How to Adopt a Stray Cat

There could be that neighborhood stray who comes mewling beneath your window every evening or who may wrap himself around your ankles when you step out. Or that shy little feline in your neighborhood seems to be simply crying out for a home and some tender loving care every time you see her.

So whatever the case – whether you want to adopt a stray cat or whether he or she wants to adopt you, here’s how you can go about adopting a stray cat:

Is the cat really a stray?

Firstly find out if the cat really is a stray or someone else rather free spirited pet who likes hanging outdoors a lot. So you may want to watch the cat for a few days to see if he or she seems well fed and groomed, or if they tend to disappear at specific times of the day (indicating meal times) and so on.

adopt-a-stray-catYou also want to be sure that the cat you want to adopt is a stray and not a feral cat. Though they may appear to be remarkably similar, a feral cat will not adjust well to being a pet or to a life in close contact with humans and human dwellings. A cat who doesn’t respond to humans, walks and conducts himself in a manner we associate more with wild rather than pet animals; one who does approach humans, cars or houses, may well be feral. A feral cat will not respond very well to domestication and may be difficult if not impossible to turn into a pet.

Earn the cat’s trust

This can be a long and gradual process. Feeding the cat at regular times each day and gradually increasing contact with the cat will help to earn his or her trust. It is important not put the cat in a situation that he or she may find threatening or try to get the cat in an enclosed space before he or she is ready. This may scare of the cat and actually lengthen the process of getting the animal to trust you.

Have the cat checked

Once the cat is used to having you around and is comfortable in your home, you should get the cat checked over by a vet. Get the cat all the shots needed, have him or her checked for diseases or skin conditions and so on. Also find out what the approximate age of the cat is, whether he or she has been fixed and ask the vet for any particular observations they may have vis-à-vis this particular animal.