Conrad Strays has had a lot of experience with cats and would like to share some things we've learned.

  Don't be prejudice about boy cats! Read about Why Cats Spray.

  Important tips to help you introduce your new cat successfully! See our Acclimating A New Cat Page.

  If you feel that your cats must go outside, think about building them an outdoor enclosure. See our Outdoor Enclosure Page. (Coming Soon)

Cats with good medical care and nutrition can live to their teens or twenties!
You are what you eat!  We feed and recommend Hill's Science Diet.

 Never leave any strings or rubber bands exposed to cats 
Always keep things that they can swallow locked away. Always put toys up that have strings on them after you are done playing with them. Cats have barbs on their tongues that point backwards. So when they get a stringy object in their mouth, they usually can't spit it out. This can cause serious damage to their intestinal track and even death.

 Cats need to be vaccinated! 
(Please ask your veterinarian how your cat's vaccines should be tailored). Conrad Strays is hoping you will keep your cat indoors only. If they are never allowed outdoors, they only need FVRCP and Rabies vaccines. If you let them outdoors unsupervised, even for a minute, they may run into infected stray cats, we strongly recommend you vaccinate them for Feline Leukemia (FeLv). 
FIV, Feline Leukemia and FIP  have no cure!
There is a new vaccine for the deadly virus FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, feline aids, not related to human aids)  We do not recommend this vaccine for several reasons. Please consult with your veterinarian and get other local veterinarians opinions before giving your cat this new, not yet fully accepted vaccine.  This virus is spread from cat to cat through fighting and and deep bite wounds.
We recommend your cat be vaccinated against Feline Leukemia.
There is a vaccine for FIP but, because this virus is not yet fully understood, it is very controversial whether or not the vaccine works.
Feline Leukemia and FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) are spread through saliva, sneezing, urine, sharing litter boxes and sharing food bowls with infected cats.
These diseases take the lives of many cats in this area.  None of these diseases affect human beings. If you can, please educate your friends and neighbors about these viruses and keep your cats indoors.

 Collars, I.D. Tags and Microchips
15 million cats and dogs are euthanized in the U.S. each year because they did not have proper I.D. or were abandoned.
We strongly recommend that your cat wear a safe "breakaway" collar and identification tag at all times!  Even if your cat will be indoors only.  It only takes a moment for them to slip out the door! The collar and I.D. tag can guarantee that you will be reunited with your cat if he or she ever gets out. 
We also recommend microchiping your pets. This extra precaution helps if they loose their collar and I.D. tag. Shelters and Veterinary clinics can scan found pets and reunite them to their owners. This is a one time procedure. It is a tiny microchip encoded with your and your pet's information.   It is inserted under their skin with a syringe. It is like getting a vaccine. It isn't very expensive

 Litterbox Habits
Your new cat is litter box trained. If your cat ever urinates outside of it's litter box, you need to look at two main causes, a dirty litter box or a medical problem like a bladder infection or crystals.  A dirty litter box you can solve by scooping more often and keeping the box clean. To rule out a bladder infection, you need to take him or her to the veterinarian and get a urinalysis done. He or she most likely has a urinary infection and will need to be treated with antibiotics. If left untreated it could become very serious, even fatal. Cats like a clean litter box and will always use them if they are kept clean, if you ever catch them going outside of the litter box or you see them straining to urinate, you need to have them examined right away. Many people mistake this as a bad behavior problem, but they need to be examined for an infection first.

 Feeding and Nutrition
We have found that premium foods advertised as "low magnesium" and "low ash" are the best for healthy kidneys. This diet helps reduce or even eliminate urinary infections and blockages. The premium foods are more expensive per bag, but with almost all premium brands, you feed much less per meal than the traditional and cheap store brands. If you do the math, you end up paying the same amount in the end. We recommend "Hill's Science diet". It comes in a variety of choices and you can purchase them at Orchard Animal Clinic, other participating veterinary clinics, or Petco and Petsmart. We recommend Hill's because of its high quality ingredients and nutrition. We have had great success with Hill's and have reduced bladder problems by 100%. Tuna is extremely high in protein and harsh on cat's kidneys. It is ok to give your kitty small amounts of tuna water juice every once in a while, but excessive amounts will compromise their kidneys.

Yes, your cat will vomit up hairballs! We highly recommend the Hill’s Science Diet Hairball food! You can mix ½ the hairball food with ½ of the Hill’s Science Diet adult or Senior (depending on what your cat is on). This new food is wonderful! You will hardly ever have to pick up hairballs. Your cat will pass them in their feces. We also recommend giving your new cat a teaspoon of “Vaseline” or a hairball remedy you can buy at your veterinarian, at least every two weeks. This will help them pass the clumps of hair that accumulate in their stomachs from grooming. Believe it or not, most cats like the taste of Vaseline and it will not harm them in these small amounts. 

 Dental Care
Your cat will need it's teeth cleaned a few times in his or her lifetime. Your veterinarian will let you know when it is time. This is very beneficial to your cat and very important to its' health and longevity. If tooth and gum infections go untreated, your cat can have all kinds of medical problems including heart, kidney, brain, lungs and liver damage. An untreated infection can get into their bloodstream and affect these various organs.

 Cat Litters
There are many different kinds of cat litter out there. We like to use clay litter, clumping and regular.
Clumping litter lasts a long time and eliminates the urine/ammonia smell because you scoop out the urine as well as the feces. We like the Wal-Mart brand, it's cheap and it's easy to scoop (doesn't turn into cement).
We also use Yesterdays News for cats that seem to be bothered by clay litter dust.   There are other litters made of a variety of materials.  It is probably best to use what ever kind a cat became used to as a kitten.  If you change it, you should do so gradually.

 Outdoor hazards   
There are more hazards than we can list. But we will list what we can.
  • Anti-freeze- all it takes is a couple of drops to kill a cat. It has a sweet taste that animals like. All cars at one time or another leak anti-freeze. Neighbors cars may leak anti-freeze. Neighbors who hate cats or don't want cats pooping in their garden will kill cats with anti-freeze or pesticides. Some people change their anti-freeze and don't dispose of it properly.

  • Rat Poison - is made to taste very good to animals. It causes them to bleed internally and die if not treated very quickly. 

  • Herbicides/pesticides - are obvious poisons and get on a cat's fur as they walk through grass and bushes.  They may ingest it later when they are grooming.

  • Plants - many plants are poisonous to cats. One common example is lilies; Day Lilies, Easter Lilies and Onions can cause acute kidney failure.

  • People - cat haters are cat's worse enemy. Many shoot cats, poison them, give to people to put in dog fights, trap and take them to the shelter to be euthanized, or dump them off in the desert or mountains. Whether they know the cat belongs to someone or not.

  • Coyotes, foxes and Great Horned Owls - All are common in the Boise area and kill many cats.

  • Cars/traffic - Too many animals are killed by cars.

  • Other car hazards - fan belts or running over your own pet in your driveway. (a man recently ran over his 16 year old kitty, so sad)

  • Disease - from other cats or animals such as FIV (feline aids), FeLV (feline Leukemia), FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) and rabies. Also many strains of upper respiratory viruses can be caught by neighbor cats or strays.

  • Other cats- fighting and spreading diseases.

  • Parasites - Many different worms, fleas, ticks, mites and ringworm.

  • Dogs - Many breeds of dogs will chase and kill cats without hesitation. Even if the dog is trying to be playful, the cat may be hurt or killed trying to escape.


Copyright 1999-2008 Conrad Strays, Inc