Why Are There Feral Cats
If they don’t have early contact with people, the kittens of stray or feral cats will become feral themselves, too fearful to be handled or adopted. Since a female cat can become pregnant as early as five months of age, the number of feral cats in a neighborhood can rapidly increase if cats aren’t spayed or neutered.
I Accidently Hit A Cat With My Car What Should I Do
Sadly it is not uncommon for cats to be involved in road traffic accidents.
Although there is no law requiring you to report hitting a cat with your car, making an attempt to let the owner know is a kind thing to do if you can.
If the cat is alive but injured and able to be caught, try to take them to the nearest vet for emergency care. The vet can then try to find an owner, or may have an arrangement with a local rehoming centre that can take the cat in after treatment.
If the cat runs away, theres little you can do, other than keep an eye on out for lost cat posters and on social media in case someone is looking for their cat.
If the cat is killed and you can bring yourself to pick it up, you can take it to a vet or rehoming centre to be scanned for a microchip. This is not an easy thing to do, but try to think about how you would feel if it was your pet its much better for owners to know whats happened to their cat if possible.
At the very least, try to make a note of the description of the cat, colour, sex, collar etc in case someone is looking for them.
What To Do When A Stray Cat Adopts You
According to the ASPCA, there are tens of millions of feral and stray cats in the United States.
Many of these cats avoid people however, stray cats will sometimes yearn for human interaction .
In these cases, it seems as if stray cats decide to adopt an unsuspecting person as their new caretaker. Basically, these fuzzy interlopers can show up on your doorstep asking for cat food, shelter and attention.
So, what do you do if you happen to be the target? How do you make sure that your new stray cat neighbor stays happy and healthy under your care, especially if he wont come inside? And, if youre unable to care for the little guy, how do you find someone who can?
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Where Do Community Cats Live
Community cats typically live in a colony . The colony occupies and defends a specific territory where food and shelter are available. Although feral cats may be seen by people who feed them, strangers may not realize that feral cats are living nearby because they rarely see them. Stray cats tend to be much more visible, may vocalize and may approach people in search of food or shelter. Stray cats may join a colony or defend a territory of their own.
How Long Before A Stray Cat Is Legally Yours
So, you have been putting out food and water for a stray cat that keeps on visiting your property for a few days now. It can be tempting to welcome it into your home to keep it from going hungry and thirsty and being at risk of getting hurt ever again. And now you may be wondering: how long before a stray cat is legally yours?
As a general rule, the stray cats founder becomes the legal owner if no owner shows up and it serves the stray holding period. The period usually varies from five to seven days, depending on if the animal is tagged or microchipped. In some cases, the stray holding period is 48 to 72 hours only.
One very important step needs to be taken when you come across a stray cat, and you wish to adopt it: do everything that you can to find its owner first.
Otherwise, you may wind up penalized or even incarcerated! If no owner claims the stray animal after a while, which we will elaborate on later , then the cat is yours to love.
Read on if you wish to adopt a stray cat because the two of you have grown to like each other.
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I Have Found A Stray Cat Can Blue Cross Help
Blue Cross finds homes for many stray cats each year and we are happy to help stray cats that are brought to our centres, but we are only able to take them in if we have space.
Please contact your nearest Blue Cross rehoming centre to see if we have space to look after them. If we are unable to take the stray cat in we can help you find an alternative solution.
If you have found an injured stray cat then please take them to one of our animal hospitals, if you live close enough, or to any vet who will be able to provide emergency care.
What To Do If Youve Found A Stray Cat
Cats are wanderers and they often choose to roam quite far away from home. Many cats that wander and seem to be strays may actually have a loving family. They can also be very cheeky at begging for extra meals off well-meaning neighbours. Even if they seem hungry you may actually be providing them with a second dinner!
Its important to be absolutely sure that a cat is stray before taking it to a rehoming centre, or deciding to take it in yourself. If the cat appears to be healthy and well-groomed, try putting a paper collar on it with your phone number on asking the owner to contact you.
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What Do I Do If I Have Found A Stray Cat
First things first. Making sure that the cat is indeed a stray is the first thing you need to do. Check to see if your unexpected visitor is in good condition. Often, a cat thats well-groomed and a healthy weight could very well belong to someone in the neighbourhood, and theyre just popping in to say hello.
If the cat is friendly, and happy for you to get close, you should check for a collar or ID tag. If youre able to get the owners information, give them a call and let them know their pet is safe and make the necessary arrangements for a collection or drop off. In the event there is no collar, you should take the cat to your vet or local Cats Protection branch where they can do a scan for a microchip.
What Should I Do With An Abandoned/orphaned/lone Kitten
If you find kittens on their own, please maintain a good distance to avoid disturbing them and possibly scaring mum into not returning. It’s not unusual for mum to leave her kittens when she goes off to find food. Kittens have a much better chance if they stay with their mum and so it’s very important that we give enough time to see if mum returns before assuming they’re orphaned. However, if the kittens appear to be in danger because they are wet, cold or sick, please call a local vet, animal rescue charity or our advice line as soon as possible.
For very young kittens whose eyes are still closed and who have little mobility, you should monitor them for around two hours before phoning a vet, local rescue charity or our advice line. Older kittens can usually go a little longer without food, so for those who have their eyes open and can walk, you should monitor for mums’ return for around four hours before calling for advice. It’s best to leave the kittens where they are until a vet, local rescue charity or our advice line suggest otherwise.
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Are There Other Ways Of Finding The Owner
Communication is key. Ask neighbours if they know anything about the cat, or if they recognise it. And if you dont have any joy there, check community groups on Facebook or local groups. There are also a number of websites, like Animal Search that provide a free missing pet search service for lost and found animals.
Frequently Asked Questions About Stray Cats And What To Do When You Find One
Because cats are often left to wander around on their own, its pretty much a given that youll come across a lost or stray cat at some point. Knowing what to do in this situation is key, which is why were answering the most frequently asked questions we receive with regards to cats, their original owner and the law.
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Earning Your Stray Cats Trust
Some stray cats will be friendly right off the bat, but with others, it may take time and patience to establish trust. If a cat is not comfortable with humans, they will mostly scratch or bite if you attempt to handle them. Go slow and always allow the cat a way to leave the situation so that they don’t feel cornered, says Gouge.
You need to have time, and you need have patience. The cat will come to you when hes ready. If you try to force it, he will run, Fernandez says.
The main way into your new feline friends heart is through his stomach. Food is critical, Phillips says. Start approaching the cat slowly, over several days or even weeks. Eventually, youll be able to get pretty close without scaring him off.
Can I Rehome A Stray Cat
You can decide to take on a stray cat yourself if no owner can be found. If you’re unable to keep the cat, a local animal rescue charity may be able to help. Try contacting your local RSPCA animal centre, Cats Protection or other reputable organisations. Some of these are listed on our lost and found contact list .
Giving a home to a cat in need can be hugely rewarding but it’s also a responsibility and a long-term commitment. Consider carefully whether you have the time, space and money to help care for a stray cat. If the cat becomes ill or injured in the future you’ll be responsible for ensuring that they get the veterinary care they need.
If after consideration, you’ve decided to take responsibility for a stray cat – thank you! There are so many benefits to doing so. Cats that come into our care will live in one of our catteries until we can find them a suitable ‘forever home’ – this can be stressful for many cats, especially those stray cats who have been used to the freedom to roam and live outside.
Taking on the responsibility yourself means the cat can return to a place they know and feel comfortable. You will also be helping us to care for more cats who are victims of cruelty or neglect and have been brought in by our dedicated inspectors by freeing up a space in our centre.
If you decide to take on responsibility for a stray cat, please make sure you get them microchipped and have your contact details registered so that you can be identified as the owner.
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Caring For Stray Cats Who Prefer To Stay Outdoors
If your new kitty just wont come inside, you should provide some kind of shelter. You can make a feral cat boxthere are lots of online tutorialsor you could even open up your garage on really cold nights, Phillips says.
If youre not able to make a feral cat box, you can also buy one. There are cat heated beds and unheated options as well as houses that can be used as shelters for stray cats.
Also, if you live in a cold climate, a heated water dish might be a good investment.
During the spring and summer months, you will also want to make sure that you provide your cat with plenty of shaded, cool areas to hang out as well as access to cold, fresh water.
You can use a cat bowl like the Neater Feeder polar pet bowl to help keep a fresh source of cold water available for you cat throughout the day. You can also provide a cooling pet pad, like The Green Pet Shop self-cooling pet pad, so your outdoor kitty always has a place to relax and cool down during hotter days.
Its important to be realistic about the outdoor kitty that you found, says Delgado. A feral just isnt going to try to get into your house.
If youre unable to take on the care of a stray cat or a cat is too feral and aggressive for your safety, you still have options.
I’ve Found A Stray Cat With Kittens What Should I Do
If mum and kittens appear to be free from sickness or injury and are located in a safe area then at this time it’s best to leave them alone. If you spot a mum and kittens, it’s best to keep your distance so as not to risk disturbing them. It’s important not to move kittens or mum unless they’re in danger as being moved may put the kittens at risk. In addition to the risk of disturbance, the mum might have an owner nearby already looking for her so it’s best to leave them be but you can help in other ways.
Please try to see if the mum has an owner by posting on local social media groups or speaking to neighbours to see if anybody knows her. In addition, you can and a paper cat collar so people know to get in touch with you if they have any information.
If you can’t find an owner and you think mum is a stray, it’s a good idea to call your local animal rescue for advice. They may talk to you about giving a helping hand by providing food, water and outside shelter to help protect mum and kittens from extreme weather.
If mum and/or the kittens look to be suffering from sickness or injury, phoning a local vet for advice is the best and quickest way to help. It’s important that mum and kittens stay together. If you need to transport the mum and kittens and are not able to do so safely, please call your local rescue charity or our advice line on 0300 1234 999. Never put yourself in danger.
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The Cat Is Definitely A Stray
Speak to neighbours and put up found posters in your local area. There may well be someone frantically searching for their much-loved pet. Local social media groups can also be a great way of reuniting found pets with their owners. Ring local vets too many keep lost and found lists for their areas. If they are definitely a stray and it is safe for you to transport the cat, then you can take them to your local veterinary centre to be scanned for a microchip. This service is always free of charge and you will be able to check whether they have an owner.
If the cat wont come anywhere near humans, it might be feral. This means its grown up outdoors and isnt used to humans. If it seems to be healthy then its best to leave it alone. You can pass details about the cat to the Cats Protection or a local cat rescue who may be able to trap, neuter and release the cat. This stops the cat from having kittens and prevents more cats from growing up without a safe, loving home.
How Do I Keep My Cat Safe
Because cats tend to roam, its worth taking a few precautionary steps to keep yours safe.
Make sure your cat is microchipped
Collars and ID tags are a good idea, but they can be removed or fall off. For this reason, we suggest you get your cat microchipped as soon as possible.
Remember to update your details
If your details are on a pet database it is crucial that you update them regularly. Always provide a mobile number and remember to advise any change of ownership or change of address.
Keep your cat indoors
Even streetwise cats can get lost, which is why we recommend keeping them indoors at night. We also suggest taking extra precautions around fireworks season and bonfire nights.
Dont declaw your cat
, however, some cat owners still choose to do this. Not only is this procedure hugely stressful, but it also takes away your cats ability to climb, and more importantly, defend itself.
Hopefully, weve answered all your questions about stray cats, and what you can do should one cross your path. If youre able to open your home, and heart, to a cat in need, youll be rewarded in the most wonderful of ways. Of course, we understand if this isnt always possible, but rather than turning a blind eye to the problem, with our handy tips, you can be the solution.
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Ask Around Online And Offline
The internet makes it convenient to carry out all sorts of tasks, including finding the owner of a cat that pays you a visit on a regular basis. Take snapshots of the feline and post them on community groups on Facebook or any local group online. You may also show the pictures to your neighbors and ask if any of them recognizes the animal.
Feel free to make posters, which you may post around the area, most especially high-traffic ones. You may also upload digital copies of your posters on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.