Stray or Outdoor Cat?? Help!

This is a special section for cats needing new homes and for inspiring stories of cats that have found their furever home through Catster or through the love and energy of rescuers. This is also the place to discuss shelters, rescue organizations, rescue strategies, issues, solutions, etc. and how we can all help in this critical endeavor. Remember that we are all here for the love of cat! If you are posting about a cat that needs a new home, please put your location in the topic of your thread so those close by can find you! Make sure to check out Catster's cat adoption center!


Wait 'til my- father hears- about this!
Purred: Wed Dec 18, '13 7:05am PST 
This is kind of a long post… but I don’t know what to do…

I’ve seen a beautiful cat in my neighborhood since I moved there, this summer. I had tried to approach it a few times, but of course it ran away. Well, right before we had a nasty cold spell and winter storm, it showed up on our patio. My husband and I have two cats, and plenty of food on hand, so I put food, water, and makeshift shelter outside for it. I tried to bring it in to put in the garage or bathroom during the storm, but I couldn’t get near it. Well, three weeks have passed. I’ve been providing food and water, and it likes to play with my indoor kitties through the glass patio door. Surprisingly my kitties don’t hiss or seem upset by its presence, so maybe it’s been hanging out on the patio for a while.

Last night I gave it some wet food, and low and behold it came to me, and let me pet it. When I sat down it jumped in my lap. It purred and purred and would insist on more pets every time I stopped. Now, instead of running when I try to open the door, it cries and cries for me to let it in or come outside. I’m not sure what to do though…

Every night, I debate if this is someone’s pet. I know it’s not my neighbor’s , but I have no idea if it belongs to someone else in the neighborhood. I posted a picture on our local humane society’s lost and found page, and I’ve not heard anything yet. I want to help this cat, but I’m really not sure how, or if I even need to. I would have no problem taking it to the vet to get checked out, vaccinated, and even fixed if need be (we have a really good place here that will do things like that for pretty cheap).

This might sound mean, but I only fed it because it was nasty cold and I’m a sucker for helping animals. My husband is in the military and there will probably be a time in our near future that we’re faced with a two pet limit… and we have 2 cats already. We’re about to go out of town for about 10 days. I don’t want the cat to starve, but I also don’t want to try to capture someone’s pet.

How do you distinguish between an outdoor pet and a stray/ abandoned cat?


Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Thu Dec 19, '13 4:43am PST 
You've already established that it's not a feral cat (it wouldn't have come near you if it had never lived with people). There's no way to establish if it has an owner or is abandoned. I would ask around your neighborhood. If you've seen the cat, maybe other people have too. And maybe they know what the cat's status is. If no one owns the cat I don't see how you can just leave it. I would at least have a vet check it out and make sure it's spayed/neutered. If you can't bring it inside you could at least make an outdoor shelter to get it through the winter.

Angel Baby- RIP

i am a cutie- kitty
Purred: Thu Dec 19, '13 4:08pm PST 
BK, said alot of good things. we want to add that, chack too see if this kitty has a microchip, a vet or shelter can scan for one for free. if not, then keep kitty inside, and put up pics of the kitty at area vets, shelters, stores, if no one claims it, you have a new family member. as the 2 pet rule, in our opinion, if you keep the house clean, as, you can not smell it from thr street, kittys are health, happy, got there shots, indoor kitties, doubt anyone would do anything about it. they are just trying to stop the animal hording, our town says 3 only, there is 4 here. good luck.




Wait 'til my- father hears- about this!
Purred: Mon Jan 6, '14 8:58am PST 
Thanks for the responses. I went out of town for the holidays, and was not able to capture our outdoor visitor before I left. I left food and water out, but I've not seen the cat since we've been home. I'm just hoping that she had a home, and got bored visiting ours when no one was around.

Blade- (2000-2010)

Purred: Fri Jan 10, '14 6:25pm PST 
If the cat shows up again, you could put a paper collar on the cat and write on it, asking the owners to call you. See on the following page for information about paper collars http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/helpandadvice/straycats