Found a Stray

If you suspect a cat is lost or stray, here is a checklist to follow:

Try to catch the cat (gently and using a carrier) and take him to your neighbourhood vet to check for a microchip. The vet will be able to read the cat’s microchip very quickly if there is one and contact its owner. If the cat is injured or sick, please consider helping with immediate vet care. You could save a life.

Check Pet FBI and report the cat to the Toronto Humane Society and Toronto Animal Services (via 311) as soon as possible and follow-up with them regularly. Someone may be calling there looking for him. Also try local “lost pet” Facebook groups.

Take photographs of the cat, post on social media, and put up “Found” posters around your neighbourhood, including in any area vet clinics. Add a listing to Pet FBI.

Go door to door with the photographs, and ask your neighbours if they recognize the cat (it’s sort of like detective work — think Kitty Columbo!) It’s also a great way to raise awareness amongst your neighbours — maybe one of them has a shack or garage they can convert into a temporary shelter.

You could be this cat’s only chance to get back to their home or to find a new forever home. Don’t assume that “someone else” will help this cat.

If you cannot keep the cat at your home (isolated from your other pets), see if anyone you know would be interested in fostering and helping with expenses. We have had a few people raise money through crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe. Once it is healthy and adoptable, try to find the cat a loving home. If you really cannot keep the cat for a few weeks while you look for a new home, take him to Toronto Animal Services or to the Toronto Humane Society.

How can you tell if a cat is feral versus stray?
Stray cats who have been abandoned by their families can be quite traumatized and skittish and you may think he is a feral cat as you can’t get close to him. Alley Cat Allies has provided this helpful “on-the-street” assessment guide to help you.