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Advice on taking in a stray

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
A few months ago, a curious, gentle grey cat started wandering into my friend's barn while my friend was working in there. He's a very social cat and appears to have been through a lot.
When he first started coming around, he had abrasions on one side of his body (almost like someone had tossed him out of a moving vehicle,) bite marks around his head, a slightly bent tail, a nasty eye infection and pieces missing from his ears. He was quick to warm up to us and let us hold him, and always follows us around on the property.
Now his abrasions have healed and his eye infection was treated, and since it is winter now, my friends have set up a little shelter for him on their deck with a heating pad in it. He just sits on the deck now in his little hideout and begs to come inside. They can't bring him into their own house though since they already have 5 cats, but I'm considering taking him into my home, where he would be the only pet.
I'm fairly certain he was a pet at one time due to his tameness and the fact he is litter box trained, but my question today is what should be done with a stray before bringing him into your home? I understand it is important to have him fixed, but what else would need to be done? Vaccinations? declawing? Is this an expensive venture?
He really is a little sweetheart and I would like to help him out at least for the cold winter - I'm pretty clueless when it comes to cats and would like your advice.
Thank you!
post #2 of 13
Oh, it does my heart good to hear that someone wants to care for this guy!! It does sound like he is looking for a home and I am glad you are willing. I think it would be a good idea to get a vet appointment, get him checked, schedule neutering and then bring him home if all is well. Try to put him into a small room for a few days-getting him used to using a litter box and just being indoors. He sure does sound like he will be grateful to have a home especially with winter upon us. Good luck and keep us posted.
post #3 of 13
Our first cat was a stray--and although it was probably alittle more expensive then starting with a shelter cat it was worth it.

First thing is vaccinations and a FIV/FELV test--obviously neutering. No declawing--its a horrible procedure that actually takes off part of the toe--search on this site about declawing! Probably needs to be wormed if he's been outdoors.

Depending upon your vet an office visit usually runs like $30-$45--we go to a low cost vet, our office visit it $18. We paid $26 to get Jack neutered --low cost vet. The FIV/FELV test is like $30 We go to the low cost shot clinic on Saturdays where you don't pay office vists so the shots are at cost like $10 for rabies $8 to worm them

Leslie
post #4 of 13
I pretty much agree with both of the previous posters. First and most essential is the FIV/FELV test and the spay/neuter. As was already stated declawing is a terrible thing. I tend to go easy on the vaccinations and I believe in getting only the most essential ones.

A small room, clean litter box, plenty of food and water and a warm blanket will help the kitty to adjust to a new home. He sounds like a great cat!
post #5 of 13
P.S. Stray cats make the *BEST* pets. They are so grateful for a good home and they never forget it.
post #6 of 13
Ditto to everything everyone has said here... no need to declaw. Give him lots of places to scratch and incentize with treats, praise ... rub cat nip or use cat nip spray on his scratching posts. etc. Trim his nails every couple of weeks. The vet tech can show you how.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
So I just brought him home about an hour ago. He was really sweet the car ride home, and even slept soundly. Now he is confined to one room and he seemed really comfortable at first but then hid under the dresser, where he remains. Hopefully he will become a little more adventurous with time and come out from under there. There are things in the room from where he was last staying, so things aren't totally foreign to him.
I plan to get him fixed soon, because I'm afraid he will spray (and also just in case he goes back to the farm in the spring) and next weekend I am taking him to a low cost vaccination clinic at the local pet store.
Hopefully all goes well with this, he is my first cat. I'm really scared I will screw it all up lol
If things don't work out though, a few friends of mine would offer him a good home.
post #8 of 13
Don't worry, you won't screw it up as long as you are patient and take things slowly. And it will be even better once he is neutered. Just keep things quiet and calm and begin a routine with him, you will be surprised how he will adapt. Good luck.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by clmetz85 View Post
So I just brought him home about an hour ago. He was really sweet the car ride home, and even slept soundly. Now he is confined to one room and he seemed really comfortable at first but then hid under the dresser, where he remains. Hopefully he will become a little more adventurous with time and come out from under there. There are things in the room from where he was last staying, so things aren't totally foreign to him.
I plan to get him fixed soon, because I'm afraid he will spray (and also just in case he goes back to the farm in the spring) and next weekend I am taking him to a low cost vaccination clinic at the local pet store.
Hopefully all goes well with this, he is my first cat. I'm really scared I will screw it all up lol
If things don't work out though, a few friends of mine would offer him a good home.
It sounds as though you're doing just fine Don't worry about the hiding, that is a "cat thing". If he were to be put in an unfamiliar place outside, he'd do the same thing. It's a cat's nature to take cover and check out the area a bit before venturing out. Before you know it, he'll be everywhere you are
post #10 of 13
I'm glad you brought him in - since you have no other pets, there really isn't any danger, except of possible spraying. But not all males do that anyway. He sounds like he's actually doing quite well - sleeping in the car - wow!
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanW View Post
P.S. Stray cats make the *BEST* pets. They are so grateful for a good home and they never forget it.
You got that right.

post #12 of 13
First thing you need to do is buy a liter box and kitty litter.

Second, you need to buy dry and wet food. Give it half a can of wet food and then some dry food later on during the day in a dish. And make sure you put fresh water in a dish everyday.

Thirdly, show them to the litter box and put it's paws in the box and wait during the course of the day if it uses the liter box.

If it does, you have nothing to worry about and it can roam the house.

As for declawing, don't do it, just cut it's claws with special clippers, and don't cut too much, just alittle bit off the tips.
post #13 of 13
I agree with all the others, and add:

as for his hiding. It is natural yes. You can lessen the hiding by giving him a cat igloo, or a sideturned cardboard box, with something soft to lay on. This is necessary for shy cats and lessens their stress much. But most cats appreciate to have somewhere to hide a little.... Newbies of course tend to need to hide more... But yours isnt no real shy, so he will come out soon!

Food: wet food of decent quality is probably best as the base. The swedish Bozita for example is rather cheap and quite good.
and dry food of decent quality as a fill in to do something in the night...


As recently dumped he probably doesnt have contagious sickednesses mentioned before. The risk is anyway lesser then for a long-time stray. Unless he get dumped because he was sick... But you say he seems healthy - had had already a sort of quarantene in your friends barn. His good recovery from wounds is another sign of a at least satisfactory health. All in all: the health shouldnt be big trouble for you - save the neutering which is waiting...
But he can very well have worms and other parasites. Almost all strays have.

NO declawing. God forbide and I agree. But if scratching would be a big problem for you, although scratching posts and cutting nails and so on, so there are loose nails to glue on. (dont remember the name). They do work quite satisfactory, and are a much lesser evil than declawing.


Try to keep him as a stricktly indoor cat. This shouldnt be difficult: he has seen the outside is terrible and VERRY scary.
But if he wants to go out and you let him, dont cut the nails too much: so he can defend himself against dogs, hostile cats, and can also save himself in a tree if necessary.


Good luck, and much pleasure with your new family member!
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