What to Expect When Adopting a Stray Cat Adopting a stray cat comes with several challenges that you must be aware of

BY | August 30 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
What to Expect When Adopting a Stray Cat

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Adopting a stray cat is a wonderful but challenging experience. So, before you adopt one, make sure you understand what youโ€™re getting yourself into and how you can make it out of there.

There are over 600 million cats worldwide, and the US itself is home to about 100 to 150 million. Out of them, between 60 and 100 million cats are either strays or homeless. With over 25% of US households owning at least one cat, it’s evident that the country is somewhat welcoming to these animals. Adopting a stray is one of the many ways people here find themselves a cat, and it’s indeed a rewarding experience.

Of course, adopting a stray comes with several challenges.

The first challenge of adopting a stray cat is getting it to trust you. Cats who have been strays for a while are often very cautious around people, especially those they aren't familiar with. It will take time and patience on your part to earn their trust.

The second challenge of adopting a stray cat is finding them food. If your cat is used to hunting for its own food, it may be hard for you to convince them that eating canned food out of a bowl is an acceptable substitute.

The third challenge of adopting a stray cat is keeping them healthy. Stray cats often carry diseases, including rabies and feline leukemia, which can be transmitted to humans through bites or scratches from an infected animal. The best way to protect yourself from these diseases is by having your new pet vaccinated immediately after adoption and continuing to vaccinate them throughout their lives, as recommended by your veterinarian.

So, before you adopt a stray, it’s important to know what you can expect from them and the experience itself. Let’s get into that. 

Stray Cats Might Have Health Problems

Health problems are one of the main reasons cats become strays. Even if they weren’t ill before, they are likely to become so once these cats become homeless. 

One of the most common challenges of adopting a stray cat is the fact that it might have health problems. Stray cats often suffer from tapeworm, ear mites, ringworm, and other diseases that could potentially be transmitted to humans. They could also have broken limbs or fractured bones.

If you're considering adopting a stray cat, it's important to make sure that you are fully equipped to take care of any potential illnesses or injuries.

They Likely Have Flea Infestations

When you adopt a stray cat, it's important to remember that they may have flea infestations. Fleas are common in cats that have been living on the streets or in a shelter, and there is no way to tell if your new pet has fleas until you see them.

If your cat does have fleas, it's important to take them to the vet right away. The vet will be able to give you the right flea treatment for cats. 

Capstar for Cats is a common flea medicine for cats that your vet might suggest. You can also use Frontline Gold and Frontline Plus for Cats, which are equally good in treating fleas.

After you’re done treating them for fleas, you can then prevent further flea infestations using the Seresto Flea Collar for Cats

A cat flea infestation usually consists of less than 20 fleas. That number can reach a maximum of 200 to 300 fleas and even more. In such situations, the cat will need immediate medical care. So, take proper steps to deal with the fleas on your stray.

They Might Have Behavioral Issues

According to experts, aggression and scratching are two of the most common cat behavioral problems, and these problems can be found in strays too.

One challenge of adopting a stray cat is that it may have behavioral issues. If you adopt from a shelter, the animal will have been checked by a vet, who will be able to tell you if there are any health issues and what those are. However, they won't be able to tell you if the cat has behavioral issues that may cause problems in your home.

Some cats can be aggressive toward other animals in the house, especially if they're not used to being around other animals. Some are not used to being handled and may bite or scratch if they don't like something. Others might scratch furniture when they get excited—a behavior problem that can be corrected with training.

If this happens, don't give up on your newly adopted stray. It's important to remember that these behaviors are usually just learned responses to stress and feeling out of control. With time and patience, you'll be able to help them adjust to their new life with you. Try giving them a cat scratching post and interactive cat toys to play with.

Stray Cats Are Malnourished

Stray cats are often malnourished because of their lifestyle. By definition, a stray cat is a wild animal that has been abandoned by its owner or escaped from captivity. Stray cats do not have access to food provided by humans. Instead, they must find food on their own in order to survive. This can be difficult because stray cats often live in urban areas where there may not be enough food available for them to eat.

For cats to be healthy and thrive, they need protein, fat, carbohydrates, and water (in that order). A stray cat's diet might consist of mostly meat-based items such as mice or birds—but not enough of them. Stray cats often eat more vegetable-based foods such as grasses and plants, and that's not enough either. They also rarely get enough water from their food sources.

The result is that many stray cats are underweight and malnourished, which leads to health problems like diarrhea and urinary tract infections.

So, one of the first things you must do when you adopt a stray is to give them proper food. Feeding them the Hill’s Science Diet Cat Food can help you give them the nourishment they need. You can also try other brands like Purina One and Royal Canin.

That’s all you need to know before adopting a stray cat. There are always going to be challenges when you adopt a stray. However, once you overcome them, the experience will feel very fulfilling.

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