Tips for adopting a stray cat

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¿You have become fond of a stray cat who visits your garden and you have decided to adopt it? Whether it is for this reason or if it has been another cause that has led you to make this decision, from AnimalWised we want to congratulate you on the great step you are going to take..

Although we know that cats are natural survivors, their quality of life will be significantly increased if they have a home to live in, care, affection and quality food. However, and especially if the feline is an adult, we must follow a series of steps to ensure that it adapts as well as possible to our home. Keep reading and discover our tips for adopting a stray cat.

You may also be interested in: How to help stray cats? Index
  1. Take him to the vet
  2. The carrier
  3. Coming home
  4. Contact with nature
  5. Respect their times
  6. Does the stray cat run away?

Take him to the vet

If you have decided to adopt a stray cat, without a doubt, the first thing you should do is take it to a veterinarian. Whether it is a puppy or an adult, the cat must be examined by a specialist to find out if you have contracted any disease, have fleas, are injured or have any other health problems.

Keep in mind that the feline has been exposed to all kinds of dangers, among which are fights between cats, ingestion of spoiled food, poisoning by repellent products for felines, blows produced by cars or other vehicles, etc. So he could have been infected with leukemia, distemper, suffer poisoning, have AIDS, and a long list of pathologies that only a veterinarian can identify and treat.

Also, remember that your new partner requires a series of mandatory vaccinations that you must put on to keep its health in perfect condition, as well as identify it with a microchip to be able to find it if it ever gets lost. Finally, you we recommend sterilizing it. Especially if the stray cat is an adult, it is used to looking for a mate during the mating season, if it is female, or to go to the call of a cat, if it is male. To do this, in all probability your cat will run away frequently.

The carrier

Taking your stray cat to the vet will not be an easy task. To make it as comfortable as possible, you will need to get a carrier. Likewise, this utensil will also be very useful to take it home, if you have not done it yet. Unless it is a puppy, rarely will the adult cat that has been living on the street let you hold it..

To select the appropriate carrier, it is best to go to the vet and discuss the situation, he will know how to advise you. On the other hand, it is essential that the cat assumes the figure of the carrier as a positive element, and not negative. If we force our new feline to enter, it can associate it with negative stimuli and adopt an aggressive attitude every time it sees it.

Be patient, grab cat food or trinkets, and use a soft, gentle voice to encourage your feline to come inside. You can also put a toy inside and leave some food to entertain while it is in the carrier.

Coming home

Prepare our house for the arrival of the new member is a crucial step in the adoption of any animal. Cats are much more independent animals than dogs, so it is recommended that your new feline has its own space at home. In this sense, you have two options: give him an uninhabited room or let him explore freely and be the one to choose his corner. When something in its daily routine varies, the cat tends to hide and go through its own adaptation process. And of course, adopting him and offering him a new home is a very big change for him. Hence the importance of having a corner or room to himself..

The basic utensils that every cat should have in the home are the following:

  • Food and water. Depending on the age and weight of your cat, you will have to select one type of food or another. Check out our article on the right diet for cats and give them the diet they need. However, if your stray cat is an adult, during the first days it is advisable that you acquire wet food, with a much more appetizing scent that will quickly capture your attention and favor your adaptation to the new environment. Remember: food will be your great ally to gain their trust. Also, if you have selected the space that your new companion will occupy, place the water and food bowls in it so that he approaches and begins to become familiar. Otherwise, if you prefer him to explore and be the one to choose his corner, leave the food in a visible place; when you have decided which is your favorite space, place the bowls there.
  • Sandbox. Remember that cats are extremely neat animals, so you should not place the food and water bowls near the litter box. Even if they share a room, there must be some space between them.
  • Bed for sleeping. After a period of time living on the streets, your cat will appreciate that you provide him with a comfortable and soft bed to sleep on. Leave it near the food and also away from the litter box.
  • Scrapers. Cats are animals that are characterized by having sharp nails, and they love to have them well cared for and prepared to defend themselves if they feel threatened. Therefore, getting a scraper is essential so that they can file them and avoid causing damage to the furniture or to you..

Let your stray cat get used to his new home and do not be surprised if the first few days he prefers not to leave his room or corner, he needs to find his stability and feel safe. Enter his space several times and share moments with him so that he knows you and begins to trust you, always without forcing him. If he doesn't let you caress him, give him time.

Contact with nature

Especially if the cat you want to adopt is an adult, it is used to living in constant contact with nature, hunting its own food, interacting with other cats, etc. Therefore, you must be able to adapt your new environment to meet that need and maintain your connection with nature..

Look for windows that connect to the outside and place boards so that your cat can sit on them and watch the street. If your house has a patio, garden or terrace, decorate it with plants so you can sniff them, explore and notice a little less change home.

The cat trees They are extremely useful, since they manage to cover two basic needs for him and for you, his new companion: filing his nails and climbing. In the street, your feline was used to having to climb trees and other structures to observe from a higher perspective what is happening on the ground or flee from the dangers that could threaten him.

Finally, to cover your need to hunt you will need to provide toys designed for that purpose. The cat is an animal with a highly developed hunting instinct to ensure its survival, so you will have to buy hunting toys that also exercise it and help channel the energy accumulated during the day. In specialized stores for the sale of products and accessories for pets, you will find a variety of toys that will satisfy this need, such as fake mice or ropes with strings and dolls at the end of the same for you to play with. With the latter type of toys, you will not only be able to keep your cat happy, but you will also strengthen your bond with him..

Respect their times

This tip is for adult or elderly stray cats, since you can adapt the puppy cat to your standards without problem. Keep in mind that the stray cat is adapted to be the one who imposes its rules, schedules and routines, or to follow other cats more authoritarian than it. Patience and respect is what he needs from you to get used to his new habits and manage to turn him into a house cat.

Especially if he has experienced dramatic situations, he may be suspicious of you at first and always be on the defensive. Therefore, it is essential that we treat it with delicacy, go little by little and do not force it. Let him see how you provide food and water so that he associates your presence as something positive and essential to survive. Approach him with caution, small steps and a soft voice. As the days go by, he will be more and more receptive and you will be able to increase the approaches.

Respect their time and space. If he is the one who approaches, let him caress you and lie down with you, once you have his confidence and adaptation to the new home, you can start to set rules. Of course, you should not confuse respect with fear. Do not be afraid of him because then he will feel that you are afraid of him and will try to dominate you; you need a loving, kind and delicate person but at the same time firm and with authority.

Does the stray cat run away?

With great probability your stray cat will try to escape during the first days in his new house. To avoid this, the first measure you should take is keep windows and doors closed. If you have a patio, garden or terrace, you should place a fence high enough so that it does not jump over it. Remember that it is highly positive that your new partner has the freedom to visit the patio, so denying him entry is not the solution, you should look for an alternative such as fencing.

As we discussed in the first section, sterilization considerably alleviates the need to escape to reproduce, so do not rule out this option.

¿Have you already taken these measures and your cat keeps insisting? So what you should do is educate your feline to take him out for a walk every day. Buy him a cat harness and leash and train him to listen to you on outings. We do not advise you to leave it loose on the street, it can escape again.

Do not hesitate to consult our article on basic care for cats and start brushing their fur, taking care of their nails, etc., as soon as they have gotten used to their new home.

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