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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.

How to Choose the Right Pet to Adopt

It’s exciting when you decide to adopt a new pet. Most people have visions of finding an animal they can bond with for life. Pet adoption is serious because you are making a commitment to take care of an animal. There are several steps you should take before you choose an animal to adopt.

adopt a catPet health is an important consideration during adoption. Many strays and neglected animals have serious health problems that aren’t immediately apparent. If you adopt a pet from a reputable shelter, they probably have a veterinarian who evaluates each animal. They will give you pet health information at the time of adoption.

If you decide to adopt a stray or an animal with an unknown history, you should immediately bring the animal to a veterinarian for evaluation. You need complete pet health information before you bring the dog or cat home. Is it spayed or neutered? If not, your veterinarian will recommend this operation to help control animal overpopulation. The veterinarian can also check for various issues such as worms, bartnellosis (known as cat scratch fever), toxoplasmosis and numerous other issues. Pet health problems need to be addressed immediately. If not, your new pet could make your family or other pets sick. Most pet health issues can be treated by the veterinarian quickly if they are caught right away.

Visiting the veterinarian is also important for future pet health. Adopted animals may need a variety of vaccinations such as rabies, canine distemper, feline distemper, parainfluenza, bordetella and Lyme disease among others. These vaccinations are important because they can prevent serious illnesses down the road. The veterinarian will also give the pet a thorough examination to check for fleas, ticks and dental health.

Personality is an important part of pet adoption. Most people initially think about adopting kittens and puppies. Young animals are a lot of work and require patience and training. Older animals are often good choices for adoption. Their personalities are already formed so you will know what you are getting personality-wise. Older animals often fit in better with families than rambunctious puppies and kittens.