If you find a cat

If you find a deceased cat....

If you are able to do so, please take the cat a vet to get it checked for a microchip - they will do this for free. If the cat isn't chipped, you can put up a few posters, notify other vets and also let us know via our Facebook page.
You can also advertise the cat for free in the Express & Star by calling 01902 313131.
If you're not able to stop and pick up the cat, please call the local Council. Wolverhampton Council number is 01902 551155.

If you find a stray cat....

Most cats are by nature, inclined to wander - so it seems inevitable that you might come across a stray. Unlike dogs, there are very few laws that give cats legal protection and one of the most frequently asked questions is what to do when finding a stray cat.

Is it definitely a stray cat?

Cats can often appear lost and wanting for food and this doesn’t necessarily mean they are a stray. If the cat appears a healthy weight and well groomed, they could well belong to someone else – worth thinking about before you take the cat in for yourself. A socially well-adjusted cat may often be friendly and affectionate, especially if there's food or treats on offer – this doesn't mean it doesn't have a home to go to.

If the cat is friendly enough to approach, check if there is a collar or ID tags – if it belongs to someone, you can give them a call to arrange a happy reunion. If there are no visible signs of ownership, take the cat to your local veterinary clinic or Cats Protection branch. The cat will be scanned for a microchip (free service) and contact can be made with the registered owners. 

Even if it doesn't look perfectly healthy, remember elderly cats and cats with chronic illnesses can appear to be thin or have less than glossy coats. If you're not sure, download a paper collar. Put one on the cat with your contact details asking people to get in touch if the cat belongs to them.

Ask your neighbours if they recognise the cat. There might be someone in the local area frantically searching for their lost pet. Check local newspapers for listings of a missing cat, or post a photo on community group web pages like our Facebook page. If you're based in the Wolverhampton area, look at our local register of lost and found cats.

Keep the cat safe

In the meantime, keep the lost cat safe and provide it with food and clean water. It is advised not to give a cat cow’s milk as many are lactose intolerant. If you’re unable to take the cat home with you, you might want to provide it with a temporary shelter. Try a sturdy cardboard box with an old blanket or take a look at this blog post on how to build a stray cat shelter.

Advertise the found cat

Download our poster pack of printable posters to advertise the missing cat in your local area – it might just catch someone’s eye. You can also report the cat as found on the Animal Search UK website. Post a picture on our Facebook page and you can share it onto the main Cats Protection Facebook page, Animal Search UK Facebook PageMidlands Animal Rescue Facebook page and CatAware Facebook page. Do the same on Twitter; you’re likely to reach a larger number of people if you ask your followers to share and retweet.

How can Cats Protection help?

If you’ve had no luck in finding the lost cat’s owner, click here to email our lost and found officer, Shirley Perry, who maintains our register of lost and found cats and will advise you further.

I’m worried about a stray cat’s health

A lost cat might be nervous, especially if sick and injured – so approach with caution. The safest way to move the cat is to carefully cover him in a blanket before picking him up. This keeps the cat safe as well as shielding you from claws!

If you’re worried about the health of the cat, call the RSPCA on its emergency number 0300 1234 999 (UK). If the cat is injured, take it to your nearest veterinary practice immediately. Vets have a duty of care to treat sick and injured animals and will help an injured stray cat at no cost to the finder.