If you happen to find a stray cat, it is important that you know what to do next.
There are some specific steps that you’ll want to take for the good of the animal.
This information will help you act appropriately in this type of situation.
1. Don’t Panic
When you see a stray cat running around in the road, the last thing you want to do is panic. This will only make the situation worse. Keep driving normally and find a safe place to pull over. The last thing you want to do is to cause an accident on the road.
2. Be Careful When Approaching the Cat
You should be cautious when approaching the cat, as they could be aggressive or agitated. Look at the overall posture of the cat so you can get a better idea about its mood. When a cat is in defense mode, its tail stands straight up and its body gets very stiff.
The best thing that you can do is to slowly approach the cat with your arm extended. Allow the cat to smell your hand before attempting to pet it or pick it up. This will give you the best chance of scooping it up without getting scratched or bitten.
3. Use Food to Get them in Your Car
If you are trying to get a stray cat inside of your vehicle, you’ll want to use any food that you might have on you. You should only actually give the cat the food if it is not toxic to them. This can be a huge motivator for these animals. Tuna is one of the best foods that you can lure a cat with. Don’t use dry cat food because the animal might not know its taste.
4. Check the Cat’s Collar
Once you have picked up the cat or confined it in your car or home, you’ll want to check its collar. If this is indeed a lost cat, it will likely have a collar with a tag on it. You should see the address of the cat’s owner on it. Some tags will also have the owner’s phone number.
If you have the contact information of the owner, you should call them up to let them know you found their cat. They will most likely be willing to meet you wherever you are. It is not a good idea to just drive over to their house, as they might not be home at the moment.
5. Give the Cat some Water
If the cat appears to be dehydrated at all, you’ll want to consider giving it some water. Some of the most common signs of dehydration in cats include dry skin, dry mouth, elevated heart rate, and sunken eyes. You might even notice that the cat is panting if it is severely dehydrated.
Lost Stays vs. Feral Cats
It is important that you know the difference between a lost stray cat and a feral cat. Strays belong to someone, whereas feral cats were born in the wild. If the cat you are approaching is feral, it probably won’t make eye contact with you at all.
Lost stay cats tend to be much friendlier and more sociable than feral cats. It is very important that you keep this in mind when going up to one of these animals. Feral cats very rarely meow or purr, whereas a lost stray will probably do this at some point.
A feral cat is unlikely to approach a random person it sees on the street, whereas a lost stray might. Some domesticated cats are naturally friendlier than others, so you’ll want to keep that in mind as well.
If you suspect that a cat is feral, you should avoid picking it up. There is no telling what diseases a feral cat has, and it could infect you through a bite or scratch. You should call animal control to come get the animal. You can also try luring it into a cage and bringing it to a local shelter.
It is very unlikely that a feral cat will allow you to touch them. These cats tend to lash out aggressively at any attempt at physical contact from a human.
Trapping the Cat
There are plenty of different traps that you can get to contain a stray or feral cat that you happen to find outside. Make sure that you take the time to look into some of these traps so you can find one that will work well.
Taking the Cat to the Vet
If you notice that the stray cat you have found is injured, you’ll want to take them to a vet. There are actually some veterinary clinics that will not charge for care if you bring in a stray. If the cat does not have a collar with any contact information for the owners, they might have a microchip.
A veterinarian will most likely be able to tell you if the cat you bring to them has a microchip, which can be scanned to get the owner’s details. There may be a charge for this service, so keep that in mind.
- If you are driving on the road and see a stray coat, do not panic or swerve your car. Instead find a safe place to pull over.
- You can try using any food that you might have with you to lure the cat into your car.
- You can also attempt to get the cat into a trap so you can take them to a veterinarian or shelter.
- If the cat has a collar, check it for any information that might help you find its owner.
- Some cats have microchips under their skin. If this is the case with your stray cat, a veterinarian will be able to find it.
- Make sure that you can tell the difference between a lost stray cat and a feral cat.
- A stray cat will most likely look you in the eyes, where as a feral cat will avoid eye contact altogether.
- Do not try to pick up or pet a cat that is exhibiting aggressive behavior, such as hissing or pinned back ears.