The first step is to gain their trust. You might be going with good intentions but you might end up enraging them. So for the first few days, give them food from a distance, once they trust you, they will let you pat them and even treat them.
Choose a spot. Make sure the spot is not closer to your or anyone’s house. And feed them at the same spot every day at the same time range. This will help them to know where they need to reach and around what time of the day that helps develop discipline.
Avoid feeding them in a crowded area or near a place where kids play or people walk.
Don’t feed sweet or high sugar food items to them.
Do not feed them leftovers- typical Indian food is either fried or contains spices. So better to give them boiled food with salt and ghee for taste. A healthier option would be rice, daal, daliya, boiled vegetables. You can give them bread with milk if running low on ration.
Feed old animals and small puppies/kittens or the young ones first and then the adults. Every animal has a unique character, and you’ll get to know it slowly. Once you know them, you’ll know which ones are afraid of other animals so you need to feed them away from the others.
Feed one animal at a time or the count that you can handle to avoid any fights while feeding them.
Never feed two different packs at the same time. The same pack can be handled but different packs might get violent.
Do not overfeed and underfeed them. Each animal has different needs.
Never feed them bones. Stray animals get too excited with the smell of bones so just gulp it rather than properly chewing it, which gets stuck in their throat and you end up doing more bad than good.
Never throw food at anyone, other animals will jump in to snatch and it might get violent.
Remember you’re not only dealing with the stray animals but with also a small section of the locality who may raise objections and the only way to deal with it is polite communication. Remember there are no laws that prohibit people from feeding animals, it is both helpful and lawful since it confines them to one particular area they belong to.
Your job does not end up on feeding animals. Make sure the area is clean and no food is left behind.
Avoid any plastic or any cheap container that is likely to be lined with chemicals that may affect the animal or the environment. Prefer steel or mud containers to feed.
Once you start feeding, be consistent. Or don’t start at all. They look up at you and might feel sad when you’re not around.
As you start knowing them, there would be times when you might notice one of them is limping or maybe not eating properly or not feeling well and you will naturally get worried. So it would be good if you keep some basic vet medicines handy at home so you can give them when needed. Remember, once you start feeding them, their health/vaccination/sterilization also becomes your responsibility naturally.