I HAVE a frequent visitor to my garden - a friendly little cat who will sometimes stay all day. If I leave the back door open, he strolls in and eats my cat Toffee's food. Toffee is not too pleased with this interloper when he's in the house but tolerates him if he's in the garden.
I was worried he might be a stray but before taking him to the vet to see if he was chipped, I put his picture on my personal Facebook page. Lo and behold, someone who lives a street away contacted me to say it was his daughter's cat Jasper who "likes to wander". So I no longer allow him in the house as he is so obviously well cared for elsewhere.
But it got me thinking about what to do if he had been a stray or feral cat. First off, here's a video for those who want to keep the neighbourhood cats warm at night. Below there is advice from the RSPCA about stray cats.
Here's some advice from the RSPCA if you are visited by a stray cat. If you have concerns about a sick or injured stray cat you can report it to an animal welfare organisation (like the RSPCA in the UK or ASPCA in the US). .
How To Help A Stray Cat
1. Is it a stray or a feral cat?If the cat is not friendly and approachable, it may be a feral. These cats are able to look after themselves. So long as a feral cat is healthy, they will live happily outside. We support the trapping and neutering of feral cats where local charities have the capacity to do so.
If the cat is approachable and friendly it may be a stray cat that belongs to someone.
If a stray cat is not feral the best thing to do is try and find its
owner: To find out if the cat has an owner follow these steps:
2. Finding the owner of a stray
- Cats roam over a wide area, so ask around to see if anyone knows who it belongs to.
- If you can safely transport the cat to a vet, you could have it scanned for a microchip.
- If this isn’t possible but you can get close enough to put a collar on it, then download our Paper cat collars [PDF 36.5KB]. Take precautions when approaching the cat and fixing the collar.
- You can also download and print a Found poster [PDF 10.7KB] and Lost and found contact list [PDF 20KB].
- We also recommend you visit Pets Located, an online resource that reunites owners with their pets.
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