Advice centre - Stray cats

Thank you for visiting the RSPCA website to find information on how to deal with a cat you have seen in your local area.

You need to take the following steps in order to establish whether the cat is owned and likes to roam, or whether it has no owner and therefore can be found a loving new home:

  • Ask around the neighbourhood to see if anyone knows who the cat belongs to.

  • If the cat is judged to be tame, you can download our simple print-friendly cat collar (PDF 147KB). Instructions are provided.

  • You can also download and print our A4 'Found' poster (PDF 26.5KB) and our Lost and found - contacts list (PDF 19KB).

  • Log what steps you have taken to locate an owner. As long as you can prove that all reasonable steps have been taken, and no owner is found, you can then go about finding a loving new home for the cat.

  • If you decide to keep the cat, please do ensure that you carefully consider the commitment required. You must be able to provide proper care, accommodation, food and veterinary care for the rest of the cat's life.

  • If you are not able to keep the cat, please contact your nearest RSPCA animal centre to see if they can help you with rehoming the cat. You can find your local RSPCA by using our search facility.

  • If your local RSPCA animal centre is full, you may need to contact other reputable organisations. Some of these organisations are listed on our Lost and found - contacts list (PDF 19KB).

  • Thank you once more for visiting the RSPCA website and we do hope you are successful in locating the cat's owner.

    photo © Laura Donaldson/RSPCA

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