TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › How do I know if she's a stray?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How do I know if she's a stray?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Last night I was on a walk when I had an encounter with a lovely little (6-8 months old?) cat. It was a few blocks away from my house and she was in the bushes. She darted away when my boyfriend and I walked past, but then she timidly approached us, gave a quick head butt, and then darted away again. This repeated several times--- she'd run away, then turn around and very slowly come back for a scratch, then she'd dart away again. There were a few things that I found to be odd about the encounter. For one, she wasn't wearing a collar. Also, she was super-skinny. We're talking really thin. She did seem to be otherwise perfectly clean and healthy. Lastly, she tracked us for several blocks. She followed us very closely for a while and then dropped back-- we tried to ignore her, but then every so often we'd look back and see her hiding under a car or trotting along the sidewalk. But, by the time we reached our house, she'd disappeared. I'm only familiar with indoor cat behavior, but I was under the impression that outdoor cats don't tend to stray very far from homebase, and this one took quite a journey. Does this behavior seem at all odd for an outdoor housecat? Thanks!
post #2 of 14
I would go find her and bring her inside. And then post messages around for a found kitty. Cats outside territory according the outside cats where I live (which is my only experience) can be pretty far, but if shes a kitten if it were me, I would help her.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've been looking to see if anyone's posted a "lost cat" ad matching her description, but I haven't found anything. I'm afraid to take her inside if in fact she does belong to someone around here and is just a super curious kitty! If I see her again, perhaps I'll end up doing a little door knocking-- nice way to finally meet my neighbors.

By the way, the funniest result of this is that I think Georgia (my cat) sensed that I'd had some kind of emotional run-in with another kitty and got jealous; she usually spends her nights at the foot of my bed (if I'm lucky), but I awoke last night to find her in my armpit-- that was a first!
post #4 of 14
I second Pamis advice. It is allright if you take her in - as long as you write her up at all message boards in the neighboorhood.
And if she IS homeless she shouldnt not be too hard to get tame and adopted, as she seems so friendly.

The only serious against is your own homecats. Strays do usually some parasites, even if they are hopefully healthy.
The trick is to have them in own room, a quarantene.

If you dont have spare rooms a cellar may do. Or a clean dog crate.

Is you own cat fully vaccined?
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Vacines, check. I'm just so worried about jumping to conclusions. The other thing I didn't mention is that this is a really striking cat-- She looks like a cinnamon ocicat ( a lot of people in this neighborhood have purebred animals, so that wouldn't be a stretch). On the one hand, that makes me think she isn't a stray-- a stray ocicat? Plus, ocicats are supposed to be very friendly with strangers. On the other hand-- who would let their ocicat run around outside without a collar? Someone unlike me, I guess.
post #6 of 14
But you also mentioned she was super skinny, which is a sign that she doesnt belong to someone or that she is lost. I would help her. Keeping her separated as Stefan mentioned, while trying to locate an owner. If nothing else, you will have peace of mind and you may be saving a kitty in the process.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigi
Vacines, check. I'm just so worried about jumping to conclusions. The other thing I didn't mention is that this is a really striking cat-- She looks like a cinnamon ocicat ( a lot of people in this neighborhood have purebred animals, so that wouldn't be a stretch). On the one hand, that makes me think she isn't a stray-- a stray ocicat? Plus, ocicats are supposed to be very friendly with strangers. On the other hand-- who would let their ocicat run around outside without a collar? Someone unlike me, I guess.
My cats have never had collars (until tonight) one of our vets told me this horror story (I was totally new to cat guardianship) that terrified me. It was only later that I realised that he was probably trying to caution me against non-breakable collars, not all collars entirely.

[The rest is off point, but just to finish the story, here goes:]

Recently, I started talking to our usual vet (same practice) about my situation, breakable collars, etc., and she advised me to try to get outs to wear collars, especially as they are not indoors-only. She did warn me that given Molly's age and temperment I might never get her used to it.

Anyway, Molly is now wearing one I had from when we tried to lead-train her. I decided to see if I could get her to wear it. So I rubbed her all over with the collar for about 10-15 minutes, trying the collar for size around her neck without closing it and eventually snapped it and put a huge plate of delicious food in front of her. She seems perfectly happy with it, so I will get a few more collars and try with the others.

ETA: all of mine are microchipped, however.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami
But you also mentioned she was super skinny, which is a sign that she doesnt belong to someone or that she is lost. I would help her. Keeping her separated as Stefan mentioned, while trying to locate an owner. If nothing else, you will have peace of mind and you may be saving a kitty in the process.
I second this - you can always try to help find her human if she has one. And if you're right about her breed, they will probably be on the look out for her.

Do the usual, contact nearby vets to see if she's a patient, check if she has a microchip (mine do, and don't have collars) - if she has a loving human in the area, you'll find it.

If you don't find a human, you'll be glad forever that you didn't leave her there to the vagaries of fate.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
I went out looking for her and no luck... but I will try and try again! I ran into landscapers who were doing work on the yard next to the one where I originally saw her. They said they've been working on that yard for quite some time, and that they've never seen a cat matching the description I gave. These evening walks will now become sleuthing sessions-- I hope I can find the little critter again!
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigi
Vacines, check. I'm just so worried about jumping to conclusions. The other thing I didn't mention is that this is a really striking cat-- She looks like a cinnamon ocicat ( a lot of people in this neighborhood have purebred animals, so that wouldn't be a stretch). On the one hand, that makes me think she isn't a stray-- a stray ocicat? Plus, ocicats are supposed to be very friendly with strangers. On the other hand-- who would let their ocicat run around outside without a collar? Someone unlike me, I guess.
I have gotten 4 of my cats off the streets like that. I posted signs and FOUND cat ads everywhere available. As sweet as a couple of mine were, I couldn't believe they were not someone's treasured pets...but it happens. My newest, Veruca, is the sweetest cat ever and I got her because her owners moved out of their home and left her in the vacant yard. She ended up pregnant and the temperatures were in the 100 here. So it could be that she was a pet but isn't being looked for.
post #11 of 14
Same exact thing happened to me with Easy (in my signature) She even had a collar on (a flea collar), no tags, no microchip. I posted news paper ads, checked local shelters and even made up flyers and put them everywhere. She was beautiful and so very sweet. She was pregnant, too. Those other kitties in my signature are her kids, now 3 years later. So you never know.
post #12 of 14
Let me tell a story, the same coin but the other side of it.
It is told by a vet assistant in Gothenburg a big swedish town, working on a small veterinary clinic. They get quite often in found strays to put to sleep. They being humans arent glad to killing otherwise perfectly health cats. So they have the routine to try to seek some after owners. - guess what: Yes, of course. Every year they do find 4-5 of the owners. Owners who did kept seeking after their small friends and were overjoyed to get them back.
Lesson? Before you do anything desperate, do always seek after the owner. There is a good chance there IS a loving and seeking owner - even if the cat apparently seems to be stray....

(What they do with the other healthy cats? The vet as. didnt tell, my guess is they send all the more or less tame and healthy to nearby no-kill shelter)
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigi
I hope I can find the little critter again!
I hope you can too. The poor little thing sounds like she is lost or homeless and in need of some help.
post #14 of 14
Please keep in mind that weight has really no bearing on her status as long as she appears otherwise healthy.

Young kittens and cats have a lot of engery, and they burn it well.
I have what is probably the skinniest cat I have ever seen (appart from seeing a starving cat, which is much different).

He's two years old and doesn't have an off switch, all he does is run around and play.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › How do I know if she's a stray?