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7 Critical Questions to Ask Before Adopting a Feral Cat

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For some people, their feral cat doesn’t adopt them by showing up on the doorstep one day. Instead, these caring people go looking for feral cats and provide a loving home for those feline friends.

When we decide about getting or adopting a pet cat, most of us rarely think about everything that comes along with the 'cat' package. There's a thin line between just getting a cat, and knowing how to care for them adequately. Rearing a feral cat can be a demanding task that needs planning and commitment before actualizing your long-held dream of owning a cat. While you can't possibly prepare for all challenges that come with parenting a new cat, you can make sure their stay at their new home starts well. And, ideally, this starts way before you bring your furry friend home.

Here are seven questions to reflect on before adopting and bringing kitty to their new home.

1. Can You Afford to Adopt the Cat?

It's delightful to want to own an adorable cat, but do you have the means to take care of them? Make sure to check your budget carefully. Can you afford to buy all of their necessities and cater to medical expenses in the long run. Remember, taking in a cat can be an expensive venture, something you don't want to get into if you're not financially capable.

2. Is the Cat Healthy?

When adopting a cat, health should be a top concern, especially if they've spent time without a proper home and care. Before taking the cat in, schedule a veterinary appointment. It helps you identify their medical history, check for parasites, vaccination and whether they have any current or underlying health issues. Once you're familiar with the cat's health condition, you can confidently put in necessary measures needed to care for them

3. Will Your Family Be Comfortable with Your New Furry Friend?

Before you adopt, make sure your family approves of the cat. Let them spend time and interact with the cat – if the cat will allow that interaction. Cases of allergies, unforeseen behavior, and more issues can be seen in this process to help reach a wise decision.

4. Do You Have Other Pets?

In case you have other pets in your household, it can be tricky to surprise them with a new pet randomly – even if the new pet is an outside, feral cat. Consider how they will react once you bring a cat home. While most can be welcoming and get along well, some will not. If so, you can consult with a certified trainer for advice on familiarizing your pets with the new cat.

5. Do You Live in a Cat-Friendly Area?

Feral cats spend most of their time outdoors, so it's only fair for you to bring them to a welcoming neighborhood, one that is safe for them to wander freely. Inform your neighbors of your new pet. If they happen to visit the neighbor's homes while gradually getting to explore their new environment, then everyone will treat them as part of the community. Importantly, ensure that if you are renting the rules allow cats and that the by-laws of your area allow feral cats.

6. Where Will Kitty Live?

You may successfully adopt the cat, but you must have a pleasant and comfortable outdoor shelter prepared just for them. Besides that, equip the yard with some toys and necessities to keep them busy as they familiarize themselves with their new environment while keeping an eye on them.

7. Are you Ready for Challenges?

With no guarantee that everything with your new cat will work out well, you should exercise some patience. Feral cats may exhibit some annoying behaviors, get mischievous, and at times, overwhelm you. Provide them with an ideal environment, your much-needed love, and try to correct them gently.

Although you might have it all figured out, some critical details may be ignored or completely forgotten, leading to unwanted situations. Nevertheless, that doesn’t have to be the case. Asking yourself the right questions can start you off on the right foot for lifelong bond and companionship with your outdoor, feral cat. 

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