Post # 1
We found a cat this weekend. He came to us seemingly in distress…hungry, thin, crying desperately for about 10 hours before we brought him in. I suspect he is a stray. He is not neutered, and he wasn’t wearing a collar. I don’t know if he is microchipped, as I don’t have a car during the day so I can’t drive anywhere.
I’ve put out flyers, put an ad on kijiji/craigslist, I’m checking kijiji/ craigslist every day (there are no ads for a lost cat of his description), posted on facebook groups…and nothing. No responses. I’ve called the local shelters and there is no report of a lost cat that matches his description. They have my information to hand out.
We would like to take the cat to the (no-kill) shelter this weekend if no comes forward. But I’m worried that it hasn’t been enough time, and that if he does end up being an outdoor cat the owners will be angry with us for interfering or kidnapping their cat or something.
Unfortunately we cannot keep the cat. We talked seriously about it, but we both feel that we don’t have the time and resources to devote to another pet (we have a dog and he really isn’t happy that there is a cat in the house – another problem).
(also, we bought cat food, some toys, and a litter tray and litter for him. He is separated from the dog at all times.)
Would it be okay to take him this weekend, or should we give it a little more time?
Post # 4
@starlitgirl: I think you’re probably okay to take him in. Many shelters have a policy that they won’t release an animal to a new owner until it has been there for a fixed period of time.
Post # 5
I would take him to a shelter but there is a good chance that this cat is micro-chipped. Make sure that the microchip is checked before they try adopting out the cat. Also – be sure that the shelter is for real. It should be no-kill.
Post # 6
The shelter will be able to scan him for a microchip, if he doesn’t have one sounds like you’ve done everything you can. The shelter will probably neuter him and have him recover before going on the adoption floor, so usually about a week. He sounds like a street cat though and not someone’s pet.
Last year we had a “stray” come in through the ER, it had a microchip and we called the owner. The owner was mad someone brought the cat in because it is an indoor/outdoor cat. But it wasn’t wearing a collar and was several blocks away from home, so not sure why she would expect people to not assume it was a stray. It’s the risk you take with an outdoor pet that doesn’t have tags.
Post # 7
Take him to a vet to see if there’s a chip. The vet will likely have some insight on whether he is homeless or just an outdoor cat.
I’d give it some more time if you possibly can, but I think the cat is likely a stray.
You’re a good person for doing this <3
Post # 8
I’d take him to the no-kill shelter. Even if he did belong to someone, they shouldn’t let their intact cat roam around outside IMO.
Post # 9
First, you are super sweet for caring and doing so much already. Do not feel guilty about not being able to keep the cat! Knowing your limits when considering being a pet-owner is one of the kindest things we can do for the animals.
I think you are fine to take him to a (reputable, no-kill) shelter this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed he is microchipped and can go back to his owner then.
Post # 10
If you take him to the shelter as a stray, they will have him checked out by a vet, neutered, and the vet will check for a microchip. Shelters have to hold strays for period of time before putting them up for adoption, in case it turns out to be someone’s pet (and to watch for illness).
If you take him to a vet and then turn him in, some shelters will consider you as an “owner” since you provided care. At that point, you will have to surrender him, instead, which can be more complicated. For the same reason, you may not want to mention to the shelter that you have provided shelter, litter, food, etc. to the cat – it depends on their policies.
Post # 11
@starlitgirl: The cat is likely a stray! You’re super sweet for taking it in! You could run up to your vets office and see if they will check for a microchip really quick!
Also, (not sure how you feel about this) if you really feel uncomfortable taking it to the shelter then you could post in your local news paper or other ad sites that you found a cat, no one has come forward and it needs a fur-ever home! Then I would check the credibility of the new owner and get vet references. There’s also aspca as well!
Post # 12
Agreed! Be very care about “surrendering”. If you ever want to adopt another animal they might not consider you if you have to put on your application that you surrendered an animal at a shelter!
Post # 13
Thanks everyone for your thoughts. My DH’s family volunteered at the shelter in question, and he said that if a cat is healthy they will keep it for years if they have to. Same with dogs. They will also scan for a chip. I think taking the cat on the weekend is the right decision, just to get him checked out by a vet.
I had a cat go missing once, and he was never found, and I know how heartbreaking it was. So I definitely want to do the right thing here.
@LadyBear: I didn’t know that. I did mention on the phone that we had brought him inside, so hopefully they won’t consider that ownership.
Post # 14
@lolita39: Unfortuntately due to my husband’s work schedule I can’t get to a vet before it closes, as I have no car 🙁 So the cat will have to be scanned this weekend. I’ve put up fliers, and ads online so perhaps someone will call or email before the weekend!
I will be very careful about surrendering it, thanks to you and ladybear for the warning. We may want to adopt an animal a couple of years down the road, who knows.
Post # 15
Is the cat using the litter? That would be a good indicator as to whether or not it has a home.
Post # 16
@starlitgirl: Just bringing inside shouldn’t make you an owner. Just when you turn it in, be sure to call it a stray and you’ll be fine.