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Adopting a Stray Cat

Are you thinking of adopting a stray kitty? Perhaps a cute cat has been hanging around your yard, and you’ve started feeding it. Or maybe someone you know is trying to find a local feline a home. Strays can make wonderful pets! Here, a Portland, OR vet discusses adopting a stray cat.

Stray Vs. Feral

Though there are no physical differences between domestic, stray, and feral cats, they are worlds apart emotionally. Domestic cats are basically pets. Stray cats are kitties that have been around humans before. They’re used to human contact, and can be quite friendly. Many were once pets themselves. Feral cats, on the other hand, are completely wild. While feral cats can make great barn cats, they don’t always adapt well to living as pets. (Note: one interesting fact about cats is that only domestic kitties walk with their tails up. Feral cats let their tails droop.)

Bringing Fluffy In

A trip to the vet’s is a definite must. Fluffy will need vaccines, parasite control, a microchip, and a full exam. If she hasn’t been fixed yet, you’ll want to get that done as well. Keep your new kitty separated from other pets and children until your vet gives the all-clear.

Getting Fluffy Settled

At first, put your cat in a quiet room or area with bedding, toys, treats, food and water, a litterbox, and some kitty furniture. Don’t force attention on your new pet. Just let her settle in and adjust. To win her trust, talk to her, play with her, and offer toys and treats. It may take some time for Fluffy to realize that she is safe, comfortable, and cared for. Focus on offering great TLC, and you’ll have that motor going in no time!

Keeping Kitty In

We recommend cats stay inside, as they are both safer and healthier indoors. This can be tricky with kitties that are used to freedom. Setting out some pet-safe plants will give Fluffy a taste of nature. You can find a list of suitable options here. You’ll also want to make sure she has plenty of toys, furniture, and entertainment options. In time, your feline pal may become so comfortable that she loses all desire to go out. Ask your vet for more information.

Please contact us, your Portland, OR pet hospital for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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