Stray cats must be one of the most emotive subjects we have to deal with at the SPCA. People feel either desperately sorry for them, or totally enraged by them.
If the animal is sick or injured, and an owner cannot be found, notify the SPCA, and we will arrange for you to bring it to us or take it to the nearest vet. This obviously depends on the friendliness of the cat, and the nature and severity of the injuries.
If the animal appears healthy, and is not wild, then you need to establish whether it has an owner or not.
If you see a stray cat you can do as follows:
Walk the length of the street, and adjoining ones if you want, to see if anyone knows anything about the cat. You can put out fliers, even if it’s not in every box. Cats can roam over a wide range.
Contact the SPCA. We have a large database, and can quickly scan for any reported lost animals. If no match is found, we will add it to our database of found animals. If appropriate we can supply you with a collar and tag to put on the cat.
Advertise. You can do so in the paper and on the radio at no cost to you. Other places are: vet clinics, shopping centres, online (Trade Me and Pets on the Net).
If no owner is found after a week, then you may contact us for further advice. We are under no obligation to take in stray healthy cats, and it will depend entirely on space and circumstances as to whether we accept the cat or not.
It may seem harsh to not feed the animal, but you want to encourage it to go home for its food if it is owned. If you do feed it, it will become yours whether you want it or not. This of course doesn’t apply to animals that are unable to fend for themselves, like young kittens, or special cases like mother cats and kittens.