1114 North Rolling Road, Catonsville, MD 21228 410.869.0800

What To Do When You Find a Stray Cat

Find a Stray Cat?

Stray cats can be spotted in just about every state across the nation. If you happen upon find a stray cat, whether they’ve strolled right up to your front door or you spot them out in a public area, it’s important to be cautious and take the right steps in helping or caring for them. Ensure both your safety and the safety of the cat by keeping these tips in mind:

What To Do When You Find a Stray Cat

Is It a Stray, or Someone’s Pet?

Some cat owners allow their feline companions to roam freely outdoors. Unless your property is far from neighboring homes, it’s good to consider first whether the cat that found its way to you is an outdoor cat that simply wandered off their familiar path. Though not all cat owners place a collar on their outdoor pets, check for a collar or identification tag before assuming it’s a stray. If the cat has contact information on a tag, reach out to the owner and work with them to get their pet home safe.


If the stray appears to be sick or injured, always be cautious when approaching the cat. Walking slowly and speaking in a gentle, calm voice will help you to not appear threatening to them. Most cats are opposed to being held, especially by strangers, so if you’re planning to take them somewhere safer, use a cat carrier or sturdy box to transport them. It’s advisable to wear gloves and use a blanket or towel to pick them up and get them to safety if the stray looks to be diseased or unable to walk.

If the Cat is in Danger

If the stray is in the roadway and in danger of being harmed, signal nearby vehicles to slow down and divert traffic around the cat if it is safe for you to do so. Keep in mind that a frightened, injured, or sick animal can behave unpredictably. You should never put yourself in harm’s way attempting to capture a stray. Place a call to your local animal control department or shelter for assistance.

Taking in a Stray Cat

Providing a comfortable, clean, and healthy home for a stray pet can be both fulfilling and rewarding. If you find a stray that doesn’t have identification and intend to rescue it and keep it as a pet, vet care is an essential primary step. Even though a cat may appear healthy and unharmed, there’s a possibility that they have suffered an injury. Or, they could possibly become ill while roaming outdoors. A local cat specialist can:

  • Check for a microchip and confirm/deny whether the cat belongs to someone.
  • Test for illnesses, medical conditions, and diseases the stray may have.
  • Administer necessary feline vaccinations.
  • Perform a physical exam to ensure the cat has no injuries.
  • Prescribe medication for and treat the stray if it is sick or injured.
  • Provide you with helpful advice on caring for your new friend.


At Catonsville Cat Clinic, we’ve been providing our professional veterinary services to cats of all shapes and sizes for many years. Whether you need assistance with a recovered stray or you’re looking for somewhere to take your cat for regular wellness check-ups, we’re here for you. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment.


This entry was posted on Monday, January 17th, 2022 at 11:43 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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