Distract With Everyday Objects
Stray kittens and little cats, in general, love to play.
It allows them to keep boredom at bay while honing their hunting skills, which will come in very handy once theyre fully weaned and can live away from their mommies. And since stray kittens love to play, you can entice them to approach you with the help of cat toys.
The good news is that kittens are not picky when it comes to toys. Even everyday objects can serve as makeshift cat toys, most especially those that make interesting sounds and have stimulating elements.
Car keys, hair ties, bracelets, hand wipes, plastic bottles, makeup brushes if you have any of these in your bag, then you are not going to have a difficult time getting the attention of a stray baby cat, even if it has the shortest attention span in the whole animal kingdom.
Once, I won the complete trust and confidence of a stray kitten using just a dead leaf.
I have lots of cats at home. To save money, I dont buy them cat toys available at online and offline pet supplies stores. What I do is crumple up small brown paper bags and store receipts I no longer need into small balls they have a marvelous time stalking, clawing and pouncing them each time!
What To Do If You Find A Pregnant Cat
Think youve found a pregnant cat or a cat with kittens and wondering what to do next? Follow our step-by-step guide.
- Check the cats tummy, carefully and without startling them if the mammary glands appear more prominent, the cat may be still nursing her young
- Take the cat to the vet by safely wrapping them in a blanket or putting them in a cardboard box. The vet will be able to scan for a microchip, which is vital in locating an owner and may also lead to finding the location of any kittens
- If safe to do so, go back to the area where the cat was found and have a look around the area for any signs of kittens. Check under bushes and shrubs, and listen out for their cries
- If youre unsuccessful in locating an owner and kittens, you might want to put up posters locally and post on social media letting people know that there may be a litter of kittens somewhere. In the post, remind people to check their gardens and any outbuildings, as well as asking the owner to get in contact
The Condition Of The Feet
If you can get close enough to an unknown cat to examine its feet, the condition of the pads will tell you a lot. Soft pads with little or no sign of physical damage are most likely to be observed in pets. Pads that are somewhat soft but show signs of minor damage are more commonly observed in strays. Feral cats will have calloused, weathered pads as a result of being outdoors all the time.
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You Could Take The Stray To A Local Shelter
If you take the cat to a local shelter keep in mind that many shelters are already overcrowded. Because of this, many cats and kittens are euthanized at shelters because there isn’t enough room for all of them. Some people feel it is best to take a cat to a shelter rather than leave it outdoors on its own. I have mixed feelings about this, and one very good veterinarian that I trust a lot has told me that she believes that animals fare just about as well outdoors with someone providing food and water for the animal as cats do that end up in shelters. I think that this is because so many animals are put to death in shelters because there isn’t enough room to house them all. This is why helping to reduce the cat population by getting your cat spayed or neutered is so important.
The Secret To Catching A Skittish Cat
If you need to catch a cat-like an outdoor cat who’s afraid, a housecat who’s been separated from their owner, or a stray or feral cat that needs medical attention-follow these tips so you can capture Kitty safely.
Wondering what to do if youve found an outdoor cat? If you suspect the kitty has been separated from his owner, or if shes a stray that needs medical attention, its critical you find a safe way to catch her and get her the help she needs. But luring and catching a catespecially one whos afraid of humans or feralcan be tricky. We teamed up with the ASPCA to share some tips on what to do if youve discovered a cat whos less than thrilled about getting in a crate or being picked up.
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Your Turn: Thoughts & Tips On Befriending Stray Cats
Id love to hear any stories you have about befriending stray and feral cats, and Im sure absolutely everyone reading this would love it if you left a comment with any tips and advice you have for them on the topic.
Let me know if there are any similar topics/advice youd like to see related to this as well!
Looking forward to reading about your experiences with getting strays to come close and getting close to them in general, always love reading through your stories!
Dig KittyClysm? Check out all the other blogs I pen & photograph.
Elises Favourite Tip
One of the most frustrating problems Ive had to deal with as a pet parent is staying on top of my cats desire to play. While this is typically hard to do, toys like these that allow cats to play by themselves make the job one heck of a lot easier.
The hits in my household are ridiculously affordable: cat springs, ball track toys, & kick sticks. I have a slew scattered around the house, so when my cats get bored, even if Im busy or not even home, my furries are able to actively play.
Ways To Build Trust With A Stray Cat
Whether youve come across a long-time stray or a neighborhood kitty thats escaped the yard, earning the trust of a stray cat can be tricky. The goal is to catch the cat without harming them or scaring them off completely, but we have to make sure to keep ourselves safe as well. A scared cat can become aggressive when they are trying to defend themselves. Remember, they dont know youre there to help. Regardless of how you found the cat, youll want to keep these tips in mind when building trust.
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What Should I Do With An Abandoned/orphaned/lone Kitten
If you find kittens on their own, please maintain a good distance to avoid disturbing them and possibly scaring mum into not returning. It’s not unusual for mum to leave her kittens when she goes off to find food. Kittens have a much better chance if they stay with their mum and so it’s very important that we give enough time to see if mum returns before assuming they’re orphaned. However, if the kittens appear to be in danger because they are wet, cold or sick, please call a local vet, animal rescue charity or our advice line as soon as possible.
For very young kittens whose eyes are still closed and who have little mobility, you should monitor them for around two hours before phoning a vet, local rescue charity or our advice line. Older kittens can usually go a little longer without food, so for those who have their eyes open and can walk, you should monitor for mums’ return for around four hours before calling for advice. It’s best to leave the kittens where they are until a vet, local rescue charity or our advice line suggest otherwise.
Keep Her Coming Back For More
The next step is to provide relaxed, non-threatening enrichment to ensure that the cat enjoys spending time with you and keeps coming back. Feline rescuers say the best time to initiate an interaction is during meal times. They also recommend providing treats and toys to encourage the cat to connect with you one-on-one.
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Why Can’t Animal Shelters Rescue Feral Cats
Animal shelters already care for and try to find homes for untold thousands of lost, injured and abandoned cats, in addition to pet cats whose owners are unable or unwilling to keep them.
Many animal shelters don’t have the staff or money to do TNR. However, shelters that receive calls of complaint or concern from the public may attempt to humanely trap and remove feral cats. Or they may provide information and loan traps to citizens interested in humanely trapping feral cats. If there is a local group helping feral cats, the shelter may refer callers to that group.
Because feral cats are so scared of people and usually cannot be adopted, those who are brought to a shelter, especially cats who cannot be identified as members of a known TNR-ed colony, are likely to be euthanized either right away or after a holding period. It’s a complicated situation: While it’s difficult to accurately identify a feral cat without observing them during a holding period, safely caring for a feral cat in a typical shelter cage is terribly stressful for the cat. In addition, if cage space is limited at the shelter, an adoptable cat may have to be euthanized to make room to hold a feral cat.
Adopting A Stray Cat Into Your Home
If you are set on adopting this stray cat into your home, and you know they do not belong to someone, then you can begin the transition process. But, before you transition the outdoor stray cat into a domesticated pet, it is essential that you earn the cats trust, bring them for a vet for a checkup and have all the necessary cat supplies ready.
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How To Get A Stray Cat To Leave
If youre not keen on caring for a stray cat, you can utilize safe but effective ways to send them away from your yard. The following are some of the best options:
- Using an ultrasonic repellent. This is a device that produces an ultrasonic sound that cats and other animals find disorienting. Still, it will not cause any serious harm to them. However, this might be tricky if you have pets at home.
- Use their sense of smell. There are scents that cats hate, which you can use to repel them away from your yard. Some of them are citrus, mint, pine, and spice. Just use a small amount so you wont irritate the stray cat too much.
- Remove attractants. Stray cats gravitate toward your property because of some items that they find appealing. It could be your birdbath, your cat in heat, or unsealed trash bins. Make sure that you fix all of these to reduce the likelihood of a stray cat trespassing on your property.
- Scare the kitty. There are many non-violent scare tactics that you can use against stray cats. A motion-activated sprinkler is effective and it also works for other stray animals. A bell on the fence will also work if the stray cat keeps jumping into your property.
Extend Your Index Finger
Speaking of making yourself seem smaller and thus appear less threatening, you should gently extend your index finger toward the stray kitten at about cat-nose level.
This is the best way to start to introduce yourself to the tiny feline it gives it the opportunity to get to know you by checking out your natural scent.
Cats introduce themselves to one another by touching and sniffing each others noses.
Well, its exactly for the same reason why the stray kitten will slowly, albeit hesitatingly, take a whiff of the tip of your index finger.
Consider yourself fortunate if it begins to sniff the rest of your index finger and hand because its a telltale sign that its willing to get to know you better.
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Slowly Desensitize Her To Life With Humans
Remember that many of the things we take for granted as typical aspects of life may be quite frightening to a semi-feral cat. Sounds like human voices, music, and opening and closing doors may send a nervous kitty running for the hills. Use feeding times as an opportunity to speak softly and perform slow, deliberate tasks in order to desensitize the cat and show it you are not a threat.
How To Take In A Stray Cat
This article was co-authored by Francine Miller. Francine Miller is an Applied Animal Behavior Counselor and Founder of Call Ms Behaving, a behavior counseling service for dogs and cats in San Diego, California. With over 16 years of experience, Francine specializes in treating behavior problems such as aggression, separation anxiety, phobias, fear reactions, destructiveness, urine marking, and compulsive behaviors. She uses a behavioral management and modification plan that is positive reinforcement only. She holds a Diploma in Canine Behavior Counseling from the American College of Applied Science . Francine has completed all coursework toward an MS in Applied Animal Behavior Science and Family Counseling for Companion Animals from the American College of Applied Science . She is a certified Associate of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and a member of the Pet Professional Guild. This article has been viewed 99,776 times.
Taking in a stray cat is a great way to adopt a new pet that otherwise may never have a good home. Before you decide to adopt the pet as your own, make sure that it doesnt have an owner. If the cat doesnt have a home, vaccinate it, treat any injuries or illnesses, and then slowly introduce it to your home. It can take a while for the cat to get used to a new environment, but the process is incredibly rewarding.
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The Fastest Way To A Stray Cat’s Heart Is Through Her Stomach
Stray cats are often hungry cats, so the best first move is to feed the kitty and provide lots of water. Once the cat learns you’re a source for food, she will visit every day. For some very friendly cats, this is enough to gain their trust. But others need more time.
Start by leaving a strong-smelling cat food, like one with tuna, outside where you’ve seen the cat. Try to put the food out at the same time every day, and watch from a distance to see if she eats it. You may need to watch through a window from inside your home at first.
If it’s cold outside, consider keeping the cat’s food and water in a Thermo-Kitty Cafe that keeps the food and water from freezing. If you need something that holds more water, consider the K& H CleanFlow Filtered Water Bowl for Cats, which can come with a 90-ounce reservoir. Make sure you place the bowl in a fully enclosed area to protect it from the elements. When it’s hot in the summer, a Coolin’ Bowl is a good option.
Take Care Of It In Your Own Backyard
You can also take care of the outdoor cat yourself. Remember that the cat does need to be spayed or neutered and receive its vaccinations. But if the outdoors is the only option, you can still make sure the cat has food and water and a place to shelter during bad weather.
Remember to take up any extra food in the evening to prevent scavengers such as raccoons or possums to move in and eat the food . Read How to Set Up an Outdoor Cat House for Pets, Strays, and Ferals for tips.
Cats that live in feral cat colonies often have an ear that is notched or cut by a vet. This lets caretakers know that the cat has been vaccinated and spayed or neutered.
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How To Get A Semi Feral Cat In A Carrier Time To Trap Your Kitty
Feral cats should not be disturbed. Cats of feral are wild and prefer to hide out. She will be nice to you and allow yourself to feed her, however she needs to be outside.
A wild cat is not to be dressed. When you get her in, shes still always going to play and take her out and try to abandon most of her life.
If you want to get a semi feral cat in a carrier, prepare the crate in the same place, out of sight of the cat. Sneak up behind them, cover them with a blanket, pick them up, and place them in the crate. It might take a few tries, or it might not fit for ferals.
Move Closer And Talk To The Cat
While you may feel silly doing it, talking to the cat is important. Talk to the animal quietly and calmly, without approaching. You may want to do this while sitting at a distance from the cat or while he or she is eating.
As the cat realizes that you are not a threat, it will get more comfortable with you being closerso try to take fewer steps back with each feeding.
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Feed The Cat Outdoors But Also Get The Cat Spayed Or Neutered
This is assuming that the cat is tame enough for you to catch. If you are unable to catch the cat to get it spayed or neutered, or to bring it into your home as a pet, then please see the article How To Catch Stray Cats.
If you are unable to bring the cat indoors and if you are able to catch the cat, then you would be doing a great public service if you get the cat spayed or neutered. At least in this way the cat won’t breed and make more stray, unwanted cats. Many animal shelters will spay or neuter stray animals at a reduced cost. You should check with your local animal shelter to see if they provide these services.