Does it appear to be healthy? Healthy, stray cats are ten times more likely to find their way home if left in their neighbourhood. Unfortunately, only about 3% of stray cats brought into to animal shelters are reunited with their families. Be aware that EHS does not accept healthy feral or farm/ acreage cats.
Most community cats such as feral cats or owned outdoor cats have access to shelter, food and water and are used to wandering outdoors. If you believe the cat may be a lost indoor cat, they are most likely close to their home. You can help find its family by doing the following:
- Check if the cat has a collar with any ID. There may be contact information for the guardians on the cats tags, or it may have a pet license which will allow your local municipality to contact the guardians.
- Use a paper collar. If there is no collar, put on a paper with a note to see if there is an owner. The City of Edmonton has a template which you can download here.
- Check around your neighbourhood. Speak with neighbours to see if they recognize the cat or know who it belongs to.
- Create a found pet posting online. Use websites like PawBoost and Kijiji to create a posting, which you can then share to your personal social media as well as your local lost and found pet groups and community groups on Facebook.
- Put up found pet posters around your neighbourhood.
- If you can safely handle the cat, take it to a local veterinarian to be scanned for a microchip.
Note: If you see a feral or farm cat with it’s ears cropped (the tips equally trimmed) this means it has been spayed or neutered before being returned to its habitat by its guardian and unless injured should be left.
Does it appear to be sick, injured or in distress (e.g. limping, wounded, hit by car, underweight)? Call your local animal control. In the City of Edmonton, you can contact Animal Care & Control by phoning 311 to make an appointment. If it is outside Edmonton, call your local municipality or phone our admitting department at 780-491-3522 to make an appointment.
Do not encourage stray cats onto your property if you find them a nuisance. Ensure there are no food sources, shelters, or options for the cats that make your property desirable. For additional tips from the City of Edmonton, visit here.
I’ve found a kitten or litter of kittens! Often Mom will leave her kittens for extended periods, so don’t panic if she isn’t anywhere to be seen! Kittens are typically best left where they are so Mom can return to care for them. Kittens are unlikely to survive if taken from Mom too early. If mom doesn’t return within 8 hours and the kittens are too young to be without her, contact our admitting team at 780-491-3522 or consider our Kitten Co-op program if you would be able to help care for them until they are old enough for adoption. If they are older (walking, playing and eating on their own) contact your local animal control. In the City of Edmonton, you can contact Animal Care & Control by phoning 311 to make an appointment.