What to do if you’ve picked up a homeless cat?
A stray kitten doesn’t look very attractive. But few people can get past the heartbreaking meowing. Some people go to the shop and buy food while others can take food out of the house. Some people feel sorry about a homeless animal and want to take it home, but they are afraid of the consequences.
Homeless cats have different infections and worms in most cases. This fact scares away potential owners, especially if the person already has a pet. We’re here to help, and we have an action plan: what to do if you find kittens in your yard?
How can you catch a homeless cat?
Not all cats are ready to go to your house. They have been living under constant stress on the street, and they feel like defending themselves all the time. Cats can’t know for sure if they can trust you or not. Of course, some cats would be happy to fall into your arms. In that case, you can wrap it in a towel and take it home. But what if the cat doesn’t want to go with you?
You need to gain trust in the following way. Buy one kind of food and feed the cat in the morning and evening. Then you should shorten the distance between you every time. If the cat is still afraid, you need to take the cat carrier, place it where you feed the cat, and put the food inside. When the cat enters the cat carrier, you would close it and take home.
What should you do at home?
- You don’t need to wash the cat with your shampoo, especially a kitten. For two reasons: first of all, there can be different skin diseases (such as ringworm) on its body, and if you start washing a cat, you can spread the infection throughout the whole body. And then it will be much harder to cure your cat. The shampoos are toxic and can be dangerous to the weakened immune system of a kitten. If a homeless cat is very dirty, you can wash it with flowing water and dry it with a napkin.
- You may notice that your kitten itches a lot, which means, that it is infected with fleas. If your cat doesn’t suffer from flea bites, you should wait until your vet’s orders. But if it suffers greatly from flea bites, you can buy flea sprays or drops which you can buy in veterinary stores (pharmacies). You should specify the weight and age of the kitten when you buy medication, so the retailer can give you the right dosage, it’s very important.
- It’s best to keep the cat in a separate room, for example on the balcony. Give it food and access to clean water.
- If you have other pets (a cat or dog) you should keep them away from the homeless cat. Infections or diseases that a new cat may have, can be fatal to your healthy pets. This quarantine usually lasts 2 weeks.
- Make sure you wash your hands after contact with your pet!
Visit the vet
It’s best if you show the homeless cat to the vet right after you pick it up from the street. The vet will give you a comprehensive check-up and give you the right recommendations. The main task at first is to rid the cat of external and internal parasites. It is possible that the street cat has serious illnesses, and it has to be nursed in a hospital under the care of the doctor.
We have already written about pet vaccination, and you can read this article. Every good-hearted owner should vaccinate their pet no matter how it has appeared at your home. But you should understand that a doctor can only vaccinate a healthy cat.
So, a short resume of what to do if you pick up a cat from the street
- If you have the opportunity you should take the cat to the vet immediately.
- Clear its body of parasites.
- Try to keep the cat in isolation for 2 weeks.
- When the cat is healthy, you should vaccinate it.
- Choose the best nutrition for your new pet (it’s best to ask the doctor).