Adopting a Stray Cat

Is there a stray cat in your Indianapolis neighborhood that you’ve considered adopting? Maybe a kitty just showed up on your porch, and you felt bad for it, so you gave it a bowl of food for dinner . . . and then another the next day. Perhaps you’ve noticed a timid, hungry furball hiding in your yard, and you want to give it a better life. You may also come home one day and find a scared or cold cat under your porch or in your garage. Many adorable cats have found their forever homes in similar manners. Saving a stray cat can be a very rewarding experience.

Sadly, many strays were once someone’s pet. They may have been abandoned, run away, or simply wandered off and gotten lost. These are often wonderful, loving animals that are frightened and hungry and remember a time when they were beloved, well-fed pets.

If you find yourself bonding with a stray, or if a stray has decided that it wants to be your pet, don’t hold back out of fear of catching something. While you should by all means bring the cat to the vet before you let it loose in your home, especially if you have children or other animals, many of the medical conditions a stray would have, such as fleas and parasites, are fairly easy to treat. Vaccinations are definitely in order on that first trip. You’ll also want the kitty tested for contagious diseases like feline leukemia. If you have other animals, keep the stray quarantined until your vet gives you the all clear. Your stray should be neutered or spayed as well, though of course your vet will first need to determine whether or not they are intact.

There is a difference between stray cats and feral cats. Strays are cats that were once someone’s pet. Kitty may have learned to survive on her own, but she isn’t entirely wild. Stray cats are often able to readjust very quickly to being a pet. Feral cats, on the other hand, are completely wild. While some feral cats can be quite friendly, others can be afraid of people. Stray cats can become feral, if they are out on their own long enough.

Animals are fully capable of understanding when someone saves them, and they will show their appreciation very clearly. It may take a bit of adjusting, but Kitty will eventually settle into her new role as a professional napper in your Indianapolis home, and will reward you with cuddles, snuggles, and kitty love. As the saying goes, adopting one animal won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal.

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