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Adopting a Stray Cat

December 22, 2022

Have you decided to adopt a stray? Many of our patients are former strays that are now beloved family pets. However, going from living on the streets to being a lapcat can be a difficult transition for some kitties. You’ll need to ease Fluffy in to her new lifestyle. A Grundy, IL vet offers some tips on this below.

Keep Kitty Separate

At first, put Fluffy in a quiet area with all the kitty necessities. This will give her a safe place to adjust and settle in. A spare bedroom or bathroom is ideal. Don’t let her interact with other pets and/or young children until your vet has given the official all-clear.

Veterinary Care

Speaking of vets, one of the first things you’ll want to do is make an appointment. Even if your feline friend appears healthy, she’ll still need a thorough exam, as well as vaccinations and parasite control. We also recommend having Fluffy scanned for a microchip, in case there’s a family somewhere missing her. Spay/neuter surgery should also be on the agenda for intact kitties, though that doesn’t have to happen at the first appointment.

Stray Vs. Feral

While strays often settle in very well, feral cats are a different story. Stray and feral cats are the same physically, but are worlds apart mentally and emotionally. Strays have been socialized, and are often quite friendly. Some are former pets themselves. Ferals, however, are wild. They can make wonderful barn cats, but don’t usually make good house pets: they may feel uncomfortable indoors, and may not use the litterbox. Ultimately, it depends on the kitty. Be realistic, and ask your vet for advice. 

Settling

We recommend keeping all kitties inside. This goes double for former strays, as they’re at high risk of running off. Offer Fluffy kitty luxuries, like cat towers, beds, catnip and toys, and play with her every day. It may not take your furball long to realize that being a pampered pet is much better than fending for herself!

Bonding

Our feline buddies are all unique individuals. Some kitties will immediately hop into your lap, while others may hide for months. Don’t force things: just let Fluffy adjust on her own schedule. Be patient, and offer great care. You’ll have that motor going in no time!

As your Grundy, IL animal clinic, we’re here to help! Contact us anytime!

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