Follow the steps below to help you better your chances of reuniting a lost cat with its family.
1. Check for ID
First, check the animal for a collar and any identification they may have to contact its owners.
2. Is this an outdoor cat?
Check and see if the cat is ear-tipped. If so, it is likely an outdoor cat. Trap-Neuter-Return programs are the most humane and effective way to stabilize outdoor cat populations. For information on what to do if you’ve found a healthy outdoor cat, visit somanycats.org.
3. Have you found a litter of kittens?
Mom will likely return. Please don’t intervene. When we find a litter of kittens, our good-hearted instincts tell us to rush to the aid of these fragile felines. Thankfully, human intervention is typically not required. In fact, the best thing you can do is leave the kittens alone. Mom will likely return shortly, and it’s critical that the kittens remain in her care as she offers the best chance for survival. If you are extremely certain that the kittens are orphaned, you can then step in and help by caring for the kittens until they’re old enough to find homes. Click here for more information on what steps to take if you’ve found kittens.
4. Search Maricopa County Animal Care and Control’s Interactive Lost & Found Map
Stray pets with no identification who have been found and turned in to the Arizona Humane Society or Maricopa County Animal Care and Control have been added to an interactive mapping tool. Good Samaritans are also able to post found flyers on this map, so this is an excellent first step to look for the owner of the pet you have found. Please also make sure to post a lost pet report on this map as well!
5. Scan for microchip
If you find a cat without tags, take him to a shelter so he can be scanned for a microchip. Most veterinary clinics and many pet supply stores may also have the ability to scan for microchips.
6. Try to find the owner
Look for “Lost Pet” signs in the area. If you don’t find any, post found flyers in the neighborhood. Use online and social media resources to post about the found pet on sites like:
- Facebook groups: LostCatsArizona, Straydar, neighborhood groups
7. Get help from your local animal shelter
Sick or injured pet?
The Arizona Humane Society accepts all stray pets that are sick, injured or abused. We encourage Good Samaritans who have found sick, injured or abused stray animals to contact our Pet Resource Center at 602.997.7585 Ext. 3800 to schedule an appointment so we can be sure to have the necessary resources ready. You may bring sick and injured pets to our Sunnyslope Campus, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, or call our EAMT™ Dispatch Center at 602.997.7585 Ext. 2073 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. We cannot accept stray turn-ins at our Nina Mason Pulliam Campus for Compassion.
If a Good Samaritan finds a sick or injured stray animal after hours, they can take it to an Emergency Animal Clinic (EAC). The EAC will accept that animal and provide it with care and treatment until our EAMTs can pick it up the next day. The EAC will not accept stray animals if they are not sick or injured. EAC’s do not accept mother cats with kittens unless they are sick or injured. Another option is for the Good Samaritan to hold onto the sick or injured stray animal overnight, if the animal is stable enough, and call AHS in the morning for a pick up by an EAMT.