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Caring For a Stray Or Feral Cat

Many cities in the U.S. are inundated with stray or feral cats. There are many individuals who would like to catch and care for them and these tips will allow you to do so safely.

The easiest way to catch a stray or feral cat is to lure it with cat food. The favorite food of most cats is anything that is smelly, soft and moist. Stray and feral cats will eat anything. Put the food in a dish inside a cage. Do not catch a stray or feral cat by hand especially a male cat without some preparation and knowledge about how to do so safely. If catching by hand always wear long sleeves to protect against scratches and have a pillowcase open and ready. Put the pillowcase over the head of the cat, so that the cat cannot see.

If you see a lot of strays in your area you may wish to carry a box with high sides, a pillow case, two dishes - one for food and the other for fresh water, a blanket, kitten formula and a container of fresh water. If you find a nest of kittens, it is wise to take them; before you do though see if you can spy the mother cat. She will be the one with engorged nipples. Sometimes you will not find a mother cat as in the wild they sometimes abandon there young.

When you get the stray cat home, the first thing you should do is to bathe it. Do not bathe young kittens though if the mom cat is with them, as she will continue to clean them herself. Dry a cat after the bath with a clean towel. Have an ear mite drops available to use on their ears, as they will usually have ear mites. Use a cotton swab and moisten it with the eardrops. Swab out each ear, careful not to go into the ear canal too deeply. You may see black gunk on the cotton swab, which indicates ear mites. After you have cleaned the ears, then use the product as directed on the label. The usual dosage is 3 to 4 drops in each ear. The cat will shake its head when you are done. Trim the cat's nails next by cutting off the tip. Have some "quick-stop" on hand in case you cut it too close to the wick. Use a flea dropper between the shoulders of the cat if it has fleas. Do not let the strays mingle with your other pets until they have been given a clean bill of health by a vet. Bring a stool specimen with your to the vets so that the vet can check the stool for parasites. The vet will check the cat for any physical abnormalities or diseases. Drawing a blood sample will check diseases such as AIDS and leukemia.

It may take a few weeks to properly socialize your new stray with any other pets you have so go slowly and be patient.

If you will be adopting out the stray make sure that you check references so that the cat you have rescued does not end back on the streets again. If you need help adopting out your rescued stray sometimes the local humane society will give you some assistance. Always make sure that if you drop the rescued cat off at a shelter that it is a "no-kill participator.

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Jason Burton is an expert on cat care and has had a lifelong love for all animals. To learn more about proper cat care and tips on how to best care for your cat visit []

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