Cats are naturally curious animals that have a habit of wandering away from their homes. Many of them who roam too far away from familiar territory get lost and become strays. And most of the time, these stray cats end up seeking shelter in someone else’s home.
If you see an unfamiliar cat hanging around your property for several days now, the very first thing that you need to do is to check if it is feral or a stray. It’s very important that you know how to tell the difference. Stray cats are domesticated cats that have simply lost their way while feral cats are wild, undomesticated and are possibly dangerous. Be very careful when you spot these kinds of animals around your property as feral cats are not used to being around people and may show aggressive behaviour when approached.
If you want to catch the animal, always put your safety and the animal’s safety at first priority. Restrain the animal with a piece of cloth or put him in a cage. Check for any identification marks such as a collar, a tag or a microchip. If there are none, then you can go to your local vet to check for any reports of a lost animal and see if the description fits the appearance of your feline visitor. Try to contact possible owners or post posters around town in case someone recognizes the animal before asking help from cat rescue.
If you think the stray cat is in need of special medical attention, contact your local Cats Protection League or an animal rescue organization for assistance. The Cats Protection League and other similar organizations are experts at cat rescue and are dedicated to rehabilitating lost and abused cats.
Although it is completely safe to offer stray cats protection and shelter, make sure that you do not get too attached to the animal while they are under your care. You will eventually be returning them to their original owner so it’s best to avoid any kind of emotional attachment from the beginning.
If you wish to make your visitor a temporary home, you can do so by using old boxes and Styrofoam. Tape the box close and cut a small hole at the side for an entrance. Cover the outside of the box with used Styrofoam for insulation and with heavy duty plastic to make it waterproof.
If you still haven’t found the animal’s owner after a few days of searching, you can opt to adopt the cat yourself or you can contact the Cats Protection League or other similar animal charities to take care of the stray. These organizations will be responsible for finding these animals a suitable home.
Before taking the cat officially in to your home, take them to the vet and have them checked for diseases and existing medical problems. This is to prevent the spread of possible infectious diseases that your new pet may have contracted while in the wild.
So always be open to giving lost cats protection and shelter when they need it. Your simple hospitality can mean a whole lot to these homeless felines.