If a Stray Cat Adopts You
It happens to the best of us. You may not want it at the time, but you cannot deny fate. Every so often a stray cat is going to adopt you, not the other way around! And you could either roll with the punches or ignore your new found furry friend.
But you know as well as I do that it’s going to be impossible! You’re never going to let yourself ignore the little guy or gal. Now that you’ve been adopted, you’ll have no choice but to let the furball into your life. And that’s a good thing! You’re going to score serious karma points and hopefully the little one will change her life for the better.
But more than anything else…
Having a stray cat come into your life might not be the easiest transition. Maybe you have other cats or pets and bringing in this new kitty could cause a bit of upheaval. Or maybe you have young children and you are worried about their health. It is a stray cat after all and you do not know where it has been!
The information below will provide tips on integrating a stray cat into your life. Please follow the advice and this transition should go very smoothly.
Here it is…
Sometimes a cat shows up in your neighborhood or on your doorstep, and it’s obvious that the cat is feral. There’s no way you’re going to lure the cat inside or touch her, and the best you can do is feed her, and hopefully, implement some TNR.
The large gray area with free-roaming cats, however, are stray cats. Some of these cats may seem feral at first. But given time, you might get close to them and even tempt them inside. With time, they might make a wonderful house cat, companion, or pet for you or another good home.
So, if it seems that a stray cat might be adopting you, what are the next best steps to take? Here’s the story of my Karma, and what she showed me about how to open your arms, and home, to a stray cat.“Helping cats is good karma!” says Karma. Karma turned into one of the sweetest members of our household.
1. Go slowly, and be open to any curves in the road
Start by determining whether the cat is feral. I know this is easier said than done.
Here’s how it played out with Karma. I began feeding her outside. Initially, she would not come close to the house at all, so I set the food on the other side of the yard, as far from the house as possible. I fed her at regular times so that she got used to the routine. Then I started to move the food closer to the house.
Karma showed no reluctance to come closer, even though she would run away if I came outside while she was eating. I got to the point where the food was right inside the garage and she was still coming in and eating. But I did this over a period of several weeks and I didn’t rush it.
One day, I had a hunch that I might get her in the door. I shut all the other cats inside the house, and left the front door opened to a small enclosed breezeway we have. She came in. Somehow, I was able to close the door behind her.
Did she freak? Yes, a little. But fortunately she was so hungry that she got her head temporarily stuck in a Dixie cup full of food that I had grabbed quickly. That enabled me to quickly get the other cats in the bedroom and shut that door. Then, I opened the house door. She dashed in, but again, I had a feeling she was a gentle cat — just scared.
Initially she hid in a tiny utility room close near the front door. I gave her some time. I was easily able to reach in and scratch her chin. She began purring. I knew she was definitely not feral … but she could have come close to that line.
Every journey with taming a stray cat will be a little different. You sometimes need to rely on your observations and your gut feeling. Does the cat seem friendly? Scared or truly wild? To me, Karma seemed scared, but not yet truly wild. She was close to feral, though, and I don’t think she would have survived long, had she turned feral or not been integrated into our household.Ironically, the most persnickety cat ever introduced to our household was Jamie, not a stray and the only pet store cat I’ve ever adopted.
2. Once inside, isolate until you can take necessary health care steps
If you succeed in getting your stray cat inside, don’t let her have any contact with your other cats (if any) until you’ve had her vaccinated, checked, and tested for contagious diseases like feline leukemia. Wash your own hands if going between these cats in a multiple cat household.
3. If other cats share your home, introduce them slowly
Let cats get to know each other on either side of, or under a door. Eventually, I might put the new cat in a carrier, and let the other cats take their time checking her out. I might even put other cats in carriers, and let the new cat check the house out. I might introduce her to one cat at a time, if there are several in the household.
I use my intuition a lot, and this is no exception. If it feels as if it’s going really well, it may be a fast (and successful) introduction. If someone seems really bent out of shape, I’ll take my time and make sure that all the cats get some extra love during this time of transition.
4. Be ready for surprises
We can never know the baggage that our rescued strays may carry, but it may manifest once we get to know these newcomers better. Be ready for surprises.
My cats are indoor cats, but several months after Karma’s successful integration to the household, she managed to escape outside. We almost did not get her back. Once outside, if was as if her personality changed. She became “distant,” seemed almost wild, and would not respond to us.
When we were able to get her, thank goodness (we remained very calm and moved very slowly, so as not to set off more of her skittishness), we took her inside. Once inside, my husband held her up to the window (thinking that he was showing her that all was okay) and she shrank from the outside. Of course, she loves to look out windows now, but it was a strange experience. Be ready for these. Read more here
So what did you think? This transition shouldn’t be that tough. They provided a number of great tips and strategies to make this beautiful little A part of your family.
Has anyone reading this ever been adopted by a stray cat? It’s happened to me twice, and it just happened to my sister about a week ago. We’d love to hear your story too.
Do you feel like sharing? Let us know all about your adoption in the comments below. Feel free to send us a picture as well and will post it on the website.