How to Help Friendly, Socialized Cats

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When you’re performing Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in any community, you will not only encounter feral cats (meaning not socialized to people), but also friendly cats. Since being trapped is a scary experience for any kitty, it may be difficult to tell the difference between a feral cat and a stray cat. Luckily, we have an Illustrated guide to help you assess the cat’s sociability. If you find a cat is very friendly and you have the resources available to find her a home, then go for it! But if the cat is not socialized to humans or if you don’t have the capacity to find an adoptive home, then it is absolutely fine to return the cat to her outdoor home after TNR.

Here are some ways to help a friendly cat:

  •  Check that the cat is not someone’s lost pet. When trapping in neighborhoods, the likelihood of trapping someone’s pet cat is quite high. This is partially why it’s important to do community outreach beforehand to let people know trapping is happening (our doorhangers are great for that!). If you suspect you’ve trapped a pet cat but she isn’t wearing a collar, you might want to bring her to your veterinarian or local rescue group to be scanned for a microchip ID, which will tell you whom the cat belongs to. You can also post “Cat Found” flyers around the neighborhood.
  • If the friendly cat is not a missing pet, they can be fostered until you find them a forever home. Learn how to promote the cat for adoption and find her the best home possible.
  • Even the friendliest cat can become withdrawn and frightened in a new situation, but it doesn’t mean they are not adoptable. Our info on how to soothe a stray cat offers tips, such as creating down time or establishing a safe place for the cat to be alone, in order to help any kitty relax and revert back to her friendly and loving personality.

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