So you’re wondering how to take care of a stray cat in Taiwan. Maybe you find a kitten on the street, in bad shape, and you want to rescue and adopt it. I found myself in that situation, and I want to share my experience with you, in case the same happens to you.
To Taiwan People Love Animals?
I know if you’re Taiwanese, you might find that question a bit insulting and you’re thinking the answer should be an obvious “Yes!”.
Taiwanese people love animals. And they’ll do their best to care for stray cats and dogs. Most of the stray animals are well-fed, neutered, and relatively healthy. There are plenty of shelters and animal control agencies that take care of stray animals too. It’s not unusual to see fat cats hanging out at parks just hanging out.
So yes, Taiwanese people love animals, especially cats, and they will always try their best to take care of every cat they see.
Adopt or Buy:
People love cute breeds, and there are plenty of pet shops selling animals that have specific breeds. The problem with that is all cats are… cats. It’s a bit sad that the “ugly” cats are not wanted while the cute ones get all the love and attention. Personally, I think all cats are cute, and I don’t really care how they look.
If you have the same idea, then I encourage you to adopt cats. Check out shelters, there are usually lots of kittens looking for new homes, and it doesn’t cost much. We’ll talk a bit more about the adoption process for foreigners a bit later.
Rescue a Cat from the Street:
Another option to get a cat is to rescue one from the street. This happened to me, more by chance.
And this is the story of how we got a new family member. It was a cold rainy day, and as we walked down the street to our local Familymart, we heard some desperate meows coming from under a parked car. Taking a look under, we spotted a miserable kitty sitting in a puddle, asking for food. We got her some cans (a great thing about Taiwan is you can find pet food in every convenience store) and she hungrily gobbled them up.
Unfortunately, when we tried to grab her, she hid inside the car’s engine. After crawling on our bellies in the mud and trying to find out where she went, we decided to give up and wait until she comes out again. Muddy and wet, we were determined. On our second attempt, some locals brought a net and were trying to catch her with it, but she would refuse to come out from under the car.
After a while, the locals had to move on with their lives, but they handed us the net. We waited, patiently, until she came far enough out from under the car to put the net over her, put her in a box, and take her home. She did bite me, I won’t hold it against her. After a quick dry bath, some food, and a warm blanket, it didn’t take her long to become friends with us.
Thankfully, I already had a carrier cage because of our other furry friend that lives with us. Stray animals can potentially carry all kinds of diseases; rabies, fleas, worms, and all kinds of mites. Luckily for us, this kitty, though malnourished and stinky, was relatively healthy.
Here’s a picture of her when we first rescued her:
She was quite scared, initially, but it didn’t take long for her to warm up to us. We got a litter box and she used it in a matter of minutes, purring happily.
Find a Cat Veterinarian in Taiwan:
When you rescue a stray cat, naturally it needs a check-up as soon as possible. Chances are you don’t want a cat full of flees and other stuff living in your house with you.
We took the kitty to the same veterinarian we took our rabbit, and he did a quick check, as well as rubbing some anti-flea and worm medicine into her skin. She was 1.33 kilos. Most vets can run through the list of check-ups stray kitties require.
Here’s the link to the vet we went to, his English is good too.
The great thing about vets in Taiwan is they often have contracts with adoption or rescue agencies, so when they treat a stray cat or dog the fees are much lower than usual.
We paid 500 NT, I think, for the check-up and medicine. Neutering and spaying are cheaper too (cheaper than a rabbit!). There are also plenty of vets, so there’s no problem finding someone to care for your kitty.
But our vet visits aren’t over, of course. She still needs shots and other treatments. She’s only five months old (what the vet said) and still quite skinny from being on the streets. With time, I’m sure she’ll develop into a beautiful and healthy cat. Now we just need to comfort our rabbit, who voices his disapproval by angrily stomping under the couch.
Update: We’re done all the mandatory vaccines. There are different sets, but it’s usually between 2000 – 3000 for the important ones.
How to Take Care of Stray Cat in Taiwan:
Taking care of a stray cat is the same as any other kind of cat. All cats need their vaccinations, especially against rabies. So if you’re wondering how to take care of a stray cat in Taiwan, it’s actually pretty easy. Once the mandatory stuff is done (vaccines, bath, etc) that’s all you have to do.
Food and Litter:
Taiwan has cat food everywhere. Finding food for cats is pretty easy, the same goes for litter. I recommend finding a litterbox with a roof, avoid the Pet Park stores, they’re crazy expensive. It’s much cheaper to buy food online if you can.
A few days and one bath later:
Can You Adopt a Cat in Taiwan as a Foreigner?
I reader asked me a question about adopting cats in Taiwan as a foreigner, so I thought I would update this post with more information. As it turns out, officially adopting through an agency like a shelter is quite difficult as a foreigner. I’m not sure the exact requirements, but you do need to have a local ID, I don’t think an ARC will make the cut.
They’re quite strict because they want the animals to have permanent homes, and there are fines too. For example, you need to get them vaccinated for rabies every year, and if you don’t, you’ll be fined. Obviously it’s hard to find foreigners that will never leave the country, so a local ID is needed.
But all hope is not lost. You can still adopt a cat through friends. Here is one local Facebook group where you can adopt cats. Just make sure to get them vaccinated, at least the mandatory ones. Keep in mind, it would help if you have a local Taiwanese friend to help with the details and communication. Overall though, if you find a kitten on the street, there’s no rule saying that can’t bring it home.
And, if you plan to leave Taiwan, flying with a pet can be a bit of a hassle, and an expensive one at that. Make sure you know what you’re getting into. Be responsible!
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So now you know how to take care of a stray cat in Taiwan. If you have any questions or want to share some experience
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Leave a comment if you have any questions about rescuing or adopting animals in Taiwan.