What do I do?
I have found a cat.

OK Great! Now here's what to do!

Cats are individuals and some like home life whilst others like to explore. Sometimes their exploration is local to home and sometimes it leads them further afield.

Initially you will want to know if this cat is a stray or has a current owner. There is no easy way to gauge this without checking for a microchip and seeing how the cat responds to being approached and handled. 

It may be that the owner has already contacted the vet or rescue organisations or put up posters in shops etc. Check rescue websites and social media to see if you can identify any of the cats advertised as the one you have found. Get some photos and circulate them to the local vet, cat rescue organisations nearby as well as friends and neighbours.
So please check these places first as the sooner the cat can be reunited the better.

If you can make a poster with the cats photo and date and time you first saw it and where and put up locally in shops and pubs as well as  posting on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. 

Many people contact us and tell us they have a feral in the garden. Ferals are not a separate breed of cat; they are still a domestic cat but one that has never learned to trust humans. Stray cats, if lost for long enough, also display this kind of behaviour which is a mistrust of humans. Some will respond to humans if they have been provided food in the past but are not able to be handled and will act in defence or fear so please do not approach or try to pick them up if you manage to get near anyway. For these cats we will provide TNR response but only if they are regularly in your garden. 

Catching a cat

Can be very distressing for the cat and can lead to injury to you as a scared cat will lash out either from fear or from pain if it is unwell.

Food is a useful tool in this and can be used to help the cat 'trust' you and allow you to approach. See how it responds before attempting any kind of handling. The last thing is to cause the cat further distress especially if it is unwell or has been injured. If it has been injured contact the vet immediately.

If you can keep it in your home until the owner is found this is also very helpful so that it doesnt then wander off before the owner can come and collect it. Make sure its somewhere quiet and safe, no windows or doors open and provide a litter tray, water and some food.

Keep children and dogs away while you do this. Approach calmly and quietly, speaking softly. After a couple of feeds if the cat seems amenable to you stroking it you can see whether it will be possible to catch it. But don't rush this a cat will be wary and will run away if it feels threatened. Have a blanket or very large thick towel handy before attempting to pick the cat up. When you do please make sure you are not apprehensive or fearful, act in a positive manner but gentle as possible so you don't hurt the cat. 
Obviously, if it is a stray that is currently owned and has just been having a wander or has got lost it may respond well and you can simply pick it up,  pop it into a basket (still using the towel or blanket to do so)and go the vet for it to be scanned and reunited with its owner or for the rescue to be contacted by the vet . 
If it seems to be very wary make sure you have a basket ready that you can easily get the cat into, a top opening style is best, use the blanket or  towel and cover the cat including its head (a covered cat usually will be calmer) and pop it into the basket. Again do this quickly but gently.