Adopted a stray cat/feral?

shelbybg

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So a stray cat/or feral cat kinda chose my family the other night. She's super sweet, has never been aggressive. She followed us right into the house and has acted just fine. The only thing is she will not use the litter box. We tried and tried all day, but she wanted nothing to do with it. She hasnt urinated or deficated in front of us, but she has went off on her own outside multiple times today, and most likely went out there. We havent had any other pets in this house, so it's just her scent in here. Im thinking maybe the reason why she wont go in the litter box is because its scented? I'm hoping that if I get unscented litter she will take to it better. If we can get her litter trained we plan on taking her to the vet to get all her shots and whatnot. Thoughts?
 

jcat

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If she's used to being outside and has outdoor access, it's not at all surprising that she's not using the litter box. Many indoor/outdoor cats rarely use a litter box. That said, most cats seem to prefer unscented litter. I wouldn't wait till she's using the box to take her for a check-up and shots.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. In addition to trying unscented litter, also place a sizeable cardboard box lid with soil/mulch mixture in it to see if she might use it. If she does, you can gradually work to getting her to use a regular litterbox and litter. Start with a tiny bit of litter added to the soil mix, then more, and more slowly over time. Depending on what type of litterbox you eventually want, you might have to graduate her through a few between the cardboard lid and the end goal litterbox.

You can also try to take some of her poop from outside and placing that inside the litterbox and/or cardboard box lid. And, you can begin with a litterbox outside as well, and gradually move it toward the location you would like it be down the road. Give her a few options to begin with, just to see what she does with her choices.
 

ArtNJ

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The problem you may run into is when the weather is terrible (or similar issue) and you want to keep her in at night. Not going all night is a big ask. Until she is trained, you probably want to let her out at night or keep her in a bathroom (but given my next thought, I'd let her out).

The other big issue I see here is that with a cat this friendly, this may not be a stray -- it may be someone else's indoor/outdoor cat. If she seems to keep coming back to your home, maybe she is indeed a stray, but don't be shocked if she doesn't come back when you let her out tonight. Strays definitely *can* be this friendly and adapt this quickly, but at the same time, many indoor/outdoor cats think nothing of going into someone else's home and having a cuddle and a snack. So ask around.

Both issues considered, I would not keep her inside at night right now.

Once you check with the neighbors, then yes, take the cat to the vet ASAP. She may not be spayed, for one, and letting her out could lead to pregnancy. She could be pregnant now. Since this is likely a stray or someone else's indoor/outdoor cat, there is hope she is already spayed.
 
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shelbybg

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Thank you all for your replies. She did GREAT last night. She used the litter box multiple times so no more issues there. She hasn't shown any interest of going outside again. The reason we think she is a stray and was dumped out here in the country is because she never went too far after seeing us that first night. Anytime we would go outside and call for her, she would come to the house. That went on for 2-3 days. She kept coming back. That's the only reason we took her inside, I never would've taken just any cat in. As for the litter box, she had the runs at first because who knows what all she ate out there in the trees, then it gradually became more solid. We're taking her to the vet after the weekend, because theyre closed right now.
 

FeebysOwner

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I took in a stray that had the runs initially too - she even threw up at first. Mostly because what I fed her was not what was she was used to. Good to see she is doing alright!!
 

ArtNJ

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Cool, sounds like a stray I agree. Sometimes they can still be really friendly even if they have been on their own for quite a while. Last time I rescued a stray it ended up being obvious she had been on her own for months because she doubled in size with proper food despite being a three year old per the vet. But she was super friendly right away as well. Good luck, hope it continues to be smooth sailing.
 
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