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What To Consider Before Taking In A Stray Cat

Updated on November 19, 2014

It can be heartbreaking to see a stray cat wandering around outside by itself. The cat may have been on the streets since it was born or it could have had a previous owner. If there is a stray cat that you would like to take into your home, here are a few things that you may want to consider first.

Before taking the cat into your home, consider whether or not this cat may already have an owner. The cat may have escaped from the owner's home and could be lost. You may want to check websites, such as Craigslist, or your local newspaper in the lost and found section if anyone has a cat missing that fits the description of the cat you are looking to take into your home.

If you have other cats in your home, you may want to be cautious about taking in a stray cat. A stray cat may have an illness or disease that could be contagious to your other cats. Before taking a stray cat in and introducing it to your other cats, you may want to take the cat to a veterinarian or local animal shelter to have it examined and checked out for any health problems.

Stray cats can carry fleas. Check the cat's coat and ears for any fleas or bite marks. Before taking in the cat, you may want to put a flea collar on the cat in case it does have fleas. If you see fleas or suspect that there are fleas on the cat, you may want to give the cat a flea bath. Flea bath solutions can be purchased at pet stores or you can bring the cat to a veterinarian who can do a flea dip or bath in the office. Fleas may be hard to get rid of when they enter your home, so be careful when handling a cat with fleas.

A stray cat who has been on the streets for a long time may be afraid of humans or of being in a house. If you are taking the cat in, you may want to confine the cat to one area of your home so that it is not overwhelmed by the new environment. Also, if you have other cats, it may be best to separate them for a little while before introducing them.

Since the cat has been outside, you do not know how the cat's behavior will be once it is inside of your house. It may end up being scared and could scratch or bite you or your other pets if it flips out due to fear. It is normal for a stray cat to be scared while it is getting used to being inside of a new place. Be careful when handling the cat. You may want to use gloves or throw a blanket or towel over the cat to pick it up.

Another thing to consider is that the stray cat may not have been neutered or spayed. If this is the case, the cat could end up spraying in your house. Some female cats who have not been spayed may have a period and bleed and they may also let out a loud cry or meow when they are in heat. Also, you could be taking in a female cat that could already be pregnant.

This article is not intended to discourage anyone from taking in a stray cat. It is to help prevent any problems that may occur when taking a stray cat into your home, as I have seen other people who have encountered these problems when taking stray cats into their homes. I have taken stray cats into my home. However, before taking the cats in, I took them to a veterinarian first to have them examined for any diseases or fleas. Also, a veterinarian can usually tell you the approximate age of the cat if you would like to know how old the cat is. If you can not afford a veterinarian, you may want to call a local animal shelter and explain your situation.

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