It’s estimated that between 60 and 100 million stray cats reside in the USA. Chances are, you’re going to come across one — if not an entire colony — sooner or later.
You may be wondering what exactly you can do for them. Is there anyone you can call to rescue them?
When you pass by a Stray Cat, do you ever wonder “Who to Call to Pick Up Stray Cats,” We have some advice. Here’s who you can call to come and help stray cats and when you should do it.
Before Calling Any Animal Services…
Before calling anyone to come and help the stray cats, you should ensure it’s appropriate to do so.
Most rescues, shelters, and animal control services will not come and pick up a healthy stray cat. The reason for this is that adult cats who have been living outside for their whole life with no human contact simply cannot be socialized and rehomed, in most cases. They’re actually happier outside, left to their own devices.
However, if the cat is clearly friendly and socialized or if they’re sick, injured, or malnourished, then yes, you may need to find someone to call.
Who You Can Call
These are all of the places you can call to help stray cats. You may have to try a few in your area before you find someone willing to help.
If the cat is sick or injured, a veterinarian is your best bet. It’s unlikely the vet will come and pick up the animal though — instead, you’ll have to call, give them advance notice, and take the cat in yourself.
This may involve using a humane live trap if the cat can’t be coerced into a carrier. Rest assured, these do not hurt the cat!
You should be aware when taking a stray cat to the veterinarian that, unless the vet’s office has a special program for ferals, you will be expected to take on 100% of the bill. If not, they may euthanize the cat rather than treat them for any injury and illness.
If you have animal control in your local area, you may contact them to come and pick up a stray. However, it’s important to ask questions — a lot of animal control services will only pick up a sick or injured cat, and some of them will take them to shelters with high kill rates.
If the well-being of the cat is important to you, make sure you check out the shelter they’re affiliated with and figure out exactly what will happen to them.
If animal control is affiliated with a no-kill shelter, the shelter will likely take on the expenses to treat the cat — though it’s always nice to make a donation.
A Local Rescue
You can always ask around on social media and online pet forums and see if there’s a local rescue near you. Rescues will take on cats and the fee for their medical bill and find a foster or permanent home.
Unfortunately, especially during kitten season, you might find that most rescues are full.
Feral Cat Charities
Feral cat charities are different from rescues and may help you in the case of you finding a stray who can’t be rehomed. This usually involves TNR (trap, neuter, release) to ensure the cat will never reproduce and then caring for the cat in the area they know best afterward.
They can build shelters and leave water and food for the cat every day.
If the cat is alone and/or in a dangerous area, the charity may consider relocating them to one of the colonies they already take care of. You should never do this yourself, as relocating a cat can be dangerous and often means death when not done right.
The cat will likely have to stay in a trap or carrier for a while on the new property. Don’t worry — although this isn’t ideal, it’s setting them up for the best possible life they could have. Adopting stray cats who’ve been outside forever is usually very difficult, and they wouldn’t be happy as indoor cats.
What if No One Responds?
In some more rural areas, you might find that it’s very difficult to get someone to pick up a stray cat. Then you must be thinking what else can I do or Who to Call to Pick Up Stray Cats
If the cat is visibly very sick or injured, a veterinarian is still your best bet. If they’re not and you just don’t want them to be outside due to danger, the weather, or general worry, you can try to see if the cat will warm up to you. Attempt to hand-feed them and pet them.
If they’re receptive to this, you can try bringing them indoors and adopting them.
If the cat is clearly very feral, the best thing you can do is learn how to care for stray cats. Building them shelters is ideal, as it will shield them from the elements.
To build a shelter for cats, you’ll need to get a plastic box and cut a hole in it so they can enter and exit. Insulate it with styrofoam and fill it with straw.
Although your instinct may be to put blankets in there, this can actually prove dangerous. If a cat is wet, it will trap the cold in there with them, whereas straw will dry them off.
You can also leave food and water outside for them. Once a day should be plenty, as feral cats will also be hunting as part of their food source. Dry food is ideal for this, as the smell of wet food can attract other wildlife and some of that wildlife can be dangerous to the cats — like coyotes!
Thank You for Thinking of the Stray Cats!
It can be difficult to know who to call about picking up stray cats and you may need to try a few different options. Often, stray cats will not respond well to human contact, and animal services may be resistant to pick them up unless there’s a real need.
If you’re willing to try, however, then you should be able to find and provide help for them.
Now that you have read our article ” Who to Call to Pick Up Stray Cats”, For more advice on cats and other animals, check out the rest of our site.