How To Train A Stray Cat To Use A Litter Box 7 Easy Steps
If youve adopted a stray cat, congratulations! Giving a loving forever home to a cat thats had a challenging start to life is one of the most wonderful things that you can do. Its important to give your furry new friend time to adjust and adapt to their new circumstances. They may be used to fending for themselves, surviving on what food they can find, and doing their business wherever they like!
The good news is that its perfectly possible to train a stray cat to use a litter box.
How To Clean A Stray Kitten
Before welcoming a helpless and adorable stray kitten into your home, there is one very important thing that you need to carry out: clean it. This will not only get rid of dirt and grime but also kill fleas that can infest your home. Unfortunately, stray kittens hate water. And now you may be looking for the proper steps on how to clean a stray kitten.
There are 5 steps when cleaning a stray kitten. First, get rid of dirt and grime on its body with diluted baby shampoo. Rinse its body with lukewarm water. Clean the head and face with a washcloth dampened with soapy water. Wash the washcloth and rinse the head and face. Dry the stray kitten.
Making a stray kitten feel at home is easier if you clean it the right way. It also makes it easier for you to fall in love with its overflowing cuteness if it looks neat and smells nice.
Because water is one of the most hated things by stray kittens and kittens in general, cleaning a baby cat by giving it a bath as soon as you bring it into your home can be a daunting experience for both you and the furry animal. Fret not below, you will come across some of the steps on how to clean a stray kitten the right way.
How To Get A Cat To Use An Outdoor Shelter
One of the most asked questions about shelters is how to get a cat to actually use it. Here is what you can do to encourage a cat to use its new house:
- Give the cat some time to investigate the new house.
- Place the shelter in a more quiet and private area, such as near shrubbery and away from traffic.
- Allow the cat easy exit routes if cats feel that they could be ambushed, they would avoid the shelter. The best cat shelters have two doors.
- Leave food nearby or even treats inside.
- Sprinkle catnip.
- Plug-in a heated water bowl, so water wont freeze.
- Provide a heated pad cover.
Keep in mind that earning a stray cat’s trust can be a difficult process and a cat may not sleep inside a shelter at first. Usually, food is the most effective way to win the animal and eventually start interacting with it.
TIP: Though feral cats avoid people, most of them take care of the rest of the cat colony. This means that you can have a shelter that houses more than one cat at a time and the animals will be thankful to cuddle together. Consider this when building or getting a shelter.
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What To Do When A Stray Cat Adopts You
According to the ASPCA, there are tens of millions of feral and stray cats in the United States.
Many of these cats avoid people however, stray cats will sometimes yearn for human interaction .
In these cases, it seems as if stray cats decide to adopt an unsuspecting person as their new caretaker. Basically, these fuzzy interlopers can show up on your doorstep asking for cat food, shelter and attention.
So, what do you do if you happen to be the target? How do you make sure that your new stray cat neighbor stays happy and healthy under your care, especially if he wont come inside? And, if youre unable to care for the little guy, how do you find someone who can?
Is The Cat Feral
Feral cats cannot be picked up or handled without experiencing significant stress. They will not approach people or make eye contact and will look for places to hide. These cats may belong to a colony and will not behave like a social house cat. Feral cats will often sit crouched in a ball with their tails protectively close to their body and their ears back when people approach them or, more likely, they will run away.
Feral cats may hiss and swat with claws extended or bite when they are confined to protect themselves. These cats may have a shorter lifespan than house cats. They are vulnerable to the elements, predation from wildlife, disease and injury.
There is a much higher chance that feral cats will not have been spayed or neutered. It may be possible to tell if a feral cat has been spayed or neutered by looking to see if their ear has been ear-tipped, if they have a tattoo in their ear, or if they are scanned for a microchip. Kittens who are born to feral mothers, depending on their age, may be socialized to become comfortable around people, become used to living indoors and can be adopted into loving homes.
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Start Washing The Body
First things first: do not submerge a stray kitten in water. As mentioned earlier, all stray kittens have a hateful relationship with water. But worry not because there is a possibility that the stray kitten will grow fond of water, thus making subsequent bath times a more positive experience for all concerned parties.
Gently hold the stray kitten by the loose skin on the back of its neck. Its called scruffing, which is something that can calm kittens although it can cause pain to adult cats.
While scruffing the stray kitten, allow it to stand on its four feet. Using a washcloth soaked in lukewarm water, wet the kittens body. This will get it accustomed to the feeling of getting wet without terrifying it. Scoop a small amount of baby shampoo or bath gel diluted with water and gently rub it on the stray kittens coat to make a lather.
Scoop a small amount of lukewarm water and carefully rinse the stray kitten. Refrain from scooping a lot of water at a time to keep it from attempting to break away from your grasp. However, do your best to rinse the kitten fast.
Repeat until there is no more lather on the stray kittens body.
Consider A Calming Remedy To Help Her With The Transition
Just as a hot bath and a cup of herbal tea can take the edge off a stressful day, providing a soothing remedy like catnip, pheromone sprays, or calming supplements may do the same for your new cat.
Alley Cat Allies recommends:
using non-pharmaceutical behavior modifiers like Feliway, Rescue Remedy, or Composure Soft Chews. These products can help calm and comfort cats using essential oils or extracts or by mimicking natural feline pheromones.
Alley Car Allies
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Ways To Convince Feral Cats To Take Shelter
First, thank you to anyone out there whos taken the time to build a feral cat shelter. Protection from the elements is vital, especially during the cold months, and your thoughtfulness will no doubt save many lives during the winter.
For those who havent yet constructed a shelter for your local feral colony? Check out this quick video. Its a straightforward, affordable approach suited for even the most novice of builders.
Round Up All Supplies
Of course, once you become a cat parent, you’ll have to make sure that you have all of their necessities on hand. The top priorities are a litter box and food, Ochoa says, so grab those from the store before you welcome in the fur baby. “The first thing your cat is going to want to do when they get home is to use the bathroom,” she says, so make sure that you have everything set up in a spot where they can have easy access to it. There are plenty of fun things to buy too, like toys, treats, and a collar, but food and litter cannot wait, so be sure to get those.
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The First Thing You Need To Do Is Put On Your Big Girl Or Big Boy Pants And Go Knock On All Your Neighbors Doors
Oh my! So scary I cant do that! Im so shy! My neighbor is a creep! They will think Im crazy! Ok, go back in your house and lay awake again at night about the cat. That kind of thinking will get you no where.
- Snap a photo of the cat if you can, and bring it with you when you canvas the neighborhood, . This will make the conversation with your neighbors go easier for you scaredy catsno pun intended.
- Ask each neighbor, Have you seen this cat? Im really worried about her, Id like to help. You will get 2 people that say, oh that darn pain in the butt cat, I cant stand that thing! Smile politely and tell them their flower bed looks great, then walk away. The rest of the 7 people will say, oh my gosh! I cant sleep at night worrying about her! That poor little thing, shes already had kittens, I wish we could do something!
This is when your awesomeness jumps in and says, Have no fear! I know what to do! We can get her spayed at the Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic in town. Its called TNR Trap Neuter Release!
It only costs about $40 $50 and that covers the surgery, rabies, distemper and ear mite treatment. We can get her flea treatment for an extra $10 too! She just needs a place to stay the night of the surgery. Maybe we can get the neighbors to pitch in $10 each to cover the clinic costs. Then someone else can keep her in their bathroom to recover for one or two nights. I know a pet sitter that has a trap and she will help us catch the cat.
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
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Lesson : Petting With The Wand
The goal of lesson 2 is to get the cat comfortable with the wand and your presence with the cage door open. Look for small positive signs at first: the cat smelling the wand the cat tolerating touch on the head with the wand, even for a few seconds. Youll work from petting the top of the cats head with the wand to petting the back of his neck, his back, the side of his head and his chin.
Here are the steps:
You want to end each session positively, so give the cat a treat when youve finished a session. The treat can be a teaspoon of baby food or a few pieces of canned tuna or deli meat.
When the cat is receptive to petting with the wand, go to lesson 3.
How To Find A Home For A Stray Cat
If you are not able to keep a homeless cat, you could try to find a new cat parent in several ways:
- Consider contacting a few local veterinarian clinics they may know people looking for a pet or people who have recently lost one and may welcome a cat into their family.
- Contact breed-specific groups. If the stray cat is a recognizable breed, such a group may quickly place the animal.
- Post information and pictures on the bulletin boards of pet-supply stores, rescue organizations, and social media channels.
- Spread the word among family and friends.
Get ready to interview potential adopters and do not offer the animal for free! Unfortunately, some people collect animals for research, for dog-fight training and other gruesome purposes, so be selective. You could also ask people at a rescue group to help with the interviews they know how to do it and are usually up for it.
The questions below can help you when interviewing potential adopters and their answers should give you an idea about each applicant. Use common sense if something seems off, then it probably is.
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I’ve Found A Stray Cat With Kittens What Should I Do
If mum and kittens appear to be free from sickness or injury and are located in a safe area then at this time it’s best to leave them alone. If you spot a mum and kittens, it’s best to keep your distance so as not to risk disturbing them. It’s important not to move kittens or mum unless they’re in danger as being moved may put the kittens at risk. In addition to the risk of disturbance, the mum might have an owner nearby already looking for her so it’s best to leave them be but you can help in other ways.
Please try to see if the mum has an owner by posting on local social media groups or speaking to neighbours to see if anybody knows her. In addition, you can and a paper cat collar so people know to get in touch with you if they have any information.
If you can’t find an owner and you think mum is a stray, it’s a good idea to call your local animal rescue for advice. They may talk to you about giving a helping hand by providing food, water and outside shelter to help protect mum and kittens from extreme weather.
If mum and/or the kittens look to be suffering from sickness or injury, phoning a local vet for advice is the best and quickest way to help. It’s important that mum and kittens stay together. If you need to transport the mum and kittens and are not able to do so safely, please call your local rescue charity or our advice line on 0300 1234 999. Never put yourself in danger.
How To Help A Stray Cat
Good Question! Im glad you asked!
So you keep seeing this cat in your neighborhood and she isnt looking so good. Shes scratching herself and probably has fleas. And your fairly sure shes already had a litter of kittens. You lay in bed tormented about her at night. And you think youre the only one that worries about her.
Well, most likely you are NOT the only one that worries about her. I have been rescuing animals for 30 plus years, and there is ONE sure as certain fact I have learned: Theres a VILLAGE of people worrying about this same cat. The house down the way is feeding her, and the guy across the street too. And the nice family behind you also has dishes out for her.
Youve never given it a second thought.someone else worries about this cat too?
Ok, great, you say, Im not alone! Im not the only crazy person laying awake worrying about this cat! But I still dont know how to help it!
Im going to tell you how to help.Welcome to rescue my Friend.
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Budget For Their Expenses
It’s easy to want to help an adorable cat who needs a home, but it’s crucial to make sure that it’s really a possibility for you when it comes to logistics. “Taking on a new pet is basically like a new child â they can be really expensive,”Dr. Geoff DeWire, DVM, a practicing veterinarian and veterinarian-in-chief for PrettyLitter, tells Bustle. “Make sure to asses you budget so you can dedicate the time and money your new fur baby deserves,” he says. This could include anything from food to kitty litter to unexpected medical expenses, so just make sure that you’re prepared.
Taking Your Stray Cat To The Vet
While food and shelter are important, Phillips says that the number one priority, especially if you have other cats, is confirming that the stray cat is healthy. You have to ensure that their basic veterinary needs are being taken care of, so if you can, try to catch the cat and bring her to the vet.
It is important to have a cat carrier when transporting your new cat to the veterinarian. The vast majority of veterinarians will require you to use a cat carrier when bringing any cat to the vet. This helps ensure safety and security for all involved.
Phillips recommends putting food in the crate or cat carrier. First, just let the cat eat in the carrier for a few days. Then, start closing the door a bit while hes eating. Then, close it all the way. Then, try latching it. The key is to do everything gradually, she says. Then, after you visit the vet, keep the carrier out. Keep putting food in it. You want the cat to stay used to the carrier.
For feral or stray cats that may not be familiar with cat carriers, your veterinarian may ask you bring them in a trap.
At the vet, the cat should receive basic vaccinations and be spayed or neutered if she or he isnt already, Phillips says.
Fernandez says that by working with rescue organizations, you can usually find a veterinarian who will do vaccinations and spay/neuter procedures at a reduced cost, or even for free. They may also test for feline leukemia, FIV and parasites, and offer low-cost microchips.
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