- What should I do if I find an abandoned and injured adult cat?
- The found cat does not show any injury
- What to do if you find an abandoned kitten?
Veterinary clinics are often asked what to do if an abandoned cat or kitten is found. To help you react to the circumstances, this article will provide practical advice.
What should I do if I find an abandoned and injured adult cat?
If you discover a stray or abandoned cat and it is injured, the responsibility for taking care of it lies with the municipality you are in. In this case, you should either contact the local pound or the fire department. In both cases, the cat will be picked up and taken to the nearest veterinarian on duty or referred to another veterinarian. If the animal is identified, the cost of care will be paid by the owner. If the animal is not identified, the municipality (through its pound service or the mayor) will decide what to do depending on the severity of the injuries.
- If no other solution is possible, euthanasia may be considered as an option.
- In most cases, when conservative care to ensure the animal's comfort and stability is possible, the municipality will take charge of this care and entrust the cat to the pound for a period of 8 days. This period of time allows the eventual owners to retrieve their animal.
It is important to note that:
- If you find an injured cat and decide to take care of it yourself, you run the risk of being injured as well (as an injured cat can be very aggressive) and you will also have to pay the vet in advance.
- It is strongly recommended that you have your cat identified, especially since it is mandatory for cats over 7 months of age born after January 1, 2012. In addition to being a legal requirement, identification of your cat is a way to protect it, regardless of its age.
The found cat does not show any injury
The cat is impossible to catch :
If the cat is impossible to catch (which happens quite often), and you are sure that it is a stray, it is recommended to call the pound, because the responsibility of taking care of it still belongs to the municipality (according to the rural code).
It is important to note that not all cats can be recovered and that some municipalities use cat protection associations to carry out "trapping" and "sterilization" campaigns in order to limit the proliferation of stray feline populations.
It should be noted that the term "pound" should not be systematically associated with the euthanasia of animals: there is a legal time limit for custody to allow any owner to come forward. In addition, it is also possible that pounds are in contact with associations to place cats in foster homes after they are taken in.
The cat can be caught :
It is recommended to check immediately if this supposedly "abandoned" cat is not just walking around and is already identified. Indeed, as an owner, it is always a relief to find your cat when it is lost.
It is possible to find the owner if the cat carries :
- a collar with a tag containing the owner's contact information
- a tattoo (often located in the ear): in this case, it is recommended to contact a veterinarian who will be able to access the national cat file to find the owner's information
- a microchip under the skin: vets and pounds have a special reader to detect the microchip and contact the owner.
If you find a stray or abandoned cat without identification, contact the municipal pound immediately. If you wish to adopt the cat, you can agree with the pound to retrieve it after the custody period if there is no owner, or in some cases, you can take in the cat during the custody period and risk returning it if an owner comes forward. In all cases, it is important to identify the cat you adopt.
Once adopted, make an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible to perform a complete health check (shape, weight, health problems, parasites, deworming, vaccinations, identification, sterilization). A temporary quarantine period may be recommended if you are bringing the cat into a home with other cats. It is essential to minimize the risk of contamination of your other cats.
It is also recommended that you ask your veterinarian to test for FIV and feline leukemia to determine the cat's health status and to ensure that there is no risk to your other cats. Once these steps have been taken, you will be able to provide care and comfort to your new companion.
What to do if you find an abandoned kitten?
If you find a kitten alone or huddled with other kittens without the presence of the cat, it is important to ask yourself if it is really abandoned or if it is an orphan. Before acting, it is advisable to conduct a quick investigation to avoid removing kittens from a cat that is simply out hunting or defending her territory. All you have to do is observe and listen. If the kittens are calm, clean and well-fed, it means that the cat is taking care of them regularly and is probably hunting. In this case, it's best to leave them alone and observe their progress.
If the kitten is healthy, clean and active, it indicates that it is not an orphan and is best left with its mother.
If the kittens you find are crying loudly, are thin and dirty, and seem completely lost, it is likely that their mother has abandoned them or has not returned to the nest due to an accident, poisoning or illness. In this case, their only chance of survival is if you take care of them. Even with your care, there is no guarantee that the kittens will survive, but it is worth a try.
The kitten, in a dirty, isolated and listless state, is a clear sign that it has been abandoned.
I do not advise you to drop them off at a pound or a veterinary clinic, because although these establishments respect animals, they are not shelters. You then have two options: either entrust them to an animal protection association (a cat shelter) depending on its capacity, or adopt them yourself and try to save them. In the latter case, you will be responsible for the costs of care.
It's important to understand that depending on the age and health of the kitten, you may put in a lot of effort and sometimes fail to keep it alive. Even experienced people can face this situation, so don't get discouraged.
Now you know what to do when you find an abandoned cat or kitten.