29 answers

I Just Hit a Cat with My Car! What Do I Do?

I was about a mile from my house with my 3 kids in the car when an animal darted out in front of me. My husband was behind me and as I looked in the review mirror I could see that he hit it too. I screamed and continued home in shock telling the kids it was just a bump. I dropped the kids off at home with my husband and I went back to the site.

With my headlights, (night time, dark road) I was able to tell that it was a black cat, definitely dead, with no collar. I pulled into the nearest driveway and asked the person who lived there if it was his cat. The guy said no. I asked him if he knew who the cat might belong to and again he said no. So I went back to the cat, trying to figure out what to do. I then pulled into another driveway and I thought I should knock and ask those people as well. Well as soon as I drove further in, I got a strange feeling that what I was doing was not safe. It was not a well lit house, not very welcoming. So I decided to leave. I briefly stopped by the cat, (busy road so i had to be brief) and said sorry and a little prayer. I then dove home to let my husband know what it was that we hit and killed.

I have since put the kids to bed and had time to think about it. And I am not sure I did the right thing. Should I have called the police? Do they really care, after all, it had no collar and could very well have been feral? Should I have tried to move it even though it was a busy road, very dark, at night? Should I have knocked on more doors even though I was alone and didn't feel safe? The houses on this road are far apart as it is a country road and there weren't too many that close.

How sad. I feel just awful. Please help.


What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all of your responses. You are all so caring and really helped me feel much better about the situation. After reading your responses in the morning I went back to check on the cat and from there I was going to make the call to animal control but the cat was gone. I am hoping to God that it was lovingly taken away by the proper people. I however cannot allow this to be over. I will continue to seek a possible owner through the community bulletins, newspaper, neighbors, etc. Thank you all again for such comforting words.

Featured Answers

I think you did all the decent things anyone would expect you to do. If you were going to call the police, you should have done it immediately. Once you did not do that, there was no point to calling the police the next day, for they could charge you with leaving the scene of the accident. It's just one of those unfortunate things that happens in life. I wouldn't dwell on it too long. Call me if you'd like to chat. I. Collins, Executive Senior Sales Director for Mary Kay, Inc. ###-###-####

1 mom found this helpful

I know how you feel... last week for the first time I hit a deer.. its mating season apparently in my area and they are everywhere.. I didnt even see her until it was too late, it was dark and this road I was on is a 55 mph zone, so thats what I was doing. I was a total wreck - I couldnt stop crying and the nightmares were horrible, but it gets better.

I did find out that I should have called the police for the police report and so they could have the animal removed from the road. (the impact made it become an angel)

But I think you did the right thing. With no collar you dont know who it belonged to or if it did belong to someone. People need to keep their animals inside.

1 mom found this helpful

All you can do is call animal control. I think going to the closest home was ok, but do not go door to door, especially at night! And definitely don't stress about it. There is nothing more you can do. As an animal lover, I understand that you're shook up, but there is nothing else you can do.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I hit a cap a couple of months ago. I was with my 4 year old and 2 year old girl. My sister has 5 cats of her own and my girls just love them. Well they knew I hit the cat - I swerved yelled OMG and then it was too late. I pulled a u-turn and parked in front of it - the cat was to the side of the road pretty much - dark at night like you. I called my sister hysterical and waited till she came with her boyfriend and removed the cat from the road. They put the cat in some brush - we said a prayer and let my daughter name the cat. I too felt terrible but if there was nothing you could do to avoid it - then there was nothing you could do. I think you should call the town to remove it from the road so it isn't hit over and over again. I hate to see any animal in the middle of the road. Don't worry though - you will think about it from time to time -but it will be OK. I felt terrible too.......Good Luck to you!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Oh, how sad! Mama, you did what you could do. You definitely should NOT have continued knocking on doors if you did not feel safe. There is a POSSIBILITY that the cat had a chip implanted, with his info...but how are YOU supposed to find out? I think you did just fine.

1 mom found this helpful

I think you went above and beyond...you're a sweet, warm hearted person and I'm sorry you had to go through that...I hit a bunny once and was horrified...my husband hit a dog RIGHT IN FRONT of it's 4 year old owner - talk about horrible!

You checked the cat, it didn't have a collar...you knocked on a neighbor's door...you did all you could...rest easy.


1 mom found this helpful

That's tough- sorry you went through that. Don't feel guilty about leaving though. Your safety is more important. I would call animal control and tell them what happened. That way if someone calls to report a lost cat, they'll have record of it, and they'll pick it up as well. Good luck, and try not to feel so bad. Sounds like you did all you could.

1 mom found this helpful

A.--Your goodness just simply reflects through every word you write. Sometimes such things are unavoidable. I am a nurse and have worked in a hospital where there is a radiologist who is on life support from having swerved to miss an animal who ran into the road and hit a tree as a result. You had your kids' safety to consider, and your husband's too--if you'd stopped too suddenly, he could have rear-ended you.

Now, the fact remains, in many years of driving, I have hit an opossum, a cat, and a squirrel, as well as a deer who ran into me, dented my car, and trotted off unscathed. Every time, I have remembered them, prayed for them, and still can replay the whole scene in my mind years later. It hurts to be human--and humane.

In our locale, there is a part of the road maintenance department that go around and clear the road of dead animals. I suppose ideally, you would have pulled the cat off the road, but I am a nurse who has dealt with a lot of tragedy, and I have never been able to face that. You did the best you could, and that seems really good to me. God bless... M.

1 mom found this helpful

Oh A. J....you sound just like me. I've hit a few squirrels in my time & have buried them. I think you did the right thing by not putting yourself in further danger. When you got that eerie feeling about that one house, that is your inutition at work. People say that feeling is God tapping you on the shoulder. I understand the need to want to find the owner because they may be worried. I keep my cats indoors. However, mine snuck out today....I got her back, but still. My feeling is that if people let their animals roam around unattended, anything can happen. Back to you... that was very admirable to go back to help the kitty & try to find the rightful owner. It was very thoughtful that you apologized & said a prayer for the kitty. =(

Take care,

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.,
First, you did the right thing. Second, thank you for speaking up on this Mamasource site. Third, I learned a lot by reading your responses. Fourth, I volunteer with an animal rescue team and, unfortunately, we can not take in animals now because we are at our maximum. We need more foster homes for dogs and cats. The consequence of that plus what is going on with our economy is that there will be more incidents like this. In fact, I drove out just 50 miles to see the foliage yesterday and saw 4 road kills. The other alternative is to be sure our animals are neutered and the cats are preferably indoor cats.

1 mom found this helpful

You went above and beyond what you are expected to do in a circumstance such as that. Chances are the cat was feral, however, if he actually did belong to someone -- that is what can happen when black cats run the streets at nite. Obviously you are an animal lover and know how you would feel if the situation was reversed. We had a cat once, SixToes, whom we could NOT keep inside. He spent most of his life running around the streets and as fate would have it, one day he was hit by a truck and killed. I had to go pick up his "remains" with all the neighborhood kids watching me crying cuz they all loved SixToes. However, not for one moment did I blame the truck driver because I know he did not see this cat coming out from parked cars to run across the street. You did the right thing. L.

1 mom found this helpful

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