Are You Prepared for a Stranger?
Cats which come into the backyard are often neighborhood cats that are just passing through, but sometimes there might be one intentionally looking for human affection and, of course, a reliable food source. Such cats might be legitimate strays; others may be voting with their feet and leaving one home so as to locate a better one. When a cat decides to adopt you, you need to determine in the beginning if you would like to make it a long term part of your life.
If you find yourself with a frequent feline visitor keeping an eye out for food, you could have a cat looking for a home. Before you decide to become too attached, however, you ought to check that it is, actually, a real stray.
A sizable percentage of the cats that adopt new owners are unneutered toms.
Whether or not a cat adopts you it will not always be ready to be handled for quite a while. Nevertheless, you will know when a cat has accepted you since it will feed in your presence.
Cats searching for owners to adopt them are generally young, are already reared in a home and are accustomed to and like human company.
Never feed a cat that you suspect is a stray unless you want to keep him. If you are certain that he is a genuine stray and don’t want to keep him, take him to one of the cat welfare groups in your area so that they can try to find a home for him.
ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY FOR A STRAY CAT
If you do choose to permit the cat to adopt you, once you can easily handle him, take him to the vet for a full health check.
Cats that have not been taken care of for a while will often harbour disease or have other problems that need attention – especially fleas, worms or ear ticks. They might also need to be neutered or spayed. With regards to females, this could be a challenge to detect without a comprehensive veterinary examination.
Such attention will definitely have a price, as will any future visits to the vets, and this ought to be one of several factors you take into serious consideration prior to deciding to provide a permanent home to a stray cat.
If at all possible, attempt to keep the cat which has adopted you from having close contact with other cats in the home until you are sure that the stray has good health. He may be carrying a very contagious illness that can be passed on to your pets. Keeping the two apart initially might not be much of a problem, as there might be some distrust between your own cat and the stray for some time. Regardless, take precautions by offering a warm, safe shelter for the stray outdoors until finally he has been cleared by the vet.
A ‘stray’ in your garden is not always homeless. Some cats have two homes where they’re assured affection and food — a fact that is generally unknown to either of their ‘owners’. Others are cats that are simply very loving towards everybody they meet. Therefore, if you believe you might be being adopted by a cat, you ought to try to discover if he is an authentic stray — in other words, whether he is a cat that was abandoned or left by prior owners or a cat that is lost. Ask around the general vicinity to determine if anyone is aware of a lost cat, or is, the actual owner, post ‘Found’ notices in public places, and call the neighborhood vet practices to see if someone else has reported a lost cat.