Adopt A Cat From The Street: Basic Guide

Adopt A Cat From The Street Basic Guide

An adopted street cat needs patience and confidence in its new home

Some 110,000 cats and dogs are abandoned each year in Spain. But what to do when you decide to adopt a cat from the street? This article explains five guidelines to be successful: how to pick up a feline from the street, what its arrival home and the first days of coexistence should be like, the steps to get the cat to gain confidence and how to act if there are already others animals at home.

adopt a street cat

Cat abandonment is not uncommon in Spain: more than 110,000 dogs and cats are collected from the street each year, according to the Affinity Foundation’s ‘Company Animal Abandonment Study’. These data, however, forget many of the thousands of feline puppies that are born every year in the streets.

But what to do when we find a homeless cat and decide to adopt it? Here is a basic guide to success.

1. Pick up a cat from the street

Adopting a cat from the street should be a responsible and thoughtful decision

An abandoned cat or one that was born on the street needs help. One possibility when a feline in distress is spotted on the street is to adopt it. In this case, the first question to ask yourself is if you are ready to adopt an animal. The decision must be made responsibly: the adopted cat will become part of the family.
Another alternative is to take in the animal temporarily, while a home is found for adoption and a permanent family.

In both cases, the first thing to keep in mind is that it is normal for a cat that lives on the street to be scared and mistrust people. A stray feline may have been abused and have traumas that explain aggressive behavior.

Therefore, the first guideline to pick up a cat from the street is to be careful: it is not strange that the feline tries to bite us. A calm tone and some food will help calm him down. Also, asking for help from a veterinarian or cat specialist will be supportive.

An animal carrier will be a good ally in this task: once you manage to pick up the cat, this gadget will help you move home safely with it.

2. Adopt a cat from the street: the arrival home

The rescue cat’s first contact with its new home is very important. “You have to open all the doors of the house and let the cat wander freely through the rooms,” explains Jordi Ferres, cat educator, and author of the Educador de gats portal.
Cats need to discover the territory freely, so it is advisable not to stop their natural exploratory behavior. You have to let him sniff and investigate as much as he wants.

A feline picked up from the street, however, can feel fear in his new home. The fearful cat usually hides under a sofa or piece of furniture that serves as a refuge. “You should never force the animal to come out of its hiding place, it is more useful to let it feel safe there and just go to say hello or talk to it,” adds Ferres.

Our words of affection will comfort the cat, who will feel more and more confident. You also have to visit the feline -without forcing it- frequently: these meetings will help it become familiar with us.

3. Adopting a cat from the street: the first days

The cat picked up from the street will have chosen his favorite room in his new house, where he will feel safe and protected. This room will be where he spends most of his time or the place he has selected to hide.
The cat usually chooses a safe room the first days, there you have to place the food, water and litter box
The first two or three days of the feline adopted at home are crucial. Therefore, it is convenient that during this period you have everything you need within his reach, within the space chosen by him. The cat’s food, drink and litter box must be placed in this room selected by the animal, which must always remain open.

Toys, balls, mice and other stuffed animals for felines are also useful for the cat to overcome, little by little, its fear of it.

4. New cat at home, taking confidence

The first two or three days of the cat at home serve the feline to relax and verify that there is no danger in his new home. However, it is not strange that the feline refuses to leave the room chosen as a refuge, in which he feels calm and safe from the rest of the inhabitants of the house.

Therefore, after this first period of adaptation, it is necessary to remove the litter box, food and drink from the room that serves as the cat’s refuge, and place them in the definitive location that has been chosen for them.

This change of location will prompt the fearful cat to come out of its hiding place and gradually explore its new home.

But not everything will be so simple: the animal will take advantage of the hoursquieter to satisfy their needs and give free rein to their exploratory desire. The times when the rest of the family sleeps or is not at home will be chosen by the cat for these first outings.

5. Cat picked up from the street with more felines at home

The arrival of a cat picked up from the street can be complicated if there are already other furry inhabitants at home. The character of the cats, in addition, can be decisive for the coexistence to be successful.

How to make this first contact? The carrier, again, will be a valuable ally during this initial feline encounter. The cat collected from the street must remain inside this contraption, which will be placed in the living room or another central room of the house.

For ten minutes, let the animals sniff and discover each other, with the protection of the carrier. The behavior of the cats during this time will offer valuable clues about what the coexistence between the cats will be like.

If the acceptance is positive, the feline can be released and inspected without further barriers, taking care to always monitor these first encounters. If you are not so lucky, it will be better to separate the animals. And repeat these approximations several times a day, without stressing them, so that they are accepted.

Adopt a cat from the street: tips

  1. Picking up an abandoned or stray cat is not always easy: ask an expert, a protective association or a veterinarian for help.
  2. When you pick up a cat from the street and think about adopting it, you have to make sure that the feline does not have an owner.
  3. A cat picked up from the street may suffer from a disease or have fleas: a visit to the veterinarian for an in-depth check-up is the first step to adopting the feline safely.
  4. The cat collected from the street must feel free at home: that is why all the doors of the home must be opened, and allowed to roam and explore at will.
  5. When there is already another cat at home, there is a possibility that the new animal transmits a disease. The guideline is usually to keep them separated, until the danger has passed.
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