There’s nothing that feels better than giving a stray kitty a home. Imagine becoming the hope for these lost and abandoned cats—you are basically their hero hooman!
However, bringing home a stray cat is really a big challenge as much as we want to think about the positive side. As they are basically homeless and surviving by themselves before you meet them, stray cats can be traumatized, sick or injured, and in emotional distress. So, what do you do to bring home a stray kitty?
Of course, you must prepare and equip yourself with the right tools and stuff you will need. Some of the things you must prepare with you before you bring home a stray kitty are:
- A veterinaria’s help. You can book a consult at https://petpal.asia/calendar/ to talk to a licensed vet.
- Cat carrier or cardboard box to contain them.
- Collars to ensure they won’t run.
- Heavy blankets to be used when you put them in the cat carrier or box.
- Water bowls, water, and strong-smelling foods as you bait them going to your vehicle.
- An animal first-aid kit, especially if you know that they are injured.
Ask the neighbors or people around
When you arrive in the street where you would pick up the stray cat, ask the neighbors and people around to confirm if the cat has no owner. Investigate whether the cat is indeed lost or abandoned by the owner. Try to find out how the cat becomes homeless if possible.
Ensure your safety
Once all the necessary things are placed to rescue a stray kitty, it’s time to ensure your safety before you get them. To give you an idea, stray kitties can behave unpredictably.
So, sudden movements on your part can actually scare them and, worse, can make them violent for their own protection. Better to keep your movements light and welcoming to ensure your safety.
As mentioned, you must bring a carrier, leash or ropes, and a blanket to restrain them. With all these, you can prevent yourself from scratches or bites when the situation goes south. Know that you can also ask for help if you cannot handle it.
Calling a backup
You don’t have to do it alone. You can ask help from the local barangay in the neighborhood to help you rescue the cat. Or you can ask for local animal control if you really cannot handle rescuing it.
In the barangay office, you can also confirm whether the cat is part of the missing pets in the neighborhood. If not, you can also leave your contact information in case someone claims them. You know a simple merienda can always pay for the service of our barangay tanods!
Provide food and water
If you decide to do it on your own, start by providing food and water to the stray kitty. You can give them canned tuna or cooked meat if you don’t have cat food at the moment. Cats generally love meats, so they will surely come closer to you if they smell the food. Of course, provide clean water with it.
Lure them to the cat carrier or box
When the stray cat has eaten a few bites, try to use the food to lure them going to the cat carrier or cardboard box. Be extra careful when doing this, and know that it should be executed as smoothly as possible. Ensure to close the lid appropriately.
Keep them separate when at home
By the time you arrive back home with the stray kitty, you should keep them separate from any other pets you have for at least 10 days. This is because the stray cat can potentially bring diseases to other animals, may cause aggressive or violent fights against your other pets, or they may become anxious with the new creatures in your home. Just a tip: stray cats love to be in a smaller space as they feel safer for the time being.
You can also take a photo of the cat by this time and post it on your social media account, asking if they know anyone who owns the cat, just to be sure. After a week or two, if there are still no claims, you may give the stray kitties the home they deserve.
Visit a veterinarian
Upon arrival at home, you should also check whether the stray kitty has some injuries, wounds, or symptoms that need professional help. You don’t have to do it on your own, it is better to consult with a veterinarian to fully check the condition of your newly found pet. The animal experts will test them for feline AIDS, leukemia and rabies, plus they would also give some distemper shots, worm and fleas treatment, and spaying and neutering, depending on their health and age.
Bringing home a stray cat can be expensive in the first part of it. You will be shouldering the costs of their medical expenses and grooming, so you must be really committed to adopting them and ensure that they are not anyone’s pet.
Earn your stray cat’s trust
Trust can be hard for the majority of stray cats to give. You will need a lot of patience with them. Some may be friendly from the very start, and some may need a few weeks or months to wear off their anxiety around you. A great sign that they are not comfortable is when they attempt to scratch or bite you when you want to hold them. Don’t force them to cuddle, eat, or play with you. You must give them their space when they feel like it. Earning the trust of a stray cat may take a while; it is like a waiting game.
The very best way to earn the trust of stray cats is through their stomach. You must consistently provide their food to make them feel like you are not a threat. More points if you bring their favorite food! For sure, they will eventually see that you mean no harm.
From messy streets to a lovely home
Buying the right cat supplies is the next step once the stray cat becomes more and more relaxed with you and at your home. You will need a small cat box where they can snuggle up in their own space with food and water. Cat litter is also needed where they can dump their pee and poops. All these are essential to make them comfortable in their new home.
If they were a previous house cat, transitioning to a house cat is easy. However, if not, here’s another challenge to conquer. You can check if the stray cat was a previous house cat when they hang out in front of your door. This means that they socialized and interacted with people before.
When it is hard for them to stay in their designated cat box, you can try a strategy of putting them inside your home. Give them cat food every day in a bowl and sit near it while they eat. Move the bowl closer to you over time and pet them while they are eating. You can also give them treats from time to time.
The bottom line:
To bring home a stray cat is to accept them into your family. There are a lot of questions to answer before you must conclude that you want to pet them. Are you willing to shoulder their medical and grooming expenses? Are you willing to let them go if the owner eventually claims them? These questions should be answered with commitment.
Living alone with no family or owner on the streets is hard for stray cats. They would go from one place to another when there was rain, find food in every trash bin to ease their hunger, and roam around the streets every day to find a place to call home. All these while they can’t speak for themselves, but thanks to people like you that are willing to give a home to stray kitties out there.