Rescuing a stray cat can be a rewarding experience, not to mention how it would change the lives of the animal. Catching the stray is just the beginning, and won’t even be the most challenging part of taking one in. To make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possibly, make sure you’re well prepared before taking kittens or cats into your home. Here are five tips for taking in a stray cat.
1. Have necessary supplies on hand
Some kindhearted people take in stray cats without having everything needed to take care of it. In addition to food, a litter box, and water, it’s a good idea to have a blanket for the cat to rest on. When it comes to food, select a few varieties of a good quality wet formula to see which one the cat likes best.
2. Don’t skip going to the vet
Even if your new pet looks fine and isn’t showing any signs of odd behavior, it’s important that you take any stray cat to the vet as soon as possible after adopting it. The most important thing to check for is any communicable diseases that it may have, but you’ll also want to get your new cat vaccinated to protect it. Doing so is especially important if there are other pets living in your home.
3. Set aside a quiet place
It’s rare for those who rescue stray cats to know exactly how long they’ve been homeless, so it’s best to have a quiet area or separate room for the cat to rest in for a few days after you take it in. The aim is to help make the animal feel comfortable and allow it time to realize that it’s safe in your home. This step is also helpful if you have other pets, as both your existing animals and the stray will need time to adjust to each other.
4. Help the cat get used to you
Spending some one-on-one time with your new cat is important to start building a bond and help it feel comfortable being around you. Try sitting down on the floor, talking to it, and encouraging the cat to come around you. Gentle stroking once it comes near will help, and over time you’ll find that the cat will grow to trust you. Not only will the stray need to get used to you, but everyone else in your household as well. If you have any children, introduce them to the cat after a few days and help them be gentle as the animal gets acclimated to everyone.
5. Give the cat time to adjust
If your new pet isn’t immediately coming to you, trying to play, or getting into your lap, that’s normal. Stray cats need time to adjust to their new owners just as they need to get used to living in a new house. Initially, hold off on constantly trying to play with and pick up the cat. Take good care of it, and eventually you’ll find that your new cat starts coming to you once it’s more comfortable with its surroundings and confident that you’re there to take care of it.