According to the ASPCA, there are as many as 70 million stray cats in the United States, and many of these cats are either lost or have been abandoned by their owners. If a friendly furry visitor has been paying your property regular visits lately, you may be tempted to open your heart and your home to the whiskered waif. If you already have one or more cats in your household, follow these tips in order to provide a safe and harmonious introduction to your family.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Before you act in haste, you need to ask yourself some questions. You have the best intentions in wanting to give the stray cat a loving home. What is one more, you may think. It is exactly that. It is yet one more life to be responsible for. You have already made the commitment to be responsible for the cats that you have, and their needs must come first.
Isolate the Newcomer
You do not know the stray cat's health history or how long he or she has been fending outdoors. Even if your cat is vaccinated and spayed or neutered, do not allow contact between him or her and the stray. If you use your garage for storage, meaning that you will not be opening its door to take a car out and come home every day, this is one option for an isolation ward. Another option is a basement that your cat does not enter. In either setting, be sure to remove all chemical products, rodenticides and other harmful substances and objects.
Alternately, an extra bedroom can serve as an isolation space as long as the door closes securely and your cat cannot enter the room. This is a good time to knock on neighborhood doors and check social media sites and local retailers' bulletin boards be sure that the stray you are harboring does not match any of the missing kitty mug shots. Do not allow your cat to have any contact with the stray until a veterinarian has examined the newcomer.
Have the Stray Examined
Schedule an appointment with a veterinarian like Elizabethton Veterinary Clinic to have the stray cat examined as soon as possible. Before your veterinarian proceeds with the examination or tests, he or she will scan the cat for a microchip. Until the feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency tests have been run, the cat has been spayed or neutered and the cat is fully vaccinated, continue to keep him or her isolated from your other cat. They can start to get to know one another through scents and vocal communication during this time. Once all medical care has been completed for the stray, gradual formal introductions may be made.
Introduce Cats Gradually
The stray cat is seen as an interloper by your cat, and introductions must be made gradually to maximize the chances of harmonious coexistence. Begin by trading towels back and forth between the cats so that they can acclimate to the scents of one another. Once the cats accept the towels without hissing, allow the stray to come out of the isolation room to greet your cat. Do this under your devoted supervision, and leave be sure that the stray can quickly retreat to the isolation room if he or she feels intimidated. Keep these introductions brief and supervised, returning the stray to the room in between socializing sessions. As the cats come to terms and demonstrate that they can coexist, extend the duration of these supervised visits. When you are confident that they will get along, allow them to interact full time. Taking this final step toward integration on a weekend or your day off would be a wise move so that you can keep an eye on them.
22 February 2017
Hello, my name is Katrina, and I love my dog. We live out in the country, so he is able to run a lot. He even has neighboring dogs who come to see him and play. However, fresh air and exercise are not the only things he needs. He also needs a healthy diet, the right shots, and care for his mental health. If you are a pet owner, you will love the tips that I plan to include in this blog. I'm going to focus these posts on everything you need to know to keep your dog happy and healthy. I hope these ideas help you, and I wish you and your pet many years of happiness and good health together.