Have you ever encountered a stray cat that just won’t leave you alone, no matter how much you try to ignore them?
It can be an endearing yet perplexing experience, tugging at your heartstrings while leaving you uncertain of what to do.
A stray cat might not leave you alone due to various reasons, such as seeking food, shelter, or social interaction. To address this issue, provide a safe space for the cat, contact local animal shelters or avoid encouraging further dependence.
You may not be a cat person but if a stray cat needs help, I hope that you can take some time to help the cat. A little bit of action goes a long way for them.
In this article, we will discover the secrets to managing an affectionate stray cat that just won’t leave you alone.
Why Does This Stray Cat Keep Following Me?
Cats being cats wouldn’t just follow people for no reason. It is a calculated move as cats are solitary creatures and tend to be more wary of humans.
Here are some possible reasons that a stray cat is on your tail.
The Cat Is Hungry
This is usually the main reason why I have strays following me. Food can be hard to come by even with their amazing hunting skills.
I usually carry some cat food with me wherever I go. You’ll never know when you will bump into a hungry customer.
But if you are not as cat crazy as me, see if you can get any cat food from a store. Most stray cats will be around the same area where they appeared.
The Cat Wants Some Attention
Even strays need some attention and love from random humans too. There are a couple of strays around my area that are well fed by the local cat community here.
What they do not have enough of is attention.
If you have a well fed looking stray that doesn’t seem to leave you alone, try giving it some strokes and chin scratches.
Food isn’t what it is looking for.
The Cat Needs Shelter
Some pregnant female cats will also seek out unsuspecting humans for help as they get into labor.
They are hoping for a warm and quiet place to give birth to their litter. If you can even see the kittens moving about in the pregnant cat’s tummy, that means she is close to giving birth.
Stray and feral cats are smart enough to know that humans can provide food and shelter.
Are you experiencing a heat wave or cold front in your area?
Outdoor cats can handle heat and cold to a certain degree but if it gets too cold or hot, they will start looking for shelter.
If you see a stray cat hanging around your home when the weather is bad, it might be turning to you for help.
Seeking a human to provide temporary shelter can help the cat tide over the harsh weather.
What To Do If A Stray Cat Follows You Home?
If a stray has decided to grace you with its persistent presence, do not just ignore or shoo it away.
The poor cat might be in need and your help could mean that it survives another day.
Let It Into Your Home
Letting a stray cat into your home does not necessarily mean that you are adopting the cat.
The cat might just be looking for a day or night to spend indoors to seek some shelter, heal a wound or fill up its belly.
It is best to let the cat spend some alone time in the bathroom or a spare room.
I wouldn’t suggest allowing the cat on your bed as it might have fleas.
If you need to give the stray cat a bath as it’s dirty or has fleas, make sure to do it slowly and gently to not scare the cat.
Set Up An Outdoor Rest Area
You might not be too comfortable about letting the stray cat into your home if you have existing pets at home.
Not a problem.
The next best thing you can do is to set up a little rest area for the cat in your garage or backyard.
All you need to do is get an empty box or container for the cat to sleep in, blankets to keep warm and bowls for food and water.
There’s no telling how long the cat will hang around.
It could just be for a night or much longer than that.
Based on my experience, most stray cats tend to stick around a place that provides regular food and shelter.
You might not see the cat every day but it will drop by from time to time when the going gets tougher outside.
Call The Vet
Take a good look at the cat to see if it is injured or has a flea or tick infestation. If the cat isn’t in the best health, please call your local vet and let them know.
They might advise you to bring the cat in to take a look for further treatment.
If the stray cat isn’t sterilized, it might be a good idea to get it fixed at the vet if you can afford it.
There are many vets that are part of the Trap Neuter and Release Program that offer to fix a cat for a small fee.
This helps to drastically reduce the number of stray or feral cats around.
Every year, close to 600,000 cats are euthanized due to the lack of space in local shelters.
That is very heartbreaking to know.
Look For Its Owner
Cats that are very friendly and receptive to strangers could be cats that have lost their way home.
Many indoor-outdoor cats wear a collar with their owner’s contact details on it. Give the owner a call to let them know their cat is with you.
Give a call to your local animal shelter or local cat rescue group to see who is looking for lost pets.
If the cat isn’t wearing a collar, the veterinarian will be able to scan the cat for a chip to see who the cat belongs to.
You can also put up posters or post on social media groups that cater to lost pets.
There could be a very worried owner that is looking for his or her beloved feline companion.
Take The Cat To A Shelter
Taking the stray cat to a local shelter is the best thing to do if you have no intentions of looking after it.
The shelter will at the very least evaluate the cat’s health, offer vaccinations, and work diligently to find them a loving forever home.
Please take the cat to a no-kill shelter to ensure that it doesn’t get euthanized if it doesn’t get adopted within a set period of time.
Cats that have special needs or are older tend to take a longer time to get adopted. But there are people out there that love giving these groups of cats a forever home.
By placing these cats at a no-kill shelter, you are giving them a much higher possibility of getting adopted by a suitable owner.
Ignore The Cat
I understand that not everyone who reads this is willing to go out of their way to help an animal.
Some of you might even be afraid to go near cats due to the fear of animals.
The best thing that you could do is to completely ignore the cat. Do not attempt to feed or give it attention.
The cat will eventually learn that you won’t be the best person to seek help from and quickly move on.
Should I Take In A Stray Cat?
That would be the most ideal outcome to give the cat a forever home.
As noble as this act is, there are a number of things that you need to really consider before being its new owner.
First of all, you need to consider if you have the time and commitment to look after a cat. A cat might not need the same level of attention as a dog but cats still do want attention from their owners.
If you are someone that has to travel a lot for work or have an active social life, having a cat might not be the best option.
Secondly, owning a pet does take up some financial resources. I have spent thousands of dollars on my cat for various health issues over the years.
Vet bills can add up if your cat has a health condition that requires regular medical treatment.
Even a sudden illness can set you back financially by a large amount.
Taking up pet insurance can be a good way to help mitigate future vet fees.
It is great that your heart is in the right place but the reality is that keeping a pet requires money.
The last thing we want to happen is for you to give the cat up or abandon it after having it for a few months.
Such an experience will even be more traumatic for the cat.
Taking In A Stray Cat When You Already Have Cats
If you plan to take in a stray cat when you already have cats at home, make sure to bring the stray to the vet for a full check-up.
The new cat needs to be checked for viruses like FIV/FELV and also other internal and external parasites which can be transmitted between cats or other pets.
How Do You Know If A Stray Cat Likes You?
If a cat likes you, it will make a blatant effort to let you know. The cat will be purring and rubbing itself against your legs to mark its scent on you.
Some will even try to climb up your leg for a hug.
The stray cat will be receptive to your pets and can even flop on its back to expose its belly for rubs.
This is the ultimate gesture of trust as a cat’s belly is a very vulnerable area.
Can I Take The Stray Cat To The Vet For Free?
It might not be possible to seek veterinary care for a stray without incurring any cost.
However, there might be some vets in your area who are willing to subsidize their rates or let you pay in installments.
There are also some local animal control or shelters that can take in cats and provide medical treatment if they are not operating at max capacity.
Do Stray Cats Choose Their Owners?
That’s what I hear from many cat owners. It usually starts with a stray cat that just appeared out of the blue and adopted its unsuspecting ‘hooman’.
What a lovely ending.
It wasn’t the case for me though.
Many years ago, my local shelter held an adoption drive and I went with the intention of adopting a cat.
I was brought to the kitten room with at least ten really adorable kittens. I spent quite some time interacting with the kittens but didn’t really feel a connection with them.
As I was about to leave, I spotted this cat perched on a window sill admiring the view outside. All the other cats were busy eating as it was feeding time.
I asked if I could enter the room to interact with that cat. The minute the staff opened the door, that cat sprinted out of the door faster than you can say “Gone in a flash!”
It took us a good five minutes of intense searching to find the little troublemaker. I finally found him hiding behind a huge flower pot.
I caught hold of him as he was just about to make another escape.
I held him up into the sunlight with both hands and at that moment I just knew I wanted to adopt this ‘Hairy Houdini’.
And we have been together ever since.
Your story might differ from mine but I would love to hear how you and your cat met. Please feel free to regale me with your tale here.
Stray cats have the smarts and resourcefulness to look after themselves out there.
Cats have always been solitary creatures and are given the right tools to fend for themselves.
But on the off chance that you do meet a stray that needs the human touch, I hope you can find it in you to help the little fella out.