We often get asked for advice when owners are missing their beloved moggies or when concerned members of the public have found a cat they fear may need assistance. We want to help you as much as we can and we have therefore provided you with a little guide on what you can do in this situation
Not all pet cats wear collars. Please consider this when assessing whether a cat is owned, a stray or a feral cat. Some owners choose not to put collars on their cats and some cats decide they’d really rather not wear a collar and will just take it off themselves. If they look of a healthy weight and well groomed, it is likely they have a home nearby and are just roaming.
If you find an injured cat and you are able to catch and transport it safely, please take them to a local vet so they can provide emergency treatment and begin to trace the cat’s owner.
If you are unable to assist, the RSPCA are often able to offer assistance quickly. We may also be able to assist if the cat is local.
If you believe the cat could be feral, the best course of action here is to contact the Cat’s Protection League feral team, who can assist you in trapping and taking the animal to receive medical care.
Please be wary of feeding other people’s pets. Their waistline and their owner will not be best pleased. Cats are quite good at begging for food to get extra snacks away from home.
A stray cat is a domesticated pet cat that does not have an owner or has got lost from their home. They will usually be friendly, if not a little shy and are most likely to be found in or near people’s properties trying to make themselves at home.
They often appear suddenly and may seem a little disorientated and possibly underweight. Please either take this animal to a vet for a microchip scan or call a local rescue to assist you. A vet or rescue will contact the micropchip company, who in turn will trace and contact the cat’s owner so they can be reunited.
If the cat does not have a microchip and is at a vet, we recommend contacting local rescues to make them aware that a cat may need their assistance if an owner cannot be traced. Please also share information about the cat you found on social media to increase the chances of reuniting the pet with an owner who may miss them terribly.
If you are unsure whether a cat has an owner or not, Cats Protection League offer a paper collar template that you could print and put on the cat in an attempt to reach out to an owner. This template can be found here:
Feral cats may look like pets but they behave like wild animals because they are not socialised with humans. These cats keep their distance and will not approach you, even with encouragement.
Feral cats are more commonly found in rural areas and areas away from dense population as they find humans threatening and they may be found living alone or in colonies. They will likely have chosen their location for the shelter it provides.
If a feral cat has been part of a ‘trap-neuter-return’ program, their left ear tip may have been removed to make them easier to spot.
If you believe the cat could be feral, the best course of action here is to contact the Cat’s Protection League feral team, who can assist you with advice and if required, removal of the animal.
Our local branch is Chiltern Cat’s Protection