If you find a stray cat, you can’t just keep it and take it home. Finders must report the animal to the nearest animal shelter. If the cat is tame enough, you can bring it there in a transport box. The found cat is then taken in and cared for at the animal shelter. If no owner responds, the cat will be put up for adoption. If the animal is very shy, it is sufficient to report its whereabouts. As soon as all the necessary data has been recorded, further steps such as catching and medical treatment of the animal can be coordinated by experienced helpers.
«Even if reporting is a bit of work, the help is not only relevant for the one stray cat found,» says pet expert Ross. If possible, reported stray animals are caught, examined and castrated. Neutering stray cats has an impact on the entire stray cat population. Cats are sexually mature at four to five months. A cat can raise two litters per year with at least three kittens, which in turn will have offspring themselves after six months. The number of offspring can increase from just one pair of cats to more than 12,000 animals within five years. “Neutering stray animals prevents a lot of suffering. «Females no longer become pregnant and no longer have to take care of young ones, males get into fewer territorial fights. All in all, castrated animals have more strength and energy for the hard life on the street,” says the expert.
If the cat is too shy of people, it is usually released after veterinary treatment. If you still want to take care of the animal, you can set up a feeding station. “A feeding station and water make life immensely easier for stray cats, especially in the cold season. Well-fed animals get sick less. But the cats quickly adjust to a regular food source. Anyone who decides to feed strays should do so on a permanent basis. Before you start feeding a stray cat, make sure you have the time and money to do it,» Ross said.
If you want to offer the animals additional protection, you can set up a winter-proof cat house. This can be very simple, like a styrofoam box with an entrance hole and maybe some straw inside.