There is a kitty outside your house. She has been there for a while and is shivering in the cold. She is used to seeing you. You feed her once in a while. She licks your feet as well. You feel sad to leave her outside in the extreme cold. Most people witness this event once in their lifetime. They stand on the verge of a difficult decision. They have two options: adopt the stray cat or leave her on her own.
Adopting a stray cat welcomes the owner with several hidden problems. Therefore, people are hesitant to adopt a stray cat. Whereas leaving the cat outside welcomes us with guilt. Stray kittens are prone to be killed or die in a road accident. They can die due to dehydration and not getting enough food. This thought leaves us in terror. Seeing their cute faces eat us alive. Hence, the first option seems feasible. It provides shelter to a tiny feline fellow. We know we can take care of her with a little extra effort. Thus, most people are inclined towards this option.
Difference between cats
There are two main types of wild cats:
- Stray cats
- Feral cats
Before bringing the cat home, identify her type. There is a huge difference between the two. By understanding the difference, you will be able to make a better decision.
Stray cats: These are wild cats but with an experience of socializing. They have socialized with human beings. They are not shy and can get along in a domestic environment. However, they might have several diseases and infections.
Feral cats: Feral cats are wilder than stray cats. They are not used to human beings. They get scared of any human interaction. Feral cats have behavioral issues. It is recommended never to adopt a wild cat. If you have no other option, then gather proper information. She would never get along if she is older than 16 weeks before coming to your house. She might never come into your home. She might always stay outside. She might never show love or affection towards you. Most feral cats don’t even recognize their owners until they feed them. Therefore, prepare yourself for a journey where you wouldn’t get anything in return.
Both feral and stray cats can easily spread diseases due to ringworm, rabies, feline thalassemia, and typhus. Hence, prepare yourself for anything. Keep the cat away from children before visiting the vet. Try your best to accommodate the kitty while taking precautionary measures for yourself.
Settling a stray cat
Take her to the vet as soon as you decide to bring her home. She might be home to several viruses, infections, and diseases. Cats can contract COVID-19 as well. Stray cats usually have fleas too. Hence, take her to your vet immediately. Your vet will suggest tests for your feline buddy. She might even need vaccination. Therefore, the first trip to the pet shouldn’t be avoided.
Immediately introducing the kitty to other human beings and pets is a wrong move. She might be friendly in front of you but scared of other people. She is already struggling with a new environment and setup. Therefore, let her get comfortable with everything around the house. Let her absorb the smell and scents in your house. Then slowly start introducing the little being to other living fellows in your house. Introduce her to your kids and partner. Introduce her to other pets after a few days. Don’t overwhelm her with all of the introductions in one day. Let her meet the pets one by one. Make them meet the cats for a shorter period for the first time. Slowly increase the time day by day. She will bond with the pets and start loving them. Therefore, make the whole process gradual.
Items you should get before bringing her home
There are several items you need before bringing a new cat home. Every cat should have her own set of items because they are possessive about their stuff. Thus, buy new stuff even if you have these items at home due to other cats. Following is that list:
A litter box is essential for stray cats. Start litter training as soon as possible because older cats take a longer time to train. Get at least two litter boxes for your little kitty. This will save you from litter box accidents.
Cat treats and food:
Some cats are sensitive to certain foods. They get sick due to some ingredients. Therefore, contact your vet and stock up on cat treats and food. Cat treats help train a cat.
Stock up on small cat toys for your stray cat. Buy the ones that wouldn’t harm her. These keep your kitty occupied and diverts her attention. Hence, get a lot of cat toys and interactive puzzles for your buddy. These toys provide mental and physical stimulation to your cat. Thus, stock up on these as well.
Scratching pads help calm a kitty. Anxious cats need scratch pads to utilize their pent-up energy and aggression. They also need it to stretch their bodies. Thus, get a little scratchpad for your new kitty.
Catnip is a drug for cats. Most of the cats are attracted to the smell of catnip. They go crazy after sniffing it once. This also has a soothing effect on the kitty. Thus, stock up on catnip as well. This can come handy when she starts acting up or creates a mess.
It is safe to say that stray cats can be turned into domestic cats. But this requires an immense effort from you and your family members. Don’t be pushy near your kitty. Accommodate her as much as you can. You can also help her by letting her explore your house. She will eventually get used to the new setup. Give her some privacy as well. She will eventually get used to everything. She will even start showering you with love and affection.
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