How to Help a Stray Cat Transition to the Indoors
29 June, 2015
Help A Stray Cat

We cat lovers often see stray cats and kittens around our homes and/or business.  Sadly enough, some of the stray cats are usually abandoned or lost pets that now live outdoors fending for themselves. Stray cats are different from feral cats. Feral cats only know life outdoors and have never been domesticated.  If you want to bring a stray into your home to take care of either full time or until you can help find the cat a forever home, below are some tips that should help. 

Your first need to earn the cat’s trust which can always be done with food

Set out dry cat food and fresh water at the same time every day. Dry food is recommended because it won’t attract insects, like wet food will, and it won’t smell as much. Set the food and water as close to your door as you think the cat will come. If you follow a daily routine, that cat(s) will learn when “dinnertime” is and come to your door at the same time every day.

Help A Stray Cat


Shaking the bag of dry food every time you put it out will function as a reminder that it’s time to eat.  If they hear the sound from somewhere else, they’ll come running because they’ll know it’s time to eat.  If the cat refuses to eat with you sitting there, go inside and let the kitty eat on his own.  If you do this repeatedly, the cat will likely let you sit down with them sooner rather than later.

Watch the kitty for a few days

Observe the cat for a few days. It is important to know if the cat is a neighborhood cat that likes to be outdoors, a feral cat or a stray cat. All cats will trust you if you feed them. To tell the subtle differences between the cats, you should keep in mind that neighborhood cats usually get feed at home so won’t eat or eat much. Feral and stray cats are always hungry, but the stray cat is friendlier and will allow you to pet him or her whereas the feral cat is far more cautious or skittish.

     Take the kitty to the vet for an exam

Take the cat to the vet as soon as possible. A medical exam is important to rule out any contagious diseases that the cat can possibly spread to other animals in the home. Have the cat sprayed or neutered if it is not fixed already.

Treat the cat for any aliments he may have if you can afford to (hopefully). Most stray cats have fleas and/or tapeworms. The vet will diagnose any problems and prescribe a course of treatment. Keep the cat separated and in its own room until it is free of fleas and other parasites if need be.

Prepare a separate room for your stray cat if you have other pets at home.

Prepare a room in your room for the cat to live in as is a temporary measure.  Make sure that the room has fresh water, food, a litter box and a bed or blanket for the cat. Make certain no other animals are in this room.  This can even be a bathroom at least temporarily.

Allow the cat into the rest of the house once he or she is healthy. Only after the cat gets a clean bill of health from the vet should you allow it access to the rest of the house and the other animals

Try to confine your cat to the indoors

Confine your stray kitty to the indoors. Stray cats that are use to the outdoors will make numerous attempts to get back outside. Put secure screens on all windows. Make certain the cat is out of the way when opening or closing the front door. If your kitty runs outdoor and doesn’t come back, he or she might not be as lucky to find someone else to care for him or her.

With time and effort, you can get a stray cat to trust you and feel comfortable in your home.  You can then either have a great new family member or a more adjusted cat to foster until you help the stray cat find its forever home.

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