Is a Stray Cat Healthy Enough to Adopt?

stray pet adoptionThere are millions of stray cats in the United States and the number grows all of the time. Many sympathetic people find stray cats and consider adopting them. These animals can be good pets in some cases. Many were previously pets that were abandoned by irresponsible owners. Others are lost. It’s not unusual for a stray cat to adopt a friendly family and begin visiting the home regularly. If you are in this situation and find yourself getting attached to the cat, you should take some steps to make sure the animal is healthy enough for adoption.

Before adopting a stray cat, you should have its health evaluated by a veterinarian. Pet health is a serious issue because a sick animal could expose your family and other pets to serious illnesses. You should take the animal to a veterinarian for a pet health evaluation immediately.

The veterinarian will examine the animal and try to determine what kind of background the stray cat has. Was the cat previously a domestic pet? The veterinarian will examine the cat for a microchip so that it can be reunited with its owner if possible. Next, the doctor will check to see if the cat has been spayed or neutered. Veterinarians strongly recommend these operations to help reduce the stray animal population.

One of the most important factors in pet health is vaccination. Your veterinarian will probably recommend a course of vaccinations to protect the animal’s future health. When it comes to stray cats, doctors often want to do a series of tests to make sure the animal doesn’t have any pre-existing conditions. These may include Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), feline diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and melanoma. You may still choose to adopt a cat with one of these issues but it’s important to understand the implications of these diseases. FIV is ultimately fatal although cats can lead comfortably for many years with the disease. FIV is contagious to other cats so you will want to check before you introduce a stray to your home. Other pet health conditions require medications and monitoring to keep the animal in good shape. A thorough evaluation will help you decide if the cat is a good match for your home.

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