Adopting a Stray Cat

Are you considering adopting a stray? Perhaps an adorable hungry furball turned up on your doorstep. Or maybe someone you know is trying to find a home for a kitty in need. Many strays have successfully been adopted, and are now content, loving lap cats. However, there are some things to keep in mind when bringing a homeless feline into your home. A Marietta, GA vet lists some below.

Stray or Feral?

There are no physical differences between domestic, stray, and feral cats, but they are worlds apart mentally. Domestic cats are housecats, and are used to people. Stray cats are often former pets that have been left to fend for themselves. Or, they may have been raised near people. Either way, they are familiar with people, and are often quite friendly. Feral cats, on the other hand, are completely wild. They can sometimes be acclimated to living as pets, but not always. It really just depends on the kitty. (Interesting tidbit: only pet cats hold their tails up when they walk. Stray and feral cats usually let their tails droop.)

Starting Out

At first, put Fluffy in a quiet area with food, treats, toys, bedding, food, and, of course, a litterbox. You may want to start her out in a small space, like a large dog crate, to help her get used to the litterbox. Talk to your new buddy, and offer toys and treats, but don’t force attention on her. Let her come to you when she wants attention.

Veterinary Care

Before letting Fluffy move about your home freely and/or interact with other pets or children, take her to the vet. Your kitty will need parasite control, vaccinations, a microchip, and a full exam. If your feline pal hasn’t been fixed yet, we strongly recommend getting this done as well.

Other Options

Strays don’t always make good pets. In some cases, they may spray. This is often—but not always—rectified with spay/neuter surgery. Other kitties simply don’t like living indoors. You can still help Fluffy by providing her with food, shelter, and veterinary care. Or, if you have a friend that has a farm or barn, ask them if they’d be willing to offer Fluffy food and shelter. Many strays are great mousers, so this can be a win/win situation.

Please call us, your Marietta, GA vet clinic, anytime. We’re happy to help!

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