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Finding A Home For Stray Cats

Updated on March 5, 2017

A few years back, I came home around seven o'clock in the evening to see a scrawny black, yellow, and white cat sitting in my back yard. I was taken aback to see the cat and called her name. When I called the cat she became scared and quickly scampered into the water heater closet on my patio, which I was surprised to see she had opened since it had been shut when I went to work. Something was amiss, so I jumped over the small fence on my patio and opened the closet to discover the mom cat with her newborn kittens. First off I was very worried because I did not know what to do with a mom cat and a litter of kittens, so the first thing I had to do was reach behind the water heater and put them in a box. Unfortunately one of the kittens was dead, but I was glad to see that two black and two yellow kittens were still alive, although I cried when I had to bury the dead kitten. My next dilemma was trying to find out if the mother cat belonged to one of my neighbors. Where I lived I would not be allowed to keep the cat if she turned out to be a stray, so my first strategy was to ask my neighbors if anyone was missing a cat.

1. Talk To Your Neighbors:

My first strategy in this situation was to knock on my neighbors' doors and ask if anyone had a missing cat. I spent about an hour asking all of my neighbors, but no one claimed the cat as theirs. However, my suspicions were that the cat was a stray because she was a little on the scrawny and unkempt side. Unfortunately the cat did not belong to any of my neighbors, so I needed to come up with another solution for finding a home for the cat. My lease does not permit me to have a pet, although I would have loved to have kept the cat and her kittens if I could. So my next step was the expand the search to see if she had an owner on the off chance, which seemed pretty slim, or to find a home for this wonderful cat and her kittens.

The stray cat with her kittens.
The stray cat with her kittens.

2. Put Up Signs Letting People Know You "Found" A Lost Pet

This time around I did not canvas the neighborhood with signs because I ended up finding a home for the cat and her kittens another way. However, in the past when I lost my cat I put up signs and posted them all around my neighborhood. This is also a good method for letting your neighbors know you have "found" a missing cat.

3. Contact The ASPCA

I did not want this beautiful cat and her kittens to go to the pound, so I contacted my local American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The ASPCA is a wonderful organization that is run by volunteers that help find homes for unwanted pets. The ASPCA may be a little under staffed in my area because the message on their machine said they were run by volunteers that could not guarantee a placement for all animals, and a volunteer would get back to me as soon as possible. Unfortunately the ASPCA never returned my message stating I was looking for a home for a stray cat, but I am empathize as our local ASPCA appears to have a volunteer shortage. Thus, I was really stressed as I did not know how I was going to find a home for this beautiful cat and her kittens. My mom and dad already have three cats, so they were not able to adopt the stray cats. My friends all live far away and already have pets, so I had to find a suitable home for this sweet cat family.

4. Post An Ad In The Lost And Found Section Of Craigslist

Finally I decided to post an ad in the lost and found section of Craigslist hoping by chance the owner might see their cat on there. Unfortunately, at this point I was pretty sure this sweet cat was a stray because she was very disheveled when I found her behind the water heater. Only one person answered my ad, but she said she would be more than happy to adopt the cat family if no one else responded to my ad. Since I did not want to send this cat to the pound and the ASPCA had not got back to me, I decided to let her adopt the family. The lady came to my house on a Monday afternoon with her son, both of which had enthusiastic smiles on their faces. The lady told me she had been looking for a cat family because her neighbor's dog had killed her cat a couple of years ago. She lives on a large piece of land with her husband, and her kids agreed to help her take care of the cat family. In the end this was a a win-win situation because I found a home for a cat I would not be able to keep, and a family who wanted pets know have several they can truly enjoy. I am glad the stray cat and her kittens found a home where they will be loved and protected as this lady is quite an animal lover. This is a very caring person to be willing to adopt a family of cats and take care of their needs. If you ever find a stray cat at your house make sure to go through several steps and try to see if the cat belongs to anyone. However, I feel finding another placement besides just sending them to the pound is ideal. This is just my opinion, but if you can find a home for a stray cat it is much better than sending it to the pound where the cat might not be adopted and eventually destroyed. When I was younger our neighbor set a trap and caught one of our house cats that accidentally got out of the house, and sadly this cat ended up at the pound and my mom would not have known, but the cat just happened to be wearing a tag. When possible I prefer to prevent animals from being sent to the pound and encourage everyone to alter their pets so they do not produce unwanted offspring. I wonder if the stray cat I found the other day might have been dumped off by someone who did not want to deal with a cat that was about to have kittens as I have seen this happen in the past. Fortunately, I am glad this story had a happy ending.

Some More Pictures Of The Cat Family

Cats in sepia color.
Cats in sepia color.
This photo came out redish, but I used photoshop to turn it in to a sepia and faded picture.  I absolutely love this picture of the cats.
This photo came out redish, but I used photoshop to turn it in to a sepia and faded picture. I absolutely love this picture of the cats.

Video Of Stray Cat. This Video Is Turned Out Very Dark.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

Have you ever rescued a stray cat?

See results


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    • Blackilocks profile image


      4 years ago from Singapore

      Awesome! If only more people are like you. Check out cat adoption/cat care tips!

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Info Help,

      I am glad you appreciated my hub. I simply could not let those little kittens and their mom perish outside. I know some people would say who cares, just wait for animal control, but I feel good that I was able to find a home for those cats.

    • Info Help profile image

      Info Help 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I love cats and I have a 9 year old male that I adopted from an animal control center because he was scheduled to get put to sleep, he was 5 at the time. He is the best cat I have ever owned! Your kindness goes a long way for these animals. I am a fan :)

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Hope your able to take care of your cats patty. Maybe buying generic cat food can save on costs :).

    • patty5966 profile image


      9 years ago from indiana


    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Hi TK,

      I am always sad when people adopt a cat or dog and then do not take proper care of their pet. During the fires up in Lake Arrowhead in 2003 one neighbor left his cat behind without food and water, which we discovered when we came back. My parents adopted the cat and this man did not even seem to notice, or he did not care. It was very sad really.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      You did a great job in taking care of the cats Sweetie. Awesome photos too.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      It is nice to meet like minded people such as yourself here at Hubpages, and I must say I love your screen name Happy 1! Thanks for saying you feel you can learn things by reading my hubs, and I am sure your hubs will be great also. I hope you write a hub about re-hab birds as this seems to be your speciality. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Happy 1 profile image

      Happy 1 

      10 years ago from Hawaii

      Glad to meet you Sweetie Pie! i am so new i have to find my way to make the 1st hub. i hope to learn from you.

      I care for many re-hab birds (- the sick and injured, the weak ones, that needs a special care, and some old ones that needs to be at safe and at peace in their own cages. I think we are on similar path.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA


      Glad you were willing to help a few kittens. Thanks for commenting.

    • Lifebydesign profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      What a happy ending all round. I once had 15 cats in the house when I was little, I used to collect the strays from the neighbourhood and it drove my mom crazy :-) Lovely hub SweetiePie!

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA


      Welcome to hubpages and thanks for your kind words!

    • profile image


      10 years ago from Pakistan

      i m new here an its very nice to read you hub i have 7 cats in my house 4 are my pet and rest of three were street ctas but now they are the part of mi life i love you for the way you saved the cats god bles you

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA


      I am glad to hear your family has helped many stray cats. Thanks for stopping by.


      I am glad you took the intiative to take the cat back to its neighborhood, good for you! Thanks for commenting.

    • Torster profile image


      10 years ago from Pa

      As I was going for a walk through a neighborhood the other night, a cat followed me about a mile back to my place. As much as we would have loved to let it spend the night, we drove the cat back to its neighborhood and dropped it off. I'm sure its owners we relieved! Thanks for the tips.

    • Chloe Comfort profile image

      Chloe Comfort 

      10 years ago from Long Island

      Great hub! Over the years, my family has found and cared for many a stray cat. We stiil do. In fact, a new litter of 4 kittens appeared in our backyard last month. They have taken up residence in my parent's garage and my dad feeds the mom and her brood daily. Most of the strays we have taken care of have moved on but we still have a couple that come back to visit once in a while. One has been a constant for about two years now - I believe he may be the father of the kittens. We just can't seem to turn them away.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Thanks for sharing your animal hubs because I was having a hard time finding several of these. It is much appreciated :).

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      10 years ago from West By God

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Thanks for commenting Constant Walker. She actually had the kittens in the water heater out on my little back yard patio. It was surprising to see her there, but it makes sense since she was a stray cat looking for a safe place to have her kitten.

      Thanks for sharing this information Lady Guinevere.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      10 years ago from West By God


      The very last resort wuld be taking any animal to the Humane Society. My hub The Improtance Of Spaying Neutering Your Animal Comapnion talkes about this. Did you know that after 5 days if an animal is not found or adopted out the Human Society will kill them? Yes, indeed they will. Doesn't sound too humane to me.

      Animal Welfare Societies will not kill any animal unless it has rabies, but the animals have to be human friendly or they will not take them.

      I have all but my Torite are strays that found my home and all but two of the outside males are fixed. We are waiting until the Spay Today re-opens it's doors after they finish renovating their place.

      Outdoor cats, including the 3 kittens and the mommy number 7 and my indoor ones are 5.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      10 years ago from West By God

      The momma looks just like my Pinkie!! She is a Tortie and not Calico. Thre is a diffrence. Tortie's and Calico's will always be females. I am glad that you found them their homes! Great work! I Have many hubs on cats--because I love them so much!!

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 

      10 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      It's a good deal that mama cat decided to have her kittens at your house, eh? Nice hub.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA


      I am glad to hear you are volunteering at petco and have helped to rescue stray cats. When I was little my family rescued many stray cats, so it was nice to know I was able to adopt these cats out to someone else this time around. Your volunteer position sound very rewarded and maybe you will inspire more people to help unwanted animals. Thanks for commenting.

      Thanks for the comments as always Weblog :).

    • weblog profile image


      10 years ago from 1India

      It's very nice to read about the way you helped the cat! :)

    • starrkissed profile image


      10 years ago from Arizona

      This is a great hub. I volunteer at a Petco in the cat rescue and it's so sad to read the details one each kitty. =[

      We went to the grocery store tonight and there was a kitty hanging around. I'm going to email my volunteer supervisor to see if we can bring him into the store. I've rescued 3 cats in the past. 1 was found on our steps and we took him in, 1 was being dropped off at the humane society, and the last one was hanging around my old apartment complex and was filthy dirty so I brought him home and my fiance's dad loves him lol.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Thank spryte for visiting. I always appreciate your comments.

    • spryte profile image


      10 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Nice job there SweetiePie :) I'm glad you were so persistent and took responsibility for this Mama and her babies...what a compassionate soul you have.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA


      Thanks for commenting. I just had to find a home for that cat and her kittens and my rental office did not seem sympathetic as they just advised me the call the pound. Personally I am very much against sending an animal to the pound if I can take the time or effort to find a home for a poor cat. I really had a good feeling and I am glad it all worked out. Your comments made me very happy, so thank you.


      You are so sweet to say so. Thanks for commenting.

    • ASHWINSPGA profile image


      10 years ago from Lion City ( Singapore)

      You were such a sweetheart to go out of your way to help the cat and its young ones. There is no depth to your ocean of love Sweetie Pie

      God bless your heart and May he continuosly give you strenght to spread your love. Great hub 2 thumbs up Sweetie Pie

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      a Happy ending in deed..Good girl ! ! you are very sweet..Not many would bother. Thanks for sharing and with good advice too

      :o) G-Ma Hugs


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