What To Know Before Taking In A Stray Cat

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If you've been noticing an adorable kitten wandering around your neighborhood, you may be tempted to pet them, talk to them, and even put out a little dish of food for them. But if you're thinking about adopting a stray cat, there's more to it than just opening your door and letting them inside. Any time you welcome a new pet into your life is a major moment, and it needs some thoughtful preparation, according to experts. In addition to picking up practical things like supplies, it's also crucial to make sure that they're healthy and feel safe with you.

But first, you should make sure that you're not accidentally grabbing someone's lost or collarless pet. "If you find a stray cat, it’s important to first make sure they don’t have a previous owner," Dr. Amanda Landis-Hana, DVM, a veterinarian and senior manager of veterinary outreach at PetSmart Charities, tells Bustle. "Once you’ve gained enough trust to hold the cat, take a look to see if it has a collar," she says. "If no collar is present, it’s still recommended that you take the cat to get scanned for a microchip as cats can sometimes rip their collars off."

Here's what you should know before adopting a stray cat, according to experts.