Every month we receive calls about ‘stray’ cats which potentially may not actually be homeless and in some cases have had cats brought to us (and after scanning for a microchip) find that they actually belong to the neighbour!
Often cats are considered stray because they come uninvited in to the home and hang around, nearly always there is food involved! If you think that that a stray cat has adopted you, it’s worth taking a moment to consider cats and their habits.
They are, by nature lazy creatures, sleeping for around 16 hours a day and will take the easiest food source they can find. They are also greedy, and will stay in the area and eat all the food offered to them.
If you receive a visit from an unknown cat and feed it, there is every chance that the cat will come back again and again looking for another easy meal.
Before long a cat that is allowed out during the day will turn up on your doorstep for second breakfast and not leave again until it knows tea will be served back at its original home. In fact, if the cat is not permanently in your garden or home then it almost certainly has somewhere else to go and could be someone else’s beloved pet.
What to do if you suspect a cat is a stray
- Try not feed it and do not invite it in to your home.
- Unless the cat is in obvious need of medical assistance it is best to ignore them.
If the cat becomes a permanent fixture in your garden and does not appear to be leaving then it may be worth taking it to a local vet or animal shelter.
Why take it to a rescue centre?
- Vets and shelters will be able to scan the animal for a microchip.
- They may then be able to contact the owner and inform them of your frequent visitor.
- Obtain a temporary collar from Cheltenham Animal Shelter or Cats Protection
Temporary collars are placed around the cat’s neck with your details, so an owner can call and confirm the cat is not a stray and is going home each night!
Please note Cheltenham Animal Shelter does not collect stray cats. However cats can be brought to the shelter in order for us to scan the animal for a microchip.
If you would like more advice on how to deal with a strange cat making itself at home then you can always contact the Shelter on 01242 523521