Stray Cats

Are there a lot of stray cats in your neighborhood? We’re guessing there are probably at least a few. Indianapolis, like many other cities, has a large population of stray and feral cats. Read on for some advice from an Indianapolis veterinarian on stray cats.

Although there is no physical difference between a stray cat, a feral cat, and your lap cat, they are not the same. Feral cats are kitties that were born wild, or have been wild so long they have forgotten human contact. Stray cats are generally kitties that at one time had homes, or have at least been socialized. These kitties were lost, abandoned, or ran away, and are now on their own. Stray cats can become feral, if they live on their own long enough. They can also readjust to living with humans, and can make wonderful pets. As winter approaches, stray cats may be more visible, as food will get harder to find during the cold months.

Feeding Strays

If a stray cat shows up hungry on your porch, you may feel sorry for the poor thing, and want to feed it. If you decide to do so, you may find the kitty will stick around, and may eventually become part of the family. If you are feeding a stray cat regularly, the responsible thing to do is to get the animal spayed or neutered, even if you plan to re-release the kitty.

Adopting Strays

If you’ve been feeding a stray furball for a while, you may find yourself growing attached to your little camper. Stray cats can make absolutely wonderful pets. It may take a bit of time for you to gain Kitty’s trust, though you may discover that your stray is very friendly, and may even try to run inside. While strays may have fleas and other parasites, generally a few trips to the vet will take care of these issues, and a bath will make Kitty’s fur clean and soft. Be sure to have your vet clear your new kitty before letting her interact with your children or other pets.

Helping Strays

One thing you can do to help stray cats is to keep an eye on lost pet ads, and see if you spot any animals ads in your Indianapolis neighborhood that fit those descriptions. Helping a missing pet find its way home is a very small act on your part which could have a huge impact on a lost, frightened animal and a worried owner.

Please contact your Indianapolis vet with any questions about caring for cats.

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