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View Full Version : How can I tell if a neighborhood cat already has a home?


Hedda Rosa
02-01-2007, 02:17 PM
A cat has been coming around my house for a few weeks now, hanging on our stoop at all times. I like him, and the kitty we already have has made friends with him. I've started feeding him.

I'd like to adopt him into our family, but he might already have a home. He's not too scrawny but certainly not a fatty like my kitty. His paws (he's mostly white) are quite dirty. He's friendly - willing to be petted. No collar.

How can I find out if he has a home already?

gotpasswords
02-01-2007, 02:22 PM
You can either post his picture around the area with "FOUND CAT" and hope that someone recognizes him and is honest about it being their cat, or bring the cat in, and wait for someone to post "LOST CAT" signs.

Musicat
02-01-2007, 02:23 PM
How can I find out if he has a home already?No good way unless he has a collar or a embedded chip. I don't know if you can feel such a chip, but a vet would tell you and read it if it's there. A slim chance, though, but if you could take him to a vet it might be a good idea for more than one reason. If it's a small town, it's entirely likely the vet would recognize the cat. If you have several vets nearby, try taking or emailing a picture to the others.

Asking around the neighborhood with a picture in hand is just about the only way. Or if you have a neighborhood bulletin board, put up a found poster. If it came to you in reasonably good physical condition and was comfortable with humans, it probably wasn't feral and domestic cats don't normally travel far on their own.

Good luck!

chappachula
02-01-2007, 02:33 PM
a weird thought just occurred to me:
suppose you put a collar on the cat, with your phone number on it. See if anybody calls.

(well, I dunno if this idea is crazy or not. I've always had indoors-only cats.)

Kalhoun
02-01-2007, 03:03 PM
Most of the cats we've acquired were strays. Large was lurking in the shadows for around a year. He was enormous, but not tagged. We just took him in, checked for a chip, and that was that.

When Skinny Graycie came on board, she was as thin as a rail. We had the vet check for a chip, but didn't make any other effort. We are next to a barn and I think people tend to dump kitties here because of that.

Inspector Cleauseau was also a lurker. He never became an inside cat until his final year with us, when he became ill. What a cool cat. He was ours, but strictly an outdoorsman.

phall0106
02-01-2007, 03:21 PM
Ailey was a poor soul who nearly got run over by a friend of ours, out driving in the country. Since he's such a skittish beast, I was suprised that he allowed the friend to pick him up and agreed to ride back to her dorm with her. Surprisingly enough, she couldn't keep him in the dorm, so we adopted him. (And he came with the stupid name.)

When Hallgirl2 was in 8th grade and was walking home from the bus stop, Maya came running up the sidewalk, dropped at Hallgirl2's feet and rolled over on her back. Hallgirl2 came home and asked if we could have another cat (we had three others at the time). After overcoming several conditions I placed on the deal ("If she's still there when we get back from the grocery store"--she was, "If you can find her"--since it was several blocks from our house--she was found, "If you knock on the neighbors doors and no one recognizes her as a pet"--she wasn't recognized, and two households said she was a stray), we adopted her. She was an indoor/outdoor cat for awhile until she disappeared twice. The first time she went on vacation and refused to tell us where she'd spent two months, but came back very fat. The second time,she was locked in a storage shed on someone else's property for almost three weeks and we thought she was dead. She still refuses to talk about that incident, so we decided that she'd never venture outside again unless she was being buried (or to the vet--and I think she'd rather be buried than go to the vet's).

PunditLisa
02-01-2007, 03:27 PM
We had a similar situation a few months ago. A sweet fuzzy grey kitty just showed up in our backyard one day (much to Buddy the Beagle's chagrin). He stuck around for a week or so. I e-mailed all my neighbors asking if he was theirs. No one claimed him. He looked well fed which led me to believe that he was someone's pet, but it worried me because it was getting colder. Just when I made the decision to take him to the pound (adoping him was out of the question as Mr. Pundit is allergic to cats), he disappeared.

Kalhoun
02-01-2007, 03:35 PM
We had a similar situation a few months ago. A sweet fuzzy grey kitty just showed up in our backyard one day (much to Buddy the Beagle's chagrin). He stuck around for a week or so. I e-mailed all my neighbors asking if he was theirs. No one claimed him. He looked well fed which led me to believe that he was someone's pet, but it worried me because it was getting colder. Just when I made the decision to take him to the pound (adoping him was out of the question as Mr. Pundit is allergic to cats), he disappeared.
Heh-heh...Skinny Graycie is a gray kitty who just showed up, too!

Hedda Rosa
02-01-2007, 03:53 PM
a weird thought just occurred to me:
suppose you put a collar on the cat, with your phone number on it. See if anybody calls.

(well, I dunno if this idea is crazy or not. I've always had indoors-only cats.)

Oooh. Yeah that could be it! Thanks.

boytyperanma
02-01-2007, 07:26 PM
a weird thought just occurred to me:
suppose you put a collar on the cat, with your phone number on it. See if anybody calls.

(well, I dunno if this idea is crazy or not. I've always had indoors-only cats.)

That would be my thought as well. Put a collar on and see if anything happens. Like maybe just write 'remove if you own me'

Jennshark
02-01-2007, 07:33 PM
We stole a kitten in October. He was sitting in the middle of the road, in the rain, and was only about eight weeks old. We took him home, dried him, fed him, and he immediately became part of the thundering cat herd.

A few days later we figured out that he had come from a trailer house near where we found him and had brothers and sister kitties who were living under the trailer. The trailer is an absolute wreck -- in condemnable condition, but with people living there -- and we decided that neutering Rufus and providing a safe, indoor home with regular vet care outweighed the potential sadness of owners who weren't taking care of him. We did look around for signs and called the animal shelter, but no one was looking for him.

I suggest taking kitty in and hanging signs around the neighborhood, etc. I would say that after two weeks you could be fairly certain that he doesn't have owners (or owners who care if he finds a new home).

Renee
02-02-2007, 12:26 AM
That would be my thought as well. Put a collar on and see if anything happens. Like maybe just write 'remove if you own me'

Don't cats slip out of their collars pretty often, though? I think I would stick with the phone number and maybe "call if you own me".

Red Barchetta
02-02-2007, 01:09 AM
Don't cats slip out of their collars pretty often, though? I think I would stick with the phone number and maybe "call if you own me".


I concur. Cats are quite apt at taking them off.

Kalhoun
02-02-2007, 09:26 AM
We stole a kitten in October. He was sitting in the middle of the road, in the rain, and was only about eight weeks old. We took him home, dried him, fed him, and he immediately became part of the thundering cat herd.


My husband was trucking years ago. He saw a filthy, soaked little gray kitty on the side of the expressway. He drove by again a few hours later and it was still there, so he pulled over and picked it up.

He found him on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago and named him Dirty Dan.