Finding A Stray Cat

Heidi was a stray, adopted out to a loving family
Heidi was a stray, adopted out to a loving family

Always Beware-Save A Stray Cat Today

Your driving down the road and suddenly you see a beautiful little kitty cat wandering toward the edge of the street. What is the first thing you do? If you love animals, your first thought is panic for the cat, the traffic will just keep whizzing by at the same rate of speed and not notice that the beautiful cat is wandering closer to the edge of the road.

What is it you want to do? What should you do? If you decide to pull off and rescue the animal you need to have a plan. If you have no intention of keeping or rescuing the cat, your plan should be to call your local animal control agency for the cat's own protection.

Listed below are some things you can do to safely rescue a stray cat. The best case scenario is the cat makes it safely across the street without incident.

  • First and foremost, your safety should come first. As you pull off the side of the road, be sure to use your blinker and hazard lights, and any emergency placards you may have. You want all oncoming traffic to see your parked vehicle on the roadside.


  • Beware the cat might be frightened or perhaps injured. Cats can be intensely unpredictable, so proceed with extreme caution. If is recommended you have a leash, a rope, a blanket, or even a pet carrier if possible to gently coax the stray cat into. If potentially possible, do your best getting the cat as far away from the road as feasible. This may be a very complicated process, as cats have a tendency to dart, especially when the animal is hurt, they more often than not try to flee.


  • When you try to rescue a stray cat, it can leave you open to being bitten or scratched. If at all practical let the cat come to you. If you have food, you may be able to coax the animal to you. Cats do love tuna fish, but your chances of you having a can of tuna fish in your car is highly unlikely. If you have a cell phone, call someone to bring a tin of tuna fish, or a can of cat food.


  • If you do get the cat inside the car, and the cat is aggressive be careful driving. It might attack, or go wild and cause you to have an accident. That is why a cat carrier or a leash would be the preferred method. If you go ahead anyway, make sure the cat is as far away from you as possible. And be ready for screeching and possible clawing if the cat is hissing and frightened.


  • It is also possible that the animal is not a stray at all. It maybe just roaming around the neighborhood. Many owners let their cats roam the neighborhood free. If there is a collar and a number, perhaps give the owner a friendly call to let them know their cat is to close to the road, and in a dangerous situation, I am sure they would appreciate it.


  • If it is a stray cat and you take it home, the first thing you want to do is try locating the owners of the cat. Just because they lost their cat does not mean they are bad owners or don't want their cat anymore. Perhaps they were moving and the cat darted out. Maybe a screen was worn, and the cat escaped. They could be looking desperately for their cat.


  • There are a variety of reasons a cat becomes a stray. Some are truly mistakes and some are downright mean and cruel irresponsibility. Regardless of why, they are all sad. This is one major reason cats should be spayed or neutered.

Some things you can do to locate the owner of the stray cat you found.

  • Post a notice in your local newspaper or newspapers if you have more than one. Put notices up in the local stores, markets, and service stations.
  • Post signs on poles around the neighborhood you found a stray cat. Include a photo if possible.It doesn't cost much to take a picture and run few copies.
  • Post a notice at the veterinary offices in your area.
  • Post notices at the shelters as well. That is usually the first place people look for their lost pets.

If you are unable to find the owners, it is up to you what you want to do with the stray cat. Find a good home , take it to a shelter, or claim it as your new pet, which will make you happy as well as your new cat.

Save A Cat

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Comments 15 comments

crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 3 years ago from Washington MI Author

I recently moved to a rural area, and have seen only one stray. In the city they would come to my apt door. I would keep them all if I could. Thank you for reading and voting my hub up, it is greatly appreciated.


habee profile image

habee 3 years ago from Georgia

Great advice! We don't usually find stray cats - they find us. I think there's a sign somewhere near our house that reads something like "Go to that house. They'll feed you and take you to the vet."

Voted up, etc!


crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 5 years ago from Washington MI Author

Thank you Lucky Cats~Yes 18 years was a long one, we had some good times to say the least. I am so glad you got your feral kitty back. I at the urging of my family picked out a nice little cat from a family that had a huge litter. I keep my eyes out for the ferals though. We feed and make sure they are safe in the neighborhood. My little guy is POEsy. He goes to the vet next month. I have a lot of guilt though, but somehow think Ethel will be okay. Thank you so much for the support.

Thanks fashion for the comment, appreciated very much!

Ms Chievous~Wow 15 pounds is a nice poundage, I have a 20 pound 17 year old~CIA, she is slowly befriending POE. Sounds like Figaro really needed a home. I am glad she found one in you.


Ms Chievous profile image

Ms Chievous 5 years ago from Wv

we have a cat that "adopted" us. Figaro is a 15 pound kitty that gets along pretty well with our dogs. Which is good considering we have three of them. Figaro is outside every chance she can get. She is beautiful white and gray. Some neighbors brought her home after she jumped in their car at the grocery store. They did not take her with them...I don't regret taking her in at all. She has been a great cat!


fashion 5 years ago

This is really very informative and useful hub.Thanks for sharing.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Hey, I am so sorry about loosing Ethel...that was a very very long relationship. 18 years!!! Just think how incredibly blessed she was to have you as her companion...that much time w/an animal is a bond that will last in your memory and heart forever. And after! You are one of the first who found us here on HP's..I remember well. Thank you so much for caring and writing for the benefit of beautiiful kitties everywhere. Hey, use a HavAHart trap w/a little tuna and, in a short while; you'll have that baby kitten. It has never failed for us.

Recently, one of our semi feral rescued kitties got out of the outdoor cattery somehow and we watched as she ran away; believing we might never catch her because she'd been trapped in the HAH trap and seen others, too. That was April 23 of this year. Long story short, we'd see her once every 3 weeks or so (keeping in mind we live out where the area is populated w/hundreds of coyote..and we are isolated..) well, after going to Calif for 2 weeks (had a pet sitter for the sanctuary)...we returned and, almost 2 months to the date she left; Al went to check the 3 outside HAH traps and, yea! there she was..in one of them. That was over a month ago and now, all is well; she's actually very happy to be home and have her needs taken care of and, we learned our lesson...secured all the outdoor catteries doubly well! love ya. Kathy and Al aka Lucky Cats and we save cats.


crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 5 years ago from Washington MI Author

You are so welcome RTalloni, I am glad people are out the rescuing cats, it is a wonderful thing.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

These are indeed good tips. So glad you posted them both for people's sake and cats sake. Voted up.


crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 5 years ago from Washington MI Author

Thank you for reading and commenting, much appreciated.


ournote2self profile image

ournote2self 5 years ago

Great tips. Thanks for sharing!


crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 5 years ago from Washington MI Author

Hey Flora Thank you

cathylynn99 I tried to rescue a cat from a squirrel once and got bit by the squirrel. I leave food out for the feral cats in my neighborhood as does some of the neighbors. Cat treats or a can of cat food in your car is a good idea, you just never know. It freaks me out when I see cats to close to the road. Thank you for the comment and the pat on the back, much appreciated :)

Lucky Cats- you rock is all I can say. That is so awesome. I don't see many strays in my area but I do see some. I live in a small town. The strays are mostly feral litters, they dig through the trash so i always like to make sure they eat. My apartment neighbors leave out fresh water and food as well. Every bit helps.

I just lost my 18 year old Ethel 2 months ago to kidney failure. And I feel so lost without her. I saw a baby kitty scrounging for food near my dumpster today, I tried to get close but she ran. But she will get food and water, my heart skipped for the poor thing. Who knows she may end up in my apartment yet.

Anyway you guys are great, your hearts are in the best place of all. Thank you so much.


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

congrats on the 100. pat yourself on the back and celebrate with your favorite food or music.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Hello crazybeanrider! Thank you for this great hub with step by step directions for helping save a cat's life while protecting your own. Excellent advice! Specially about getting the cat as far from the street as possible and (hopefully) having a carrier available...all your steps are great! I rescue cats w/my friend 'we save cats' Al, and we have made it a matter of practice to keep small disposable dishes, a bottle of water, canned cat food as well as dry and havahart trap or carriers in our vehicles...these have come in very handy. Of course, not everyone has the room or the means to do this but, any kind of aid to an animal in need is perfect!

Thank you so much for this hub and for loving cats as I know you do!! Kathy aka Lucky Cats Useful, UP, Awesome!!!


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

i have rescued 8 cats. (don't worry. i only have one now. he won't put up with other cats) all of them were happy to have my attention. three became my pets. two went to a shelter. two went to my sister (bless her and her love for all animals). one i got vaccinated and after extensive searching gave to a good home.

there is a feral cat in my mom's neighborhood. it won't come within 30' of people, so it's not a scratching danger. i think i'd tend to leave a hostile cat alone unless it obviously needed veterinary attention.

all my cats have been indoor cats, because even part-time outdoor cats tend to live only 1/3 as long as indoor cats. for example, my niece's outdoor cat was mauled by a raccoon and died. and all too often, i see a roadkill cat. then there are always those cat-hating people who love nothing more than to torment a cat. there are just too many reasons to keep the cat you love indoors. it cuts down on fleas and worms, too.

voted up and useful. i'll get a package of cat treats to keep in my car. thanks for the tip.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Excellent points.

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