• Dr Grant Hampson

What Do I Do If I Find A Stray Cat?



If you find a cat you have never seen before wandering around your neighbourhood, you might start to worry that it is possibly a stray cat. We all want to help animals we feel may be in distress but it's important to make sure that it is safe to approach them and do not put yourself in any dangerous situations.


Are they definitely stray?


If the cat is in a good condition, a healthy weight and looks well cared for, there is a good chance they are owned and they might have actually just strayed a little too far from home. Cats can be a little cheeky and go to other houses for food. A good start would be asking the neighbours in the area if they know who it belongs to and you might be able to get them home this way.


If the cat is friendly enough to approach, have a look and see if you can see any identity tags. If you can’t see anything to identify them, you should take them to your local vet or rescue organisation to be scanned for a microchip. A microchip contains all of the cat's families information.


I’ve had cats brought to me multiple times and when I get the microchip details, 8/10 times the cat often lives a few streets away from where they were found!


Are they a feral cat?


Feral cats have often been born outside and are essentially living as wild animals. These cats tend to avoid humans altogether and when they do come face to face with humans, they can be extremely frightened and sometimes aggressive. Feral cats often have a shelter where they live and sometimes live in small colonies with other cats.



If you are suspicious the cat you are seeing is feral and are concerned, you can contact the cats protection for more information.


How to find their parents?


If you don’t manage to find any information on their collar and they sadly don’t have a microchip, you can consider putting posters of them around the local area. Word of mouth can be an amazing tool in these instances and if the cat is local, there is a good chance you can get them home.


Social media is also a useful tool, so consider making a post on there. Some of these posts get shared tens of thousands of times and they really help animals get reunited with their loving families.


What if the cat is injured?


If you find a cat that is sadly sick or injured you should contact your local vet or call the RSPCA straight away.. Be very careful when approaching sick and injured cats as they may scratch or bite if they are in pain. Using a soft blanket to pick them up can help stop you getting hurt. If you have a pet carrier you can take them in this, if not, find a nice sturdy box with plenty of air holes.


Useful Links


Find your nearest vet - https://findavet.rcvs.org.uk/home/

Animal rescue and rehoming (including wildlife) – www.rspca.org.uk

Charity vet and rehoming service – www.bluecross.org.uk

Cat rescue, neutering and rehoming – www.catsprotection.org.uk


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