It is a sad fact that occurs every summer : there is an increase in abandoned animals. Among these, cats form a majority. Most of these abandonments can be explained by holidays, but also by the impact of increases in the number of kittens born in the spring. Under these circumstances, be aware that during this specific time of the year, you may come across some cats which may seem to be abandoned, whether you are on holidays or at your work place. If this happens to you, here are some tips on how you can react.
Check that the cat is actually abandoned
You may have noticed the presence of a newcomer in your garden or on your street. If you think it is an abandoned cat, do not rush to adopt it. Unless he is injured (in this case contact an animal welfare company or a shelter near you) take the time to observe it. It may be a wild cat, not an abandoned cat. Wildcats, which have never cohabited with humans, are much more fearful and do not allow themselves to be easily approached (but this may also be the case of an abandoned cat who has been abused). Be careful, and prefer to keep your distance : a very fearful cat may be afraid and scratch you.
You can give him a little food: it will allow you to tame him gently, but also to assure you, if it comes regularly to eat, that it has no other home. Also look at his general condition : an abandoned cat will often be emaciated and dirty. But he can also be a lost cat whose masters can be looking for. Make sure that this is not the case by conducting a neighbourhood survey and warning your town hall, as well as possibly leaving ads in your neighbourhood or on specialised sites. If after a while your research has not yielded results, you will normally consider that it is indeed an abandoned cat.
First care is critical
This first step passed, you might consider adopting the feline you found. Nevertheless, take the measure of the commitment of this decision : a cat asks for time, money for his care and food, a care solution if you go on vacation, and so on. If you think you are unable to cope with these constraints, the wisest will be to entrust the animal to an association or shelter that will ensure that he find a foster family.
If that is not your case and you feel completely ready to welcome this new member into your home ? When he is sufficiently tamed to be approached, make sure to bring him quickly to the vet. Stray cats generally need a health check. The veterinarian can prescribe anti parasitic agents (flea treatment, dewormer...), check that he does not have a disease (feline AIDS for example), and also make sure that he does not have a microchip that would indicate his belonging to another master. You will also have to quickly vaccinate your new cat, sterilise him and have him identified by a chip.
Abandoned kitten : react quickly
In case you have found a kitten, and not a cat, that seems abandoned you should know that the way to react must be a little different. Indeed, it is necessary to be faster because a kitten left to itself has little chance of survival. Check here also that it is well abandoned: if it is clean and chubby, it is because his mother takes care of him and that she is perhaps just gone hunting. If on the other hand you find that it is dirty, thin and it looks disoriented it is surely an abandoned kitten.
If you decide to take care of the kitten yourself (rather than giving him to a shelter), you will have to take him very quickly to the vet. He will know how to give him first aid and give you his age. Under 4 weeks in fact, the kitten is very fragile and requires a very sustained attention to nourish it, maintain his temperature and take charge of his cleanliness.
Finally, whether you have collected a kitten or an adult cat, know that after these debuts will remain an important step: learn to get to know each other gradually. But there is no reason why this should go badly. Surely this cat will have been lucky to cross your path ... and vice versa !
Discover even more tips for abandoned cats on the Rehome website