What to do if you find a cat:
1. First take a step back and have a good look! 👀
- Is the cat feral, or stray? (see our handy dandy poster above! What help can be provided depends on this.)
- Is the cat healthy, and in good condition? If it is, it may be someone's pet cat. If not, and you believe it to be urgent, contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or contact animal welfare/local vets.
- Taking a photo will help you to remember what you saw, compare the cat to lost cats and help you spread the word.
- Take note of anything that could be used to identify the cat - markings, sex (if you can tell), collar and/or age and size.
3. If possible and the cat is not feral, take the cat to the vets to be scanned for a microchip and to see if he/she is neutered.
- Share with your neighbours, and spread the word locally. A lot of cats may simply be owned nearby, or may be your neighbours new pets having a nosy for the first time.
- Unless the cat is in danger, injured or ill there is no need to remove the cat or take it in while you search for an owner.
- If your local searches prove unfruitful, it's time to widen the search. Contact lost and found pages on social media (such as our own lost and found page!), and contact your local vets to notify them of a lost cat.
- At this point, you may wish to keep some identifying details for yourself - you should always try to obtain proof of ownership when someone claims a cat, even if that is as simple as providing details on the cat or pictures which show the cats identifying markings. If no markings exist, you may withhold sex or neutered status as part of proof of ownership. You should always try to use a generic area name/title for your search, rather than a very specific location of the cat.
6. But no owner was found! 😥
- If no owner was found, you may wish to contact your local rescues, charities or vets for advice about rehoming the cat. Especially at certain times of the year, many rescues struggle for space, but you may be able to get the cat onto a waiting list. Please be understanding, especially from march - september time as this is peak kitten season and all rescues and charities struggle during this time.
- If you reside within the BT41-BT44 area, contact us for neutering assistance in the meantime (email@example.com - remember that a female can become pregnant from 4 months of age, so this is important even for very young strays!). If you have contacted our own lost and found, contact again to pass on a neutering request for you when an appropriate stray wait (ideally 2 weeks) has taken place before neutering. The stray wait period only begins when our own lost and found has been contacted to share the cat, to ensure adequate efforts have been made to locate an owner.
While we cannot help every cat due to our limited capacity, we will try our best and can at least provide neutering assistance in the event of stray cats going unclaimed.