The population of stray cats continues to rise in the United States and it’s becoming a problem for shelters, especially during the warmer seasons. Each year, we see more and more cats abandoned or placed in shelters in an overwhelming number. However, when a cat shows up hungry on your front porch, do you just ignore her and move on with whatever you are doing? Do you not entertain the question on how to care for a stray cat? Before you decide on letting her go easily, consider giving her a temporary shelter by following these tips:
Take the cat into your home. If she adheres to your invitation, she must have just been lost and could not find her way back home. However, if the cat refuses to come in and cannot be tamed, she is considered a feral cat that has grown in the wild and is likely impossible to take in and care for.
Create ways on how you can search for her real owners. Contact your local animal control and notify them of a lost cat. You may also take a picture of her and have it printed out and posted around your neighborhood. Chances are the owner of the cat may have been looking for her. The cat may have unknowingly escaped from home through doors that have been left open.
When you have exerted all efforts to seek the owner of the cat, the best thing you can do is to adopt her. If you do not have the means to take care of her, bring her to an adopting institution for animals, rather than releasing her to the streets.
Take the cat to the nearest veterinarian. Once you have decided on taking the cat into your care, bring her to a veterinarian near you. This may become an extra burden on your part, but it is the most humane gesture you can extend to the cat. Having her checked by a vet will ensure that you are taking care of a pet that is healthy and free from communicable diseases or internal and external parasites.
The vet will also notify you if she has been spayed or neutered, which means that the production of more kittens will be prevented and the population will not grow further. If the cat has not undergone the procedure yet, it is highly advisable that you contact the local animal control and ask to be referred to a low-cost clinic and have this done inexpensively.
Shop for cat food and accessories. The cat is in your care now and you need to provide all the things she will need, like the wet and dry cat food, litter box and other pet supplies. After paying the vet a visit with your cat, head on to the nearest pet store or grocery and buy some of these supplies, including a scooper, water bowls, litter, treats and toys. When you are not sure what to get for your new friend, seek the help of pet personnel and he will show you around and recommend the best products that you can give to your pet.
Let the new addition to the family feel at home and welcomed by paying attention to her needs. Discovering how to care for a stray cat can become an engaging activity for the whole family as you are able to teach your children the responsibility of handling pets at home.