Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When a Stray Cat Comes to You

What to do when a stray cat comes up to your home? Or there is a cat wandering around in your area and you feel that it is stray. A lot of people take what only can be described as hostile action, against the cat, for example, kill it by poison or kick it etc. (see cat poison). In fact there is a post on this blog made a day or two ago in which the person said she loved cats but puts down poison to deal with stray cats! See Stray Cats.

I have lost the credit for this photo. I think it could be MAR please advise - sorry

But the question is what is the thing that we should do? The proper thing throwing out all other considerations? If the cat is tame it is probably a stray cat as opposed to a feral cat. And in that case it probably lives with someone - but who? And if you can't find out, then what?

One way to find out is to ask around the neighbours. This might seem troublesome to many people who don't care about cats or animals generally. Fair enough but it is the right action to take. Another way to try and find the owner is to place a collar on the cat in which the question as to who is the owner is asked with your contact details provided. You can see an example here.

If the owner (keeper) comes forward you should try and convince them to act more responsibly and I realize that that is going to be all but impossible but at least you know who the person is and can deal with the matter in a better way if things get worse.

Another way to try and find the owner is to contact the local shelters (in the UK - here is a list). Once all reasonable steps have been taken (and ideally recorded) but without success, you can move on to the next stage, which is to rehome the cat. That means deciding whether ownership should pass to you (a very serious commitment for the remainder of the life of the cat) or whether the cat should be rehomed by a local shelter.

Provided you have done all you reasonably could have done to find the owner no one can accuse you of theft. If the cat is feral and therefore wild there can only be one course of action, which is to support the cat (which is effectively wild), while ensuring the cat cannot reproduce. This is called trap, neuter, return and it is probably best left to the experts, provided the experts are simply just not going to kill it after a couple of days at the shelter.

When a stray cat comes to you, you should take the above action provided you are convinced the cat is stray. What I did was to take in the stray cat. He is called Timmy (middle picture above) and he is possibly a time share cat because he lives somewhere else as well as at my place. I took the hardest step and that has to be for life.

When a Stray Cat Comes to You to Home Page (main site)

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