What to do if you find a stray
ARE you feeding a stray cat?
The weather is unpredictable the moment, and you have meowing feline visiting your garden.
It seems like the most natural and kind thing to grab a few slices of ham from the fridge and feed her.
Feeding a stray cat, may seem kind, but the best thing to do is to try and reunite her with her family, and if that isn’t possible, to give or find for her a permanent home of her own.
When you find a stray cat please do not assume no one is looking for her - she may simply be lost, and could have been lost months previously.
Some of you will already know how distressing it is to lose a pet, and others can imagine.
How would you feel if someone in the next street, found your cat, and kept her without ever reporting it? 1. Is your stray sick or injured? If you find a sick or injured cat, please call the RSPCA emergency line on 0300 1234 999. 2. Check if the cat has an owner Ask neighbours in your street and adjoining streets.
If your stray is friendly, you could take her to your local vet who can scan the cat to see if she has a microchip - for free.
If she doesn’t have a microchip – secure a paper collar with sellotape around her neck. Put your telephone number on the collar asking ‘if you own this cat please call me’.
If you cannot get close to your stray or are unable to safely transport a cat to the vets, please call your local RSPCA on 0208 966 9688, and we will come out to you.
If you have done everything you can to find the cat’s owner, and you have had no response from your paper collar for seven days. You now have to choose whether you want to keep the cat. 3. To keep or not to keep Seeing a hungry cat – it is the natural to want to feed them. Thank you for caring, but please think beyond their immediate needs. If decide to keep feeding a cat, you are taking responsibility for that animal. This means getting them neutered, and taking them to the vets for treatment when they get sick.
The RSPCA Branch can help with neutering costs if you are on a low income, or receiving benefits.
If you don’t want to adopt the stray, but she is a healthy cat – your local RSPCA Branch can take her in if we have space, but as we have to prioritise sick and injured animals it might be better to contact cats protection on 0300 0121 212.
A healthy stray cat could take up space needed for an abused or neglected animal in RSPCA centres.
Please do not just feed a stray cat – what happens if she gets pregnant, or gets sick?
If you aren’t prepared to do more than just feed a cat, you should give her the opportunity to find a loving home where all her needs are met.
If you have any questions about stray cats, please call us on 0208 966 9688 for free professional advice.