Stray Cats, Animal Shelters, Petfinder
What to do with a Stray Cat? (this page)
Also see: What is a feral cat?
What is the difference between animal welfare agencies?
Visit our Site Category: Strays, Shelters, Helping
~~Scroll down for Helpful Links to Petfinder, Shelters, Cat Breeders~~
If you find a stray cat (or he finds you!), try to find his owners. That’s what you would wish for if your pet disappeared, right? Anyone can lose their cat…he could have slipped out an open door and sprinted off. Just because he appears to be a stray at that moment, doesn’t automatically make his owners “bad people” or indicate that he was dumped. But…sometimes those are reasons why the cat is homeless. If the cat looks hungry or filthy, chances are he is recently lost as living outdoors is very rough on a house cat.
Here are ideas on how to help the stray cat:
1) It’s possible he’s not lost. He might be an outdoor cat. A unique idea: put a collar on him with your phone number attached somehow and if he belongs to someone, maybe they’ll call.
2) Call the neighbors. Alert the neighborhood kids — they know the local pets.
3) If the cat is tame enough to catch, load him into a box or carrier and take him to be scanned for a microchip ID tag. If no tag…
4) Call the local shelters. If possible, try to care for the cat yourself while you’re doing this detective work. Some shelters or humane societies will hold strays for only a few days and may euthanize them after that. If the shelter is a no-kill facility, and they agree to take the cat, you have that as an option. Otherwise, while you are playing the foster parent, keep any pets you have away from the stray cat for various safety reasons.
5) Place posters (try to include a photo of the cat) in pet stores, vet offices, grocery stores, schools, anywhere that has a bulletin board.
6) Check classifieds for lost pets. Run an ad. If you’re concerned about finding the true owner, don’t list a specific identifying detail of the cat. If someone calls, have them give you the “detail”. Then again, you may be thrilled to have a person calling who actually wants the cat.
7) Call people you know and tell them about the stray cat. Ask if they are interested in adopting him or if they know someone who might be. Pass the word around.
8) Use the internet and your social networking sites to broaden the range of people and friends you are trying to make aware of the stray cat situation. Post a photo of the cat, too.
9) If the owner is missing in action, continue caring for the cat until a new home is found or you decide to take him to a shelter or humane society. Please don’t dump him on some country road. Sadly, you may discover very few people want to adopt a stray cat.
10) Or how about – ADOPT HIM YOURSELF!!
FIND LOCAL SHELTERS http://theshelterpetproject.org/shelters
SEARCH FOR A CAT http://theshelterpetproject.org/search
To find low-cost spay/neuter services near you call SPAY/USA at 1-800-248 SPAY or visit http://www.pets911.com.
Jessie says: I was super lucky to end up with my human, Gina. I kept hanging around her house in the bushes because she kept feeding me! That was a free meal – I wasn’t stupid! And every day she’d sit outside and pet me, too!
Gina says: For five weeks I tried to find her owner or to find someone who’d adopt her. It was a stressful situation plus having her running loose outside made me worry about her safety, getting pregnant, etc. Most people have no desire to take in a stray cat, I discovered. And Jessie is such a sweet, tame, clean cat that I wanted her to be a house cat for someone. Well, that someone ended up being me and I’m so happy I made that decision! She’s so lovable!