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What to do if you find a cat

10 August 2017
What to do if you find a cat. Each week we get calls from people who have found a cat and don’t know what to do. The cat might be one that they have seen around for a while, or has suddenly appeared and seems to be around frequently. Here are some steps that we recommend you take before contacting us. 1. Don’t Feed Cats are very good at pretending to be ravenous, and so will very rarely turn down a good meal. We strongly recommend against feeding the cat as it will encourage it to keep coming back, which may eventually lead to the cat no longer going back to its own home. Another reason not to feed is in case the cat has medical issues that can be triggered by certain foods; IBD, colitis, allergies, etc. The only time we would recommend feeding is if paper collaring and scanning have already been done without an owner being found and the cat is very obviously thin. *Cats are lactose intolerant so never give a cat cow’s milk* 2. Paper collar Popping a paper collar on the cat is the quickest way to identify whether the cat has an owner or not. The collar should include your phone number so that the owner can call you to confirm that the cat is owned. Instructions on creating a paper collar can be found here – http://www.cats.org.uk/uploads/documents/COM_1032_Lost_and_found_collar_print_out_AW.pdf?fref=gc 3. Check for a chip This is the next quickest way to locate an owner. If you are able to, take the cat to the vets and ask them to scan it for a chip. If one is found, they will contact the owners on your behalf. If you are unable to take the cat to the vets, contact us on 01788 570010 and we will send one of our volunteers out – please note though that due to the number of requests that we get, it may be a week or longer before we are able to visit. 4. Advertise/Ask around Take a picture of the cat and ask neighbours if they know who the cat belongs to. If you have a local Facebook group, create a post asking if anyone recognises the cat. Ask local shops/vet clinics if they will allow you to put up a poster. Add the cat to Pet Search UK. 5. Contact us Once all of the above measures have been taken, contact us on 01788 570010 and we will attempt to locate the cats’ owner by advertising and cross checking with reported “Lost” cats. We will advertise the cat on our Facebook page and Website for a minimal time of two weeks. 6. Re-home‚Äč Cats Protection will only endeavour to find the cat a new home once we are satisfied that all the above measures have been taken and if it is the right thing to do for the cat. Some cats that are genuinely stray or feral, and have been living in the area for years will find it too distressing to be moved. Our volunteers will assess the situation to determine what is in the best interests of the cat. If the cat is not neutered, we will arrange for this once all attempts at seeking an owner have been exhausted. If Cats Protection does determine that it is in the best interests of the cat to be re-homed, we will do this via our direct re-homing program if no branch space is available. The person who reported the cat to us will be asked to sign a form relinquishing the cat into our care. This is purely procedural.