According to the Blue Cross, the number of stray cats in the UK is on the increase and a stray can often be hungry, frightened or even sick or injured.
Because of the often difficult decisions that need to be made if you come across an injured cat, it’s important to know what to do should you find one.
Petplan has put together some useful advice should you find a stray cat with some help from our friends at the Blue Cross…
If the cat appears injured, take it to the vet as soon as possible
If you find a cat that is ill or injured, speak to them gently and softly and cautiously approach, if they do not seem frightened gently pick the cat up in a blanket and take them to your nearest vet where he or she can receive medical-treatment and be searched for a microchip.
If the cat seems too distressed to let you approach call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 for help.
Find out if the cat is actually a stray
If you find a stray cat that seems healthy and does not require medical attention, you need to be sure they are genuinely homeless before taking them to a rehoming centre or adopting them yourself.
Often cats seem to be strays but actually have a home. Due to their nature they do tend to roam and can appear lost and owners lose their cats because somebody mistakes the cat as a stray. A cat that’s hanging around looking for food, or trying to get into your house may have a home not far away.
You should also check whether the cat is microchipped and contact local vets and rehoming centres to see if anyone has reported their cat missing.
Putting a paper collar on the cat and writing a message with your telephone number on it asking the owner to call you or putting up ‘found’ posters could also reveal that the cat has a home nearby.
If the cat is not friendly and approachable, it may be a feral. These cats are able to look after themselves and so long as a feral cat is healthy, they will live happily outside.
Find the cat a new home
If you would like to keep the stray cat as your own pet you must be able to give them all the care they need to stay happy and healthy and should consult a local vet for advice before you make a decision.
Have you ever found a stray cat? Let us know your experience below…