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Thinking about taking a stray inside

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone! I am hoping for some advice. We started feeding a stray cat, who we call Oreo, a few months ago. He is our neighbourhood stray that has been here since birth. After asking around we found out that one lady adopted his brother, but Oreo was left all alone outside. At first he was very skeptical, but since we had been feeding him twice a day he is much more trusting of us. We have since given him treats that he will take from our hand, he rubs his head hello when I go outside and meows all the time. We let him see our kittens through the screen door and they do not hiss or show aggression towards each other.

Now everytime I go onto my deck Oreo is there, either sitting in our plants or just hanging about. If I open the screen door to talk to him he will sit and meow with me and at times he has even tried to get inside. However, since he isn't fixed and I assume not tested I don't want to expose him to our indoor only cats.

We want to take him in to the vet so he can get fixed and get updated on shots, but I don't know the best way to do this. Should we get a trap from the SCPA or should we try to pick him up and put him in a carrier? Also, we are unsure if we will let him inside, but maybe we will if he tests okay. I have grown quite attached to this little guy and it makes me sad to see him always staring at us through the glass because I think he must be lonely!

Any advice on what to do?
post #2 of 11
Trap him, vet him, and bring him inside. You can always let him be an indoor/outdoor kitty if being always inside stresses him too much. Once they get the experience of regular meals and a warm place to sleep, you probably couldn't beat him hard enough to go back out. Just my humble opinion. He sounds like a great cat, and your intros are halfway there already. Please let us know what you decide.
post #3 of 11
Agree with everything that KK said. He certainly doesn't sound feral and seems friendly enough, but people who have had their cats for years sometimes struggle to get them in a carrier. If he resists, you could be left with some nasty scratches and/or bites (which could be particularly dangerous since you have no idea what his medical history or health is). You might also undo all of the good things that you've done so far to gain his trust.

Give yourself a pat on the back for all that you've done for this cat and I hope that things work out the way that you want them to!
post #4 of 11
The trick to putting him in the carrier is to turn the carrier so that it is standing vertically. Then you drop them in and shut the door. I get all of my cats in this way and 2 of them hate the carrier.
post #5 of 11
I would avoid just picking him up and putting him in the carrier. If you can lure him in (which is what we do!) then that would be good, but speaking as someone who was bit by one of her cats last month you DON'T want to risk it. Even though he sounds very tame, you just don't know how he will react in a stressful situation! I am sure he will be fine, but you just never know, and as the previous poster said, you just don't know his medical history! We got 'lucky' with our bite as our doctor was open late that night (my husband got bit as well), but she said if we had waited much longer, we would have been in the hospital on a drip being treated for blood poisoning. And this bite was from our most tame kitten (ours are former semi-ferals that we took in off the street).

I find it quite easy to lure our kittens into their cage. I either throw a toy in during a play time or put some smelly food in the cage (if their vet visit doesn't require fasting).

Good luck and good work with little Oreo!
post #6 of 11
I agree; trap him (or get him in a carrier) and get him to the vet for testing and neutering. I just took in a stray last week after a month of feeding him. It just broke my heart to see him outside and so lonely and miserable (his behaviour was almost spot on to Oreo) so I trapped him last week and took him to the vet. He is now in our house and we are slowly working on introductions. He hasn't seemed the least bit stressed about being inside; in fact, the little guy has been sleeping and enjoying the peace and quiet. He seems so much happier to be off of the streets!

Best of luck...please keep us updated!
post #7 of 11
My first cat, Rambo, was a bit of a psychokitty (that's an understatement -- he's been gone almost 20 years and I still have scars from him!) and the only way I could take him to the vet was in a pillowcase. I felt like poor white trash, but it worked and the cat felt safe.

Top-loading and especially softsided carriers seem to work best for tricky cats. (The Sherpa ones are pricey, but work well.) Even the cheapo disposable cardboard carriers are easier on the cats than most traditional, door-in-the-front carriers. Cats seem to love boxes. But they can chew/claw their way out if you're not careful.

Good luck with him and let us know how things work out!
post #8 of 11
Hi Sparkleghost, I am in a similar situation, a neighbor moved away and left their kitty behind, he is very frightened and has taken up residence under our front porch. We have been able to gain his trust and he now comes in the basement to eat. We took him to the vet Monday where we learned he is FIV positive. We have 1 indoor only cat whom we adore but she is 14 years old and not at all friendly to newcomers, so the vet advised to not let them have any contact. Not sure how we are going to manage because the poor little stray seems to be adopting us and now wants to explore the entire house and become an indoor kitty as well. Anyway, I was worried about getting him in the carrier for the trip to the vet so I just put a healthy sprinkle of catnip in the back of the carrier and he went right in after it and then I shut the door. I put a large towel over the top to prevent him seeing out for the short car trip, and everything was fine. Good luck with your new friend, I hope it works out just fine for all of you.
Best wishes,
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the advice. I think I will try to lure him into the carrier versus picking him up since we don't know his medical history and I am pregnant! Fortunately our backyard is fairly safe since I live in a city and so all of the houses are attached. He doesn't venture out into the street and just stays around our house or the neighbours so at least he is fairly safe. Today I took out a toy and was playing with him for a while in order to gain his trust. We might end up building him a kitty shelter so he can still be outdoors, but will have a nice place to sleep. Right now he prefers the planter's boxes, but I think we can come up with something more comfortable! He is such a sweet kitty - I just want to see him happy :-) I hope the vet gives him a clean bill of health!
post #10 of 11
I tamed a feral pregnant kitty I found at work, and got her used to being carried around. (after feeding, petting, etc. for quite a while.) Then when it was time to go to the vet, I put the carrier in my car with the door open facing the door, and picked her up and walked around with her (which I had done before) and just walked to the car and placed her in the carrier. I couldn't believe it didn't faze her at all.

But...with you being pregnant that sorta changes everything. :/
post #11 of 11
The pregnant part means luring is the way to go.
What a good life he will have. At least he will be cared for.
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