Have you made friends with a stray kitty? Perhaps Fluffy just showed up on your doorstep one day. Or, maybe you’ve spotted her in your yard on occasion. Chances are, it didn’t take long for your new feline friend to melt your heart. Why not give her a forever home? A Roanoke, VA vet offers tips on adopting a stray cat below.
Not all strays will make good pets. Others need a lot of time to go from homeless furball to purring lap cat. It’s worth noting that there is a big difference between stray and feral cats. Strays have been around people before. In fact, many of them are former pets themselves! Feral cats, on the other hand, are completely wild. (An interesting note on this: there’s no physical difference between stray, domestic, and feral cats. However, only domestic kitties hold their tails up. This may be Fluffy’s way of announcing that she has humans.)
Cats all have their own purrsonalities. Some strays are quite friendly, and will nonchalantly stroll into your home and sprawl out on your couch. Others will be quite scared, and may spend a lot of time hiding, especially at first. A trip to the vet’s is definitely in order, but aside from that, just give Fluffy time to settle in.
You may want to keep Fluffy in a quiet back room at first. A spare bedroom or utility room is perfect. Make sure your pet has comfy bedding, food, water, toys, treats, and, of course, a litterbox. You’ll want to spend time with her, but don’t force attention on her. Also, let her come to you. This is very important for building trust! Sit on the floor, cross-legged, hold a treat out, and call her to you. We strongly recommend keeping your cat indoors, however. Play with your kitty daily to burn off excess energy.
It may take some time for your new furball to truly learn to trust you, and realize how comfy the life of a pampered pet is. Offer Fluffy lots of great care and TLC. Many former strays become so comfortable and happy with their humans that they lose all desire to go outdoors. You’ll have that little motor going before you know it!
Please reach out to us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, anytime. We’re happy to help!