It’s been estimated that there are tens of millions of stray cats in the U.S. alone. There’s a good chance you’ll come across a few at some point. When you do, there are a few things you can do to improve their chances of surviving and leading a healthy, happy life.
Understand the possible outcomes.
There are a few possible outcomes for stray cats. If you decide to adopt them, you must accept responsibility for their veterinary bills and other care needs. If you decide to call an animal shelter, there is a possibility that they will be euthanized. Whenever possible, contact a no-kill shelter or humane group, or try to rehome the cats yourself. The third possible outcome is that the stray cats aren’t actually homeless, but lost. The best way to help lost cats reunite with their families is by capturing them if possible and bringing them to the vet to be scanned for microchips. You might also take pictures and post “Found Cat” ads around town and on social media.
Build trust with the strays.
It can take quite a bit of work to build trust with stray cats, even if they seem friendly. However, tuna can be a miracle worker. Offer the cats some tuna (only select cans packed in water, not oil) and back away slowly. Avoid making any sudden movements. It may take a few days of feeding them tuna before they trust you enough to let you get close.
Capture the strays.
Once the strays are no longer fearful of you, you can place a cat carrier on the ground near where you’ve been feeding them. Place a dish of tuna inside and wait patiently. Be prepared to move quickly to close the door once a cat has ventured inside the carrier. Next, you’ll need to take the cat to the veterinary clinic to be scanned for a microchip. Note that if you’re unable to capture the strays, you could call your local animal welfare organization for guidance.
If you manage to capture stray cats, you can take them to Horizon Animal Hospital for medical care and a microchip scan. Our compassionate veterinarians provide a full range of well kitten and cat care, as well as medical treatment for sick and injured cats. You can reach us in Scottsdale, AZ at (480) 800-4559.