Found a Cat

It's common to come across an unfamiliar cat in your day to day life that you might suspect has strayed from it's home. Often, it might not be immediately obvious whether it is stray, feral or in fact an owned cat with a sense of adventure. By their nature, most cats are inclined to roam around the area surrounding their home, so what should you do if you've found a cat?

What do I do if i've found a cat?

First, work out if the cat is an owned pet, a stray or feral. They look very similar so it can be hard to tell, If the cat you have found is friendly, you might be able to check for an identification tag. If the animal appears healthy, doesn't look undernourished and has a well groomed appearance, then it may belong to someone who is missing their pet.

Check the cat's identity

If there are signs of ownership such as a collar or identity tag, locate it's owner information and contact the owner to let them know you have found their pet. If you are unable to contact the cat's owner you can take the cat to your nearest vet practice, where it can be scanned for an identity microchip. This will not cost you anything and could greatly assist with returning the cat to it's home.

Identifying a socialised pet

If you're unable to contact the owner and you can't take the cat to a vet you can contact Cherwell CP as we may be able to assist with collecting and reuniting the cat with it's owner. In Cherwell, you can call Pat on 07716 596212 or Stephanie on 07759620055 for advice, alternatively you can call the Cats Protection National Information Line on 03000 121 212.

Stray cats

Stray cats are socialised domestic cats that either don’t have, or don’t appear to have, an owner. Be mindful that even if a cat looks 'stray' it may be a neighbourhood cat that’s worked out that by looking hungry it can bag itself an extra meal!

  • May be friendly - if they’re a little shy they will often approach cautiously, given time and encouragement.
  • Alone - will almost always be alone.
  • Ear tips intact - won’t have their ear ‘tipped’, even if neutered.
  • Near houses - more likely to be found in peoples’ gardens and trying to get into the house!
  • Microchipped - could be microchipped if they are a missing pet.
  • Appeared recently - may have recently appeared and might look lost or disorientated.

Help a stray cat find it's home

For advice on what to do visit cats.org.uk/straycat

Feral cats

Feral cats are the same species of cat as our pet cats, but are not socialised to humans or the domestic environment. This means they behave like wild animals.

  • Not friendly - to socialised to humans so naturally find us threatening, so they can be very hard to spot and very fearful.
  • Won’t come close, even wth encouragement.
  • Lives alone or with others - sometimes, but not always, lives in a colony with other feral cats.
  • Ear tip - may have their left ear ‘tipped’ to show that they have been neutered and returned.
  • Away from houses - Avoids human contact and often has a hiding spot away from populated areas.
  • Not microchipped - Most feral are not microchipped.
  • Permanent - More likely to have set up a long term, permanent home or shelter.

Found a feral cat?

For advice on what to do visit cats.org.uk/feralcat


What is a feral cat? The term feral describes members of a domesticated species that have reverted to living as wild animals. Feral cats have had little or no contact with humans. They can never be tamed and this should never be attempted because they are very fearful of people and it would seriously compromise their welfare. Feral cats live alone – or in groups called colonies – and are found in towns, cities and rural areas. The best solution for feral cats is for them to be neutered and returned to their familiar environment.

Cat traps can be used to catch feral or stray cats or those who are simply lost. They must be set in a secure location and monitored. We hire out these traps for £20. We would be more than happy to offer advice as to whether a cat trap is needed in your scenario. Call 07759620055.

Cat traps allow you to catch the cat safely without harm to yourself or the cat. We often work with farms, stables and small holdings to TNR (trap, neuter and re-release) colonies of feral cats to stop the amount of feral unwanted kittens being born. Neutering these cats does not only stop the unwanted production of kittens it also increases the health of the feral cats and inturn creates better "mousers".

Occasionally we catch feral cats in urban areas and often they cannot return to the same area, so in this case we look for farms, stables etc to re-release these cats once they have bee neutered. If you feel you have the correct environment for one or more of these cats please let us know! (These cats will earn their keep in return for shelter & some food).