Stray cats are much the same as pet cats – at some point in their lives
they will have been cared for by people, typically living in a home,
but now they are free-living.
Each stray will have a different story, they may have been abandoned, they may have become lost
or they may have moved away from their home because they were unhappy.
‘Free-living’ means that stray cats spend a lot of time outdoors and many are happy with the freedom of that lifestyle. However, without somebody responsible helping to keep them safe and well-fed, they can end up with inluries or nasty health problems.
Sometimes cats with owners can be mistaken for strays. It’s important to try and find the owner of any cat you think may be a stray, including asking a vet or the RSPCA to scan for a microchip, creating ’found’ posters and advertising on social media.
Goole RSPCA can help by providing a paper collar to put on the suspected stray. This collar asks the owner to contact the branch and we are then able to reassure the member of public who reported the cat as a stray that it does have a home.
Goole RSPCA also offers a service known as TNR – trap, neuter and return, for strays that are unhandleable.
On request, we provide a humane trap and pay for the stray to be neutered. The cat is then returned to its home environment safe in the knowledge that it can no longer be responsible for unwanted kittens.
Giving a home to a cat in need can be hugely rewarding but it is also a
responsibility and a long-term commitment. Consider carefully whether you
have the time, space and money to help care for a stray cat.
If the cat becomes ill or injured in the future you’ll be responsible for ensuring they get the veterinary care they need.
There are so many benefits for both the cat and the RSPCA. Cats that come
into our care will live with one of our fostering team until we can find
them a suitable ‘forever home’, this can be stressful for many cats,
especially those stray cats who have been used to the freedom to roam and
live outside. Taking on the responsibility yourself means the cat can return
to a place they know and feel comfortable.
Quite often community cats have more than one feeder. If this applies to you and your neighbours,
it is worth agreeing between yourselves who is responsible for the cat and for ensuring their welfare needs are met. It may be worth creating a community cat fund with your neighbours to cover unexpected costs.
YOU can make a difference to the life of a cat in DN14. Choose one (or more) of the following ways to help us help cats and kittens that desperately need it.