Can Stray Cats Be Affectionate? Best Reason Why

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With stray cats being a regularly seen thing in most people’s lives, many people have considered pulling over on the side of the road, picking them up, and taking them home with them. There are a few things that one should take into consideration when it comes to taking in a stray cat, but one of the main concerns is: can stray cats be affectionate?

Yes, stray cats can be affectionate. A stray cat is different from a feral cat because a stray is a cat that likely has come from a home and has known human affection. If the stray cat you have found is friendly and likes humans, they will generally be affectionate with you.

If you have been in a situation where you have come across an affectionate stray cat, and you wanted to love or help it out, but you were not sure if you could or how you should go about doing it, let us look at what you can do about it in the future.

If you are wondering what the best products are for your cat, check out this article that will break down all my recommendations for you: Things To Buy For A Cat Right Now!

Are Stray Cats More Affectionate?

Stray Cat

Many stray cats are very affectionate, but they are not necessarily more affectionate than other types of cats (i.e., house cats, feral cats, etc.). Stray cats have generally come from a home and have just lost their way, or for some reason, chose not to go back home. This means that even though they are now wild cats who live on the streets, they still know, and often love, humans and human interaction. 

If you encounter a cat that you think may be a stray, it is important to let the cat make the first move when you approach it. If he, or she, is frightened, you coming close to try and touch them might scare them off. 

Instead, get close enough that the cat can see you and knows that you are there, and then get down on your haunches (or sit down) and wait for the cat to approach you.

If the stray cat is used to interacting with humans, chances are they will come over fairly quickly and give you some attention and affection. 

Stray cats are usually affectionate because they know and love people and enjoy the companionship of humans. If they have gotten lost from a loving home, chances are they will miss the attention and will be thrilled with getting some affection again.

Unaffectionate Cats

Not all stray cats you meet are going to be affectionate. There are several possibilities why they may not be affectionate with you:

  • The stray cat you find may have run away from an abusive home. This means that they do not see humans as loving or as caretakers; they will see humans as a threat and may not want to come anywhere near you out of fear for their wellbeing.
  • They may also simply be scared. If a stray cat has never known the outside world before and has now wandered off from its loving, sheltered life, it may be extremely frightened by all of its new surroundings. You may just be another scary thing that they do not know in a weird new environment, which can be very scary, and they would not want to come anywhere close to you.
  • The cat may also be hurt, and when they are in pain, they will not want to be touched, picked up, or held. This means that even if the stray cat is generally very affectionate, they may not want you close by while they are feeling vulnerable and are in pain. 
  • Another reason why a stray cat may not seem affectionate is that she may be protecting her babies. Pregnant cats have been known to run away to have their babies. This may make you seem like a threat to her when you approach her and (maybe unknowingly) her babies. She will want to protect them, and therefore she will want to keep you as far away from them as she can.

There are many reasons why a stray cat may not be affectionate towards you, so just keep in mind that not all stray cats are friendly next time you feel the urge to approach one. Give them some space and allow them the chance to approach you. If they want to get your attention, they will come and get it without a second thought.

Stray cats may be prone to getting into fights.  To learn if cats will fight to the death: Click Here.

Are Stray Cats Safe To Touch?

As with any stray animal, there is always a potential risk of disease when it comes to being affectionate and touching them.

If the cat that you would like to be affectionate with looks healthy and has a clean coat and spritely energy, there is a good chance that they are healthy, and it should be safe to interact with them.

However, if you come across a stray cat that seems sickly or has a very dirty coat, it may be best to try and avoid interaction with that cat unless you want to help take them to a nearby vet

If you want to take the affectionate stray cat to the vet, and they seem as though they may be sick, try wrapping them in a towel while you hold them to avoid direct contact with them until you know that they are safe from disease.

Other than the risk of diseases, there is no real risk in being affectionate with an affectionate stray cat.

There is very little chance they will try and hurt you if they have willingly come to you and are being affectionate towards you, and as long as you are gentle with them and kind to them in return, there is no reason to worry about your safety with the cat.

Cats are generally clean animals, but if the stray cat is very dirty, I would be a little worried that some of it could be feces.  Learn more about whether stray cats bury their poop: Click Here.

Stray Cat

What To Do With Stray Cats

If you find a stray cat and they are incredibly loving and affectionate, it may give you a reason to believe that he or she may be someone’s pet.

The best thing you can do when you find an affectionate stray cat would be to take them to the nearest vet. The vet will usually scan the cat and see if he or she has a microchip in them, which would help track down the owners.

If there is no microchip, the vet will then go look in their records to see if they have a cat that fits the animal’s appearance as a patient on file.

If all else fails, the vet will then take the animal in for around three days to a week to see if anyone calls looking for him or her. If no one comes looking for the cat, the vet will call you to come and collect the cat again or hand them over to an animal shelter if you do not want to keep the cat yourself.

So, after you have done the right thing and have tried to find the possible owners of the affectionate stray cat, you are given the opportunity to adopt the sweet thing for yourself if you wish.

If this happens, and you decide to keep the affectionate stray cat, make sure that you now do get a microchip put in, as this may be a sign that they have wandered from home before and could potentially do so again. 

Can I Take In An Affectionate Stray Cat? 

Given that you have first taken the cat to a vet to confirm that he or she does not have any existing owners, and the vet has also confirmed that the animal is not sick and has no diseases, you absolutely can take in that sweet, affectionate, stray cat.

If the cat has also taken a liking to you in return, it is a great way to give that cat a new start in life

If you do take in an affectionate stray cat, there may be an adjustment period if they have been on the streets for a while. For example, you will most likely need to house train your new furry friend and show them where the litter box is now.

But overall, taking in a stray affectionate cat is a beautiful thing, and it will give both you and the cat a new best friend.

Even stray cats like tall perches to sit on and observe everyone. Additionally, cats like to scratch their claws on scratching posts. If you do take in a stray cat, you should think about buying a cat tree. A cat condo / cat tree is the best of both worlds since it combines tall platforms with scratching posts for the pillars on it. My cat, Charlotte (a domestic shorthair) loves her cat tree. I recommend this cat condo / cat tree from Amazon (affiliate link): Check Out This Awesome Cat Tree On Amazon!


Video: Stray Cat Story

Many stray cats are happy and affectionate cats who actually love people but somehow just found themselves in a sad situation. As long as you are cautious of the overall health and body language that the stray cat has, and you always give them the chance to approach you first, there is no reason why you should not interact with an affectionate stray cat.

If you get really lucky, you may even find yourself a new best friend in that sweet little affectionate cat, and you’ll get to bring him or her to their new forever home. Remember that it will always be best to take any stray cats, affectionate or not, that you are planning on owning, to a vet to ensure that they are healthy before taking them home.

So make sure that after using your best judgment on the situation, if the cat seems healthy and friendly, do not hold back the love from future affectionate stray cats that you come across.

If you enjoyed this article, check out a few other interesting articles:

Here are some of my favorite cat products

In addition to checking out some other More Meows articles, I hope you’ll check out some of my favorite cat products as well.  These are affiliate links, so if you end up using them, I’ll get a commission at no extra cost to you.  These are the products I really do find most helpful.

Litter Box:  I started out with normal, traditional litter boxes for my cat.  Then, I tried this automatic litter box on Amazon (affiliate link), which helped reduce the litter upkeep.  Finally, I am now a believer in the Litter-Robot 3 Connect on Amazon (affiliate link).  This robotic litter box is not for everyone based on the price tag, but for me the benefits (very little upkeep, works efficiently, clean, mobile app) far outweighed the cost. 

My Cat’s Litter-Robot 3 Connect (with night light on) – See the link above the photo!

Cat Tree:  I have purchased a couple of this Amazon Basics Cat Tree on Amazon (affiliate link).  My cat spends a lot of time on and around this cat tree, which I position near my sofa.  She uses the scratching posts on this cat tree multiple times a day, which means she is not scratching the sofa instead.

Cat Water Fountain:  I love this cat water fountain on Amazon (affiliate link).  There are three main benefits to having a water fountain like this for your cat.  The first benefit is that it keeps water running so that your cat doesn’t need to drink still water.  The second benefit is that it filters the water.  The third benefit is that it will keep your cat hydrated!

Christopher Carlson

I have an Domestic Shorthair Tabby named Charlotte. She is full of energy when she isn't sleeping most of the day. I share what I learn about cats on this site.

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