Would You Know What To Do With A Lost Cat

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Would you know what to do with a lost cat?
6th June 2018

By Karen Pickwick
 
With thousands of cats going missing each year, knowing what to do if you find one could mean the difference between a happy reunion or a sad separation. 
 
Findings released by feline welfare charity Cats Protection show, however, that the UK population is confused about what to do if they spot a wandering cat.
 
And with fewer than a third of all cats microchipped, the odds of a happy reunion are not good for our feline friends unless we know how to help them.
 
Carried out to coincide with this year’s Microchipping Month (June), the survey of 1,000 people showed that nearly half (48%) would not approach an unfamiliar cat. Reasons would include the possibility the cat may be aggressive, may have an owner nearby or that it could simply be seeking attention.
 
And while slightly more than half (52%) would approach the cat, they would fail to find out if the cat has an owner. Only 42% of this sample would check for a collar to reunite the cat with its owner, while just 20% would take the cat to a vet to be scanned for a microchip. 
 
KEY THINGS
 
Cats Protection says that while no approach is totally wrong, there are some key things the public can do to help them decide whether or not the cat needs help.
 
“One of the main things is to keep an eye out for a new cat over time,” says Karen Thompson, deputy manager of Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre. 
 
“If you see the cat rarely, and it appears well-fed every time you see it, then the chances are it has an owner or it is a feral cat that is accustomed to living in the wild.  
 
“However if the cat is hanging around a lot and over time looks thin, underweight or distressed, then this could be a domestic cat that has become lost and is in need of help.”
 
If the cat seems friendly, Cats Protection’s top tips are:
 
Check the cat for a collar and if there are no visible signs of ownership take the cat to your local vet to be scanned for a microchip
If the cat is sick or injured get veterinary assistance for the animal quickly or call the RSPCA, USPCA or SSPCA
Ask your neighbours if they recognise the cat
Check local newspapers, listings and social media sites in case the cat is listed as missing.