“Help! I found a cat! What do I do?”
Oregon Humane Society(OHS)fields numerous calls like this each week.
Many cats that people spot in their neighborhoods aren’t in need of immediate help. Instead, they are pets who spend some or all of their time outdoors. Some may be indoor-only pets who’ve escaped their home and are struggling to find their way back. These cats belong with their families, not in the shelter.
When shelters are crowded with cats, illnesses can spread quickly. To ensure that we always have room in our shelter for cats who need immediate care, we need your help!
The two most important things to remember when you spot a cat in your neighborhood are assessing the situation and documenting what you see.
Snap a clear picture of the whole cat, including any unusual markings, and follow these steps:
Does the cat have a collar with ID?
Yes? Great! Try to get in contact with the owner. If you can’t get in touch with the owner, follow the steps below.
No? First, take the cat to the nearest animal shelter to get scanned for a microchip. If they do not have a microchip, assess whether the cat seems healthy (not injured or visibly ill) and safe (in a secure location, away from danger). We want a healthy and safe cat to stay where it is while you attempt to reunite it with its family.
If the cat appears healthy and safe, here’s what to do:
Use our Lost and Found Cats page to submit your photo. Be sure to include any important details, including whereyou found it and how the owner can connect with you.
Post the photo online to Facebook’s Lost and Found Pets of Salem page, your neighborhood’s NextDoor page, Craigslist’s Lost and Found Pets page, and PawBoost.
Print colored flyers to post around your neighborhood. Be sure to include the cat’s photo and your contact information.
If the cat appears unwell, injured, or is in a dangerous location, or if you’ve found a nursing kitten with no mama in sight, please contact us.
OHS Portland Campus: (503) 285-7722
OHS Salem Campus: (503) 585-5900
Leave a detailed message with your name and a good contact number. Our pet resource specialists will be in touch as soon as possible.
It’s important to keep in mind that not every cat we come across outdoors is a community cat. If we all do our part, we can help ensure that OHS saves space in the shelter to accommodate the cats and kittens who need us most.