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How To Care For An Outdoor Cat

Is The Cat You Found Stray Or Feral What Is The Difference

Caring for outdoor cats

Lets first explain the difference between strays and ferals. If youre not familiar with the distinction between those two, this will give you some clarity.

Feral and stray cats are the same domesticated species, but the contrast is in their attitude towards humans.

Stray cats were socialized while they were young and they had positive experiences with people in their earliest months. They learned that humans can be trusted. They see us as a source of food and protection. Strays were previously someones pet, but they were either abandoned or no longer have an owner for another reason. A stray cat will let you pet them and they will most likely not be hesitant to approach you. Some of them can be a bit reserved. You can bypass that by approaching them in the right way.

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Stray cats can become a pet again. They will just need a little bit of adjusting.

Feral cats, on the other hand, never had contact with loving humans while they were kittens. Or they simply lost touch with humans over time so they developed a fear. Stray cats can become feral after living outside for a while, without any kitty to human interaction. Feral kitties are fearful and wont let you pet them or come near them.

You suspect the feline is lost? Here is what you can do:

Get Your Cat Spayed Or Neutered

Cats that arent neutered,have greater chances of roaming away from home, according to Pennsylvaniavet;ArielMosenco, DVM. When your;mouser;is about five months old, thiswould be a good time to take it to the vet for the procedure.

Whether you want to trainan outdoor cat to stay indoors or are interested in raising a hunter thatwould keep rodents and pets away, always put your cats health and safetyfirst. If you and your family;know how to take care ofan outdoor cat, your cat will know;well enough always toreturn home no matter how exciting and stimulating the outside world can be.

How To Care For Feral Cats During The Winter

  • University of South Carolina

The Humane Society of the United States estimates there are tens of millions of feral house cats living across the country.

Feral cats originate from pet cats that were lost or abandoned and learned to survive outdoors without human help. Most are difficult to tame or adopt.

Outdoor cats often live in colonies, populated by former pets and their offspring. They are resourceful, but some may still need help to survive a cold winter.

If you want to help feral cats in your community, here are a few things to consider:

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What To Put In Your Outdoor Cat Shelter

Straw allows cats to burrow. Pillowcases loosely stuffed with packing peanuts and shredded newspaper also work.

Keep things clean: Replace straw and newspaper if moist or dirty, and wash and re-stuff pillowcases as needed.

However, if it’s really cold where you live and you can’t check on the shelters regularly, dont use the above insulation. Instead, “wallpaper” the shelter’s inner walls and floor with Mylar. It reflects back body heat, and it’s okay for cats to lie on it.

Faq About How To Take Care Of A Cat

How to Train & Take Care of an Outdoor Cat
Is cat behavior predictable?
Can you tell me how to take care a of a cat thats scared of humans?
How do I get a cat to come out of hiding?
What is the average lifespan of an indoor cat?
Do cats hate dogs?
Is a cat safe to have around my infant?
Should I get a kitten and a puppy at the same time?

If you want more than one pet at once, we recommend getting the same species. Two kittens or two puppies can be the greatest companions to each other, and also will keep each other occupied, which frees up more of your time.

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Cool Your Cat Down With A Wet Cloth

Just like people, cats can cool down with a wet towel too. You can also use a paper towel or any other type of cloth and soak it in water. Squeeze as much water out of it before you stroke your kitty.

Cats dont mind a little water on their fur during summer days because grooming is their way of cooling down naturally. Water isnt a problem as long as it cools them down.

Image credit: catster.com

The Hardworking Barn Cats Part Of Your Barn Crew

1. First and most important, spay or neuter your pet.; There are many consequences of having a fertile female or roaming tom cat on your property. In addition to the obvious, unwanted litters of kittens, non neutered cats tend to wander, get in fights, and bring disease back to your barn. Most communities have low cost spay and neuter programs available. Neutering a male barn cats cuts down on the wandering a bit and keeps him closer to home so he can do his job.;

2. Vaccinations. Consult a veterinarian for the needed inoculations for your cats. A Rabies shot is a must for all animals and a requirement in many localities. Contact with wildlife puts your cat at higher risk for Rabies and Feline Leukemia in addition to other deadly diseases.

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Determine If The Cat Is Feral A Stray Or Someones Pet

The obvious first thing to look for is a collar and/or tag. But even happy, healthy family cats aren’t always wearing a collar. If the kitty you encounter isn’t wearing a collar, look at body language.

  • Pets or owned roaming cats are generally socialized and are comfortable with people.
  • Strays may have no desire to interact with humans, but will make an appearance when food is around.
  • Feral cats want nothing to do with people, and coaxing them with food or treats is completely ineffective. Feral cats are also more likely to injure humans who try to handle them.

A Source Of Fresh Drinking Water

What Your Outdoor Cat Needs to Stay Healthy

Its really important to make sure your cat is drinking enough, especially if they are fed a dry-only diet.

Some cats can prefer more natural sources of water to drink from than tap water so providing your cat with an additional option of rain water may be beneficial. If you have a water butt in your outside space you can simply fill up an old container with some of this water, or alternatively leave out a large dish to collect rain water in when it rains.

Providing multiple sources of water in various places may also help reduce conflict if the space is used by more than one cat.

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Should You Feed Stray And Feral Cats

Its tough to resist those cute but sad eyes and hungry meows. But is feeding stray and feral cats really the best for them?

This is one tricky question. Some reputable sites recommend you feed those hungry and lonely homeless cats. On the other hand, many cat websites such as Catster;claim that feeding strays and ferals is not a good idea.

Lets glance at the pros and cons of feeding stray and feral cats:

Pros

  • Youll save a lot of birds, mice, and other wild animals that those kitties hunt.

Cons

  • The cats will gather around the food source and a kitty colony might form.
  • That cat colony will make babies and due to a limited gene pool, some kittens might be born unhealthy and sick, with physical defects. But this is only an issue if you dont neuter the cats which you should.
  • The cats will depend on you for food and they will stay hungry if you suddenly stop feeding them for whatever reason.

I wouldnt go that far by saying you shouldnt feed the strays and ferals. Although, I agree that you shouldnt make yourself their primary food source;if you will not be able to be their feeder forever or no one will be able to take over that duty if youre not able to do it anymore. If you serve them a lot of food every day, theyll depend on you for their everyday meals.

Kitty Snacks And People Food

A well-fed cat doesn’t need to snack between meals any more than you do. Too-frequent snacks will have the same effect on your cat that it can have on you: unhealthy weight gain and an imbalanced diet.

Of course, it’s hard to resist the temptation to give your feline pal a treat now and then — and it’s perfectly all right to give in to that temptation, assuming there’s a long enough stretch of time between now and then. How long of a time depends on your cat and the kinds of treats you give her. If your cat is still eating the recommended amount of a quality cat food every day and isn’t overweight, then you’re probably not giving her too many treats. If, on the other hand, your cat is chowing down on tasty but not-so-nutritious snacks and is either getting plumper or turning her nose up at dinner, it’s time to change your strategy.

Store-bought cat treats tend not to be packed with good nutrition. Their main purpose is the same as human treats: to taste good — real good — and that’s about it. “Gourmet” cat snacks usually have fewer artificial colors and fillers in them but still aren’t meant to be fed as a regular part of Tabby’s diet. The good thing about “gourmet” treats is the cost: They’re usually so expensive that cat owners won’t overfeed them to their cats!

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Feed Your Cat A Healthy Food

The food you choose has a big effect on your cat’s overall health, so youll want to make sure youre feeding him or her something nutritious.

If you know the brand of food your cat was eating prior to adopting it, it helps to get a small amount of the same food to keep him on a consistent diet and make a slow transition to whatever food you plan on feeding him. Changing to a new food takes a little adjustment and a slow transition can prevent stomach upset.

Cats should eat cat food to be healthy. Dog food or even a can of tuna doesnt provide complete nutrition.

Kittens should eat a kitten formula because theyre still growing and need a higher-calorie diet.

If your cat has health issues or is overweight, underweight, or is a senior, its best to let your veterinarian help you select the right food. For example, if your cat needs to lose weight, this needs to be done slowly for health reasons.

For the average, healthy cat or kitten, here’s a quick breakdown of the types of food youll find in the grocery store or pet store.

Cat Care 101: A Guide For New Cat Owners

How to Best Care for an Indoor

I’ve been a cat owner for most of my life and have learned many tips and tricks for keeping cats happy and healthy.

Cat Care 101 covers all the basics you’ll need to know about caring for your cat.

carolynkaye

If you are a new cat or kitten owner, you probably have a lot of questions about caring for your new friend. As you may already know or will soon find out, cats are so many things: fun, playful, independent, loving, curious, smart, and often very entertaining. Since youre online seeking information about cat care, your pet is lucky to have a caring owner.

Cats are easy pets to care for and are relatively low maintenance. Once youre familiar with the basics of feeding, litter boxes, grooming, general health, and safety, all you have to do is love and enjoy your cat.

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How To Find A Home For A Stray Cat

If you are not able to keep a homeless cat, you could try to find a new cat parent in several ways:

  • Consider contacting a few local veterinarian clinics they may know people looking for a pet or people who have recently lost one and may welcome a cat into their family.
  • Contact breed-specific groups.;If the stray cat is a recognizable breed, such a group may quickly place the animal.
  • Post information and pictures on the bulletin boards of pet-supply stores, rescue organizations, and social media channels.
  • Spread the word among family and friends.

Get ready to interview potential adopters and do not offer the animal for free! Unfortunately, some people collect animals for research, for dog-fight training and other gruesome purposes, so be selective. You could also ask people at a rescue group to help with the interviews they know how to do it and are usually up for it. ;

The questions below can help you when interviewing potential adopters and their answers should give you an idea about each applicant. Use common sense if something seems off, then it probably is.

Is It Natural For A Cat To Go Outside

Of course, fresh air and sunshine are good for anyone — human or cat. But is the outdoor life really more “natural” for your cat? Sure, his wild ancestors lived outdoors. But that was a few thousand years and several hundred generations ago. To top it all off, those ancestors lived in the arid regions of the Mideast — a far cry from the climate and surroundings of the United States today. Once cats were domesticated, they stopped being completely “natural”; once they were uprooted from their original habitat, they had to do their best to adapt instincts honed over tens of thousands of years of living in Middle Eastern deserts to their new circumstances. Some of those circumstances — the bitter cold of a Midwestern winter, dogs and wild animals that will turn them from hunter to hunted, and speeding cars and trucks, just to name a few — they can never really adapt to.

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Tips For Bathing A Cat

  • Use a gentle shampoo designed for cats and avoid getting soap or water anywhere near their eyes or ears.
  • Avoid shampoos with flea treatments as many cats have had bad reactions to certain flea treatment shampoos.
  • After bathing, use a towel to dry him well, then keep him someplace warm until he’s dry.
  • Once the coat is fully dry, a good brushing will make him fluffy and beautiful.

This is one type of scissors designed for cats.

carolynkaye

Should You Breed Your Cat

Caring for your cat – keeping indoor cats happy

Cat overpopulation is a real problem. Please don’t purposely breed your cat unless you are a responsible breeder who has a purebred;cat of excellent quality and health. Your veterinarian should be involved in selecting if a cat is of excellent breeding health as a lof of problems are passed on through genetics. If you are new to cat breeding, seek out an experienced;cat breeder to help you do things the right way for the sake of your cat and her kittens.

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Choosing An Indoor Cat Vs An Outdoor Cat

There are many pros and cons to letting your cat explore the great outdoors.

Perhaps nothing is as pitiful as the wail of a cat who wants to be on the other side of a door. When it’s the front door, many of us take that to mean that our cats won’t be truly happy unless they go outdoors. But, then again, most cats make the same kind of racket when they want to come inside . Do cats really want to go outside? Do they need to? And even if the answer to both questions is “yes,” is it really in their best interest?

Do Cats Need to Go Outside Like Dogs?

The main reason dogs are walked is elimination, followed closely by exercise. Only the smallest dogs can get enough running indoors. Dogs are pack hunters, which means they work cooperatively to run their quarry to exhaustion. That can take all day, which means dogs have a natural instinct to run…and run…and run. You need a lot of open space for that kind of work. Cats, on the other hand, are “ambush hunters.” They rely on relatively short bursts of very fast running. A hallway of any decent length provides plenty of room for that. That combined with the instinct to bury wastes adds up to no pressing reason to take a cat outdoors.

Indoor Vs Outdoor Cats: Should You Let Your Kitty Roam

Is it safe for your kitty to venture outdoors? Learn the pros and cons of having an indoor versus outdoor cat, including how it affects their behavior and lifespan.

Cats yearn for the great outdoors. They rush to the front door every time it opens, or sit at the window yowling like the world’s saddest cat because they can’t go outside. No doubt, cats want to roam. But is it safe?

There are pros and cons on both sides of the indoor/outdoor cat debate. Your kittys environment can affect their behavior, health, and lifespan. Read on to get the information you need before making a decision about letting your cat explore the great outdoors.

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Where To Place Food And Water

Protect outdoor cats from hunger and thirst this winter by keeping their food and water from freezing. View tips on how to do this. If you can do so without compromising the privacy and security of the shelter, place food and water near the shelter so the cats won’t have to travel far.

One way to protect food and water is to;place two sheltersdoorways facing each othertwo feet apart. Then create a canopy between them by securing a wide board from one roof to the other. Then put the food and water under the canopy.

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