The Manual for Stray Cats! Is It Okay to Feed Them? What to Do If You Want to Protect Them?

The Manual for Stray Cats! Is It Okay to Feed Them? What to Do If You Want to Protect Them?

Of course, your own house cat is cute, but stray cats you meet in town are also cute.

Some stray cats may be hungry or injured and need protection.

What should you do if you want to become friends with a stray cat or help it?

This article will introduce the correct way to interact with stray cats.


Table of Contents

1. What to Do When You Encounter a Stray Cat?
∟1-1. How to Make Friends
∟1-2. Be Cautious of Infectious Diseases
∟1-3. It's Also Important to Just Watch
2. Is It Okay to Feed Stray Cats?
∟2-1. Feeding Stray Cats Is Generally a No-No
∟2-2. Points to Note When You Really Want to Feed Them
3. You Want to Protect a Stray Cat! What Should You Do?
∟3-1. Capture
∟3-2. Get a Diagnosis at the Hospital
∟3-3. Check If There's an Owner
∟3-4. Prepare the Environment for Keeping
∟3-5. Train Patiently


1. What to Do When You Encounter a Stray Cat?

If you love cats, it's natural to want to befriend the cats you meet outside.

However, stray cats are different from pet cats and are not accustomed to people.

Approaching them the wrong way can cause stress or injury to the cat.

When interacting with stray cats, be mindful of the following:


1-1. How to Make Friends

Stray cats are generally wary of people.

If you want to befriend them, you need to be patient.

Here are some important points to keep in mind.

[1] Be Careful with Eye Contact

Cats perceive making eye contact as a sign of aggression.

Especially since humans are larger than cats and tend to look down on them, it can be terrifying for the cat.

If you want to befriend a stray cat, lower your posture and avoid making direct eye contact as much as possible.

[2] Don't Make Loud Noises

Cats have highly developed hearing and are particularly sensitive to sounds.

When interacting with a stray cat, do not startle it with loud voices or noises.

When talking to a stray cat, speak in a calm, slow voice to reassure it.

[3] Don't Touch Them Forcibly

You might want to pet a cat that comes close, but you must resist the urge with stray cats.

From a stray cat's perspective, it's already making a brave move by approaching humans. Being touched and having an unfamiliar scent applied is terrifying.

First, let the cat sniff your hand to get used to your scent, and once it's comfortable, gently pet it with the back of your hand.


1-2. Be Cautious of Infectious Diseases

Cats carry bacteria and viruses that are not found in humans, in their claws and mouths.

Being scratched or bitten by a cat can introduce these pathogens through the wound, causing disease.

Especially since stray cats live in less sanitary environments and may transmit diseases to each other, be careful not to get scratched or bitten when touching them, and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.


1-3. It's Also Important to Just Watch

While it's tempting to interact with a cat, recklessly getting close to a stray cat and making it accustomed to humans can lead to the following problems:

  •  ・Being scented by humans, making it wary of other stray cats or the mother cat
  •  ・Approaching people with malicious intent without escaping
  •  ・Staying in the same place, leading to fecal problems and neighbor disputes

For stray cats, humans are an unknown presence, and avoiding them is a natural rule.

Twisting this rule can actually make cats unhappy.

Especially if you interact too much with kittens, it may lead to maternal abandonment due to the mother cat becoming wary.

If you cannot take responsibility for the stray cat, just watching over it is also important.


2. Is It Okay to Feed Stray Cats?

If you see a hungry stray cat, you might be tempted to feed it.

However, feeding them without thought can lead to unfortunate consequences for both the cat and the community.

We'll introduce the considerations for feeding stray cats.


2-1. Feeding Stray Cats Is Generally a No-No

In general, feeding stray cats is not desirable due to the following issues:

[1] Hygiene Issues

Feeding cats outside can attract insects or rodents to leftovers, and increase the amount of feces, leading to unsanitary conditions.

[2] Increase in Stray Cat Population

Feeding improves their nutritional status, resulting in many kittens being born.

In nature, predators or starvation naturally cull the population, but the presence of feeders allows many kittens to survive.

As the grown kittens reproduce, the stray cat population rapidly increases, leading to more cats suffering from diseases or injuries due to territorial fights.

[3] Neighbor Disputes

Feeding cats makes them linger in the area.

While cat lovers may enjoy seeing cute cats every day, people who dislike cats or are allergic to them may find it troublesome.

Also, people may be bothered by cats using their yards as toilets or causing damage.

This can lead to neighborhood disputes.


2-2. Points to Note When You Really Want to Feed Them

As mentioned above, feeding stray cats can lead to various problems.

However, it's also natural to feel unable to ignore a cat starving in front of you.

Here are some points to consider if you really want to feed a stray cat:

[1] Check Local Regulations

Some municipalities have ordinances that prohibit feeding stray cats.

Also, while feeding may be allowed, there may be regulations on how to feed. Make sure to check the local rules and adhere to them.

[2] Decide on a Feeding Time

Do not leave food out indefinitely.

It attracts insects and rodents, making the area unsanitary and possibly drawing cats from other areas.

Feed at a set time and clean up after they've finished eating.

That way, cats will come to eat at that time.

[3] Prepare a Place for Elimination

One of the most serious issues with stray cats is the damage from their feces and urine.

To avoid neighbor disputes, make sure to provide a place for elimination.

Feeding in your yard and allowing them to use it as a toilet is ideal.

[4] Clean Up the Surroundings

Clean up any leftover food or feces.

When cleaning, not only clean up after the cats but also pick up any trash and keep the area tidy.

This helps beautify the town and reduces the chance of neighborhood disputes.

[5] Perform Neutering and Spaying

As mentioned earlier, simply feeding can lead to an increase in unhappy stray cats.

If you decide to feed, take responsibility and have them neutered or spayed.

Some areas have sakura cat activities or offer subsidies for neutering and spaying feral cats, so it's a good idea to consult with the city office first.


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