Need Help With a Found Cat?
You've come to the right place. We have all the fast facts and best strategies for cats to share. Cats are particularly at-risk at shelters due to stress and illness (more so than dogs). Additionally, cats without identification who are found outdoors are rarely reclaimed from shelters (0.5% or less) - likely because most of these cats are Community Cats. Healthy cats found outdoors, even if owned, are actually MORE LIKELY to make their way back home on their own (over 60% return rate).
Tip: Waco is a Community Cat friendly/humane City. Our local, legal definition of a Community Cat is any free-roaming cat, regardless of socialization or sociability, cared for by one or more known or unknown residents of the immediate area. Community Cats may be friendly, unsocial, or various shades of in between.
Most importantly, outdoors IS their home.
Cats Found Wearing a Collar/Microchipped, Who Appear to be Declawed, and/or Who Appear Ill/Injured
Please follow our suggestions under I Have Found a Dog. Primarily, ask your neighbors if they recognize the cat. Indoor cats found outdoors are usually very close to their home. Also, remember, most cats who have no identification/microchip and who are taken to a shelter, even if they have an owner, are never reunited with them. Cats are more likely to find their way back to their homes through avenues that do not include a shelter.
For Other Cats Found Outdoors
If the cat can be safely handled, it may be checked for identification/microchip. Please NEVER handle a cat found outdoors who is fearful.
If no identification is found, the vast majority of these cats are Community Cats. Outdoors is their home. The local shelter is not legally allowed to accept healthy cats who are found outdoors (regardless if friendly or not) as these fit the definition of a Community Cat. However, these cats can be taken through a process called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR).