December 2009 Issue

Adopting a Neighborhood Stray

Be extra mindful of the health and happiness of your resident pets before introducing a new one. Here’s how.

Several years ago I came home to my first apartment and was greeted by my best friend, grinning from ear to ear. "There’s a surprise in your bathroom!" she exclaimed. That surprise turned out to be an adorable stray kitty from her hometown. "Nana" soon revealed herself to be an amazingly adaptive cat that was happy just basking in our love and attention, but the road to domestic bliss was certainly not without its bumps. In hindsight, there were several steps we could have taken to make the transition a bit smoother. In fact, there are several potential problems when bringing an outdoor cat (e.g. a neighborhood stray or barn cat) indoors to live; however, if you anticipate these problems — and address them accordingly — they can be greatly minimized.

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