What to Do If You Find an Abandoned or Lost House Cat

What to Do If You Find an Abandoned or Lost House Cat

Last update: 21 March, 2019

If you find an abandoned or lost house cat in the street, what should you do? Well, first and foremost, don’t remain indifferent. Secondly, try to find a solution. Your intervention, in some cases, will make a world of difference in the life of a newly homeless house cat.

Steps to follow if you find a lost house cat

A cat in the street.

The first thing you should find out is if the cat is indeed a house cat. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about feral ones, of course. (By feral cat, we mean animals that learned to survive in the streets and those who were born there).

The issue here is that an abandoned or lost house cat often doesn’t have what it takes to defend itself in a hostile environment such as:

With this in mind, if the animal isn’t too scared, then it may make contact with you, or, at least, it won’t shy away. In any case, it’s important for you to earn the house cat’s trust. When you do, check to see if they have a collar tag with contact information.

How to find out if the cat is lost or abandoned

If the cat doesn’t have a tag, then ask any locals or bystanders if they know where the cat might live. Another thing you can do is to scout the area for lost pet posters.

Furthermore, if you have access to the internet from your mobile phone, look for amber alerts on web pages or on social networks.

If you can’t get any positive information, then wait for a while to see if the cat’s owner shows up. You may also find someone in the neighborhood who can give you information about the feline.

If it’s a female with new kittens, then that’s often a reason behind pet abandonment. Furthermore, if the lost creature is a kitten, then the mother might be looking for it.

After waiting for a reasonable amount of time, and seeing that the cat is comfortable with you, then you can proceed to take it to a veterinarian. He’ll be able to find out if it has a microchip. If the cat has no microchip, or the owners don’t respond to attempts to contact them, then you have a decision to make!

Finding a temporary home for the lost house cat

You’ll have to decide whether you can temporarily have the cat at your house. While you’re at the vet’s, ask them to perform a medical check-up. If necessary, vaccinate, sterilize, and deworm the cat.

Also, there’s always the option of taking the cat to a shelter, even though there’s often little room. So, if you can’t keep the animal even for few days, try to accommodate it with willing cat lovers.

In the meantime, keep trying to locate the cat’s owners who, perhaps, haven’t abandoned them and are looking for their furry friend.

Campaigns to find the owner

A cat looking surprised.

What can you do to try to find a lost cat’s owner?

  • Firstly, take a good photo and make posters saying where and when you found the seemingly lost animal.
  • Secondly, distribute and paste the posters around the neighborhoods where you found it.
  • Next, disseminate information about the cat on social networks or on local radio or television channels, and also local newspapers and magazines.
  • Finally, when you’ve lost all hope of finding the cat’s owners, then make a decision on what to do with the animal. If you, or the person who’s been looking after it, can’t adopt it permanently then under these circumstances, it’s time to start another campaign, this time to find a new home for the cat.

It may all seem like a lot of hard work, but indifference and inaction are worse.

It might interest you...
Cats Get Lost and Dogs Make It Back Home
My Animals
Read it in My Animals
Cats Get Lost and Dogs Make It Back Home

Did you know that dogs have a 70% chance of returning home while cats have a 5% chance. As you can see, cats get lost more than dogs.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.