I know that we have all been in the situation where we encounter a stray cat. They can show up on your doorstep or you might even find them roaming in your neighborhood. Most stray cats look skinny and appear as if they are starving. Each cat's comfort level and friendliness with people will vary and most stray cats are skittish upon meeting us.
Remember that most stray cats are often the forgotten, abandoned or lost felines that are misunderstood and believed to be a nuisance. Befriending a stray cat requires time and patience on your part and trust from the cat. A stray's first instinct is to protect him or herself so give the stray cat plenty of time to trust you and approach. Remember that you should not attempt to pick up an unfamiliar stray cat, as she may become scared or defensive and bite or scratch you.
Below are some tips to help you gain the stray cat’s trust:
Fill a bowl with cat food
First, you should fill a bowl with cat food. Place it several feet away from your home, so the cat feels safe eating from it. Many stray cats come out at night and hide during the day, so leaving the bowl outside overnight will allow her to come and eat without fear of being seen. Place a bowl of fresh, clean water next to the food.
Place the food and water outside every day
Place the food and water outside at the same time every day or evening. The cat will learn to approach your home when you place the food outside. Continue to do this at a distance from your home until the cat will eat while you stand on your porch or close to your home.
OK.. I’ll be nice now!
Move the bowls closer to your home
Move the bowls of food and water closer to your home. By now, the stray cat will have enough trust in you to approach your home and feel safe eating the food. If the cat is a stray, she will begin to feel comfortable eating while you are nearby. If the cat is feral, or wild from birth, she will probably continue to be skittish and run away when you approach for a longer period.
Sit next to the food and water
Sit next to the bowls of food and water when you think the cat is comfortable with your presence. Offer your hand for the cat to sniff and catch your scent. Try to refrain from petting the cat until he or she is comfortable with you offering your hand.
Taking a stray to the vet
If you decide that you want to take this cat to the vet, place the bowl of food in a cat carrier. This is very helpful if the cat is injured, needs vaccinations or should be spayed or neutered.
I hope these tips help and you can find a home for the stray once the cat feels comfortable.
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