What can you do when you find a friendly stray cat/kitten?
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT TAKE THE CAT/KITTEN TO THE POUND. All Ohio pounds currently remain kill facilities, especially for cats/kittens. Local Animal Control killed upwards of 80% of all healthy, adoptable felines who entered their doors in 2013 alone. Nationwide, nearly 3 million cats and dogs are killed in American animal shelters annually. In fact, shelter euthanasia is the number one cause of death in cats- more than any disease or illness. By keeping cats and dogs from ever entering the shelter, we can change the numbers. By spaying/neutering our pets and working to TNR (spay/neuter, release) feral cats, we can make an enormous impact on our community.
Rather than calling Animal Control or dumping a stray pet off to a pound/shelter(where fear, stress and ultimately euthanasia are likely), we recommend following these steps to help a stray cat/kitten:
STEP 1: CHECK FOR AN I.D. TAG
If the pet is wearing a collar with an I.D. tag, use the contact information to reach the pet guardian as soon as possible, to alert then that you have their pet and he/she is safe and sound.
STEP 2: HAVE A VETERINARIAN CHECK FOR A MICROCHIP
Most veterinarians will have a microchip scanner and will not charge you to scan a stray cat for a microchip. Scanning for and locating a microchip can reunite a lost cat with his/her guardian.
STEP 3: PLACE SIGNS THROUGHOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD (“FOUND CAT”)
Place “FOUND CAT” signs throughout the neighborhood where you found him/her. Include the street/location where the cat was found, the cat’s color and any additional pertinent details (i.e. personality, if they are wearing a collar, etc.). Be sure to include a contact number where you can easily be reached.
*If you are contacted in regard to your FOUND CAT signs, ask the caller to provide details about their cat (i.e. when the cat went missing, if they are spayed/neutered, approx. age, where they live, etc.) to be sure the caller is truly the guardian of the cat and not someone trying to harm an innocent pet.
STEP 4: KEEP THE CAT/KITTEN(s) SAFE, INDOORS
Keep the friendly cat or kitten(s) safe, indoors while you search for the pets guardian. Keeping the cat secure and safe in an extra bathroom or a laundry room can often be a safe option. Be sure to provide the cat(s) with fresh water and cat food (both dry food and wet/canned food if possible), a clean litter box and a blanket or pillow to rest on.
STEP 5: POST THE CAT(S) PHOTO ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES AND WITH LOCAL RESCUE ORGANIZATIONS
Get the word out! Work together with local No Kill rescue organizations (type in your zip code at www.petfinder.com to locate organizations in your immediate area), and post on social media pages with the cat/kitten(s) photo, similar to the flyers you have placed throughout the neighborhood. DO NOT POST THE PET ON CRAIGS LIST OR SIMILAR SITES.
If, after several weeks have passed, no one steps forward to claim the stray cat, and you decide you would like to keep him/her, be sure to have the pet spayed/neutered and treated for the prevention of ear mites, fleas and worms. In addition, it is important to exercise proper introductions when bringing a new pet into your home:
HOW TO INTRODUCE CHILDREN TO PETS
HOW TO INTRODUCE A CURRENT PET TO A NEW PET
If, after several days/weeks have passed and no one steps forward to claim the stray cat and you would like to find the cat(s) a loving, forever home, we recommend following these steps to find a well-matched forever home, CLICK HERE.