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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As it starts to get colder, a stray cat can pop into your life without a moment’s notice. Oftentimes, they’re adorable and irresistible leading animal lovers to want to do their best and invite them into their homes. However, that isn’t always the best idea.  In this week’s CBS3 Pet Project, Carol Erickson explains how to successfully identify a stray cat as a potential pet and what measures to take before inviting them into your home.

Carol Erickson and Jan Carabeo discuss ways to identify if a feral or stray cat has the potential to become a pet. Behaviorists say that indications such as their alertness, sociability, and temperament. If they score high on that then there’s a good chance the cat is inclined towards domestication. If the cat is comfortable with entering your home without being prompted it is more likely that they are used to humans and feel safe in their presence.

Hissing or reluctance to approach a person or enter a home suggests that the cat won’t necessarily be a success. Introducing a stray cat into a home that already has a cat or cats can be difficult and Carol says people should be mindful of that situation. Also, Carol recommends being mindful that not all cats wish to be indoors and offers methods to make outdoor cats comfortable during the winter season.

Credit: CBS3