As reported by the Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital, there are over 70 million stray cats in the U.S. The number of strays keeps growing. Because of that, if you want to adopt a cat, it’s best that you bring home a stray.
If you’re thinking about bringing a stray cat home, there are many things that you need to consider before making the commitment to care for this animal. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important things you need to do when bringing home a stray cat.
#1 Clean Their Fur
After the cat has been brought home, it is important to thoroughly clean its fur. This will help remove any fleas or ticks, and other pests from the animal’s body. You can use a flea comb to pull off any small parasites that may be present, then spray them with a safe pesticide such as pyrethrin, which kills insects but is not harmful to cats or humans.
Another thing you can do for your new pet is check for lice and mites using a comb or fine-toothed metal flea comb. These parasites are difficult to spot without proper tools. A general rule of thumb when checking for these parasites is if you see any red bumps on your cat’s skin, they may likely have lice. If there are tiny white eggs attached in clusters on its skin, it likely has mites.
If small white worms are coming out of black sores on its backside, this could be evidence of ringworm infection. In this case, check with your vet right away.
#2 Isolate Them from Other Pets Temporarily
The new cat may be aggressive toward your other pets, or they may simply not be used to each other yet. The best way to avoid any problems is by keeping them apart until they have time to get used to each other’s scent and presence.
This can take anywhere from a few hours up to several days or even weeks, depending on the personalities of the animals involved and how long they were separated from one another. If you want your existing pet to become comfortable with their new companion but are worried about potential aggression issues between them, use baby gates at first, so there aren’t any physical fights between them.
#3 Examine the Cat for Infection and Illness
Make sure your new cat is healthy. Cats can carry diseases and parasites, even if they look perfectly healthy. You should take care to check for signs of infection or illness by examining the body carefully.
If the cat has a fever or is acting sick in any way, take it to the vet immediately. However, if everything seems fine with your feline friend, take his temperature with an ear thermometer or other device designed for use on animals.
Ear infections and other bacterial infections are common in stray dogs and cats. In this case, you’d want to use Tresaderm for cats to treat the infection. Tresaderm requires a vet’s approval. Thus, you must first consult a vet and then seek their prescription to use this medication.
#4 Check for Fleas and Ticks
Once you’ve brought your new pet home, it is important to check for fleas and ticks immediately. Fleas and ticks can be health risks for both cats and humans.
If your cat has fleas, they can infest the bedding on their bed as well as their litter box. If any of these things become infested with fleas, it will be hard to get rid of them without professional help from either an exterminator or a vet who specializes in pest control services.
A OnePoll survey suggests that you have to spend around $15 a month on average to treat fleas on your pets. The cost can go up significantly if you’re not careful with your pet. That means the more they are exposed to unhygienic environments, the more chances of them getting flea infestations. That, in turn, will result in higher spending on flea treatments.
#5 Inspect the Cat for Other Parasites
While you will want to be sure that your new cat has been dewormed before bringing it home, many other types of parasites can harm your cat. Ticks and fleas are common in the United States, but some stray cats may have mites as well.
If you find parasites in your new pet, consider having them treated by a veterinarian to avoid any complications down the line. If you don’t find any signs of mites or other parasites, keep an eye out for other signs of infection or illness to ensure that your new feline companion is healthy.
In 2020, CNBC reported that Americans were spending more on their pets than ever before. This was mostly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, when everyone was isolated at home. Now, even though the COVID situation is a lot better, people are still eager to spend on their pets and take good care of them. If you’re willing to do the same, why not do it for a stray cat?
If you’re still not sure about bringing home a stray cat, remember that these animals can be great companions. They’re smart, affectionate, and enjoy spending time with their human counterparts. Your new feline friend will soon become part of your family with proper care and attention.