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Have you found a cat?

15 February 2022
Have you found a cat? Firstly, it is important to consider whether the cat is definitely lost or a stray, or whether it belongs to a neighbour. Cats are inquisitive and like to explore their neighbourhood, so it is possible that a cat that is hanging around and meowing near your door does have a home.

If the cat will let you approach him, make a paper collar saying "if this is your cat, please call this number" and fasten the collar with a small piece of Sellotape. Be careful not to Sellotape around the whole collar as this could be dangerous if the cat were to get caught in anything. If nobody calls within a few days, the cat may be lost. If you have a secure cat carrier, take the cat to the nearest vet to scan for a microchip. If the cat does not have a microchip, make up some notices saying "cat found" with your details. You could print some physical notices and post on local community boards online. Talk to neighbours and the postman in case they know anyone who has lost a cat or if they have seen any missing cat posters nearby. For all of these actions, you may wish to hold back some details about the cat and request a photo of the missing cat from anyone who contacts you, to be sure the owner is genuine.

Please provide the cat with some fresh water but not milk because some cats cannot tolerate it. If possible, provide some shelter e.g. access to a garage, shed or a cardboard box. If the cat is definitely hungry, please feed it as long as you are sure it is lost or a stray and does not have a home to go to. Owned cats will often explore their neighbourhood and can be quite clever at finding additional sources of food. Also, it is important to note that owned cats may have medical conditions which mean they should only eat a special diet, so it is always best to wait until you are sure that they are definitely lost or a stray and are not regularly going home, before deciding to feed them.

If the owner cannot be traced after significant enquiries (you should allow two weeks) and you cannot look after the cat yourself, please contact your local rescue centres and ask them to take the cat into care and find it a new home.