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Home Pet Q&A Cat Questions What Do I Do With A Stray Cat?

What Do I Do With A Stray Cat?

What to do with a stray cat depends on if you can catch him or not. If you can, you should start by getting him checked for a microchip. If you cannot catch him, you should call animal control and ask for further direction. When and if the cat is in your care, follow these three steps:

  1. Find out if the cat has a microchip. Microchipping a pet is one of the most common ways animal shelters, rescues, and loving pet owners help pets go from "lost" to "found" before they ever go missing. A microchip is a small piece of technology that is safely placed under the skin of a pet. Each microchip has a scannable barcode that links back to a larger database that contains identifiable information on a pet and his owner. To read a microchip, you must have a special scanning device. Most veterinarian offices, grooming salons, and animal shelters will have a microchip reader, so your first move should be to take the cat to one of these three places to have them scanned for a microchip. If the cat has a microchip, there may be information on file with the chip company that would help you get connected to the cat's family!
  2. Look for the cat's owner. Just because the kitty doesn't have a microchip, doesn't mean someone isn't desperately searching for their lost little one. A good way to start looking for the cat's owner is to canvas the area where you found him. Ask your neighbors if they recognize the cat and know who might be the owner. You could also try posting "Found Cat" flyers on telephone poles in the neighborhood, community cork boards at your local grocery store, local veterinarian offices, and the local animal shelters where a cat owner might pop in to see if their cat was turned in. We made a downloadable template that you can easily use to make a quick, but effective found pet flyer. You can even try using online community apps, like Nextdoor, to alert your neighbors or sites that focus on helping lost pets make their way home, like Pawboost.
  3. Find the cat a loving forever home. If you've done your due diligence by scanning the cat for a microchip and searching for their owner, it's possible that the kitty is truly a stray in need of a home. If you cannot keep the cat yourself, you can find a wonderful new adopter using Rehome. Rehome is the peer to peer pet adoption platform that will guide you through the process every step of the way, from creating a profile that makes your cat stand out to the millions of adopters on Adopt-a-Pet.com to choosing the purr-fect adopter. You can learn more about how Rehome works, here

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