Overly friendly stray cat wants to come in our house
We have a beautiful Calico stray cat outside our house. We played with her one day and she just followed us home from about half a mile away. We've been feeding her every day since then.
But every time I open the door to go in/come out of the house, this cat keeps trying to come in our house. She doesn't even want anything from us. She just wants to be in our house with us. It breaks our heart to put her outside, but we just cannot take her in right this minute.
I'd love some guidance on being able to bring this cat in.
About the cat:
- Girl Calico looks like about a year and a half old.
- She used to live in an abandoned house about half a mile from our house.
- The abandoned house has about 50 stray cats (NOT joking). Not a single one of them ever came to us.
- She is so friendly, it makes me think she was once a domesticated cat thrown out of the house.
- She has long and SHARP claws.
- She doesn't really know how to control her claws. She always pushes her claws out when playing with us. She climbs up our legs so rough, I have holes in my jeans.
Our problems with the cat coming in:
- As I said, this cat lived with about 50 other cats. So she probably has fleas and ticks and whatever else there is.
- We have a 16 month old who doesn't really know how to be nice to the cat. The cat is incredibly patient, but I am not trying to push it.
- We have a 16 month old and we do not want to risk the baby getting ticks or fleas or something else from this cat.
- We do not really have a lot of money to spare for the cat's health expenses.
- Could I go to a department store or a pharmacy and pick something up that would clean the cat up all-around?
- I HATE declawing and would not do it. Is there a less crueler process to make their claws not as sharp?
- The cat's eyes always have some liquid leaking out of them. What could this be and what could I do regarding that?
Note: I am trying my best to bring this cat inside my house given the temperatures are dropping severely outside. She is cold. She wants to be in our house more than anything. I just need to get things straightened out first.
Note 2: I know she NEEDS to go to the vet, we are just a bit financially tight for the time being.
Just regarding your second note, not sure if it will be of any use but there's some info on getting vet care when you can't afford it here
Our Q&A as mentioned by @motosubatsu is I can't afford vet treatment, what are my options? it is a work in progress.
Contact your local humane societies. One near me did the whole deal for ~$40; rabies, distemper, FLV, a shot of antibiotics, a chip, S&N - but NOT de-clawed. That easily could be over $200 at a 'real' vet. Mention that it's a stray and you'd like to keep it. Companies like that exist to help cats, not to make people money. - Flees are your problem to deal with after all that, and it probably just has a cold.
I suggest doing all you can. There is nothing better than a cats love especially when they chose YOU! Calico(s) can be especially loving and fun. Cheers!!
one thing worth pointing out: if you're not willing to keep her as a full-time indoor cat, she needs those big sharp claws to help her survive! if she's in an abandoned house with 50 other cats, she probably needs them to even defend her bit of space there, discourage other cats from picking on her, as well as do things like hunting and maybe fending off predators.
Declawing just seems *wrong*. However I only owned from kitten onwards and I had the opportunity to teach when or when not to use claws (exception: when playing with a string. Do **NOT** accidentally drag that across bare feet).
Declawing is cruel and many vets will no longer do it. It’s the equivalent to cutting off your fingers at the first knuckle. There are many alternatives.
Have you considered establishing a warm spot outside of the house instead, like maybe a small Dogloo with a heating system?
@JohnDoe yeah I tried that. But we live in townhomes and a leased one at that. So there is a limit for how much I can do to House this cat outside.
@Peilonrayz She is a 16 month old, she is not TRYING to be mean to the cat. She just gets excited and hugs her too tight and such.
Declawing is illegal in most civilised nations in the world. America is (very) slowly getting there: https://www.thespruce.com/states-where-declawing-is-illegal-554735
Take the cat to a vet before you bring er inside the house. There are some serious communicable parasites and desises that are very easy and cheap to rule out. Also check with your local SPCA. They can usually help. Around here they all but have the fees/costs/etc. if your going to keep the cat.
Thank you for your concern for the little homeless kitty. While it's very likely the cat has fleas and intestinal parasites, the good news is cat fleas do not feed on humans. I used to rescue dirty, sad, abandoned cats and never once was bitten by a flea or any other skin parasite.
Treating the fleas is best done with a medicine applied to the back of the neck in my opinion. Advantage II is an example of this. These can be pricey at around $40 or $50. The flea collars are cheaper but be aware you cat will be wearing a potent poison around its neck. This is not good for cats, people who pet them, or babies in the house. If you go the flea collar route, just keep the cat away from the baby and wash your hands after handling the cat. Naturally, don't touch the collar.
The fleas are not good for the cat, but it is unlikely they will cause your cat any serious harm if you have to wait a while before treating the fleas.
If you just want to clean the cat up, Vet's Best No-Rinse Clean Waterless Cat Shampoo is about $5 on Amazon and very easy to use, and involves no potentially traumatic (for both owner and cat) baths in the sink.
The alternative to declawing is manually clipping your cat's nails. This requires some finesse, technique, and getting your cat used to the process, but it is not too difficult. There are also glue-one cat nail covers (think fake nails for cats), but they are a costlier solution.
As far as the cat's eyes go, what you describe sounds like an eye infection. These are very common in strays and feral cats. You can try gently dabbing the eyes with a moistened cotton ball to remove any liquids or dried-on exudate. If the liquid is yellowish, greenish, or brownish, it may be a bacterial infection. This may clear up on its own or may require a topical antibiotic ointment.
A good vet will get you a broad spectrum ointment without you having to make a more costly office visit. Also, some stores will sell animal antibiotics over the counter. Terramycin is a good one. Do not use antibiotics sold for human use on a cat.
One thing to keep in mind is while you may not be able to perfectly care for the cat, and your baby may be a little rough with the cat, the cat will be much better off just living in your house, under your care and protection, getting regular meals.
The average life expectancy for a feral cat is about 4 years. Under your care she can live 4 or 5 times this or more.
Clipping or capping claws is fine for an indoor-only cat, but a cat that lives outside, even part time, needs sharp claws for defense.
This is not quite correct. While cat fleas generally do not feed on humans, they nevertheless try to and bite, but since the skin is too thick at the most places, they can't get in. There is a chance to transfer diseases that way.
If the cat goes out to meet its friends, it will come back with fleas, ticks, internal parasites, etc. every time. You will need to medicate the lot of them.
Do NOT cut the nails of a cat that is allowed to go outside. It will be unable to defend itself in a fight and cannot climb properly to escape danger. Nail clipping is for indoor cats only.