Generally speaking, the sight of stray cats wandering aimlessly around the neighborhood is nothing special most of the time. However, it's going to be a different story if one of those felines decides to move into your yard. While certain house owners, especially cat lovers, could welcome the kitty, others might feel annoyed by the constant meowing, stalking,... With the steady increase of stray cat population, the issue of what to do with a stray cat that won't leave receives a lot of attention in recent years.
You happen to have a stray feline that wants to turn your yard into its home and have no idea how to react to it? If that is the case, this article is for you. Down below, you would be introduced to virtually everything that you must keep in mind while facing invasive stray cats.
Think About What You Want
We have plenty of ways to take care of stray animals that refuse to leave our yard but different people tend to have different wishes. That is why it's of utmost importance that you think about what you want. Usually, you have two options: 1/ Take in the stray as your pet and 2/ send the stray off on its way.
In Case You Want To Adopt The Stray Cat
Assuming that you want to help the poor kitty and could also use some company, you should consider adopting it. That being said, it's worth noting that adopting stray cats is a rather tedious process that often demands considerable times as well as efforts. If you know nothing about stray cats and associated issues, it's strongly recommended that you follow the following steps:
Step 1: Find Out If The Cat Is Someone's Pet
The first thing to do while adopting a stray cat is to determine if it happens to be a pet of someone in the neighborhood. Sometimes, the felines move to the street by themselves because they find their original homes to be less than ideal. In any case, of a cat is indeed someone's pet, it must be used to humans to some extent and would tolerate your presence. On the other hand, if a cat is a feral, it's going to hide away from humans and react aggressively (hissing, spitting, ...) once cornered.
Step 2: Lure The Cat Inside
All cat parents know that kitties forget everything when it comes to food and you could use that your advantage. Place a bowl of cat food in the yard and move the bowl closer to your house after each day. Needless to say, you should refrain from shortening the distance drastically as that might cause the cat to become suspicious. The goal is to get the stray to head inside your house on its own. Once you manage to achieve that, lock all accesses to the outdoors and isolate the cat in a small room with enough food and water.
Step 3: Schedule A Vet Checkup
Regardless of how healthy the stray appears, you must take it to the vets for examination as soon as possible. Felines that live on the street tend to run into lots of health issues that necessitate treatments prior to adoption. As a result, before you have the stray checked, tested and vaccinated, remember to wash your hands after handling it. Additionally, if you have other pets in the house, keep them away from the stray. Only introduce the kitty to the housepets when the veterinarians give it an all-clear.
In Case You Want The Stray Cat To Leave
Looking after pets requires a lot of dedication which is why quite a few people don't feel enthusiastic about the idea of stray adoption. If you have the same feeling and got no clue what to do with a stray cat that won't leave, here are the options.
Take The Stray To Shelters
If you take the stray to animal shelters, there is a possibility that it would be adopted by someone that wants to adopt a cat. Obviously, the felines shall have a much better life living as indoor pets instead of stray animals on the streets. Still, you should know that shelters in most metropolitan areas these kinds of days tend to run at full capacity. That means the strays at shelters might be euthanized if no one adopts them after a certain period of time.
Ignore The Stray Cat Entirely
While it sounds surprisingly simple, ignoring the stray is the ideal approach to the issue of what to do with a stray cat that won't leave in certain cases. Most of the time, stray felines hang around a particular location because of water, food, affection and so on. Hence, if you don't pick the stray up, pet it, feed it and pay attention to it then it's going to leave eventually. Like many other animals, cats are instinct-driven so they would go elsewhere if their instincts tell them that your yard lacks the necessary provisions.
Make Everything Unattractive To Cats
Face a stubborn stray that keeps wandering around your yard? If that is so, it's time to take things up a notch by making the place unattractive to cats. In most cases, motion-detected sprinklers should be more than enough to deter stay cats. In the case you want to be on the safe side, scatter some repellents and deterrents such as fresh oranges, lemon peels, citrus-scented fragrance,...
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Things You Must Never Do
At this point, you should know exactly what to do with a stray cat that won't leave but it's a good idea to talk about some common mistakes.
- Force the stray to interact: Cats do pretty much everything on their own term which is why you should refrain from forcing yourself on them. Cats prefer to evade perceived threats but if they feel corned, the felines would fight.
- Use violence to get rid of the stray: If a stray cat bothers you greatly, call animal control and they would take care of it. You must remember at all times that violence is never the answer to stray animals.
- Adopt the stray cat only to give it away later: The felines easily get stressed by changes surrounding so the worst thing you could do is to adopt the stray and then change your mind.