There’s a cat outside ……it is unfortunately a very common scenario. You’re not sure where he/she came from, but now it’s getting cold outside and you don’t know what to do.
If the cat is tame, find out if he/she belongs to someone. If the cat is friendly and looks well fed, chances are that they do. Ask the neighbors, have a local vet or shelter scan them for a microchip, or place flyers up in the area.
If number one leads to a dead end, you need to make the choice whether taking the cat in is an option. If the cat is feral, the answer is obviously no.
If the cat is feral, you will need a humane trap to catch them. Alley Cat Allies has some great tips for trapping cats on their website.
If the cat is tame trying to re-home them is the best option for them. Shelters and rescues are over-whelmed at the change of seasons with tame cats that have been left behind to fend for themselves as the weather changes-- sadly a lot of these cats will be euthanized due to space restrictions. Placing the cat’s story on social media sites; making flyers to post at pet stores, vet’s offices etc; and asking rescues to courtesy-post the kitty are all great ways to advertise to get kitty a new home.
If the cat is going to remain outdoors, he/she will need suitable shelter, fresh food, and an unfrozen water supply. How to build an easy, cheap cat house can be found on Alley Cat Allies website. Heated water bowls can be purchased at any pet store or on Amazon.