Most people adopt their cats through shelters. However, sometimes fate plays a hand instead. In some cases, people adopt stray cats that they notice hanging around their homes, usually looking for food and shelter. It's easy to tell a stray cat from a feral cat; a feral will take food but run or try to fight when you approach. A stray cat may seem a little wary, but they will obviously be used to interacting with humans.
Adopting a stray can make a huge difference to the cat's life, but you do need to follow these steps.
1. Take the Cat to the Vet
It's important to bring your cat to the vet for several reasons. Firstly, a vet will be able to check to see if the cat has been microchipped. Though it might be sad for you to let the cat go, it's always best to see if it can be returned to its original owners. Secondly, you'll want to make sure the cat has its vaccinations; you'll never know whether or not the previous owner took the time to have them administered. Thirdly, a vet can look over your cat and check for any issues that may be plaguing them thanks to their life on the road.
2. Be Active in Searching for Owners
Again, it's always best to reunite the cat with its previous owners. This isn't always possible, but you should try, at least during the first couple of weeks, to find them. Post the cat's picture on social media sites, and put up some flyers, and make sure you search to see if anyone is asking about a lost cat in your local area.
3. Have Them Microchipped and Collared
A cat that got lost once is relatively likely to get lost again. Maybe they are the kind of cat who likes to roam far from home. Maybe they are feline escape artists who seek to break the bounds of being a housecat. In any case, you need to make sure you don't make the same mistake as the previous owner. To ensure that your new cat can be returned to you if it goes astray, make sure you have it microchipped, and fit it with an identification collar.
4. Give Them Space
When you first accept a stray cat into your home, it might be over the moon at its change of fortune. However, cats can be wary when put in new surroundings, so make sure your new buddy has a room of their own. Let your cat come to you for affection and playtime instead of going to it. This will help establish a healthy and trusting relationship.