21.2.2017 09:53

Stray cats – are they really dangerous?

”Stray cats are dangerous”, ”you can’t touch them”, ”they have diseases”, ”you can die.”

Does this look like dangerous, and that it would kill you?

I hear a lot people saying those words. That stray cats will bite you, or scratch you, and therefore you should avoid them. Because they will spread sicknesses and in worst case they might kill you.
So basically you can watch them, but not touch them.

Usually if child is going to touch these cats, you can hear their mom yelling “stop that! Don’t move!” and at this point that child is already next to the cat.
So what happens next? Well obviously the cat gets scared, and might bite your little sweetheart.
Is it cats fault? No, it is your own fault. You scream, and cat is hearing it 10 times louder than you do.

My opinion

This cat is one example of those I didn’t even try to get closer. Definitely didn’t want me to do so 😀

As you can probably guess, I have totally different opinion about stray cats dangerousness.
Stray cats are not angry, and won’t attack people randomly.
In other words; you can definitely touch them safely.
Of course this depends a lot in which country you are in, and more importantly how does the cat look like. I won’t recommend you to touch cat with open wounds, even I avoid them.

Generally, those stray cats are not more dangerous than your own cutie in home.
Are you aware, that if your cutie bites or scratch you, you can get diseases from that also?

General caution

Of course, with stray cats, you need to be more careful. Remember to have general caution, not think too much, and neither to think too less.

General caution is not important because it would like to kill you by biting or scratching. But because they are actually more afraid, than home cats who are familiar with people petting them all the time.

You can’t think, that stray cat likes you, and that it won’t bite you if you are not careful.
If you disturb it while sleeping, it will feel it is in danger, and might attack you.
If you run towards it (sorry she/he is too hard to write all the time), or let your sweetheart run towards it and grab its tail… of course it will attack you or your little sweetheart (who is always so good, so it is obviously cat reason to have little wound).

But who wouldn’t attack in that situation?

This one also wanted to be alone, there was two of them, in one smaller area, definitely avoiding people.

I mean, what if someone twice (even more) bigger than you would run towards you, crazy “omg so cute” smile on their face? Or even scream like that. What would be your first reaction?
Run away? Well what if you can’t find any place to hide?
Or I can also ask, what would be your first reaction, if some random human would run towards you? And grab you? You wouldn’t do anything? Just let them touch you?
Even if that someone would’ve waken you up from your beauty dreams from your own bed?
Stray cats don’t have home, so for them, that little corner might be place to go. So of course if you try to pet them while they are asleep, they won’t like it.

The thing, what I am trying to say is, that you can’t behave like idiot towards cats, actually towards any animal.
If you are scared, that you will do something wrong, maybe it is better not to do it. Cats can feel, that you are afraid, and they might think there’s something to be afraid of.


This is one what I hear a lot. Even my mom have told me in our travels, that stray cats carry diseases which they can spread to humans. Well mommy, and others, that’s not quite true. It’s very rare, that disease from cat would get to human. And most of those diseases, which cats might have, won’t even stick to human. Some of those diseases you might get, but it is more likely, that you get same disease from spoiled food, not from the cat.

Now I know someone is thinking about Rabies, so let me tell you, it is very low percent possibility, that you would get rabies from stray cat. Not even if it will bite you or scratch you. Just wash the wound with water and soap, that prevents you don’t get infection nor rabies. But if you are afraid of diseases, which you can also get from your own home cat, then just don’t touch them. But also don’t try to say for cat persons ”OMG how can you? You will get some deadly sickness! Please don’t touch me afterwards, I don’t want to get same disease.” PEACE. You won’t get anything. And also that cat person with you won’t probably get anything 🙂

Found great article about this, from here.

What is most important?

Most important is not giving them food and trying to be friends that way.
Well, it can work (who would not love food), but you should not actually feed stray cats.
And the fact, that actually even food is not trustful way to pet stray cats. If you feed them, then same time pet them, they might not like it. Or if you feed them, then run after them, not good either.
Cats are selfish, so probably after they get their stomach full, they will walk away.
Probably not thanking you in any way.

How to gain trust then?

Slowly walking towards me 🙂

Each cat person have probably own way to gain trust from cats. But some of the guidelines are same, but what works for some cat, might not work with another one. Generally speaking, I would say, that if you think already before approaching stray cat ”this won’t work.” Then it will not work. As I told before, cats sense things easily, and they might even sense how you already think. So they will not even try to get along with you.

This is how I do it

I don’t walk totally next to the cat, or front of it. I will leave couple meters between us, and then just squat down or even sit on the ground.
Then I just wait. Maybe I lend a hand, but I won’t touch it, before I know it wants it.
You have to let the cat know, that they can trust you. That they can do “the first step” towards you.
After they trust you, don’t be too hard with petting them. They are not used to it, they are not home cats, they are street cats. Usually people don’t pet them, they try to avoid them, maybe even kick them, so don’t be too eager.

Sometimes stray cats might come towards you, and meow desperately, and when you try to touch them, they will attack you. This is something you should be careful with, and I would recommend you not to touch before you are sure what you are going to do. Because in some cases meowing can actually be sign, that they don’t want you close. Or that they actually have some disease, and that’s why they act in unexpected way.

For cat person it is easier to recognize what kind of meowing is safe one, and which is not. So still, stray cats are not normally attacking types, but it can happen. And usually if they attack, it is because of you, not because of the cat.

So why this came to my mind right now?

This came to my mind actually yesterday evening, when I wrote this down into my phone, and then I was just too tired to move text here.

But I went to see sunset to the place where I have visited already several times.
This time I just didn’t see sunset, because one cat was so comfortable with me, so I just couldn’t leave it there without petting it. Or maybe I just was too comfortable with the cat? 😉
I have visited same place several times, and also seeing same cats several times.
I am quite sure, that cat what came to me yesterday, was same cat as one earlier time which came towards me. That time, I just wanted to see sunset and left quickly.

This is the one, with who I spend couple hours 🙂 And actually looked straight to my phone camera when I wanted to take pic, almost like thanking me for being there for little longer 🙂

Yesterday I didn’t care the sunset, I wanted to make the cat happy. You know, also make myself happier.
Cats relief stress, and pain, and actually for a while I was feeling perfect.

So I went there, sat to the ground near one cat. Then it slowly walked towards me, slowly I gained the trust and finally we ended up sitting there for couple hours.
At one moment, older lady walked towards us, cat got scared, and I was sure it would’ve ran away. But instead of running away, it moved another side of me, leaned against my leg, and just lie down. It knew, that I would protect it.

For some people this might sound weird, but for me, it was awesome moment.
To know, that one fearful cat actually trusted me.
That lady also asked “is that your cat?
And I just smiled and said “No, I know just how to get cats to trust.


  • Nimetön Nimetön

    There is a stray cat….she always come towards rubbing at head aall her with my legs what does it mean can I pet thee cat now or is it thee right moment?

    • Katri

      I think it is safe to say, that you can pet that cat. But always be careful. 🙂
      Even though I have seen a lot of stray cats, pet those cats a lot, I still am super careful, and if they do sudden movements I take my hand off because I don’t want to get bitten. 😀

  • Fatima

    Thanks a lot for this article. It was so helpful! I have a cat that I found in the street 2 years ago. I didn’t know anything about cats back then but I learned a lot after getting him.

    I found a mom cat and two of her kittens just 2 days ago. I was getting back from the gym that day and she was at the bottom of the staircase in my building. She just stared at me and meowed as if she wants something (kinda high pitched demanding type meow) from me. I was a bit wary and didn’t go near her. But as I was going up to the top floor she came up with me and I saw she had her two kittens on the staircase near the rooftop. So I’ve been feeding her for the past 2 days and I turned one of my nephew’s old baby bathtubs into a little house for her and the kittens. Today she kept head butting me and rubbing up against my legs and shoulders when I sat down. She let me pet her and hold her kittens too. She seems so friendly. There wasn’t any aggression or anything at all. Just soft meows and a littler louder meows if she got hungry lol.

    Anyway, my point was that I know she and the kittens must have a lot of parasites on them and I’ve been overthinking about how I might get them on me and then onto my very indoor kitty and all that. So your blog made me feel much better about this being normal I guess? I wash my hands very well after touching them. And I just saw the kittens have some sort of tiny worms on their fur (eekkkk) but I’ll be having a vet to come and check on them asap.

    It’s ok if I sit next to them and pet them on the head right until then right? Please reassure me D: I have a cat but I’m very inexperienced with street cats…at the same time I love kitties and feel so heart broken for the ones without homes.

    I’ll be trying my best to find a home for these three soon

  • Katri

    Thank you for your comment!
    It really made me smile, to realize that there are such good people in the world as you! <3
    That is really so sweet you to take care of the cat and her little babies!
    Please have the vet to check the cats, I can't say anything for sure, but I would say, that you and your own cat will be fine as you have been washing your hands carefully.

    If you want to be extra cautious, before checking the cats with the vet, maybe you could buy some gloves and with those pet the cats?
    Though, I am such a cat lover, that I have never used any gloves or anything when meeting stray cats – I have not really even thought about worms or anything. Haha, that is actually a very good point to considerate next time! :'D

    And yes, I am sure it is totally ok to pet the cats until you have had the vet come by. 🙂 Just make sure to wash your hands (as you have done already now), and just make sure that if the cats have some open wounds, that you will not touch those. Not only, because there might be bacterias, but also, because it can be something that the cats get triggered and might not like it.

    Other than that, you will be fine!
    And I'll say it once again, you are an amazing person for taking care of those cats!
    Keep me posted! 🙂


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