What should I do if I find a stray cat?

What should I do if I find a stray cat?

Cats are well known for their independence and love of exploring their surroundings, which sees them wandering as far as they please. However, they may sometimes need a little help finding their way home or indeed, finding a home.

If you find a stray cat, there are a few things you can do to get them home, or find them a new one. Argos Pet Insurance has put together some tips:

Keep them calm

It may seem like a big task but coaxing them into a carrier, or a makeshift carrier, and covering it with a blanket to ease stress is the best way to calm a cat that may panic in an unknown environment. Never carry a cat in your arms as you are at risk of being bitten or scratched.

Ask neighbours

Knocking on doors in the local area to spread the word is the best place to start after finding a cat, as it may live in the local area.

Check for a microchip

Unlike dogs, cats aren’t legally required to be microchipped. It is strongly recommended that all cats be microchipped, however, so it’s likely that a cat with a home will have one.

If you find a stray cat, take it to the local vet who will be able to check. If it is microchipped, this will help to reunite your new furry friend with their owners.

Get advice from local services

Taking a lost cat to the local vet or animal shelter (if your country has no kill shelters!) is the best thing to do. They may be able to trace the owner or help with rehoming the cat.

The RSPCA offers downloadable materials on their website, such as paper collars and ‘found pet’ posters. You can attach a paper collar to the cat with a note, which may help to find its owner.

Use lost and found registers

There are a number of online resources that help to reunite owners with their missing pets.

Pets Located is a free website where you can register a stray cat as found, and also see whether its owner has reported it as lost. If there is no response after a couple of days, put posters up in the local area as someone may still be searching for their missing pet.

Another option is to contact the Cats Protection. They have a Lost and Found Register on their website and will happily assist you.

Know when to leave a cat alone

If a cat doesn’t seem very approachable, it may be feral. In which case, it’s usually happy to live outside, as long as it’s healthy. If the cat appears to be in immediate danger and you need to intervene, always take precautions to avoid being bitten or scratched.

In some cases, local councils or animal charities may have a programme in place to neuter feral cats, so get in touch with them to check.

What to do if your cat comes home injured

If your cat looks like they might be injured or is not taking the food or water you’ve given them, make sure you take them to the vet to get checked over. Pet insurance may be able to help with any unexpected vet bills.

What if I’ve lost my cat?

We’ve got some great tips on how to search for your lost pet effectively here. Pet insurance isn’t just for when your pet falls ill; it can also cover the cost of advertising a lost or stolen pet. Visit www.argospetinsurance.co.uk for more information on our pet insurance policies.

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20 thoughts on “What should I do if I find a stray cat?

  1. cat9984 says:

    Kommando Kitty jumped into our window well (twice) trying to get to the window. She was only about 4 weeks old. My husband picked her up, which made her very happy. My daughter took her door-to-door. No luck. Ran an ad in the paper. Only result was a couple of disappointed people looking for their cats. She wouldn’t let us touch her for several days. We took her in to be spayed, no chip. Here she is a few years later, writing a blog.

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  3. jebusandandrea says:

    Good pointers! My worse nightmare. Grew up with 15 cats, now I just have 2 but I’m still in the habit of doing head counts when I leave and get back home. Since I volunteer with a cat rescue group shelter it’s a great habit to have. My husband thinks I’m paranoid but my childhood kitties would escape into the hallway of my building. A few times my sister locked the cats out.

  4. Crystal says:

    When Daisy Mae came to us it was a unique situation. Daisy Mae’s mom brought her to when she was around 4 weeks old. Daisy Mae and her Mom found us. Great post.

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