What to do if you find a stray

Harefield Gazette - - ANIMAL MATTERS -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.