Stray cat, what to do? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
Jr. Cat
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 49
Stray cat, what to do?

On Sat. afternoon we had a horrible thunder/wind storm. While I was trying to secure toys and such under our carport I saw a cat streak across the carport and hide under a table. He was terrified of the storm and dripping wet. DH got towels and dried him off and held him some to calm him down. He's just a tiny fellow (we think he's a he), very young and very thin/malnourished. DH felt bad and gave him some water and dry food and he scarfed down the food. We put a box w/ some old towels in it and he has been camped out in that box by our backdoor ever since Sat. afternoon. He jumps out when we go outside and is very affectionate and my two girls (3 and 6) love him and want to keep him. He jumpes up on a table by the back window and stares inside at us, tries to follow us in the door, and cries at night, so sad

My concerns with keeping him are:
- We've only had him 2 days, not sure if he is someone else's cat. There are lots of strays in our neighborhood but they normally don't stick around our house. Our immediate neighbors don't have cats that I know of, but this little guy is so friendly it seems as though he may have been an indoor cat at one point.

- We have two inside only cats and they have been growling and hissing whenever they see him at the window. Levi is 8 yrs. old and has been having dietary issues so we now have both cats on Natural Balance food (because they eat out of each other's dishes) which is really taking a hit to the wallet! Lucy is 5 yr. old and is quite the Queen of the house. Not sure how we could keep food separate between the cats or how the other two would respond to a kitten in the house.

Originally we thought we would just continue to feed him and keep him outside and the girls can play with him outside, but the crying at night is sooo sad and I'm also worried about the cold in winter. Hubby wants to try bringing him in slowly to get the other cats used to him, and making all three cats indoor/outdoor cats (once we've updated for the leukemia shot and flea/tick sprayed them all). We live on about 2 acres of land at the edge of an older development, and there is forest behind and beside our house. We've seen lots of animals in our yard (deer, turkey, fox, groundhog, etc.), as well as other strays. If they become indoor/outdoor cats, I'd let them in and out during the day when they want, and try to make sure they are back in before dark.

I can get an appt. at the vet tonight to check out this little kitty and deworm him, etc. Or is it too soon to adopt him if we've only had him 2 days and not sure of another owner? Should I risk bringing him in with the two older cats or is that a recipe for disaster. I'm not fully onboard with a third cat in the house, but I'm also not coldhearted enough to let him cry outside at night.
ang79 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 03:41 PM
Senior Cat
3furbabies's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 797
Definitely take him to the vet ASAP. If you are worried he is someone's cat then check local online classified ads, call around local vets , etc, but to be honest I doubt it since it sounds like he has been on his own for sometime. Just because he is friendly doesn't mean he was someone's pet. You say he looks young,,,well younger cats tend to be more friendly and curious even if they were outside cats.

If you want to keep him then set up his own room and slowly Introduce him to the others(swapping smells, etc). Of course they won't like him now because he is in the garage and is in their territory. My one cat hates when the neighbours cat visits the screen door and freaks out because he is on her turf.

Take things nice and slow. It will take a while but can wprk
3furbabies is offline  
post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 03:42 PM
Senior Cat
CJinCA's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: SF Peninsula
Posts: 596
poor little guy! Have you put up 'found kitten' posters in the neighborhood and put a found listing on craigslist? He may be lost, or he may have been dumped, but at least make an effort to help him find his way home if he has one. It sounds like he is used to being an inside kitty, hence the crying to come in. If you do end up keeping him, please check out the introductions sticky.

I understand about letting them be indoor/outdoor kitties, if you think the outdoors is safe enough. Indoor only kitties usually live much longer.
CJinCA is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 04:02 PM
Senior Cat
minikin44's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 807
A vet can check him for a microchip and you can call the local shelter to see if anyone reported a missing cat that looks like him. Honestly, though, if he's so thin/malnourished, he probably doesn't have an owner. I wouldn't be able to bear the crying either... so sad! As for the indoor/outdoor idea, I wouldn't recommend it... you said there are foxes in your area and they will kill/eat kittens. If you take him in, get him checked for FIV and FeLV before you introduce him to your other kitties, and introduce them very gradually. CJinCA is right about indoor kitties living longer... in the feral colony outside my best friend's mom's house, the cats only make it an average of 5 years; my cousins had two outdoor cats and they only made it 7 years.
minikin44 is offline  
post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
Jr. Cat
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 49
Thanks for the input, I'll keep the vet appt. for tonight and will ask around with neighbors/look for signs. As thin as he is, I'm guessing he was abandoned and has been on his own awhile.

As for the indoor/outdoor, both of our other cats try to escape (one more than the other). Lucy seems pretty content to just hang out on the carport (we use it as a picnic area in the summer). Levi likes to hide under trees and will head towards the woods or flower beds. Both were adopted as strays when they were kittens. We've tried to keep them inside but hubby thought with three cats, if they go outside some, it might cut down on litter usage, and let them get out some of their energy outside (Lucy loves to scratch on the wood trim around our doors, even though DH built a lovely cat tree/scratch post for her). And with some outside time, they might not drive me so crazy (the two adult ones like to hiss and spat at and chase each other fairly often and Lucy can get too feisty with the kids at times).
ang79 is offline  
post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 245
I say take him in and try to find out if anyone is looking for him. Keep him apart from the your cats and like the others have said take the introductions slowly. I hope you get to keep him or maybe can find a forever home for him. Good luck and keep us posted. Post pictures if you get the chance.
orrymain is offline  
post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
Jr. Cat
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 49
Any idea what the cost increase is going to be if I add a third cat to my family? Buying Natural Balance food for the other two is getting quite pricey and our budget is very tight. I forget how much kittens eat. With our other two we were still feeding Purina dry kitten food to them at that point, we just recently switched them over to a mostly wet diet.
ang79 is offline  
post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 05:09 PM
Senior Cat
LakotaWolf's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 887
Frankly, once his vetting expenses are over with (deworming and such), he shouldn't be that expensive to keep around. :} Since any canned wet food is better than dry, you can switch him over to an inexpensive canned food.

IMO even Fancy Feast isn't that bad, and it's relatively inexpensive where I live. You can also troll pet food stores and look for sales on canned foods since the kitten shouldn't have special nutritional needs.

It's been my experience (and what I've heard) that older cats can usually adjust well enough to a kitten addition. Even if they never become outright friendly, they might reach a tolerable level of avoidance and just stay out of each others' ways.

You can try feeding the kitten in a separate area - or even outside as long as the weather is all right. It's more of a hassle to feed cats separately, but if you get the kitten used to eating in a certain area (far away from the other two so he doesn't get into their Natural Balance) you should be able to make it into a routine with him.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
LakotaWolf is offline  
post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 05:31 PM
Catmamma's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Missouri USA
Posts: 212
Check this forum for the "How to Introduce a New Cat" advice. Take it slowly. Completely feral cats do live shorter lives, but somewhat domesticated ones can live quite long. Right now, I have an outdoor cat--she hates to be shut up anywhere--who is going on 18 years old. She (Mommacat) rules the yard and garage. I can't catch her to go to the vet but she looks and acts just as healthy as the much younger cats who make regular trips.
Catmamma is offline  
post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
Jr. Cat
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 49
Well, almost $200 (ack!) later, I am now the proud owner of a third cute kitty Stormy is all healthy (other than a big flea problem), up to date on her shots and they are guessing HER to be about 5-7 weeks old. We've now got her living in the basement and will do gradual introductions with Lucy and Levi over the next few weeks and hopefully all goes well, because I have two little girls who have fallen deeply in love with this cat and couldn't bear to part ways with her.

The vet suggested keeping her on kitten food for awhile if we are feeding her separately from the others. Any suggestions for an inexpensive but good food?

I did not get the feline leukemia shot today to have her outside, but DH still wants it done. He's afraid we're going to be overrun by cats and litter box work if all three cats are inside full time! Any words of advice? We currently have 3 boxes (2 in the basement, one in the bathroom on the main level) - am I good with 3 boxes?
ang79 is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome