otherwise may never have a good home. Before you decide to adopt the pet as your own, make sure that it doesn't have an owner. If the cat doesn't have a home, vaccinate it, treat any injuries or illnesses, and then slowly introduce it to your home.
Most people have the capacity to bring a cat or kittens into their home, at least temporarily. If you have other pets of your own, just keep the cat/kittens in a separate room away from your pets. Put the cat/kittens in a bathroom or separate room by themselves.
Among the zoonotic agents most often associated with free-roaming cats are the rabies virus and Toxoplasma gondii parasite.
A stray cat could have feline AIDS, leukemia, or parasites.
If you have other cats, it's important to have the feral one examined by a veterinarian and also treated for any issues before allowing them to intermingle with your other pets.
Petting or touching a free-roaming cat puts you and your pets at risk of diseases like rabies and bacterial infections like cat scratch fever. It's a good idea to avoid picking up a free-roaming cat altogether, even to rescue them. If you're unable to secure them using a trap, call in the professionals.
What can you do? If you have a stray visiting you, think about taking it to a local vet or shelter, where it can be scanned to see if it has a microchip, and given a health check. It may prove to be someone's lost pet, giving it a chance of being reunited with its owners.
Taking in a stray cat with an unknown history may very well turn out to be very rewarding in the long run, but is likely to require some pretty major adjustments, a huge amount of patience and financial resources to have the best chance of a successful outcome.
Today, many stray cats that roam freely throughout their imaginary territories of about 200 acres each choose their families the same way. Many of them are fed by different families for years until they select the one who provides the safest place and the most comfortable conditions.
If you love letting your cat lounge outside, you may feel tempted to stop reading, but AHS experts want you to know that your outdoor kitty isn't any happier than it could be indoors.
For some cats, yes! As mentioned earlier, kittens need other kittens/cats to interact with and develop, cats in the wild find each other and often share resources. Cats are social creatures by nature. The reason we say only some cats get lonely is because many have solitary survival instincts that kick in as an adult.
One of the best ways you can protect yourself from getting sick is to thoroughly wash your hands after handling, cleaning up after, or feeding cats. By providing your cat with routine veterinary care and following the Healthy People tips, you are less likely to get sick from touching, petting, or owning a cat.
Cats that are ill will usually show changes in overall appearance, energy level, sociability, coat appearance and/or amount of shedding, appetite, litterbox usage, breathing, or discharges from the eyes or nose. In general, any sudden change should alert you that your cat needs veterinary attention.
The vet can then try to find an owner, or may have an arrangement with a local rehoming centre that can take the cat in after treatment. If the cat runs away, there's little you can do, other than keep an eye on out for lost cat posters and on social media in case someone is looking for their cat.
If you are able to transport the animal, take them to the nearest animal shelter. If you plan to keep the animal in the event no owner is found, notify animal control that you have the animal or that you have taken them to a veterinary hospital for treatment.
No matter how friendly a community cat is in his outdoor home, when you bring him indoors, it can take a bit of time, patience and work to get him used to life in a home. Some adapt very quickly, but others take a couple of months (or more).
Vets have a duty of care to treat sick and injured animals and will help an injured stray cat at no cost to the finder.
Transitioning a Stray Cat to Your Home
This includes a cat litter box, a place to snuggle up, and food and water. “[Having a routine] and a cozy environment will help the cat transition into this new life,” she notes. However, if the stray is a feral cat, this process will take a little—or a lot—more time.
Pay Attention to Stray Cats
No domesticated animal does well for very long living in the elements, even if they are being fed. Even a cat that appears healthy may have underlying issues. The best way to help a stray cat is to get it off the streets, to a vet, and into a warm and loving home.
Ears held back, tail tucked, hair standing on end, and other body signs are all forms of silent communication that your cat may be unhappy. Aggression or fear: Sad cats tend to be more reactive and act out with aggression or fearfulness.
Because stray cats often carry dangerous diseases, the best thing that you can do to protect your domesticated cat against serious illness is to keep it indoors. By staying inside, your cat is less likely to fight with other animals and risk the chance of spreading diseases through wounds.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that cats are rarely a source of disease, and that it is unlikely for anyone to get sick from touching or owning a cat.
Wash yourself thoroughly and change clothes before having contact with your own pets as a precaution against spreading any contagious diseases the cats might carry. Always get feral kittens checked out by a vet and isolate them from your pets.