Stray Cat Questions
What do I do if I found a stray cat? **Please note that in most communities, more than 70% of all animals taken to the local shelter will not make it out alive.
Why is it important to spay / neuter stray cats?
Whether it's a neighborhood cat or feral cat, spaying and neutering is among the most important things you can do to prevent an overpopulation of cats within your neighborhood. Even one unspayed female cat can populate a neighborhood to over 50 cats within a two year time period.
What is the difference between a stray and feral cat?
Stray cats are socialized to humans – in most cases they were once pets who have either become lost or were, unfortunately, abandoned, while feral cats have had very limited (or no) interactions with humans and have reverted to a wild state. Stray cats may become feral as their contact with humans dwindles or, in a happier scenario, become loving pets again if they are taken in.
Strays may approach people, houses or cars while feral cats will likely seek a hiding place.
Strays will most likely be alone while feral cats may live in colonies.
Stray cats may walk and move like a house cat with its tail in the air and he might make eye contact with you while feral cats could crouch and protect its tail and avoid eye contact.
Stray cats could be vocal – you could hear them meowing and could respond to your voice while feral cats won’t meow, beg or respond.
Stray cats are active during the day while feral cats are primarily nocturnal.
Stray cats could look dirty and disheveled but feral cats could have a clean, well-kept coat.
Many cats you find may have one of their ears cut or tipped. This is a universal sign that the animal has been spayed or neutered through a feral surgical clinic. This does not necessarily mean that the cat is feral, however.
I've seen a cat in my neighborhood with a collar for a few weeks. Could he be a stray cat?
Unfortunately, cats are occasionally left behind by their owners when they move. If you have noticed a cat in your neighborhood for a few weeks, please be sure to ask neighbors if they know of an owner for the cat. If not, be sure to take the cat to a local veterinarian to check for a microchip. If no microchip is found, you may want to utilize social media to help locate an owner. In the meantime, leave food and water for the cat. Typically it is best to feed in the morning and take the food up near dusk to prevent wildlife from eating the food.