Wednesday, May 30, 2012

If you find an adult stray cat

This posting will offer steps to help you in the event you find an adult stray cat or mother cat (after nursing kittens).

The fact is you will come across a stray cat, many stray cats in your lifetime. The question is how to help the cat and your community. (Click here on what to do if you find kittens).

MOTHER CAT (after giving birth)
First if it is a mother cat then it's absolutely critical to make plans to have her spayed. A female get can give birth four times in a year.  And kittens as young as five months can get pregnant! They multiply fast! But be sure to wait until after the kittens are weaned from the mother.

If the cat is friendly, then place the cat inside a pet carrier found at any pet store. DO NOT attempt to carry the in your arms or place her in box. She will escape.  Ideally you want to take the cat to vet for checkup and have it spayed or neutered.  In Miami there are many low-cost options. If you have pet cats, it's best to  place stray cat in a separate room until they receive clean bill of health from the veterinarian. CLICK HERE to learn how to FIND HOMES for friendly stray cats.

If the cat is shy or scared (not touchable; also called "feral"), then you will need a special trap. Here you have two options.
  1. Contact a local nonprofit rescue group and they can either teach you how to trap and lend you a trap for a refundable deposit, or
  2. Hire a professional to conduct the trapping, transporting, and post surgery care. In Miami the fee is around $70 per cat (which includes the surgery).

There's work involved in having a cat spayed/neutered. These cages with adult cats inside can get heavy. After the surgery, the cat can NOT be released outside right away. Then there is the post surgery care. The females need to recover for 48 hours so they are not moving or running where the stitches can open (the incision is wider) and cause infection. Males only need 24 hours.  Also if the cat is feral (scared, untouchable), then they definitely have to remain in the cage during the recovery. It's for their own protection and yours. This can be tricky and it helps if an expert shows you how. It's a matter of changing the newspaper, food and water. Our secret: slide the food and water, and newspaper under the side of trap with the angled closure using metal tongues (like those used for barbecues). Use shallow bowl for water and paper plate for moist and dry food. This way if the cat strikes out (in defense) they are not scratching your fingers or hands. Please remember the cats are scared. They are not used to being caged and around strange people. Please be patient.

Thank you for taking the time to learn and help these innocent, homeless cats! You are the hero!!!

CLICK HERE for information on what to do when you find kittens.

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