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Stray and feral cats

Unfortunately we don’t have the resources to collect healthy strays but you can help a stray cat by following our ‘How to help a stray’ guide below.

If you have concerns about a sick or injured stray cat you can report it to us.

1. Is it a stray or a feral cat? 

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

If the cat is approachable and friendly it may be a stray cat that belongs to someone.

2. Finding the owner of a stray

If a stray cat is not feral the best thing to do is try and find its owner: To find out if the cat has an owner follow these steps: 

  1. Cats roam over a wide area, so ask around to see if anyone knows who it 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].
  5. We also recommend you visit Pets Located, an online resource that reunites owners with their pets.

3. Rehoming a stray cat

You can decide to take on a stray cat yourself if no owner can be found  - find out more about the needs of cats.

4. 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

5. Finding a new home

If you are unable to to keep the cat, a local animal rescue charity may be able to help. Try contacting your local RSPCA animal centre, Cats Protection or other reputable organisations. Some of these are listed on our Lost and found contact list [PDF 20KB].

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With the current cat overpopulation crisis facing the UK and our centres housing hundreds of cats - more than the number of dogs and rabbits combined - they need our support more than ever.

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