What to Do with a Stray Cat?

Updated on February 01, 2010
C.S. asks from Channahon, IL
6 answers

We have a beautiful cat that has been hanging out on our deck for two days meowing at our glass doors. I love animals, but my son is allergic. The cat has no tags . .. What can I do? Should I take him to the Humane Society? Do I feed him? What if he's a neighbor's cat and just likes my deck? Its so cold.... Any suggestions?

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answers from Chicago on

I would see if I could bring it to a local rescue group or animal control. Depending where you live some animal controls are better than others. Some will euthanize the animal after the holding period and some will try to find a shelter to take it.

As far as being a neighbor's cat if they are letting it out in these crazy temperatures perhaps the cat will be better off in a different home. I am a firm believer that cats should not be outside as they can become prey or injured. And of course any shelter/animal control will scan the cat first and animal control will fine the pet for being outside if it is returned.

Thank you for caring for this cat.



answers from Detroit on

I've always found strays. Here's what I do: I would check with your local newspapers, craigslist, petfinder.com--look to see if someone placed an ad for a missing cat matching its description. Keep an eye also on lamp posts in your area as people like to post pictures of lost pets. Also, turn it over to a rescue group instead of the Humane Society because more than likely, they will euthanize it. Worse case scenario, I place my own ad for a cat I found. I've had luck posting ads at like a local hardware store and usually someone will adopt it, if all else fails.



answers from Seattle on

Contact the humane society or a rescue. If the cat is firendly you can grab her and transport her in a cardboard box. A vet at the HS will be able to scan her for other identifiers such as a microchip to help find her owner. If she is not chipped, tagged or tattooed she will be neutered and put up for adoption.
Any responsible pet owner should have their pet microchipped so they can be returned in a case like this.



answers from Lafayette on

I would not bring it inside my home. Maybe a garage. Stray cats can have worms and fleas and mange, etc. that you do not want in your home. I would call the humane society. They will likely take it in, and may lend a live trap if needed to catch it. And I would also heat some food for it in the microwave, and give it fresh water.



answers from Chicago on

My neighbor's cat does that sometimes. He's mostly an indoor cat, but they let him go outside during the day once in a while, and he seems to like our front porch. I personally wouldn't have an outdoor cat where I live, but people who grew up in more rural areas are used to having cats that go in and out, I think.

Personally, I'd probably just ignore the cat if it's not bothering you and doesn't seem to be starving or in distress (and you don't have coyotes in the area, or heavy traffic.) Don't feed it, though. You can also call your city's animal control and ask for advice. Find out what they do with the animals - in my town, they give them to a local shelter that does not euthanize healthy, adoptable animals. They scan the animals for microchips, and they have a waiting period of a few days for owners to reclaim.


answers from Kansas City on

see if animal control picks up cats in your area. if they do, then i would just bring the cat inside, but in a closed location (like the bathroom) until they can come and get it. Does it seem to be in good condition? well groomed and fed? it may very well be a neighbors cat, but after they dont see it, i am sure they would check with the humane society.

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