How to Prepare Your Home to Shelter a Stray Cat

If you're considering bringing a stray cat home, there are some things to consider. We'll give you tips on how to shelter a stray cat.
How to Prepare Your Home to Shelter a Stray Cat
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 18 November, 2023

If you’ve grown fond of a cat that wanders around your garden and you’re considering adopting it, there are some factors you should take into account. Above all, if it’s an adult cat there are a series of steps that you should follow so that you can shelter a stray cat in your home.

A visit to the vet

You'll need to go to the vet if you're planning to shelter a stray cat.

If you’re planning to shelter a stray cat, the first step is to take it to the vet. Whether it’s a kitten or an adult, a specialist should examine it. He’ll be able to tell if it has any diseases, fleas, is injured, or has any other health problems.

You should remember that stray cats have been exposed to all kinds of dangers, such as fights between cats, eating bad food, intoxication, road accidents, etc.

Living on the street can also cause leukemia, distemper, poisoning, AIDS, and many other diseases that only a veterinarian can identify and treat. It’s also important to consider mandatory vaccines and sterilize the animal. You’ll also want to get a microchip implanted to locate the cat if it gets lost.

A carrier for a stray cat

Catching a stray cat and putting it in your car isn’t a simple task. However, a carrier will make it easier to take the animal home. An adult feline who has lived on the streets for some time isn’t just going to let you pick it up.

Any negative stimuli or displays of strength or force won’t help at all. The most effective way is by offering food or treats. Put some leading into the carrier to entice the cat to enter.

The arrival of the stray cat

Preparing your home to shelter a stray cat is an important step. As you probably know, cats are much more independent than dogs. They’ll need their own space in your house or apartment.

When you get a new cat, there are two options. You can give her an unoccupied room or let her explore freely and choose her own corner. Having a new home will be a big change for her. That’s why it’s important to have a corner or a room just for her.

Basic elements you should have for a stray cat when he arrives

  • Food and water. Depending on the age and weight of the cat, you’ll need to choose a specific type of food. It’s best to consult a veterinarian about the right diet for your new pet. If your new cat is an adult, it’s best to only give him wet food for the first few days. This has a more appetizing smell to cats and will help the cat adapt to his new home.
  • To help him get used to his new food, put bowls of water and food near him. He’ll get closer and become more familiar. You can also do the opposite. Let him explore first and choose his corner. Then, once he’s decided his favorite spot, move his food there and place it in a visible place.
  • Litterbox. Cats are very clean animals. Their food should never be near their litterbox. If you do need to keep these things in the same room, make sure they’re in separate areas.
  • A bed for sleeping. After a period of time on the street, your new cat will be grateful for a soft bed and a comfortable place to sleep. Of course, their bed should also be away from the food and litterbox.
  • Scratching posts are important for a cat’s nails. They like their nails well cared for, so that they are prepared to defend themselves if they feel threatened. Because of that, it’s important to have a scratching post in your home. That way they can file their nails and won’t damage your furniture.
A cat behind a scratching post.

Elements of nature

If you take in a stray cat, you need to take into account that they’re used to being around nature. You should keep this connection in their new home.

There are many ways to do this, such as windows so they can see outside. Another good idea is to put a table by the window so that the cat can look outside. You could also consider a cat flap so that your cat can spend time outside in the garden or on the patio.

It might interest you...
Winter Shelters for Stray Cats in New York
My Animals
Read it in My Animals
Winter Shelters for Stray Cats in New York

There are many stray cats out there, but some people and organizations are now building winter shelters so they don't freeze to death, literally.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.