Quantcast

How to make a stray cat comfortable in your home - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

How to make a stray cat comfortable in your home

Updated: May 14, 2012 03:32 PM EDT
© iStockphoto.com / Cynthia Baldauf © iStockphoto.com / Cynthia Baldauf
  • From The Daily CatMore>>

  • Why doesn't my cat like catnip?

    Why doesn't my cat like catnip?

    Believe or not, some cats just aren’t drawn to catnip. Here’s why.

    Believe or not, some cats just aren’t drawn to catnip. Here’s why.

  • Houseplants vs. your cat

    Houseplants vs. your cat

    Before adding a touch of nature to your home with houseplants, it's important to know what types of plants may be harmful to your cat and which are safe.
    Before adding a touch of nature to your home with houseplants, it's important to know what types of plants may be harmful to your cat and which are safe. In fact, some plants are extremely poisonous to cats, and others can cause them to become very ill.
  • Keeping your cat happy when you're not at home

    Keeping your cat happy when you're not at home

    As much as I'd love to spend my days cuddling and playing with my cat, necessity dictates that I must, on occasion, leave my apartment.
    As much as I'd love to spend my days cuddling and playing with my cat, necessity dictates that I must, on occasion, leave my apartment.

By The Daily Cat experts
 

Imagine if an individual that's more than five times your size and from another species grabbed you. Your first inclination would probably be to run for your life, since there's an automatic predator/prey dynamic in place.

You, of course, don't have those intentions with your new cat, but it does not know that yet. Its initial instinct is to protect itself and to run away to safety. This can all be changed, however, with socialization.

Socialization is when your cat learns how to properly react to other cats, people, places, situations and more. Ideally, it takes place when your cat is just a kitten, aged about 2 to 7 weeks. During that period of time, the kitten is curious about everything and has a more open mind. That can be dangerous, since the kitten hasn't fully learned about dangers, and it requires the protection of its mother and possibly a caring human. It's also a good time because fears have not set in.

As a stray, your cat probably had a tough life, either as a feral or in the home of someone who didn't provide much care -- or both. All behavior can be modified, but such changes become more difficult as the individual ages, since there's been more time for the undesired reactions to set in.

People are no different. If you are afraid of public speaking, for example, you can become better and more comfortable with practice, but the whole matter is much easier if you have been exposed to, and participated in, such events over your entire lifetime with positive outcomes. Before long, the skill becomes second nature.

In addition to age, the temperament of the individual cat is a factor, as are its parents. Cats with feral parents tend to be more difficult to socialize; however, with time and patience, it can be done.

You might first try creating a safe room for your cat: a quiet, closed-off room with a comfy bed, food, water, a litter box and other amenities.

In that room, just sit quietly with your cat for a while in order to gain its trust. Offer a tasty food treat. As your cat approaches, slowly pet it, perhaps while it is busy investigating the food.

When your cat becomes more comfortable with your attention, put a blanket or towel on your lap and hold it for short periods, again petting it in a slow and soothing way.

Repeat the sessions over a series of days, introducing new toys, grooming tools and other objects. Through such sessions, you are teaching your new pet that you are not a danger and, in fact, are someone it can trust and look forward to seeing.  



Copyright © 2012 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.

  • Everything AnimalsMore>>

  • Everything Animals: Therapy Dogs Needed

    Everything Animals: Therapy Dogs Needed

    Monday, May 5 2014 8:41 AM EDT2014-05-05 12:41:14 GMT
    There's a critical need for therapy dog teams in Vermont.
    There's a critical need for therapy dog teams in Vermont.
  • Everything Animals: Bird feeder safety

    Everything Animals: Bird feeder safety

    Monday, April 7 2014 7:53 AM EDT2014-04-07 11:53:00 GMT
    Help prevent disease in your pets and your backyard birds. Scrub out your bird feeders every couple weeks with non-toxic soap and water, and allow them to dry well. Mold can grow in the bottom of the
    Animal expert Dr. Steven Metz is here to talk about how to correctly clean out your bird feeders.
  • Everything Animals: Free Pet Eye Exams

    Everything Animals: Free Pet Eye Exams

    Monday, March 24 2014 8:55 AM EDT2014-03-24 12:55:37 GMT
    In a few months, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) will hold its 7th Annual Animal Eye Exam event. Participating ophthalmologists will provide free eye exams for pets. However,
    In a few months, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) will hold its 7th Annual Animal Eye Exam event.
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.