If you have found a cat which is in a good condition, please don’t commence feeding or care until you have taken some basic steps.
Although you may be tempted to put food down for a cat or to adopt it, actually, the cat may not really be lost — he could simply be coming in because he is a friendly character. A cat’s normal wandering range can be over 1 mile in radius so visits to other houses are normal
You may not recognize him because he might belong to someone who has just moved into the area, and is just finding his way about. He might have been attracted by your own pets’ food, but remember there is probably someone who is missing that cat ! Providing food will cause the cat to visit regularly or stay around, so do not provide food until after you have taken the following steps:
- If you genuinely think the cat is lost, the first thing to do is apply one of our paper collars – you can download a pre-printed one from the website (catcollars) and print it onto regular paper or you can simply make one by cutting a strip from the long edge of some paper and writing the same wording on. Secure it round the cat’s neck by joining the two ends with sellotape. Leave this on for 3 days (you may have to place a second one on in that time if the first falls off). This is the best way of getting a message to an owner.
- You may also consider putting up ‘found’ notices with the cat’s photo and description and also put notes through neighbours’ letterboxes. You can also check the Missing Cats page on Facebook for your local area. http://www.animalsearchuk.co.uk/ is another site to check if a cat has been reported missing with that description.
- Make a “Found” report to any charity which operates a Lost & Found record.
- The other thing you can do is take the cat to your local vet and ask to have him scanned for a microchip — if he is microchipped, it will immediately identify who his owners are, providing their details are up-to-date. The vet should do this free of charge for you.
The Oak Tree Animals’ Charity does not usually hold spaces spare to accept cats brought in and we operate a waiting list for animals which we are asked to take. If you think the cat needs to come into our care, please call us first and do not bring the animal down without contacting us first. We will enter the animal’s details onto the intake list and call you when space becomes available – please remember there may already be other cats waiting to come in from before your call, so we will not be able to take the cat straight away.