Whatcan I Feed A Stray Cat
Some people wouldnt recommend straycats because theyre likely to keep coming back to places where they can getfood and water. Keeping this in mind, you can choose to feed a stray cat if hiscoming back wouldnt cause any disruption to your household or neighborhood.When a cat is left to fend for its own, chances are its been sustaining itselfby hunting on birds, mice, lizards, and other small animals. You dont have toworry, however because there are plenty of options on what can you feed a straycat.
· Cat chow or cannedcat food if you have it available
· Canned tuna orsardines
· Chopped up boiledeggs
· Goats milk orplain natural yogurt
· Chicken liver andany organ meat
· Cooked beef, orfish meat
· Cooked chicken orturkey breast
· Lean deli meats
Dont feed chocolates, dishes with onions andgarlic, raisins, grapes, or macadamia nuts to a stray cat as these are toxic tofelines.
Commercial cat food is manufactured to meet all the nutritional needs offelines. They are much easier to offer and prepare. You can ask to borrow somecat food for your next-door neighbor if you have a stray cat emergency.
Its also important to ensure that youprovide the cat with a fresh supply of water.
And finally, one more thing toconsider after you learn how to feed a stray cat is that it also means the catwould need a place to poop and pee.
You Can Reduce Your Food Waste
Another upside to feeding feral cats is that you can also simply reduce your food waste.
In many households, plenty of food is just disposed of in the garbage that could have been used to feed other animals.
Reducing your food waste can not just give you a good feeling since you will feel that you use your food more efficiently, but it can also lower your expenses for food waste disposal at the same time.
Kittens Younger Than 8 Weeks With Their Mother
Leave Them Be! Kittens who are healthy and thriving with their mother outdoors do not need to be rescued.
Remember: Mother knows best. You cannot replace a mother cats instinctive care. Plus, neonatal kittens need round-the-clock care to survivewhich is challenging for humans to provide. These kittens are unweaned, meaning they still rely on their mothers milk.
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Kitten Careweeks 3 To 5 And Beyond
Weaning can take several weeks, especially if a kitten is physically or mentally stressed, which is often the case with orphans. Here are some tips to ease the process:
- Offer them fresh food and water as unpleasant odours can agitate kitties
- Make their sleeping space warm and safe
- Place their litter tray in a quiet and private area if theyre nervous every time they need to go
- Use bonding tactics like caressing, gentle grooming, and a comforting voice to calm them down
- Dont bathe young kittens as its uncomfortable and triggers a fight-or-flight responseget a vets opinion if you feel your kitten needs a bath
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Unable To Care For The Kittens Yourself
Do¯NOT take the kittens¯to an animal shelter. See if a friend or family member can care for them, or contact local rescues, animal protection groups, or advocates. You may be able to find such advocates near you through Alley Cat Allies Feral Friends Network®. Find a member in your area at¯ alleycat.org/FindFeralFriends.
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You Can Encourage Others To Adopt Stray Cats Or Shelter Animals
If you adopt a stray cat yourself, you can also raise the awareness of your family and friends on this important topic.
In fact, if you are a good example of how to make the world a little bit better, your loved ones will also be more willing to take action and to help stray cats or cats from shelters as well.
In turn, many animals will have a much better life in the long run and you should not underestimate the positive difference you can make by taking care of stray cats.
Now that you got all the advantages of feeding a feral cat, lets talk about the downsides to it so that you get a profound picture of whether you really want to feed stray cats or not.
Dont Take Kittens Or Their Mother To An Animal Shelter
Most shelters do not have programs to provide the care¯unweaned¯kittens¯need¯to survive¯and thrive.¯As a result, there is a risk that the kittens¯will be killed.¯Shelters in general are not good environments for mother cats and kittens. Even in the best of shelters a mother cat can become so stressed that her healthy is affected, as well as her ability to care for her kittens. The shelter environment can also be dangerous for kittens because their immune systems havent fully developed, and can easily catch diseases.
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But What About The Needs Of Feral Cats
Feral cats have the same basic nutritional needs as house cats, but there are some practical considerations to be made.
Protein is essential for all cats to maintain lean muscle mass, but feral cats tend to need extra fat in their diet to provide calories.
When every meal is a struggle, it is important to maximize the calorie and nutrition content of each meal. Balanced nutrition is also important for feral cats because they often feed on scraps between meals, which may not provide essential nutrients.
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Community Cats Need Your Support
There is finally movement on the Los Angeles T/N/R injunction. A draft environmental impact report was recently released, and decisions that come from this process will impact policies in the City of Los Angeles and across the country for decades and generations to come.Community cats need your voice!Support cats and TNR efforts by signing our petition!Let the nation know that ALL cats deserve to be safe, healthy, and valued!
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Create And Distribute Lost Cat Flyers
Whether you plan on keeping the straycat with you temporarily or permanently, youd most likely have to keep makingan effort to locate the owner if the cat turns out to be lost. The fastest wayto spread word of a lost cat is by printing flyers with the cats description,photo, and your contact details. Put these up in strategic locations for morepeople to see and upload to lost and found listings and lost pet websites, likePawMaw.com.
Feeding Kittens 8 Weeks To 6 Months Oldand Beyond
Between 8 weeks and 6 months old, continue feeding your kitten three to four times per day. Only offer food formulated especially for kittens that says complete and balanced on the label. By the time your kitten is 6 months old, you can cut back meals to twice a day until they are a year old.
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How To Handle Stray Cats
When dealing with a stray cat, youre going to make sure that it truly is a stray and not just a cat that is wandering around but spoken for. Look for tell-tale signs like collars and tags. Strays tend to have more scars and bruises. Another indicator is that they are almost never spayed/neutered.
Its not always foolproof, however, as cats are increasingly being microchipped under the skin and might not have any identifiable information that you can see. Either way, even an owned cat can get lost from time to time, and may still require your assistance.
There are many best practices when taking care of a stray cat. You should always make sure that you handle it cautiously and tend to any needs. The first and foremost of which will probably be food.
You Will Indirectly Also Feed Other Animals
Stray cats will often not eat everything you offer them.
In turn, plenty of food waste will end up in the streets and chances are that rats and other unwanted animals may eat them and increase in population as well due to your cat feeding.
Consequently, the spread of serious diseases may become more likely and the overall quality of life may drop as well.
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What To Do If You Find A Newborn Kitten
This article is now outdated. An updated version of this information can be found at bit.ly/HelpOrphanedKittens
During kitten season, its not unusual to discover a nest of unattended kittens or a single kitten seemingly abandoned by his/her mother.
by Valerie Sicignano, NYC Feral Cat Initiative
During high kitten season in the spring and summer, its not unusual to discover a nest of unattended kittens or a single kitten seemingly abandoned by the mother. You want to help, right? Before jumping to the rescue, consider these recommendations.
First: Wait & Watch
You might have come across the kittens while their mother is off searching for food, or is in the process of moving them to a different location. Try to determine if the mother is coming back for them, or if they are truly orphaned.
To do this, stand far away from the kittens 35 feet or more. If you stand too close, the mom will not approach her kittens. You might need to go away completely before the mother cat will return to attend to the kittens. It might be several hours before the mother cat returns until she no longer senses the presence of humans hovering near her litter.
The mother cat offers her kittens best chance for survival, so wait and watch as long as you can. The best food for the kittens is their mothers milk. Remove the kittens only if they are in immediate, grave danger.
If the mother cat returns
If the mother cat does not return
Kitten Care & Bottle-Feeding
Find A Home For The Stray Kitten
At 8 weeks old, the kitten is ready to be spayed or neutered and placed into a loving home. There are many ways to find the stray kitten a home check out bestfriends.org for a guide of best practices. Unless, of course, he or she is already home. Kittens are, after all, irresistible!
Thumbnail: Photography ©ConstantinCornel | Thinkstock.
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Why Should You Trust Us
In addition to performing our own qualitative analysis of the brands reviewed here, we submitted samples for analysis at an ISO 17025 certified food testing and analysis lab.
We bought the products at full retail price, and the entire testing process was funded by All About Cats without direct input or influence from the companies involved.
Analytical testing in a food chemistry lab gives us the exact macronutrient and micronutrient content of each recipe. The tests also look at microbial content, yeast, mold, and heavy metals, helping you ensure that youre only putting the best in your cats bowl.
To access the lab reports for each food reviewed here, click the view lab report link in the product review. This section is available further down the article, for now lets dig a little deeper into the nutritional needs of feral cats.
First Of All If The Mother Cat Returns
If Mama Cat returns and the area is relatively safe, leave the kittens with Mama Cat until they are weaned. You can monitor the environment and offer a shelter and regular food to Mama Cat but keep the food and shelter at a distance from each other. Mom will find the food but will not accept your shelter if the food is nearby, because she will not want to attract other cats or predators to food located near her nest.
Mama Cat offers her kittens the absolute best chance for survival. Never remove healthy kittens from Mama Cat before they are 4 weeks old. 5-6 weeks is the optimal age to take the kittens from a feral Mama Cat for socialization and adoption placement, and any time after 8 weeks for Trap-Neuter-Return . For kittens of friendly cats, they should remain with Mama Cat until at least 8-10 weeks old.
Female cats can become pregnant with a new litter even while they are still nursing, so dont forget to get the mother cat spayed or you will have more kittens soon! For information or advice about trapping Mama Cats and about local feral cat help and TNR programs, see here.
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You May Be Able To Protect Other Animals
Since feral cats have to hunt other animals to survive in the streets, you can lower this need by feeding them since they can get their food from you and there will be a lower need to hunt additional prey.
Consequently, by feeding stray cats, you may also be able to protect other beautiful birds, at least in the short run.
Yes To Chicken Beef Lamb Etc
A great option is simple cooked chicken. Making sure it doesnt have any additives or flavorings, you can also add alittle plain boiled rice or even unseasoned scrambled eggs to the dish.
While sure, some cats will eat raw meat, it is better to give them something cooked and devoid of potential bacteria.
With any of these options, you should always try it sparingly. If you dont know the history of the cat or its diet, you dont want to be in a situation where you are upsetting a delicate stomach.
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What To Do With Stray Cats
If youve found yourself with a stray cat, you should first check with people living close by to ensure that they havent lost a cat. Additionally, you might consider posting a picture and description of the cat to lost and found pages on various social media sites in an attempt to locate an owner.
After all, our favorite felines are natural roamers when left to their own devices. Its not unlike an indoor/outdoor pet cat to occasionally wander a little too far from home.
You might also considering taking the cat to your veterinarian to have it scanned for a microchip.
If youre unable to locate an owner for the cat and they do not have a collar or microchip, then you have a few options:
- You can keep the cat. This will require that you take the cat for proper veterinary care as well as the necessary items for maintaining a healthy cat.
- You can TNR . This will ensure that the cat cannot contribute to the ever-expanding stray and feral cat population.
- You can find a suitable home for the cat. You may have better luck rehoming the cat if you take it for vaccines, deworming, flea treatment, and/or spaying or neutering.
- You can take the cat to a shelter or humane society to be placed for adoption. This is a better option than leaving the cat on its own, but its not ideal.
An exception might be made for small kittens, of which need much more attentive care than adults.
Refer to the next section for tips on how to safely catch a stray cat that isnt tame enough to be handled.
What To Do If You Find Kittens
Kitten season primarily occurs in the spring and summer, although kittens are born year-round. In order to prevent unnecessary abandonment, please do not disturb the kittens. The mother cat will not approach her kittens if you are within close proximity of her nest. As a survival tactic, the mother cat will move her kittens numerous times with the first weeks and may be in the process of moving them to a better suited location. The mother cat will also need to leave the kittens in order to feed or relieve herself. If you have not seen the mother cat within a 24 hour period, contact our office at for further instructions.
Similar to wildlife, cats are considered free roaming animals. If you do not want cats on your property, we recommend that residents take the following steps:
- Keep trash cans covered at all times
- Consider motion activated sprinklers or lighting
- Remove pet food dishes after feeding
- Don’t attract wildlife/cats by feeding them
- Consider animal repellant products
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Do Not Disturb The Kittens
It is best to 1st observe from a distance for a few hours to determine if mom is returning to her nest. The mother cat may be out searching for food, taking a break, or even hiding from you. If you see kittens and no mom, wait a few hours before trying to rescue them. The kittens have a better chance of survival with their mom. If mom returns, the best thing you can do is place some fresh cat food and water out for her. It is best not to continue to check on them more than once a day as not to disturb the nest.
Your Age Chart For The First Weeks
- If the umbilical cord is still attached, your kitten is in its first week of life. It will fall off at around 5 days after birth.
- Newborns are small and truly helpless. They are toothless, their folded-down ears are deaf and their eyes are closed.
- Donât feed a kitten on its back like a human baby or give cowâs milk. It will cause diarrhoea. You can contact your vet for a commercial formula or make one at home. Your vet should also be able to tell you how to mix the latter and provide the necessary bottles or tell you where you can get some.
- Feed the recommended amount every 2 hours.
- During their second week, they will still be small and not really able to move around.
- They will develop their hearing and at the end of this week, the eyes will also start to open. Feed the formula once every 2-3 hours.
- Aged 3 weeks, their walk will be more of a crawl-and-stagger. Some will start purring at this age and most will cut their teeth.
- Feed the formula once every 3-4 hours.
A happy kitten will make a toy out of anything.
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