An injured stray cat question.
So last night there was a meowing outside my door all night. When I awoke in the morning, I went to investigate and there was a cat on my deck. It is a very beautiful, all white cat with light blue eyes. I took a seat in one of my deck chairs and then it came up to me and I put my hand out. Like a regular house cat would, it rubbed up against my hand and I proceeded to pet the cat for around 10 minutes, in which time I noticed there was a gash on the upper part of its leg and the blood was dry. The cat is not limping at all and it seems to move healthy. I went to the store and bought the most expensive dry cat food I could find and now the cat has been sitting on my deck all day eating drinking and sleeping.
Should I let the cat heal naturally or take it to a veterinarian? I am most likely going to put fliers out, as well, for a missing cat because it seems a little too friendly to be a stray cat and the cat really wants to come in my house. In the morning I'm going to buy some sort of wipes for cats so I can clean this kitty. If no one claims the cat, I'm going to take it in permanently. Even though I have never owned a cat in my adult life, I know how to take care of cats as far as worms, fleas, ticks, and vaccinations go.
I applaud you for being willing to try to find this kitty’s original home and for being willing to take the cat in if you cannot find the cat’s owner. I certainly agree with you that a cat this friendly is unlikely a stray and may have an owner searching for him/her out there somewhere. Putting up flyers is a wonderful idea.
While most wounds will heal on their own, I would still advise you to bring the kitty to a veterinarian. A vet would be able to better determine the source of the wound, such as whether it was a bite or a scratch, and help determine whether there is any risk that the cat has been exposed to rabies, and subsequently, if you may have been exposed as well.
The vet could also provide recommendations for wound care, especially if there is any risk of infection developing. Also, if your flyers do not prove successful in tracking down the cat’s owner, you could request that the veterinarian scan the kitty for a microchip, which, if he/she has one, will help you find the owner.
If you are unable to find this kitty’s owner, the cat would need to have all of the treatments you had mentioned and should also be tested for FELV/FIV. With stray cats, or any cats whose veterinary medical history cannot be determined, it is best to treat them the same way you would treat new kittens with proper testing and preventative care. This, of course, includes testing for feline diseases, deworming, treating the cat with cat flea medicine, and giving all necessary vaccines. So, you see, there are several reasons why the best thing to do would be to take the cat to a veterinarian.
Again, thank you for taking the time to write and for doing all you can for this cat in need.