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You've found a stray cat and you want to rescue it. Good for you! Thank you for taking the first step in improving an animal's life.
All 4 Cats is a small feline rescue that works with the community to decrease the homeless cat population. This is a joint effort that we cannot do without your help! Please take the time to read through the content of this page to find out how you can best save this animal's life.
If you see a cat that needs help, please rescue it if you are able. This means offering the cat safe shelter and food/water. If this is a young kitten, please look for its mom and siblings; immediately taking the kitten may be separating him from his family.
If he seems friendly, coax him into a carrier with wet food as incentive. Scared cats can be unpredictable; your safety comes first.
If the cat is skittish and cannot be approached, it might be feral. Here is a link to how to tell the difference. Alley Cat Allies is a great resource to help you with feral cats. Do not take action that would put yourself in any danger.
Do not integrate him with your own animals until the cat has been checked out by a vet. If the cat has been on the streets, it might have parasites or viruses that could be dangerous for your other pets. Discuss the need for a rabies shot with your veterinarian. Don't let this deter you from rescuing the cat though, just make sure it is isolated in a room with proper ventilation or a large cage. Make sure it has access to food, water, and a litter box. You can make an interim litter box out of almost anything shallow and rectangular.
Be aware that calling animal control or taking him to an animal shelter may put him at risk of euthanasia. Ask questions and stay informed.
LOOK FOR THE OWNER
There are many situations that may lead to a cat becoming stray, but he could have an owner that is desperately looking for him. Before deciding to keep the cat or asking for a rescue to help, please try to find the cat's owner. You could be doing everyone the greatest favor by returning it to a loving home.
Check if the cat is wearing an identification tag with the owner's information. If the animal has a Home Again or other type of tag, call the number and tell them you found the pet. If not wearing an ID tag, have the cat scanned for a microchip. This can usually be done at a vet's office or pet store (FOR NO CHARGE). If there are neither of these, here are some things you can do to help find the owner: put up flyers; put a found ad in the newspaper (it's generally free); visit the website for the local animal shelter and post the found information online and check for any lost animals that look like matches and contact them; post on the lost and found areas of Pets911, Petspotter, PawBoost, Facebook lost pet pages for your community, and other websites.
WORKING WITH ALL 4 CATS
Please understand that local rescues, including All 4 Cats, are almost always going to be full. We are small organizations that are made up of volunteers--people just like you with lots of obligations. We do our best to assist as many concerned citizens and cats as possible. We would love your help with the stray you found and perhaps with other cats in the future.
If you are willing to foster him, we may have some options to assist even if we can't get him immediately into our system. Each situation is unique and our space and limited resources are constantly changing. Please be patient; we are here to help. Follow the guidelines above to house him safely and look for the owner, then fill out the email request form on our Contact Us page. Provide the date, circumstance and location you found him; physical description, including any health issues; any vetting he has received and any other information you think would be helpful. A volunteer will get back with you as soon as possible.
Thank you for caring about this animal and making his world better. Even if it's a temporary arrangement, the rewards will be many for him and you.