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I have found a cat - what to do next?

(14 Posts)
Devora Sun 11-Oct-15 09:14:59

Last night the neighbours called me because there was a small black cat/kitten (at a guess, 9 months old) crying in their back garden. It kept trying to get into their shed, and was there for a few hours. I took it home and kept it overnight, shut in a small room (I have another cat) with food and a litter tray. It looks well cared for but was hungry and scared. It cried in the night so I went and slept with it in my arms.

OK, before anyone tells me I did the wrong thing I know the RSPCA advice is to leave it in the garden unless it's injured. But it was nighttime, it's very young, it didn't have a collar (making me think it's not normally allowed out?) and was very distressed. So my instinct is I did the right thing.

But what now? Do I put it back in the garden and see if it can find its way home? Put up 'found' notices? Knock on doors? (I did a bit of this last night.) I won't be able to take it to the vet to check if it's micro-chipped till tomorrow.

Pipbin Sun 11-Oct-15 09:26:27

I personally would keep it safe and put up found notices both nearby and on local Facebook 'lost cat' sites. Contact the local vet to get it scanned and there is a good chance that the owner will have contacted the vets.
I couldn't stand to put it back outside. I couldn't live with myself not knowing that it was safe.

thecatneuterer Sun 11-Oct-15 11:04:10

The RSPCA advice is crap on most things. If people find a cat has had kittens in their shed their advice is not to feed it so it will go away! So what the RSPCA might or might not think is neither here nor there.

You absolutely did the right thing. Your first step should be to get it scanned at the vet for a chip. If there is no chip then post up some 'cat found' posters, but don't give away too many details on there.

Anyone who contacts you should be able to tell you the age, the sex, any markings and provide some photos.

Do you know if it's male or female?

I would be concerned that it's an unneutered female that has been chased by males and become lost. It's about the right age for it to happen and it happens a lot.

Definitely keep him/her in until you find owners. If you do find owners ask them about neutering and impress upon them the need. (If it were me I would get him/her neutered before putting up notices, and then give anyone who came to claim the cat the bill. It wouldn't be illegal. It's a stray).

If you can't find any owners then it's up to you what you do. But don't ask the RSPCA to take it as they euthanise far too readily.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 11-Oct-15 11:27:12

Totally agree. You should keep the cat, put up signs on Facebook etc and ask around the neighbourhood until you can get to the vet smile

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 11-Oct-15 11:30:40

keep can take to vets to be scanned.

then keep

Devora Sun 11-Oct-15 12:46:38

Thanks all. I have now taken the cat to the vet. It is female and it isn't chipped. Although it looks very well taken care of, which had made me think it must have got lost very recently, the vet nurse said it is riddled with ticks so probably on the road at least a few days.

I have knocked on a lot of doors and put up posters in this street and the adjacent one. I have posted on FB, Twitter and a local community website, and on Petsreunited.

Cat is currently curled up on the bed with fresh food and litter. My own cat is curled up on the bed in the next room, looking suspicious.

I guess if nobody has rung me to reclaim by tomorrow morning I'll need to look into rehoming - any advice on best people to do this with? I absolutely don't want the cat put down - she is a lovely little thing - so if it came to that I'd rather try keeping her. But I don't think my neurotic cat will adjust at all well to sharing his space, so I'm reluctant to give it a try if I can find an alternative. She really is a beautiful cat, I can't believe someone won't want her.

thecatneuterer Sun 11-Oct-15 15:05:57

Look on for details of local rescues.

I'm sure your cat would learn to accept her if that's the route you would like to go down.

If it looks as though she'll be with you for a little while at least then I would ask a vet to check for a spay scar (they need to shave a patch to look) and then get her done if necessary.

Devora Sun 25-Oct-15 21:53:36

UPDATE: Thanks all for your helpful responses here. Just to say that I spent two weeks with little cat living in my spare room. I did everything I possibly could to trace the owners, and then to try to rehome. All the cat shelter places were full. Anyway, in that two weeks little cat put on weight and became much calmer and happier; we got her checked over by the vet and gave her worm and flea treatment. She once got to see our cat - who is twice the size - and there was no contest; my poor boy spent three hours quaking at the bottom of the garden. So today I waved her off to a nice new home with a friend (actually, with dd1's dad). Really pleased that I'll still be able to see her smile

thecatneuterer Sun 25-Oct-15 22:00:15

It's great that you found her a home. But what has been done regarding neutering?

Devora Sun 25-Oct-15 22:46:37

The vet couldn't tell - it certainly hasn't been done recently as there was no shaving. She said they would have to open her up surgically to check. So her new owner will settle her in then take that one forward. (Vet also said it's impossible to know if she's pregnant - please no!)

thecatneuterer Sun 25-Oct-15 23:08:31

The only well to tell generally is for the vet to shave the area and look for a scar. Is the new owner aware that this needs doing straight away? Even if she is pregnant it won't matter as long as they get her done immediately. If she's not showing then it really makes no difference.

But this really needs doing this coming week if possible.

Devora Mon 26-Oct-15 12:32:37

I can tell this is your area of expertise, thecatneuterer grin. Presumably the urgency is to get it done before she is going outside? New owner was anxious about this issue so I think he'll be very motivated and responsible, but I'll make sure to remind him about it.

thecatneuterer Mon 26-Oct-15 12:55:46

Yes, I've got a 'does what it says on the tin' type of name smile

She's already been outside so in theory could already be in the early stages of pregnancy. However if it's done straight away then whether she is or not will make no difference as she won't be after it's done.

Devora Mon 26-Oct-15 13:01:01

Righto, I'll ring him after lunch. I hadn't thought about it as a solution if she is already pregnant. You can sleep untroubled tonight wink; I'll make sure to follow up on your excellent advice!

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