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What to do if a cat shows up at your property

Predator Guard two cats on rock surface surrounded by bushes
Do you have cats showing up at your house? There are a number of ways you can handle the situation in a humane way.
The cats showing up at your house probably fit into one of these categories:
  • They’re feral (meaning wild)
  • They’re an outdoor cat (some of which are TNR’d, we’ll get into this later)
  • They’re an indoor-outdoor cat
  • They’re a stray that has been dumped by an owner or got lost.
When a cat shows up at your home, see if their ear is clipped. If it is, it means the cat was TNR’d (Trap-neuter-return). Sometimes, people manage outdoor cats (feral or friendly) by trapping them, getting them neutered or spayed, updating their shots, and releasing them back outside. Veterinarians often clip the ear to signify this.
It’s a good idea to see if anyone in your community is missing a cat. You may have a community Facebook page or even a website dedicated to finding lost pets. You could try posting something at local vet offices or putting up flyers. However, it’s important to confirm that whoever claims the cat, is, in fact, the owner. To do that, ask for vet references, photos and for them to identify something unique about the cat. Another way to find out if the cat has an owner is to check with a vet and have them scan for a microchip. Some people chip their cats, which a vet can check for no charge.
Be careful approaching or handling a cat you do not know. And, ask a shelter for tips on how to effectively trap a cat if that’s a route you want to take. You should be able to do this without touching the cat.
If you can’t identify an owner, you could choose to feed the cat or adopt it, if that’s something you are interested in. You can also try to find it a home (but be careful who you adopt it out to). If a cat is feral, it won’t be interested in being friends with you, but it will probably appreciate the food all the same. You can choose to TNR any cats you plan to keep outside. If you don’t want to keep the cat, call local shelters and see if anyone is willing to take it, either now or when a spot opens up. If you’re concerned that the shelter may euthanize the cat, try to locate a no-kill shelter.
If the cat is a nuisance to you and you prefer to keep it off your property, there is another humane option you could choose. The PestAway Ultrasonic Animal Repeller is great for scaring off cats and other pests with advanced repellent technology. It’s maintenance-free and easy to mount. It’s also weather-resistant with a tight-seal weatherproof cover. There are three repelling technologies: an ultrasonic and optional audible alarm, plus flashing strobe lights. This product can be purchased on our website or Amazon.
As you can see, there are several ways to handle things humanely when a cat shows up at your home. If you can’t find an owner, then it’s time to decide whether to adopt it, find it another home, take it to a shelter, or drive it off your property with safe, effective methods.