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 How do you know if a Cat is a Stray?

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Phoebe
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Probably sounds a silly question but I'd appreciate any advice?

My partner and I are living in a tiny little flat, then I got pregnant and had our son and now we need a bigger place. We're moving to our new house in the next couple of weeks.

There is a cat that I've been feeding for a month now. I thought it was a stray but since we're moving I have to be sure, because if it really is a stray then I'll take it with us, but if it already has a family then I can't.

I don't want to 'catnap' somebodys pet Shocked but if it is really a stray then I'm taking it with us when we move. It's just hard to know what the situation is and I have no idea how to word that 'note'. You know the kind of collar that has a little cylinder with space for a small handwritten note that you can say his address and the telephone number if he gets lost? I was thinking about one of those, but I don't know how to word the note!

Advice anyone on that? I'm thinking of putting a collar on him and a little note in the collar that asks if anyone else owns him and if nobody responds then I'll know he's a stray so I'll take him with us when we go Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

How about writing on the note:
Is this your cat? If so, you better call me, or I'm taking him with me when I move, on this date.....signed, Daisy Duck, and your address.

And take a picture of it, and bang on doors in the neighborhood, and post signs around too, and look for someone who admits it's their cat.??

If you can't find the owner, take the cat...if he eats for you, and keeps hanging around, he probably prefers your company, anyway. Cool

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Humans don't own cats, cats own humans.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

sir scam alot wrote:
Humans don't own cats, cats own humans.

*nodding*

SlapHappy wrote:
How about writing on the note:
Is this your cat? If so, you better call me, or I'm taking him with me when I move, on this date.....signed, Daisy Duck, and your address.

And take a picture of it, and bang on doors in the neighborhood, and post signs around too, and look for someone who admits it's their cat.??

If you can't find the owner, take the cat...if he eats for you, and keeps hanging around, he probably prefers your company, anyway. Cool


Good advice SH but it's not a decent neighbourhood. The next door neighbour on my left runs a Crack den and on the right is a violent alcoholic. The only reason we don't get burgled very often is because I once found the (alcoholic) neighbours door open and went in to find him stabbed on the floor and called an ambulance for him. Since then he's warned most of the other people in the neighbourhood to not bother us but it's not the kind of neighbourhood where you want to start conversations with people. Another reason why we want to leave (obviously). We don't want our son to grow up around here anyway.

The only decent people around here are us (obviously! Wink ) and the elderly and the asylum seekers. The Asylums seekers are quiet and polite and don't bother anyone and the elderly have been here long enough that they are respected and left alone. Most others are pretty intimidating.

edit: if you want to know where I live then type 'Gun Crime Capital of England' into a search engine... It's not Liverpool, it's not London... but we live in the centre of the worst area of this place... Rolling Eyes

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Last edited by Phoebe on Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

doesn't sounds like a respectable place for a cat...

I would take a photo & print up maybe 10 of them ... with your current phone number (it'll change when you move right?)

Just in case it isn't one of the elderly's pets..that would be sad...but leaving a cat behind to defend for itself is sad too...

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:15 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I feed an opossum that lives in my backyard. There are two neighborhood cats that come over for a free meal too. One night a raccoon showed up but hasn't been back since.

Anywho, the cats, I know who owns them so I know they are not strays. My point is I guess if the kitty knows where some food is he or she will show up even if they have their own home.

The note is a good idea but why not just ask your neighbors. I don't think cats stray too far from home so if he does belong to someone then the chances are it's a neighbor that lives close to you.

What condition is the cat in? Is he or she fixed?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Ivana wrote:
doesn't sounds like a respectable place for a cat...

Just in case it isn't one of the elderly's pets..that would be sad...but leaving a cat behind to defend for itself is sad too...


Exactly what I'm thinking too. You just said exactly what I am thinking.

It won't last long around here without anyone to look after it but if it belongs to one of the elderly then I can't take it away.

We got burgled a few months ago and I was in the house at the time! I went to the bathroom to run a bath for my son and he was in the front room playing with his cars. When I came back (I'd been out of the room for less than 2 minutes) the door was wide open and my son was gone. I went running down the street in my pyjama's and found him walking through a car park wearing only his nappy (diaper).

The burglar had broken in while he was still in the room and had taken our stuff while our son was sitting on the floor watching him! The police said we were lucky that he wasn't a paedophile or he would have taken our son too! As it is he took a camera that had a naked video of our son on it! Crying or Very sad When he'd jumped out of the bath and ran around the house naked and I'd been chasing him with a towel and it was cute and funny and my partner had videotaped me chasing him with the towel and shouting 'come back here and let me put your nappy on!'

I hate this place.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:25 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Ghost wrote:

What condition is the cat in? Is he or she fixed?


I've no way of knowing Ghost. I got a look at his/her rear end the other night as I was wondering if he was a boy or girl, but couldn't quite remember how to tell the difference. I once took my cat to the vet to be 'fixed' and the vet told me:

'sorry, can't do that'
me: why, is it because she has a cold?
vet: no, it's because she's a boy

her name changed from Alice to Thomas on that day! Laughing

I'd actually been told that she was a female when I got her and I'd looked at her backside and thought, yeah, she's a girl, but I didn't look again till the vet mentioned it and in that time she had 'matured' a bit and grown a couple of things that I hadn't noticed were there! Embarassed

I thought 'Thomas' is a 2 syllable name that ends in an 'ss' so it's fairly close to Alice (less confusing for her/him) so I changed her name from Alice to Thomas! Laughing

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Last edited by Phoebe on Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Is this your cat? If so, you better call me, or I'm taking him with me when I move, on this date.....signed, Daisy Duck, and your address.


Could be worded a little nicer:

Is this your cat? If so, Please call me so I don't assume he is homeless and take him with me when I move, on this date..... and phone number.

People are usually afraid of me. My wife says it's because I look like a parolee. Intimidating or not before you take the cat you should talk to your neighbors. Leave one of them a phone number so if someone does come around later looking for his or her cat they will have a way to get in touch with you.

I'd go with the nice elderly folks. Also, they usually know whats going on in the area so if it is someone's cat they might know who's it is. If you are accurate about the crack den and the cat belongs there I would take it anyway and not say anything.

How about a few posters of "FOUND CAT" Please call K7 number. Keep the K7 number alive for three months.

Quote:
I was wondering if he was a boy or girl, but couldn't quite remember how to tell the difference


Seriously? Um...males have testicles and females don't.

edit: My cat is fixed and she's a girl. You can feel the scar tissue from the surgery. Take her to the vet and have him check and while he's at it have him check to see if the cat has a chip.

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Last edited by Ghost on Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:46 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The ones without testicles and one exit are fixed males, the other ones are or were female Wink
Best get yourself if you can't locate the owner(1), a new cat form the pound(2), fixed and healthy, cats can carry nice stuff that kids don't need to get. And you don't live in a neighborhood now where you want to get in trouble for a cat. Third option, become a cat napper and buy a cage, litter box and food, if there are no flyers out by the time you move you have a cat else turn him loose and it's back to (2)
Or come and pick up Coon, male, not fixed one of the 10-15 strays we got here to feed Wink

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ If a boy-cat has been neutered (retired gentleman cat), he won't have testicles anymore. Wink

The way to tell: A male cat's "holes" look like a colon ( : ) and a female's "holes" look like an exclamation point ( ! ).

I'd go with the posters in prominent places around the building. If you haven't heard from anyone by the time you move, I'm sure the cat will move with you happily.

One thing when you move with the cat - keep it inside for several days so it knows this is it's new home. (I never let my cats outside, period, as an indoor cat lives longer, but a cat that's been outside may be unhappy inside on a permanent basis.)

I hope the cat finds it's true home. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You are all missing the most obvious answer.

Had the same problem years ago - bought a cheap collar - wrote a note on a small piece of paper - gaffer taped it to the collar - put the cat out - next morning the phone rang - it was the owner. Problem solved.

Bonus - the woman who owned the cat had recently broken up with her asshole boyfriend - I ended up consoling her - for several weeks. Laughing Oh! the memories of ill-spent youth. Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

That's fine ^^if you have decent neighbors, but in this case I wouldn't run the risk for a cat, some people get very protective if you threaten to steel their pet, even if it is a neglected cat. And who do you think they turn to when the cat gets run over and doesn't show up at home anymore?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Ghost wrote:

I'd go with the nice elderly folks. Also, they usually know whats going on in the area so if it is someone's cat they might know who's it is

That's good advice. I'll do that.
Ghost wrote:

Seriously? Um...males have testicles and females don't.

Yes but with my last cat, I checked her (actually his) gender before he was mature enough to have them showing. So I thought he was a girl. This cat has no testes showing, so I guess he must be either a fixed male or a female. I'm thinking he's female. I went to my parents Christmas dinner today and stole a load of prawns and roast chicken to take back for him/her. I think meat is kind of gross but what the heck! Cats can't be vegetarian so you might as well give it to someone who appreciates it! Laughing

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hey Daisy, I think a note on a collar is the way to go.

Bill your cat and my cat look like each other,lol..


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Cats can travel many miles in their outside journeys. They will eat any food offered them if they are outdoor cats. Try the collar message to see what happens. Sometimes owners don't realize just how far their cats are traveling when they are outside. If the cat will let you pet him feel for a homing chip. You know the ones they inject in an animal and the vet can scan it for information.

Also if the cat is only showing up for food then it just wants a free meal. However, if he/she is hanging around your house and trying to get into your house then I would say it is safe to take it with you. A good cat owner would not let him outside. They would be indoor cats.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
A good cat owner would not let him outside. They would be indoor cats.

Should I feel bad now? Confused
I have a steady population of five females, their kittens and a few walk ins sometimes up to 15 in number, a nice big barn with straw and shelter, all the mice and rabbits they can eat and a straight meal a day, but they never come in the house. I can't even pick them up or catch them easily. I keep the coyotes, skunks and badgers away from the yard, but they're on their own for the rest of the wild life, mostly hawks and eagles and an occasional rattler in summer that might steal a kitten or two.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

If the thing was being looked after, you would not be feeding it in the first place. So take the bloody thing, if you must have a cat with a young baby.

Actually it looks quite plump, would go nice with a nice apple savoury stuffing, and a sprig of mint. 25 to 30 minutes in a moderate oven should do it. I'm told they taste a bit like Chicken and Guinea Pig. I'll try the next one I trap, and report back.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:29 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Note on a collar (just make sure it is a safety/breakaway collar or it could be a strangulation risk--also know that if kitty has never worn a collar, keeping it on could be a major problem) might work, or take a digital photo of the kitty, make up some quick flyers saying "found" and looking for owner. If these are people you don't trust, it's best linked to a web-based or untraceable number if you don't want to have to deal with idiots later.

Asking the seniors is also good--in my experience, they usually know who's who and what's what.

On the subject of determining sex--testicles are a giveaway, but a neutered male can be difficult to tell from a female--one other key point (besides the colon/semicolon referenced above) is that spacing between the openings on a male is much wider. Coloring can be a giveaway too--if the cat is a calico, tortoiseshell, or torbie--meaning it has true black and red, brown and orange, or grey and peach (dilute), then the odds are very strong (as in 99.99% chance) that it is a female. Color is sex linked in cats, so two X chromosones or an abnormality are required to have both a red gene and a black gene (brown and grey come from the black gene, peach, orange, and yellow are diluted red gene).


I don't know how it is in the UK, but in the US, you could call a vet, or you could also call the local animal control, and ask it it is possible to bring kitty in for a microchip scan (you can't always feel one) and to check sex and spay/neuter status (scars can often be felt, but again not always, especially if they were altered very young). Not all shelters/animal control facilities will do that, but I have worked at several over the years in the US who are more than willing to do that for free.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 6:57 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Daisy,

I understand your delima.

When I was in Kuwait, I was adopted by a rather large canine. I don't know if he belonged to anyone, but he became a U.S. resident and lived here very happily for several years.

My last tour in Iraq, a cat decided to befriend me and he still lives here.

I often wonder if a little girl somewhere is crying about her lost pet. It weighs on me hevily.

It's a tough decision and I hope you do well.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Chibuike wrote:
Sometimes owners don't realize just how far their cats are traveling when they are outside.


I didn't know that. Makes sense though since they are very curious animals. My cat always has to be up in everyone's business.

Chibuike wrote:
Also if the cat is only showing up for food then it just wants a free meal. However, if he/she is hanging around your house and trying to get into your house then I would say it is safe to take it with you.


That's what I was thinking too. The two cats that show up to eat at my place don't stick around long. One will eat, play with me for a while, then leave. He does have a bad habit of sitting on the front on this little ledge under a window to the garage like he lives at my place but he does this at everyone's house. He actually lives three door up from me. The other cat eats and runs away when I try to say hello. Ingrate.

The cat that stays to play is obviously an unfixed male. You don't even have to flip him over to see that Laughing My cat wants to go out and play with him but I don't want him anywhere near her with those things of his.

weareborg wrote:
If the thing was being looked after, you would not be feeding it in the first place. So take the bloody thing


Why because it shows up for a free meal. Both cats show up at my house are well taken care of. I don't let my cat outside and she is content to stay inside but just because an owner lets his or her cat out doesn't mean he or she isn't taking good care of it. Once a cat knows the outdoors they want to go out.

About the cat eating thing Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You thought about taking the cat to a vet or the PDSA to see if he has a microchip?
Otherwise I'd go with a collar and note along the lines of "I've been feeding this cat. Does he belong to you?" and use a K 7 phone number.
That way its more a friendly enquiry, not an advert that you're moving or could be a constued as a catnap threat

We're sure someone is feeding our cat, even though he is in no way thin or uncared for.
He's a cat
And he wears a reflective collar with a bell

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Rodus
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Joined: 13 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'd take Nannys advice and check for a chip, if not then take the cat. It chose you, cats do that, we had one leave years ago and move in with a family a few houses down they had no other cats and he liked that, as far as we're concerned it's now their cat.

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Inspector Gadget
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Joined: 20 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
I'm thinking of putting a collar on him

Will you be posting a picture of your injuries?
Some cats don't take well to collars!

We have a cat, very similar in colouration to the one in the bath picture ^^^ that comes visiting and wolfing down our own cats spare food (which is anything lying around) although he always appears to be very hungry he's well groomed and not at all thin, so I suspect that he lives elsewhere and is just hitting on us for a freebie meal.

If you survive putting a collar on the beast hopefully you'll find out wher he comes from.

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Joined: 06 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:49 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

weareborg wrote:
If the thing was being looked after, you would not be feeding it in the first place. So take the bloody thing, if you must have a cat with a young baby.

Cats have been known to have 2 or 3 "owners". They aren't averse to scrounging three sets of meals a day if they think they can get away with it.
I had a regular (totally deaf) feline visitor twenty years ago, but oddly enough he never wanted food. He's walk in, sleep for about an hour, then leave. Never did find out who be belonged to. But my enquiries revealed that about six of my neighbours were also were on his visiting list.

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