How to Get a Stray Cat to Come to You

If you are a cat lover, then you know the feeling of wanting to take every cat you see outside home. Yes, they have enough survival skills to live outside without a problem, but sometimes you just want to make a cat your friend and give it love. Especially if it is a lost or homeless cat. So how exactly do you get a stray cat to come to you?

Many questions arise when thinking about this scenario, is it safe to make a stray cat a pet? How should you handle the cat once it has come to you?

This article will clear out all your doubts when making a stray cat come to you, so let’s get right into it.

how to get a stray cat to come to you

Is it safe to let stray cats come to you?

The first question that inevitably arises is whether it is safe to take a stray cat inside? You’ve probably always been warned by your elders to not touch a cat in the streets unless it is absolutely necessary.

This is because cats that live in the streets are completely exposed to diseases and pathogens. A cat on the street is way more likely to get infected with diseases that are fatal. Moreover, these diseases can also be transmitted to humans easily, and spread very rapidly.

An example of the diseases in stray cats can be toxoplasma, which can be obtained from eating raw meat and has mild symptoms like fever and flu.

If a human gets this disease, then the symptoms can go unnoticed and ultimately result in death.

Another example is rabies, if a stray cat with rabies happens to sneeze on you, then it can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation if not dealt with properly.

Difference between a stray cat and a feral cat

Now before you decide to lure any random cat from the street into your home, it is important to know if it is the right type of cat.

That’s right, there are many differences among the cats you find loitering outside. There are mainly 2 types of cats you will find in the streets, a stray cat and a feral cat.

While both types are often referred to as stray cats, a stray cat is one which was previously a pet cat and has either been kicked out, lost for a long time, or lived at an animal shelter for a long period of time.

Stray cats are usually more open to communicating with humans. They might be playful with kids and be open to seeking love from humans any chance they get.

Feral cats on the other hand are almost the opposite. They do not willingly accept love from humans and some feral cats are also very scared to come near humans at times.

Most feral cats have been street cats since birth; they know nothing about living and interacting with humans and are very used to living in the wild with strong survival instincts. They are not very accepting of humans and their ways.

Yes, both these cats require to be treated differently, but this does not mean to neglect the feral cats! If you find a friendly feral cat and it comes to you, then you can set up an outdoor shelter for the cat outside your home.

How to get a stray cat to come to you?

So now that you know how to differentiate a stray cat from a feral cat, let’s dive into how you can make a stray cat come to you with ease.

Build trust between you and the cat

This is the first and most important step. It will determine the rest of your encounter with the cat.

The key here is to slowly and steadily walk towards the cat. Do not make any sudden movements and stand at a distance from it. Sudden movements can scare the cat and cause it to not trust you again.

You want to come off as a friend for the cat, not someone who is too interested and is giving off bad vibes to it.

Make the cat trust you and half of your work are done.

Let the cat come to you first

It can be hard to restrain yourself when you see an opportunity to approach the cat, but it’s for its good. You don’t want to damage the rapport you build right?

Another option is to let the cat approach you when it feels comfortable enough. In this situation, you can spend some time around the cat while keeping a safe distance of a few meters.

This could be spending some time outside your house with the cat nearby, but both of you doing your own thing.

After a few hours, it might approach you. If it doesn’t, you can approach it yourself because enough trust should be built between you both by then.

It is always best if the cat approaches you itself. This is because there is less chance of it being violent and attacking you, and approaching you first will show that it is more likely to accept your help.

Offer some food

Remember when our elders used to say that the way to a mans’ heart is through his stomach? The same thing applies to cats!

Now that you know this little secret, offer a small amount of food in a bowl and place it a few meters away from your front door.

Do not approach the cat while it’s eating, and try to make minimal movements so that the cat knows there is no funny business. Oh, and try not to watch the cat too closely when it is eating. If the cat puts its guard up, there’s no bringing it down.

Only when it is done eating, you want to gradually approach it.

Provide a safe and cozy space for the cat

Stray cats can be exposed to some pretty harsh conditions outdoors. This will make them appreciate comfort way more than a cat that has always lived comfortably.

To provide a safe house for the cat even if it is outside your house, you can arrange a small bed with a fluffy pillow and blanket tucked in the bed.

It is your choice if you want to keep a roof over the safe house for the cat. Though if it is raining, you should keep a roof in the house.

This will also be a life-saver for the stray cat during the winter season and will make the stray cat come to you easily.

Remember, think of the cat and it will come to you easily.

If it is sick, get a carrier bag for it

This method is a bit different than the ones we have talked about above. It involves getting a stray cat to come to you when it is sick and needs immediate attention.

If you find a cat that is wounded or sick and needs to see the vet, there are a few ways you can go about it.

Method 1

Firstly, you can bribe it. No, it’s not what it looks like. You should bribe it with food. How you do this is, that first lay an open carrier bag that is big enough for the cat to fit in. Then put some food you think the cat would like (boiled chicken, fish, chicken bone) in the middle of the bag.

Keep the bag near the cat and sit where you can supervise the scene.

As soon as the cat gets into the bag to eat the food, close the bag and take the cat to the vet.

This method sounds a bit cruel, but it is all for the cats’ benefit after all right?

Method 2

The next method is simple and should be opted for if the situation is serious.

If you are trying to get a stray cat to come to you and notice it is injured or sick, you should gently approach it, pick it up, and put the cat into the carrier bag. Then take it to the vet as soon as possible.

However, if for some reason you are unable to get the cat to come to you when it is sick, you should call professional help as soon as you can so you can save the cats’  life.

What to do when a stray cat comes to you?

Finally, after a lot of effort and bribes, the stray cat decided to come to you. What now? Do you just take it in? Or should you feed it and let it go?

Yes, to both the above questions by the way. You can do exactly that, or you can:

  • Take it to a cat shelter
  • Create a home for it outside in your back or front yard
  • Release it into a safer area with other stray cats

All these are viable options you can implement when you get a stray cat to come to you.


In conclusion, how exactly do you get a stray cat to come to you?

There are many ways you can get a stray cat to come to you such as feeding it, giving it a safe space, and bribing.

But remember! None of these will be enough to get a stray cat to come to you if you don’t establish trust first!

Cats do not trust easily, but when they do, you will become their favorite person.

Moreover, if the stray cat is sick, don’t force your way with it. Instead, try to gently nudge it towards your carrier bag (or bribe it), and then take it to the vet for a checkup immediately.

Lastly, getting a stray cat to come to you and providing it a suitable environment, away from harsh weather, predators could also save its life. However, you may want to get rid of stray cat that won’t leave then our guide will help you.

Leave a Comment