HELP I have found a kitten in my garden

(90 Posts)
technicallychallenged Sat 07-Dec-13 21:23:29

So yeah just that really
It's a little tabby kitten and it looks youngish I would say less than a year old.
DD(5) told me there was a strange cat in the garden I told her to leave it be. (She usually says things like that to get out of going to bed)
Anyway I went to take the rubbish out and there was a cat looking at me. It looks very thin and pitiful and it had no collar and it broke my heart so I took it in and gave it a little water and a little tuna.
I am wondering what to do now. Any help please?

qazxc Sat 07-Dec-13 21:26:04

When you say kitten, how small is it? old enough to be away from it's mother?

Gileswithachainsaw Sat 07-Dec-13 21:29:17

Tbh. Vet. Kittens get soooo sick so quickly and I know it's not yours but it's cold and if it's tiny he really should be with his mummy. sad

At a year old it's a full grown cat confused

Is he angling for some warmth and snuggles cos his mums put him out?

cozietoesie Sat 07-Dec-13 21:30:50

I think you may be stuck with it for the night. Do you have a cat of your own or any neighbours who can give you some cat food or something to serve as a cat tray?

Is it a girl or a boy do you know?

Keep it in until you find out whose it is?

technicallychallenged Sat 07-Dec-13 21:31:29

It's definitely old enough to be away from it's mother. Having said that I don't really know how old it is exactly because I have never had a cat myself so I am sure about it's age/size.

crazynanna Sat 07-Dec-13 21:31:36

Knock on the neighbours to see if they have lost a kitten? But if it's thin, it may have strayed quite a way maybe and been lost a while.

Otherwise, take it to the vets to check for microchip. If not...then congratulations! You are now a cat slave/human wink

cozietoesie Sat 07-Dec-13 21:31:49

PS - is it settling or anxious?

SkateLife Sat 07-Dec-13 21:36:08

Agree with others, ask locally and get it scanned at the vets for a microchip.

Bet your dd is pleased.

technicallychallenged Sat 07-Dec-13 21:36:10

No-one on this street has a cat as far as I know which is why I took it in. I will take it too the vets as soon as I can to check the micro chip if it has one. And I will ask around. I am waiting to call my DH who has actually owned cats before so he may have a better idea than me.

technicallychallenged Sat 07-Dec-13 21:38:48

It seems settled it's sitting on a chair just looking around.

I haven't showed DD the cat but I can see an I told you so mummy coming when she does see it.

crazynanna Sat 07-Dec-13 21:39:52

If he/she is lodging with you, you need a makeshift litter tray and somewhere to sleep that is quiet and warm (blanket in a box).

Old square washing up bowl/roasting tin lined with newspaper sort of thing.

FeastOfPhteven Sat 07-Dec-13 21:40:39

Can you pop a photo on so we can see him? Might be able to guesstimate an age and I love a kitty photo

Gileswithachainsaw Sat 07-Dec-13 21:41:07

Don't give it any milk. smile water only to drink, can u etbykir dh to bring some cat food home? Failing that chicken and tuna is ok but get some cat food ASAP

crazynanna Sat 07-Dec-13 21:41:09

for litter tray that is (old washing up bowl,etc) wine <hic>

Gileswithachainsaw Sat 07-Dec-13 21:41:57

Get your dh. This phone is pissing me off now blush

technicallychallenged Sat 07-Dec-13 21:44:10

Thanks crazynanna I shall get too it.
I can't post a photo because I am on the rubbish laptop and DH took the nice one to work.

cozietoesie Sat 07-Dec-13 21:49:36

If it's just sitting that's fine - you know me. I was busy imagining a young Mum who was desperate for food and has left her babies somewhere.

See what you can do about a makeshift tray - a seed tray or a roasting tin with some shredded paper will do. (Just needs to be reasonably roomy and low lying.)

Phone your DH. Does he pass a supermarket on the way home?

cozietoesie Sat 07-Dec-13 21:52:21

I do hope Sparkling doesn't find this thread. Destiny is beginning to seem a little adversarial to her!

technicallychallenged Sat 07-Dec-13 22:58:23

DH reckons the cat is about 9ish months old however she is on the small side. We shall ring the vets tomorrow and try to take her down but I don't know how it will work on a Sunday.

cozietoesie Sat 07-Dec-13 23:06:35

I don't know where you are, technically but do you have a Pets at Home Service near you? I've not used them myself but other posters have and I think I recall that they have a Sunday Service at reasonable cost. (You'll always get a vet on Sunday but some of them use pretty expensive Out Of Hours services and as you're only really wanting a quick check and a chip scan (?) that may be too much for you.)

My own vet would do a chip check for free but I don't know whether that would be the case for an OOH vet.

Other posters may comment.

Do you think you shall be keeping her if an owner can't be found?

technicallychallenged Sat 07-Dec-13 23:19:52

Thanks cozietoesie there is one not far from us, we shall ring round tomorrow and ask about prices.

I don't know if would keep her. We could afford to and it would make the DCs Christmas but there is the responsibility of a cat which has to come into it plus we don't really know her temperament yet and how she will react to the DCs/ whether she may have other behaviour problems.

girliefriend Sat 07-Dec-13 23:24:11

It will be expensive to see a vet on a Sunday I would have thought, maybe try the cats protection league for advice. They are normally very helpful.

have you checked him/her for fleas? Does it seem keen to get out again?

Otherwise provide food, water and somewhere for it to go the toilet!!

cozietoesie Sat 07-Dec-13 23:24:44

The responsibility of a cat does have to be taken very seriously - although I do think it's good for youngsters to be brought up with that. (And the fun of a pet also, of course.)

Her behaviour sounds immaculate so far, at any rate for a cat who has maybe been on the streets. I'd be guessing she was brought up in a household at the very least because she doesn't sound too wary of humans. You'll be able to tell over the next short while.

girliefriend Sat 07-Dec-13 23:25:58

When I was worried about my cat one wend I rang up the oohs number and she said it would be £90 for a consultation shock

If you can make wait til mon I would grin

cozietoesie Sat 07-Dec-13 23:33:35

My vet uses an OOH and it's halfway across the city rather than just down the road. £90 though!

sashh Sun 08-Dec-13 05:16:15

Of yo are not interested in having a pet then you may be able to hand him/her over to the RSPCA or a local shelter at the vets.

I did this when I found a young cat a few years ago, I just filled a form in saying where he had been found. It cost me nothing and this was a Sunday.

If you phone first and they are actually open then they probably won't charge you just to scan for a chip.

sunseasurf Sun 08-Dec-13 06:07:02

This isn't madratlady's cat which she lost outside the vets? I don't know how to link threads? (I know it's pretty unlike but ...)

Mildpanic Sun 08-Dec-13 06:19:56

RSPCA and Cats protection all open on a Sunday. You are better contacting them. You don't need to be going to the vet on a Sunday. Why would you want to incur a charge for a cat that isn't yours.
Lots of local cat rescue places also, have a look. Most open on a Sunday.
Someone may be missing their pet dreadfully so please check out these options first before considering keeping it. The times any of ours have gone missing have been awful until we got them back. Going missing is unfortunately a regular hazard with being a cat owner.

technicallychallenged Sun 08-Dec-13 11:42:50

We are going to take cat to the cats protection this afternoon to get her checked. DH and out two eldest are currently knocking around our village ask if anyone has lost their cat.
She seems fine and she has used the make shift litter box (thanks for that) and she is quite happy for our DCs to stroke her which makes me think that she is someones lost pet rather than a random stray. She doesn't seem interested in going outside again either.

mildpanic of course we will check every option first I would hate to take someones pet plus I am not sure if we would keep her anyway.

Oh and when DD came down this morning she said 'I told you so mummy didnt I say so, silly mummy' and she won't let it drop either

Madratlady Sun 08-Dec-13 11:48:08

Not mine sun my girl is a black cat.

cozietoesie Sun 08-Dec-13 11:53:08

Hah! She won't let it drop for the next 30 or 40 years.

technicallychallenged Sun 08-Dec-13 12:11:01

madratlady sorry to hear about your cat

Oh I know cozietoesie I will never hear the end of it.

technicallychallenged Sun 08-Dec-13 19:29:39

Cat update
We took her to the vets and she is thin and it looks like she had a broken tail which has healed funny. She is not microchipped. The vet has our details and have given us a hand making posters to stick up around the village. We have brought her back with us and we have some food to give her. DH is going around the village again asking around and we have called the local cat charities and some other vets asking them to contact us if someone asks for her.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 08-Dec-13 19:38:58

Aw poor baby. Could you take her? Any chance at all envy

technicallychallenged Sun 08-Dec-13 19:47:24

Maybe we could take her but I want to make sure she doesn't belong to anyone first.

cozietoesie Sun 08-Dec-13 19:47:33

Poor lass. No wonder she's so friendly to you - sounds as if she's had a rough old time and that would be particularly hard if she was an abandoned pet with few feral type skills.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 08-Dec-13 19:47:46

I wonder if she was abandoned when her tail broke because vets treatment was needed?


cozietoesie Sun 08-Dec-13 19:50:55

Who can tell. The Lodger was abandoned because his owners moved house. (And he was past the real kitten stage so maybe his charms didn't quite outweigh the preservation of the new decor.) I'm long past being surprised by people dumping animals. Shocked and saddened yes - but not surprised.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 08-Dec-13 20:05:48

Aw don't say that fluffy sad

Mildpanic Sun 08-Dec-13 20:13:05

Sorry technically, of course you will check it out thoroughly.
She sounds lucky that you have found her. Hope you get a good conclusion.
We took in a stray 3 years ago and she is the most amazing girl, full of character and we are sure she somehow found us really.
Just lost one of our older boys so feeling a bit sensitive at the moment.
Well done for your efforts.

TheGonnagle Sun 08-Dec-13 20:16:33

Sounds like the newest member of your family has just moved in smile
You know you want to......

TheBunsOfPanettone Sun 08-Dec-13 20:22:21

TechnicallyChallenged well done for looking after this lost little cat.

You are probably aware but it's best to make a poster with a picture only of the cat's face, or maybe a profile, leaving some identifying marks out so that these can be verified with the owner, should one come forward. Sadly some people out there who want to acquire cats for less than innocent reasons.

Did the vet tell you whether or not she has been neutered?

technicallychallenged Sun 08-Dec-13 20:48:39

Thebunsofpanettone yes thank you the vet told us about that. The cat has not been spayed either.

DH has just come back he called at the houses they didn't get to and those that were empty this morning and no-one has said she is their cat so it looks like she is here for another night.

cozietoesie Sun 08-Dec-13 20:51:58

The first of many, I suspect.

sashh Mon 09-Dec-13 09:23:38

Aw she has a new home.

You know we need pics don't you?

crazyhamsterbackonthego Mon 09-Dec-13 09:35:07

Try posting on & also your local Facebook pet sights as they were the first places I looked when my cat went missing

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 09:36:56

Thinking about it, she was real lucky. A broken tail could so easily have turned quite nasty.

I would get her spayed straight away. If someone does eventually claim her well they should of course spay her anyway. At least this way you can be sure it's done and you could always ask them to reimburse you.

You certainly don't want to risk her getting pregnant.

TheBunsOfPanettone Mon 09-Dec-13 11:27:19

If she has "owners" at all they don't seem to be very responsible.

Did the vet say anything about the possibility of her being pregnant? It's sure to be a possibility as she's not neutered but I'm not sure at what stage it becomes detectable.

technicallychallenged Mon 09-Dec-13 17:34:18

I can't have her spayed in case she is someones cat and they don't want that.
There is a possibility she is pregnant and if we still have her we are taking her back to the vets next week so they can check again.

Who said you can't spay her? Of course you can. If she isn't chipped then she doesn't technically belong to anyone. If an owner were to turn up later well they can't do anything about it and you certainly wouldn't be in any trouble and it would be absolutely the best thing for the cat. And if she does happen to have owners who didn't want her spayed then it is very lucky indeed she found you and very lucky indeed that she would be going back to them spayed rather than giving birth to two unwanted litters a year, every year.

And if she's pregnant then spay/abort is the way to go.

If this vet is reluctant to do it as he/she knows the whole story then just take her to another vet.

technicallychallenged Mon 09-Dec-13 20:47:42

Are you sure we wouldn't get in trouble? Also I am not sure how I would feel a about spaying someone else's pet.

GimmeDaBoobehz Mon 09-Dec-13 20:56:55

You've done a lovely thing, technically.

I hope that you keep the kitten, because if it does have owners they have been absolutely rubbish ones and shouldn't go back to them.

Keep us updated on what happens with technocat.

TheBunsOfPanettone Mon 09-Dec-13 21:02:15

Appreciate you feel a bit strange about it but truly no responsible owner would let their pet stray un-neutered and un-microchipped. It's in the better interest of the cat and imho abortion and spay will be necessary if she does turn out to be pregnant assuming you don't want to take on up to six kittens. FAR too many unwanted kittens (and I wish that wasn't a commonly found phrase) around these days sad

Unchipped cats do not officially have owners and no one can do anything about you taking/treating/neutering an unchipped cat. As far as you, and indeed anyone is concerned she is a stray. By having her spayed you are merely helping a stray cat. You cannot get into any trouble at all.

And if the owners didn't want to spay her then frankly they don't deserve to have a cat. Deliberately keeping a female unspayed is equivalent to abuse in my opinion. Furthermore it brings hundreds (yes, hundreds in one cat's lifetime) more unwanted cats into the world.

I imagine though that what is happened is that the owners just didn't get round to getting her spayed soon enough. She will then have been chased by toms and probably got lost. Either that or the owners have just abandoned her.

Whatever the scenario the best thing anyone can do for her is to have her spayed straight away.

ADishBestEatenCold Tue 10-Dec-13 00:24:58

"Unchipped cats do not officially have owners and no one can do anything about you taking/treating/neutering an unchipped cat."

I didn't realise there was a legal requirement to have a cat microchipped in order to have lawful ownership.

When did that come about?

ADish. There is no legal requirement. But if a cat is found assumed to be stray, and there is no chip, then if the owners are eventually found there is nothing they can legally do if the cat has been rehomed/spayed etc.

If someone were to steal a neighbour's cat for example, the neighbours could probably bring some sort of case, even if the cat isn't chipped, to get the cat back. They would find it much more difficult to prove that the cat was theirs, but it would theoretically be possible. And if they were to be able to prove that the people who stole the cat knew it was theirs and took it anyway, it's possible they could be in some sort of trouble. But without a chip it wouldn't be easy.

However it would not be possible to seek any sort of legal redress from anyone who treats/spays/aborts a cat, believed to be stray and not chipped. There isn't even a legal requirement for rescues to keep such a cat for a minimum of seven days (as for dogs) in case an owner comes forward. Although most do just as good practice.

DidoTheDodo Tue 10-Dec-13 10:15:55

What have you called her? (I love Technocat!)

technicallychallenged Tue 10-Dec-13 20:23:49

Dido I like that too
We have told the DCs that we aren't naming her because she might have to go back to her real family. However I caught the older two asking her if she would like to be called Holly.
We have said that if the cat goes back to her owner after Christmas we shall look into getting a cat.
(Any tips on cat ownership would be great thanks)

boofted Tue 10-Dec-13 20:44:56

Oh I hope you can keep her! Cats are wonderful.

cozietoesie Tue 10-Dec-13 20:52:34

.....asking her if she would like to be called Holly.....

Sounds like a done deal to me, technically.


technicallychallenged Tue 10-Dec-13 20:56:49

Well either way we shall be having a cat squeals excitedly
However I have only ever had dogs so I am not 100% sure what to expect.

cozietoesie Tue 10-Dec-13 21:00:20

Oh boy.

Just read the board, I think - and stay flexible!


It's great that you're happy to keep her. What's happening about spaying her?

TheBunsOfPanettone Tue 10-Dec-13 21:13:43

I so hope you can keep her! If she has "owners" at all they don't seem to deserve her and it sounds as if she's making herself nicely at home with you and your family fgrin

They make the most lovely companions as I think you are discovering.

One thing to be careful of is that her curiosity may lead her into potentially dangerous situations such as trying out the washing machine/dryer for a sleep - so check in there before you put it on. Also, a certain number of house plants, flowers etc are toxic to cats, lilies are the worst and poinsettia are apparently poisonous too.

technicallychallenged Tue 10-Dec-13 21:28:41

We are taking her to the vet next week anyway so we will ask them about spaying etc and we shall go from there.
Thanks Thebunsofpanettone luckily we don't have any plants because DH seems to be allergic to most flowers. Plus we usually check the washing machines because my DS likes to put cars in it and leave them as a 'surprise' fhmm

cozietoesie Tue 10-Dec-13 21:33:05

Cats are really pretty straightforward, technically, although you wouldn't always think so from reading this board - where so many of the posts are about problems.

Food, water, littering, vet care and parasite treatment are mostly your obligations. With loads of love and fun in return.


Applecrumbly Wed 11-Dec-13 20:10:17

Technical sigh! My story sort of mirrors yours.It would take too long to go into it all but we have always had a dog and I found a 7 wk old kitten last june and came on here like you and now we have a 7 mth old kitten we simply couldnt be without.
I have however found another cat in my garden and am going through it all again although its a bit different.Have a read of my threads on here in the litter tray.
Good luck with little hollyfsmile.

technicallychallenged Thu 12-Dec-13 20:40:59

Awh lovely story applecrumbly
We thought her owner had come forward yesterday someone got in contact asking about her. However they failed to identify 2 rather obvious marks she has and they were very vague when describing her and her age and personality so we think they are fake.
When we asked them why they hadn't identified the marks etc they hung up and we have heard nothing since.

cozietoesie Thu 12-Dec-13 20:50:27

Well swerved, technically.

TheBunsOfPanettone Thu 12-Dec-13 20:58:37

Very well handled, what a creepy call!

technicallychallenged Thu 12-Dec-13 21:00:19

Thanks cozietoesie. We just got lucky and a big thanks too all of you for telling us what to watch out for.

TamzinGrey Thu 12-Dec-13 21:34:55

I'm really hoping that nobody claims her as she's obviously landed on her feet with you Tech.

Holly is a great name for a little tabby.

You should read "Somewhere a Cat is Waiting" by Derek Tangye.

She's chosen you.

technicallychallenged Thu 12-Dec-13 22:49:50

Awh tamzingrey we would love to keep her she is lovely with the DCs and she is great company for me looks at cat sleeping on my lap
But there could be someone out there who is really missing their little tabby cat.

cozietoesie Thu 12-Dec-13 22:54:14

That would be 'their little tabby cat' who was unneutered, unchipped, thin and pitiful? Harden that heart, technically.

TamzinGrey Thu 12-Dec-13 23:31:35

... and with an untreated broken tail! Cozie is right. She will be so much better off with you.

technicallychallenged Fri 13-Dec-13 11:17:28

You people are worse than my DCs. fgrin
Well if No-one has come forward by Monday she shall be microchipped with our address so I guess then she will be ours.
The DCs left this morning saying bye bye Holly so my attempt to stop them getting emotionally attached to her has failed horribly.

cozietoesie Fri 13-Dec-13 11:25:03

Hey - where's the photo of her?


DidoTheDodo Fri 13-Dec-13 11:28:32

Hurrah - the Cat Massive gains another devotee.
I love how your DCs were asking her if she'd like a new name!

Sorry to keep going on about it (my nickname is rather apt) but what about the spaying? Personally I wouldn't be giving her back to anyone unspayed. If her owners were neglectful enough not to bother with it, then at the very least I'd make sure if she went back to them that that had already been taken care of.

technicallychallenged Fri 13-Dec-13 21:20:56

The spaying we shall also sort on Monday if she is pregnant then probably spay and abort if she is not then we shall set a day to get her spayed later in the week.

TheBunsOfPanettone Tue 17-Dec-13 13:27:04

Any more news, TechnicallyChallenged?

technicallychallenged Thu 19-Dec-13 20:26:21

We seem to have a cat.
Holly is microchipped with our address and she is going in to be spayed tomorrow.

cozietoesie Thu 19-Dec-13 20:30:06

Go Holly!


TheBunsOfPanettone Thu 19-Dec-13 20:31:13

Great news - congratulations to you and to Holly for finding herself such a lovely family fgrin

Yay! Such good news for Holly, and for you too. She's so lucky to have found you.

TheBunsOfPanettone Fri 20-Dec-13 09:06:36

Any chance of a picture of Holly? If you don't want to make your profile public you could post one on chat. This has been a lovely thread and it would be nice to see a pic of her settled in her new home. Appreciate if you'd rather not though.

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