For the record, PETMD says that cats do not survive well outside below 7C.

Now that it is spring, please consider the health and safety of the cat that you have found.  If it looks in trouble, please bring it inside and follow the steps below. 

If it is out for a walk and looks in good shape, it may be an owned cat that is let outside.  

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Huge cat abandonment problem

Edmonton has a huge cat abandonment problem. It is worse since the pandemic restrictions have been dropped.

It's sad. The happy pet is now a burden, not a family member. Many move to rentals that do not allow pets so they get left behind or dropped off somewhere. Their unfixed cat gets pregnant because they didn't want to or couldn't afford to pay the spay fee. Leave it somewhere.

How do you tell the difference between a lost cat and an abandoned one?

It's tough. Identification is usually nil for both.

Of the over 1,000 cats we have helped, less than ten had a microchip. Even then the last two cats we found recently with a chip, when the supposed owner was called, they said they never had a cat!

Of those without a chip, not even a handful have owners come forward from FB posts or looking in the neighbourhood.

So you found a cat. What do you do?

The Animal Care and Control Centre does provide some good advice. Here is the webpage you can read.

https://www.edmonton.ca/residential_neighbourhoods/pets_wildlife/animal-care-control-centre

As they say, "owned lost cats are 10 times more likely to find their way home if left in their neighbourhood than if they are brought to a facility."

So...

A.  The first thing you should do is check all the Edmonton FB lost and found pet pages.

B.  Take the cat to a vet to check for a microchip.  Most vet clinics will do this without an appointment. and you can just drop in.  There is no charge, and it only takes a minute to do.  If there is a microchip, the vet can get the owner's information and contact them about the cat.  Sometimes though, people don't update their contact information with the microchip directory and so they cannot be found immediately.  Some digging on Google might have to be done to see if they can be found.

C. If no microchip, make a post on each of the above pages about the cat you found: no microchip, sex, general location found, temperament, condition found in, when it was found, how to contact you along with one or more photos.

If the cat is friendly and not spicy, and you have looked for the owners for a number of days, the ACCC is a good choice if they are accepting intakes.  The vast majority of well-behaved cats, if the owner doesn't show up within three days, are sent over to the Edmonton Humane Society or another rescue partner for adoption. If the animal is chipped, they will hold it for 10 days.

The bad part is that if the cat misbehaves at the ACCC and they don't consider it adaptable, it may be put down.  Feral cats are not accepted.

Less than 2% of lost cats found in a shelter

A major study on lost and found cats which we refer to states that less than 2% of lost cats are found by owners in a shelter. That is not good.

So, in the end, it will be up to your conscience on what to do if the owner is not found.

Lack of resources to deal with every cat

While we would like to help every abandoned cat off the streets and into a home, our resources preclude this. It is unfortunate.  We try to help those that are in danger of not surviving like injured or hurt cats or pregnant mommas and kittens.

But this is Edmonton.  Just because a cat can survive -30 doesn't mean it should be out there.

While we can't take in every cat (we are not a shelter), we can help by providing an insulated winter shelter for outside cats.  No charge.

If you are willing to provide food and water, a shelter would be a great help for these cats at this time if you cannot find a home for them.