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 cat 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
- Finding Rover
7. Get help from your local animal shelter
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and we work together to stop the spread of the disease, animal welfare organizations need the community’s help now more than ever, especially when it comes to pets who have become lost from their owners. AHS, along with our animal welfare partners, are asking Good Samaritans who are able to reunite lost pets with their owner, to please help us do so. The safest way this can be done is by sheltering that pet in place while utilizing a variety of online resources to get that pet and owner reunited as quickly as possible. We continue to be inspired by the community’s response to this pandemic. By helping to temporarily shelter lost pets in place, Good Samaritans are helping animal welfare groups maintain adequate space for incoming pets. For AHS specifically, it allows us to continue to care for the Valley’s sick, injured and abused pets who are in need of immediate medical care in AHS’ trauma hospital.
What if I absolutely can’t shelter-in-place?
We understand that certain circumstances may prevent you from temporarily keeping the pet that you have found. For healthy stray pets, please contact Maricopa County Animal Care and Control at 602.506.7387. To report a lost or found pet, please call MCACC’s Lost/Found Department at 602.372.4598. You can also fill out their online form to report a stray. To request an ambulance for a sick or injured stray pet in the Valley, an animal in distress or if you suspect an animal is being abused or neglected, call the Arizona Humane Society’s emergency Field Dispatch at 602.997.7585 Ext. 2073. After hours, please contact your nearest emergency animal clinic and AHS’ Emergency Animal Medical Technicians will pick up the pet the following day for continued medical care. For abuse cases, you may also fill out AHS’ online form. For additional resources, AHS’ Pet Resource Center is available daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 602.997.7585 Ext 3800.