As you may know, Lafayette has an extreme population of stray cats. About two weeks ago, a cute, innocent, 4-month-old kitten somehow found it's way to my doorstep. I have not been searching for a new pet, nor am I one to adopt a stray feline, but this time it was different.

My roommate and I were outside petting the kitten and pondering where it came from and why it wandered to our house. We were both stern in the beginning, agreeing not to feed it or give it any reason to hang around. Thirty minutes went by and there was already a bowl of milk on the porch. Little to say, we decided to keep the kitten to be our outside pet. A $150 vet bill later and I am still not regretting our decision.

According to care2, there are important steps to consider if you ever encounter a stray kitten:

  1. Be a little stand-offish in case the mother is somewhere around. Momma cats will leave their young to hunt for food, find shelter, or move their young one-by-one to a different spot.
  2. Figure out whether having a kitten is a good thing. Take into consideration costs and time. If your kitten will be an outside pet, you should really fork out the money for spaying or neutering, instead of contributing to Lafayette's stray cat population.
  3. If you can't afford vaccinations and operations, find the kitten an alternative home or organization to bring the stray to.
  4. Make your kitten feel at home. If the kitten is very small, monitor him or her inside. If the stray is 4 to 6 months old, make sure there is a safe, sheltered spot outside for them to find cover.
  5. Socialize your kitten by introducing him or her to other pets which might be in your house. The best time for them to get use to their environment is while they are young. Plus, if you have any dogs, they should be more understanding and welcoming to a small kitten who does not know how to use it's claws yet.

Hopefully this helps because you never know when a new, furry friend might end up on your doorstep.


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