Home Cat What to do for those who discover a stray cat — plus the £5,000 mistake to keep away from

What to do for those who discover a stray cat — plus the £5,000 mistake to keep away from

What to do for those who discover a stray cat — plus the £5,000 mistake to keep away from


New UK laws has made it necessary for all cat house owners to microchip their pets. The rule, which got here into impact simply this 12 months, is meant to make it simpler for misplaced or stray cats to be reunited with their house owners. If an proprietor is discovered to not have their cat microchipped, they might face a £500 nice if one just isn’t inserted inside 21 days. Right here, the consultants from Catit clarify what this implies for cat house owners, what to do for those who discover a stray cat, and different legal guidelines cat house owners want to remember — together with the widespread mistake that would price you £5,000 in fines.

The brand new microchipping regulation

In line with knowledge from Cats Safety, round 2.8 million cats within the UK weren’t microchipped in 2022— that’s round 26% of the UK’s pet cat inhabitants. These unchipped cats are significantly susceptible to being misplaced or stolen as there’s no strategy to hint them again to their proprietor.
Underneath the brand new regulation, cat house owners have till the tenth of June 2024 to get their cat microchipped. All unchipped cats should be microchipped earlier than this date. Afterwards, house owners might want to chip new cats earlier than they attain 20 weeks previous. If house owners fail to microchip their cat, they are going to be given 21 days to take action. Failure to chip a cat after this time will end in a £500 nice. Chipping your cat may be very easy and might be accomplished at your native vet for round £20–£30 (Cats Safety). In the course of the appointment, a small microchip might be inserted beneath your cat’s pores and skin. The process may be very fast and painless and may really feel very similar to getting an injection.

The microchip may have a novel code that can be utilized to determine your cat by way of a database. The code may even be related to your contact particulars so it’s essential to maintain the chip up to date in case your particulars change.

What to do for those who discover a stray cat

In the event you discover a misplaced cat, the brand new microchipping regulation will make it a lot simpler to find the cat’s proprietor, however there are a number of different steps you may take earlier than taking it to a neighborhood vet to verify the chip. Underneath the Theft Act 1968, a misplaced or stray cat is the ‘property’ of the unique proprietor, so all the required steps should be taken to search out the cat’s house wherever attainable.

The right way to determine a stray or feral cat

In the event you come throughout a cat and you are feeling involved about their security, it’s best to first verify that the cat is certainly a stray slightly than merely an outside cat or a feral cat.

Stray cats are those who have beforehand had a house however have run away, change into misplaced, or have been deserted. As they’re used to being round folks, stray cats are typically discovered round residential areas. Whereas they might be concerned or frightened, they are often rehabilitated again into home life. As they’re not used to residing outdoors alone, stray cats might have a dishevelled look and may be skinny and ill. Domesticated out of doors cats that aren’t misplaced will seem wholesome, neat, and clear.

However, a feral cat is a cat that was born and lives within the wild. These cats are likely to have little or no human interplay and in consequence might run away for those who attempt to strategy them. They could even have the potential to change into aggressive in the event that they really feel threatened. As they’re tailored to residing outdoor and are used to with the ability to wander round farms and roam in giant areas, feral cats are higher at taking care of themselves within the wild, so will look well-fed and groomed.

Approaching a stray cat

You probably have recognized a cat as a stray, it’s best to strategy it rigorously in order to not frighten them. Maintain your hand out and name to the cat in a mild, calm voice. You would additionally supply some dry meals and water to encourage the cat to strategy you. Keep away from leaving out moist meals, as this might include potential allergens. Dry meals will also be left outdoors for a time period as you identify belief.

Discovering their proprietor

As soon as the cat has established some type of belief with you, you may verify to see if they’re carrying a collar with the proprietor’s contact particulars on it. If the cat doesn’t have contact particulars on its collar, you may connect a word to ask if the cat belongs to somebody. If there isn’t any collar, you may add a makeshift one created from paper. This fashion, if the cat does go house, the proprietor can both ship a word again (cats will return to the place they’ve learnt belief) or they’ll submit on social media to let the neighbourhood know that the cat is theirs and is secure and nicely.

You would additionally ask your neighbours in the event that they recognise the cat, both by going door to door, posting in your neighbourhood social media group, or placing up posters. Some cats might appear to be a stray if they’ve been in a combat or have well being considerations, however they’re nonetheless owned.

If nobody steps ahead to assert the cat, you will get the cat checked to see if it has been microchipped. There are two methods to do that. You would ask on social media to see if there’s anybody in your native space with a microchip scanner — there could also be somebody close by who appears to be like for misplaced animals in your space. It is a good possibility for those who can’t get to a vet, as they’ll normally come out to you. It should additionally assist keep away from any upset as you gained’t want to maneuver the kitty from its environment.

Alternatively, you may take the cat to your native vet to get it scanned. In the event you’ll be driving with the cat in tow, remember to put it in a safe cat service. In line with the Freeway Code, all animals needs to be suitably restrained within the automotive in order that they can not distract you whereas driving. Failure to restrain the animal appropriately might result in a nice of as much as £5,000 (RAC).

A top-opening cat service will make the journey far more snug for a nervous stray cat. These open from the highest as a substitute of the entrance, which may make the cat really feel much less cornered. It’s additionally a lot simpler to get the cat out and in of this type of service, which is ideal for cats that aren’t conversant in you.

What if no proprietor steps ahead?

In the event you’ve tried all of the cheap steps to find the cat’s proprietor and nobody comes ahead inside seven days, the cat might be rehomed. It is possible for you to to resolve whether or not you’ll take the cat in your self or ship it to a rehoming shelter.

What different legal guidelines do cat house owners must know?

All of us love our feline pals and need to be sure that they reside the most effective, most snug life attainable. However do you know that that is really required by regulation? The Animal Welfare Act 2006 states that pets ought to have 5 primary wants met. These are:

• Entry to an appropriate setting

• An acceptable weight-reduction plan

• The flexibility to exhibit regular behaviour patterns

• The should be housed with or aside from different animals

• Safety from ache, struggling, harm, and illness

This regulation applies whether or not you’re taking care of a cat on a short lived or everlasting foundation.

Whereas it goes with out saying, ensure that to supply your cat with a cushty place to relaxation and play, with common entry to meals and contemporary water. Many cats might be fussy with regards to ingesting so you might need to put money into a cat water fountain. This may present a relentless move of contemporary, filtered water which may encourage even the fussiest felines to drink frequently. An automated cat feeder may also provide your cat with constant, balanced meals, even whilst you’re out and about. These are additionally nice for constructing belief with a stray cat, as you can also make positive they’re consuming sufficient with out binge consuming in concern of the place their subsequent meal may come from.


“Our cats are a part of the household, so in fact we need to hold them secure. As free-roaming animals, it may be tough to maintain tabs on the place your feline pals are. That’s why the brand new microchipping regulation is nice information, because it will increase the possibilities of so many misplaced cats being reunited with their households.

“A collar and tag are additionally a good suggestion for out of doors cats, permitting your pet to be reunited with you far more rapidly in the event that they stray too removed from house. Simply ensure that to decide on a quick-release collar that may snap open if it will get caught on one thing.”

— Paul Trott from Catit



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