Found a cat?

Take a look at our guide on what to do next - whether you've found a feral or stray.

What do I do if I've found a cat?

Most cats are, by nature, inclined to roam the area surrounding their home. You're likely to come across a stray cat on your travels, although it might be tricky to find out whether it is a stray cat, a feral or is in fact an owned cat with a sense of adventure. So what should you do if you've found a cat?

Feral, stray or owned cat?

Before you do anything, it is important to assess whether the cat you've found is a stray, a feral or an owned cat. If they appear well-groomed and is a healthy weight, they may have an owner nearby.

Ferals behave like wild animals and won't come close, even with encouragement. Stray cats might look lost and disorientated, but may be friendly if given time. Check out our visual guide for more tips on how to identify the cat you have found.

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Keeping the cat safe

If the found cat is friendly, you might be able to check for an identification tag - if it belongs to someone, give them a call and let them know. You can take the cat to your nearest vet to scan for a microchip, or call your local Cats Protection branch for help.

It is also a good idea to advertise the cat you've found using flyers or social media sites, or use our paper collars. If you have no luck in finding the owner, contact Cats Protection's National Information Line on 03000 12 12 12 for more advice.

Every year, we reunite many lost cats with their loving families. Would you like to help us continue to do this? Would you consider sponsoring a cat or making a donation?

Printable paper collars for cats

If you've found a cat and you're unsure as to whether it has an owner, use our handy paper collars. Here's what to do:

- Print out the template here

- Write your contact telephone number in the space provided and cut out one collar

- Ensure the fitted collar allows for two fingers to be placed between the collar and cat's neck, to make sure the cat isn't harmed

- If you get no response from the owner, call your local Cats Protection branch. You can find your local branch by typing in your postcode at

For more advice on what to do, download our checklist below.

Related topics

Lost a cat? - Topic

Stray cats - Topic

What to do if you find a dead cat - Topic

Photo credit

Banner image - Craig McLachlan -