how to rescue stray cats and kittens

Learn to Rescue Stray Cats & Kittens

Stray cats and feral cats are two types of felines that you may come across outdoors. Stray cats used to belong to someone, but they became lost or ran away. Feral cats have never been owned by anyone. They were born in the wild and learned how to survive using their instincts.

There are many dangers these cats face. They can get hit by cars, attacked by dogs or other animals, or catch diseases. They often struggle to find food and shelter as well.

Both can be friendly, but they are also known to be scared and defensive. It’s important to be cautious when approaching them. They typically need plenty of time to get used to your presence.

Despite their initial temperament, these cats often make great pets. With enough patience and love, they can become loyal and loving companions. If you want adopt a stray or feral cat, please do your research and find a kitty that would be a good addition to your family.

facts about stray cats and kittens

First, a Few Facts About Stray Cats and Kittens

One of the biggest challenges in dealing with stray and feral cats is that they are difficult to track and count. Unlike domesticated house cats, strays can live outdoors and survive on their own, so they are not always easy to find or identify.

According to a report by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, there are an estimated 60 to 80 million stray and feral cats living in the United States.

While it’s nearly impossible to get a precise count, we do know that the number of stray and feral cats has been on the rise in recent years. This may be due, in part, to the fact that more people are now keeping cats as indoor pets, which means that there are more cats who eventually become strays as they are abandoned or become lost.

Additionally, the practice of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) has helped to reduce the population of stray and feral cats by humanely trapping them, neutering them, and then returning them to their outdoor homes. Despite these efforts, their numbers continue to be a serious problem.

While rescue shelters do their best to accommodate them, there’s just not enough space for all these cats. That’s why it is extremely important for people to be proactive with helping these cats in their own communities.

stray or feral cat?

Friendly Stray or Elusive Feral? Know the Difference.

Stray cats, also known as lost cats, have been abandoned or displaced. They may have had direct interaction with humans at some point in their lives, but aren’t currently socialized to people and will most likely be scared of them.

Feral cats are typically unapproachable and fearful of people. They live outdoors and survive on their own, often scavenging for food and shelter.

Why Does a Stray Cat Become Feral?

There are many reasons why a cat would turn feral, but the most common is that they’re abandoned by their owners. When people don’t spay or neuter their cats, they can reproduce quickly and soon there are too many cats for the owner to care for. These cats are then often left to fend for themselves on the street.

What are the Dangers of a Stray Cat?

A stray cat can pose a serious risk for people and other animals. They may spread diseases like rabies, toxoplasmosis, and feline leukemia virus (FeLV). They can also cause property damage by scratching furniture, carpets, and cars.

Can Feral Cats be Hazardous?

Feral cats can be even more of a threat than stray cats. They are typically not friendly and frightened of humans, so it is difficult to catch or treat them for diseases or injuries. They can also prey on wildlife, which may disrupt the natural balance of the ecosystem.

helping homeless cats

Why Help These Homeless Cats?

Suffering is the main reason to rescue these cats. With their numbers way out of control, they face a many threats on the streets everyday. They often have to contend with extreme weather conditions, lack of food or shelter, and fighting for survival.

Cats are not meant to live on their own. They need human interaction and care in order to live a happy life. By working together, we can help to reduce the number of homeless cats in our communities.

when to avoid stray or feral cats

When to Avoid Stray or Feral Cats

The best time to stay away from these cats is during the evening hours when they are most active. Try to keep your pets inside at night and be aware of your surroundings when you are outside.

If you see one of these cats, stay calm and don’t touch it. It could be scared and may bite or scratch you. You never know if it might be carrying a disease or virus.

You could temporarily place a food dish or water bowl near the cat so it can eat and drink. This may help to lure the cat closer so you can get a better look at it. Try to get a description of the cat and its location.

If you feel unsafe, please contact your local rescue organization for assistance. They have staff who are trained in how to handle these cats. They also have the resources to provide necessary medical care, if needed.

rescuing stray cats

Could You Rescue Stray or Feral Cats?

When attempting to catch a cat on the street, you should always use caution. There are certain steps to be taken when trapping a cat. However, if you are dealing with a feral cat, you should consult the proper authorities before taking any action. Please use the following steps only as a guideline. Just know you risk injury if you decide to take part in this activity.

  • In order to catch a stray cat, you will need to acquire an animal trap. You can borrow or purchase a trap from your local rescue shelters, humane society, or pet store. Ask them how to set the trap safely.
  • Place the trap in an area where the cat is likely to go. The best spots are usually close to food and water sources. Place the trap on a flat surface so the cat can walk into it easily.
  • Bait the trap with something that will appeal to the cat. Some good options include tuna, sardines, or chicken. Be sure to bait the back of the trap with food so the cat can’t see it from outside. You may want to cover the trap with a towel or blanket to conceal its identity.
  • When the cat enters the trap, it should trip the mechanism that closes the door. Check the trap regularly to see if you have caught a cat. Do not leave it in the trap for more than 12 hours.

Don't Forget About the Kittens!

Rescuing cats in traps can be tricky but the stray and feral kittens need help as well. If you have kittens that need to be caught, you may also have to contend with their mother. In order to do this, you must first determine where the mother is located.

If the mother cat is nowhere to be found, you can place the kittens in a large cardboard box or cat carrier with a soft towel at the bottom. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation in the box and that it is placed in a warm, quiet area in your home. Be sure to check on the kittens regularly.

If you are able to catch the mother cat, you should temporarily put her in another room unless the kittens are very young. Kittens whose eyes are still shut are only a few days old. They will need their mother for nursing and warmth. If the kittens are older, you can place them either with their mother or in a separate carrier.

When the mother cat can’t be caught, you will need to bottle-feed the kittens every two hours. You can purchase kitten milk at most pet stores.

rescued a stray cat

So, You've Rescued a Stray... Now What?

First, you will need to decide what to do with the stray cat or kitten. You can choose between several options which include bringing them home, dropping them at local rescue shelters, or locating someone to take them in. Think about it and make your choice a wise one, as this determines the fate of these animals.

Are You Keeping the Cat or Kitten?

If you have decided to keep the cat, you will need to provide them with a safe and comfortable place to live. Supplies such as a litter box, food, water, and toys are essential. You should also have your pet spayed or neutered and vaccinated as soon as possible. This is for the health of both the animal and yourself.

Give the cat some time to adjust to his or her surroundings. It may be scared at first, but should eventually come around. Be prepared to have a lot of love and patience ready for your new furry friend.

Preparing for Your New Kitty

Making a home for your new cat involves more than just providing food and water. You will need to have a litter box, scratching post, and a place for the cat to rest.

The litter box should be placed in a quiet area where the cat can’t be disturbed when doing its business. The best place for a scratching post would be near any furniture you don’t want scratched up. The resting area can be a bed, a blanket on the floor, or even an empty cardboard box for the time being.

Finding the Cat or Kitten a Good Home

If you are not able to keep the stray cat, you will need to find it a home. This can be difficult, but there are many options available. You can try contacting your local animal shelter, humane society, or rescue group. They may be able to take the cats in or help you find a foster home.

You can also post flyers in your neighborhood, online, or at local pet stores. You’ll need to include a photo of the cat and information about his or her personality. Be prepared to have people come to your house to see the cat or you could plan to meet somewhere open and public, whichever you feel most comfortable doing.

Many people are hesitant when it comes to the adoption of a stray cat, but there are loving families out there who are waiting for the chance to give kitties good homes. So, don’t give up hope. There are also many foster homes available until you find the perfect family.

A No-Kill Rescue Shelter for Adoption

When you can’t keep or find a home for the cat, a rescue shelter is the last option. Just be sure it’s a no-kill shelter as opposed to adoption centers, which are known for euthanizing animals after the minimum 72 hour hold time. Granted, these are mostly sick or injured kitties, but they are still precious lives at risk.

socializing and domesticating feral cats

Socializing and Domesticating a Feral Cat

If you do decide to trap and keep a feral cat, you are in for a difficult process. Feral cats are unaccustomed to humans with most being afraid for their lives and very cautious. At first, they usually appear as wild and nearly impossible to tame.

Remember that feral cats are unpredictable and should never be let outside. They will disappear if given the opportunity. A typical feral cat is likely to always be skittish around people and may never fully trust you. With luck, you may be able to turn their fear of humans into an appreciation for a better life however, don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen. You made a valiant effort!

Here are some things you’ll need to help the domestication process of a feral cat…

  • An extra large and very sturdy metal cage or box with a grate on the bottom
  • A litter box
  • Soft bedding material
  • Food and water bowls
  • Toys (a scratching post can also help)
  • A carrier for vet visits

The metal cage or box should be placed in a quiet, secluded area of the house. It’s important to keep the cat confined to the cage (at least in the beginning) when you are not able to supervise it. This will help prevent the cat from getting into trouble or possibly escaping.

The feral cat should be taken to the vet for a check-up as soon as possible. It will likely need medication for worms, fleas, or ticks. The cat should also be spayed or neutered. This is an important step in preventing more cats from being born on the streets.

It is possible to domesticate a feral cat. Just be prepared for a long and arduous commitment.

feral colony community cats

Groups of Feral Community Cats

When you have a large feral cat group, they are known as colony or community cats. These types of cats will likely be beyond being socialized and or ever considered for adoption, so what can you do to help them? There are basically a few options to show your concern and caring for community cats which include:

  1. Provide community cats with food and water. You can do this by setting up a feeding station in your yard or neighborhood. Be sure to provide plenty of clean water and make sure the food is not rotten or moldy.

  2. You can set up a shelter in your yard or neighborhood. It should be big enough for all of the cats in their immediate area and raised off the ground with insulation and a roof.

  3. Get them spayed or neutered. This is an important step in controlling the population and helping to improve the lives of the cats.

stray cat trap neuter return

The Trap, Neuter and Return Alternative

One of the most common ways to help feral cats is through the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. This involves trapping the cats, having them neutered or spayed, and then returning them to their original location. This helps to control the population and also improves the lives of the cats.

There are many benefits to the TNR program. It helps to reduce the number of feral cats, which leads to less disease and fewer cat fights. It can also improve the overall behavior of the cats. Fighting over food and mates will be reduced as well as less territorial disputes.

There are some things you should keep in mind if you are considering the TNR program. It can be expensive to have all of the cats spayed or neutered. It’s important to remember that this is a long-term commitment and it may take several years for the population to be controlled.

If you are interested in helping feral cats, the TNR program is a great option. Both patience and commitment are important to seeing the program through.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to stray and feral cats, there are a lot of misconceptions. Many people think that they are all rampant and vicious. This is simply not the case. There are quite a few who used to be healthy domestic cats. For one reason or another, they were either abandoned by their owners or simply became lost.

There are many things you can do help these lost cats. Donating money to help with spaying and neutering, setting up feeding stations and shelters, or you could participate in TNR programs. Some rescue groups offer training, all you need is a big heart!

With the homeless cat overpopulation out of control, rescue groups are stretched to their limits. These abandoned cats desperately need your help. Many believe they are wild animals but would be surprised to find out a large percentage are actually friendly cats and kittens that only hope for loving human contact.

So, if you could help an abandoned cat revert back to a sweet domestic cat by giving it a forever home, wouldn’t that make you feel great?

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Hello and welcome! I’m a genuine cat lover and devoted parent of two adorable kitties. As you can see, cat adoption is meaningful for me. I believe it’s a humane and loving option. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the people who operate rescue shelters. To show my gratitude for their selfless dedication, I’ve designed this website to help enlighten potential feline owners and raise awareness for cat adoption. Please join me and other cat lovers in our efforts to ensure every kitty has a happy, healthy life!

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