Earning Your Stray Cats Trust
Some stray cats will be friendly right off the bat, but with others, it may take time and patience to establish trust. If a cat is not comfortable with humans, they will mostly scratch or bite if you attempt to handle them. Go slow and always allow the cat a way to leave the situation so that they don’t feel cornered, says Gouge.
You need to have time, and you need have patience. The cat will come to you when hes ready. If you try to force it, he will run, Fernandez says.
The main way into your new feline friends heart is through his stomach. Food is critical, Phillips says. Start approaching the cat slowly, over several days or even weeks. Eventually, youll be able to get pretty close without scaring him off.
Make Her Carrier Comfortable
Your kitties crate should be their happy space. Place her favorite blanket and toy inside, to keep her busy if she gets bored. While we dont recommend letting your cat sleep in her carrier overnight, but if you have no choice its okay.
You can also use a pheromone spray to help your cat stay calm during the trip. Be sure to check out this article to get some tips on dealing with feline anxiety.
Basically, do whatever you can to make it as comfortable for your kitty. Shes going to be stuck in it while shes in the vehicle.
Choosing The Right Crate
There is a distinct difference between a carrier and a crate. The small, dark, cramped carrier that you use to temporarily house your cat while transporting it to the veterinarian is not the same as a crate. Never use a cat carrier as a bedroom for your cat. A crate, similar to a kennel for dogs, is far more open, both for sight and air circulation.
Whether you choose the metal wire or nylon mesh variety, you should consider the necessary size for your cat. Though crates come in all sizes, youll probably want one that is intended to house a large dog, considering that you will need to have room for a litter box, a bed or blanket, some toys, and bowls for water and food.
Also Check: How To Pass Emissions Without Cats
Tips For Successfully Crate
If you feel that spending time in a crate would be helpful for your cat, introducing the crate gradually can increase the chances that your cat will accept it. Make the crate a pleasant space to be in by feeding your cat treats and meals in there while leaving the door open. As your cat gets used to the crate, start closing the door briefly while hes inside. After just a minute or two, let your cat out again. The goal here is to teach your cat that the crate is an enjoyable place to be without making him at all fearful of his time in the space.
How long can a cat stay in a crate? In most cases, its best to leave your cat in the crate only overnight. He will be more comfortable moving around and stretching out freely in an unrestricted space.
In some cases, you can use a crate to encourage a new mother cat to accept her kittens. If youre using a crate for this purpose, you can leave the cat in the crate for longer periods, but its important to use a large crate that offers your cat and her kittens enough space.
Caring For Stray Cats Who Prefer To Stay Outdoors
If your new kitty just wont come inside, you should provide some kind of shelter. You can make a feral cat boxthere are lots of online tutorialsor you could even open up your garage on really cold nights, Phillips says.
If youre not able to make a feral cat box, you can also buy one. There are cat heated beds and unheated options as well as houses that can be used as shelters for stray cats.
Also, if you live in a cold climate, a heated water dish might be a good investment.
During the spring and summer months, you will also want to make sure that you provide your cat with plenty of shaded, cool areas to hang out as well as access to cold, fresh water.
You can use a cat bowl like the Neater Feeder polar pet bowl to help keep a fresh source of cold water available for you cat throughout the day. You can also provide a cooling pet pad, like The Green Pet Shop self-cooling pet pad, so your outdoor kitty always has a place to relax and cool down during hotter days.
Its important to be realistic about the outdoor kitty that you found, says Delgado. A feral just isnt going to try to get into your house.
If youre unable to take on the care of a stray cat or a cat is too feral and aggressive for your safety, you still have options.
Don’t Miss: Cat In Alice In Wonderland Name
How Long Can A Cat Stray In A Crate
How long can a cat stray in a crate? Experts recommend that you should not keep an adult cat in a crate for more than six hours.
If you need to keep it locked inside a cat carrier for a longer duration, you need to make sure that the cat has sufficient food and water, and it can use a litter box at that time.
Crates can be a crucial part of the cats carriage, but keeping a cat caged for a long time can induce aggressive behavior in them.
So, you can keep the cat in a cage for the bare minimum amount of time.
Can You Crate Train A Kitten
You can crate train a kitten, and it can be beneficial for you both. In fact, some cat rescue programs crate train feral kittens to socialize them and make them calmer. If you wonder if you can put a kitten in a cage at night, its a great way to protect your belongings and train a new kitty. Like the litter training method above, leaving your new kitten in a crate overnight can give them their own comfortable space and teach them to use a litter box.
If your kitten is fearful, you can even crate train them with the door to the crate open. This will let them know that the crate is still their safe space, but they have the freedom to wander around the home. If they get scared, they can quickly run back to the crate.
Also Check: How To Train A Kitten Not To Bite
How Do I Train My Cat To Use Its Crate
Positive reinforcement training is the best way to help pets learn about confinement. Before a training session, make sure your cat has had:
- enough exercise
- an opportunity to eliminate using a litterbox in the crate may take some getting used to
Keep the crate in a quiet part of the main living area of the house. Keeping the crate near a feeding station or scratching station is a good way to prevent fear of the crate in the future.
Make the crate a place for quiet enjoyment. Think of ways to encourage happy, still behavior. Ideas for how to do this include:
- feed your cats meals inside the crate.
- when offering edible chews, food-stuffed toys, etc. offer them in the crate.
At first, leave the crate door open when providing these happy quiet experiences. Gradually, begin closing the door and walking away. For example, open the door, place the food toy inside. When the kitten or cat goes into the crate, close the door and walk away while the cat is chewing or playing with the food toy. Often when they are done playing they will rest.
“At first, leave the crate door open when providing these happy quiet experiences.”
For older animals if the crate is new, you may need to begin by doing these exercises beside the crate rather than inside it. Then gradually over a period of a few days or a few weeks, moving closer and closer to the crate for quiet fun time and sleep time.
When Theres A New Cat In The House
There is no denying that not all cats like to get along. They are territorial animals and like to have their own little space. This is a challenge when youre introducing a new cat into a house where other cats have already claimed their territory. Some cat will make friends easily and the others will be accepting. However, if they dont accept the new cat, things can go sour quickly.
New cats should be crated and allowed to interact with other cats in a safer manner. The present cats can come up and sniff the new one through the bars, making them feel more comfortable. Through this process, the cats can become acquainted with each other at a steady pace which is not territorially violating. When the time is right, you can release the new cat without any problems.
Don’t Miss: Average Heart Rate For A Cat
Crate Training For Your Pet
Crate training can take days or even weeks, depending on your pets age, personality, and past experiences. There are two important things to keep in mind when crate training always connect the crate with something pleasant, and training should be done slowly . Heres the standard steps for crate training.
To Restrain Your Cat During Nighttime
Cats are crepuscular by nature which means that they are at their most active state during dusk and dawn. However, this may not sit well with owners since humans are asleep during nighttime. So, to avoid being awakened by your cat, you may keep her in a crate so you can sleep in peace. Make sure to put cat food in it as well as fresh and clean water.
You May Like: Is Blue Buffalo Good Cat Food
The Differences Between Dogs & Cats Being Crated For Hours
Only having had cats ever in my life, I nearly forgot that dogs are actually fine being crated for hours at night, and that many pet parents use crating as a form of training for dogs with great success and little to no anxiety from the dog.
I didnt actually think about this at all, and that maybe some of the individuals searching for whether caging cats is okay may have had experience with dogs, or knew this was fine to do with dogs, and thus were wondering if the same was true for cats?
Unfortunately, when it comes to crating and caging, cats arent like dogs, and Stacie Taylor Cornett points out in this Quora thread quite an excellent explanation as to why:
Dogs can be crated during the day because their natural instinct is to have a den*, but this is not the case for cats. They need be able to move around and observe their environment and will feel trapped if they are confined. If they feel trapped, they will react accordingly which could include hurting themselves when they try to escape, and they will develop emotional problems. Even shelters that have to keep cats in cages temporarily will have a large area where the cats are allowed to roam for a period of each day.
So essentially, dogs natural instinct is to have a den which is why cages and crates ultimately feel safe to them.
Difference Between Crate And Carrier
The maine difference between a crate and a carrier is size. A crate allows a cat to stand, turn and stretch and is intended fo use in the home or for long journies if your car can accommodate one.
The MidWest crate is excellent example. There are several sizes so you can pick one with plenty of room for a cat to recouperate. Its available on Amazon and you can see reviews and the curremt price at this link.
A carrier is used to transport a cat on a short journey such as to the vet and on a flight where it can fit beneath a seat. The Vceoa soft-sided carrier is perfect for small to medium-sized cats and gets amazing reviews. Check it out for yourself in Amazon via this link.
Always check the dimensions of a cat carrier before you buy to ensure it will be a comfortable size for your cat.
Also Check: Why Is My Cat Laying In The Bathtub
How To Give Your Cat His Post
Many cats require medicine after surgery, such as antibiotics or pain medications. Its important that cats receive the proper dose. Antibiotics occasionally cause diarrhea in cats, so dont be alarmed if this occurs. Some vets prescribe a probiotic to be given concurrently to reduce the risk of this occurring. Some pain medications can make cats sleepy and occasionally uncoordinated. Again, confine your cat to an area configured to minimize the risk of injury . It should go without saying that indoor-outdoor cats should be denied access to the outdoors until fully recovered.
Dont Forget Basic Precautions
You might be prepared for anything, but life is famous for its unexpected surprises. Make sure your kitty has an up-to-date ID tag, just in case, and consider getting him a microchip. If he already has a microchip, make sure the information associated with it is up to date as well.
Identify veterinarians in towns along your route so youre never too far from one in an emergency, and be sure to take his rabies vaccination documents and other health records along with you. Make advance reservations in cat-friendly hotels and motels.
Recommended Reading: How Many Calories A Day For A Cat
Bonding Mothers And Kittens
The earliest months of a cats life are the most important. Kittens will invariably take their cues from their mother, learning about appropriate behaviors from this parent. By keeping kittens and queens together in a cage, they will not be separated.
This will typically be fine with the mother cat. Giving birth is exhausting, and queens like to remain close to their kittens. By encouraging all cats to sleep together, this will be considerably easier.
This does not mean that you can cage the animals together all day. As always, mothers and babies alike will need exercise and the opportunity to express their instincts throughout the day. When night falls, bedtime is bonding time for your feline family.
Can Kittens Sleep in a Cage at Night?
Kittens are best positioned to sleep in a crate at night. If a kitten has never known otherwise, it will consider a cage its bed. This can be invaluable early training if you wish to cage a cat overnight into adulthood.
We have discussed the role that nocturnal caging can play in litter training, which is another advantage of keeping kittens in a crate. When kittens need to eliminate, they cannot hold it for long. Immediate access to litter will speed up training.
Caging also keeps kittens safe and cozy. The curious nature of young cats is fun but potentially dangerous when unsupervised. If you crate kittens at night, they cannot get into any trouble.
How To Move Or Travel With A Cat
First, invest in some sort of crate or fabric containment. If you can get your cat into one of these portable products the cat will be much more secure physically and psychologically. Cats go into a sort of “Im safe in here” mode when they find themselves enclosed within a crate. They still may yowl and cry but if that does occur, at least they wont be able to use your forehead as a springboard to the ceiling of the car!
Once you have a travel crate, place it in the house with the door open, put a little treat and a small litter box in it, and then ignore it. Do not put the cat inside the crate or it might get spooked and refuse to go near it again. Cats are not dumb! And they do not like to be controlled or forced to do anything. In fact, the cat might be thinking, “Hmmm, I might have to urinate on that thing just to show it whos boss around here.”
On the other hand if you allow the cat to discover this neat little den/crate right in the house, you may find the kitty hangin out in it. Then someday when you need to capture the feline trickster to transport her to the veterinary hospital all youll have to do is keep an eye out for when the kitty is inside the crate and slam the door on your way by.
Now a trip in the car will be safe for you and the cat. Dont worry about putting food and water in the crate healthy cats can go without food and water for many hours.
Don’t Miss: How To Stop Cat From Scratching Door
Why Would You Keep Your Cat In A Crate During The Day
Some people might think that it is cruel to keep a cat in a crate during the day, or at least just not very nice or enjoyable.
Well, it might not be particularly enjoyable from the cats point of view, however, when it comes to kids and animals that cannot really look after themselves, sometimes we as the adults need to take charge, and yes, sometimes this means doing things for the good of the pet, for its safety, although the pet itself may not deem it to be enjoyable.
So, although your cat might not love being in a crate, sometimes it is necessary. So, why keep your cat in a crate during the day?
One of the reasons why you may need to keep your cat crated during the day is because it is a young and untrained cat. If you have a good crate, you can put a small litterbox in there, and the cat should be smart enough to figure out to go to the bathroom in that litter box.
However, if you have a kitten roaming around the house, especially if it is alone, chances are that it will go to the bathroom wherever it sees fit and whenever the need strikes. When it comes to kittens, crating your cat during the day can help avoid your home turning into a toilet.
The next reason why you may want to keep your cat in a crate during the day is due to destruction. Yes, kittens can get really bored.
2. Crating a cat for them to adjust to a new home
Its better to keep the cat in a crate than to have it wander off and never come back.