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For some animal lovers, pet rescue almost becomes second nature. If you’re new to cat rescue, however, it’s important to take certain things into consideration, especially if you’re hoping to socialize a feral kitty.
I suggest following these steps:
1. If possible, work with kittens and younger cats -- they are often easier to socialize. Of course, an older cat can be molded into a great house pet too, but it takes more time to accomplish your end goal. Be certain you’re ready for the responsibility.
2. Once you arrive at the shelter, if you see the cat you think is right for you, approach it slowly so you don’t scare it. Always bring a cat carrier with you for transport. A cat will actually feel safer in a carrier after it is plucked from the shelter.
3. Make sure you have a litter box, water bowl and feeding area set up for the cat before you take it home. It’s also nice to place some blankets or old towels on a couch or in a small corner where the cat can feel safe.
4. Immediately see your vet. Your new cat will need to be vetted for worms, FIV and other diseases spread among street cats and rescues. Be sure to set a date to get the cat fixed.
5. It may be better to keep your pet in your own bedroom or a small room in the beginning. Start to spend more time with him every day. As the cat becomes used to you, it will become friendlier.
6. Gradually introduce your cat to other pets that you have. Remember, plenty of households have both cats and dogs, with the pets enjoying each other’s company.
Jaime Lynn Smith is an accomplished writer and pet owner from Cleveland, Ohio. She owns the popular pets blog ThoughtsFurPaws.com and frequently volunteers at local and national pet welfare organizations.