WHAT TO DO WITH A FOUND CAT?
CONTAIN THE CAT
Do not chase after it as you may spook it, but rather stay where you are and try calling the cat, or better yet, try luring it out with some delicious smelly food like a can of tuna. Be patient, it may take you hours and even days to earn the cat's trust.
CHECK FOR A TAG OR A COLLAR
You may find a tag with a number on it, or the number may be embroided on the collar itself. If it is the phone number - you know what to do. Do not give up if the owner does not pick up immediately, we do not know their circumstances. If the number looks like it may be a council registration number call your local council for further instructions.
KEEP A SECRET TO VERIFY OWNERSHIP
It may be hard to tell if the cat recognises the owner when they are under so much stress. Make sure when you follow the next steps and create posters, online listings and etc. you leave something out of the description that only the owner would know and use it to check if it is really their cat. Don't, however, withhold the description completely, as you will be flooded with questions from highly stressed lost cat owners hoping a quick answer.
PUT SIGNS UP
If the owners are still walking the streets searching for their cat you may want to get their attention by placing a note on your mailbox saying something like "cat found here" or post a few found cat flyers around the neighbourhood including local supermarket noticeboards, schools, parks.
LIST ON LOST AND FOUND REGISTERS ON THE WEB
The best way to help the owners track their lost cat down on the Web is to put a found cat notice on all major Lost and Found Pet registers. The owners don't need to be on Facebook to find your notice. Start with ones like Gumtree and Lost Pet Finders. Register with Lost Pet Finders
Vets may recognise a cat as a patient of theirs. Owner will also notify vets of their missing cat and some vets are very good at keeping lost animal records. They may have had a missing report about this same cat and can put you in touch with the owner asap.
CHECK FOR MICROCHIP
One of the most important and effective steps to take is to take the cat you found to a vet to scan for a chip. This is done free of charge, and it the details registered to the chip are up to date, the reunion may happen almost instantly. Just don't forget to secure the cat in a crate or a carrier before travelling to the vet.
ATTENTION: some vets are required by law to surrender found cats to the Council Pound without making attempts at reuniting them with owners. If you are concerned call to ask them first.
NOTIFY THE COUNCIL
Most Councils have a Ranger that can pick up the cat and take it to the pound. Some will require you to bring the cat to the pound yourself. And some do not impound cats at all. While we understand you may be reluctant to give the cat up to a pound for the fear of it being put down, the pound is still the most likely place the owner will check to find their lost cat.
USE PET RADAR
Once your found cat is listed on Lost Pet Finders your Pet Radar is created for you automatically free of charge. This means that you will be getting a daily email with new lost cat notices near you.
Facebook is a good place to raise awareness, so start with local Lost and Found Pet groups and pages, your local community noticeboard groups, neighbourhood watch, buy/swap/sell groups in your area. Lost Pet Finders may have already created a perfect post for you to share with others containing all the necessary information and a private method of contacting you (check your email). We compiled the list of Lost Pet Groups and Pages on Facebook where you need to share that post.
BOOST YOUR POST ON FACEBOOK
If you wish to push your Facebook presence even further you can boost your found cat post via Lost Pet Finders which will turn it into an ad for local Facebook users based on their location and not their memberships in any particular group or page. You can get hundreds and even thousands more views depending on how much you are willing to invest. Find out more about Facebook Boost
DON'T MISS OUT ON IMPORTANT MESSAGES
Make sure you check your email Spam and Junk box regularly, check your Facebook 'Message Requests' as some messages end up there without you getting the notifications. Leave a comment under every Facebook post created for you so that people know who to direct message and Facebook gives you notifications of new activity on the post.
BUMP YOUR POSTS ON FACEBOOK
Your post in most Facebook groups can be regularly pushed back to the top of that group's timeline.You just need to put a comment under your post saying 'Bump'. Depending on the rules of a particular group you can use this trick regularly to remind people that the cat you found is still waiting to be claimed.
The owner may not be on the internet at all, so you need to keep an eye out for lost cat ads in your local papers. Also check noticeboards of you local supermarkets, clubs, pet shop, etc.