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Stray and feral cats

We collect sick or injured stray cats but due to lack of resources we don’t normally collect healthy strays. Because of this, we need the help of other organisations and we may refer callers to Cats Protection. We also recommend you visit Pets Located, an online resource that reunites owners with their pets. 

Is it a stray or a feral cat? 

If the stray is approachable and friendly it may belong to someone.

If the stray cat is not friendly, it may be feral. These cats are able to look after themselves. So long as a feral cat is healthy, it will live happily outside. We support the trapping and neutering of feral cats where local charities have the capacity to do so. 

Finding the owner of a stray

If a stray cat is not feral the best thing to do is try and find its owner: 

  1. Cats roam over a wide area, so ask around to see if anyone knows who the cat belongs to. 
  2. If you can safely transport the cat to a vet, you could have it scanned for a microchip.
  3. If this isn’t possible but you can get close enough to put a collar on it, then download our Paper cat collars [PDF 36.5KB]. Take precautions when approaching the cat and fixing the collar. 
  4. You can also download and print a Found poster [PDF 10.7KB] and Lost and found contact list [PDF 20KB].

Rehoming a stray cat

If you have taken all of the above steps, and can prove it, and are unable to find the stray’s owner within a reasonable period of time, ie 10 days, you can then find them a new home.  

If you are unable to keep the cat, please contact your local RSPCA animal centre.

If your local RSPCA centre is full, you may need to contact other reputable organisations. Some of these are listed on our Lost and found contact list [PDF 20KB].

Taking on a stray cat

If you decide to keep a stray cat, you must be able to properly care for the cat. Find out about the needs of cats

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