Found Cats and Kittens: What should I do if I believe someone has abandoned their cat?

Only attempt to handle a sick or injured cat if it is safe for you to do so, with minimal risk of being bitten or scratched.

If you are bitten or badly scratched by a cat/kitten, always seek medical care immediately as these injuries can cause severe infection and illness in people.

All cats with an illness or injury must be seen by a veterinarian.

Always phone ahead to ensure a vet is at the clinic and can assist you.

It is essential to phone a vet or Ten Lives immediately for advice on how to care for orphaned kittens, or to book an appointment as the kittens will require urgent attention.

Dumping or abandoning cats/kittens is an offence under the Cat Management Act 2009 and penalties apply.

To report abandoned cats/kittens by a known owner, contact RSPCA by one of the following methods:

Phone: 1300 139 947
Email: reportit@rspcatas.org.au
Online: rspcatas.org.au/report-cruelty


Abandoned Cats:

  • Contact owner if possible – they may intend to return to collect it.
  • Provide commercial cat food and water, NOT cow’s milk/supermarket cat milk as it can cause diarrhea.
  • Owner not returned within 24 hours – contact Ten Lives on 6278 2111 and book an appointment to bring the cat in. Click here for more information more information on the procedures for bringing a stray cat in to Ten Lives.


Abandoned kittens between 8 and 20 weeks of age:

  • Contact owner if possible – they may intend to return to collect them.
  • If owner is not contactable, contact Ten Lives on 6278 2111 and book an appointment to bring the cat in. Click here for more information on the procedures for bringing a cat in to Ten Lives.

NOTE:

Do not feed strays ongoing.

Do not give kittens cow’s milk or supermarket cat milk, it can cause diarrhea. Kittens who are not eating wet food with ease will require a specialized kitten formula called Wombaroo Cat Milk Replacer, available from Ten Lives and some vet clinics and pet stores.


Abandoned kittens with or without a mother:

NOTE:

It is essential to phone a vet or Ten Lives immediately for advice on how to care for orphaned kittens, or to book an appointment as the kittens will require urgent attention.

Young kittens, without a mother to care for them, are at high risk of not surviving without receiving immediate specialized care.

Do not give kittens cow’s milk or supermarket cat milk, it can cause diarrhea.

Kittens who are not eating wet food with ease will require a specialized kitten formula called Wombaroo Cat Milk Replacer, available from Ten Lives and some vet clinics and pet stores.

If kitten/s are 4 weeks of age or older, provide canned kitten food, preferably chicken varieties and a bowl of water.

The younger kittens are when socialised with people, the better chance they have at becoming great pets, this becomes increasingly more difficult from 8 weeks of age.

In all of the above scenarios, you could provide a note in the cat/kitten’s owners letterbox informing them they have been taken to Ten Lives in the event that they return to the property. This can be anonymous.


Below is a visual estimation to help you determine the rough age of a found kitten/s so as to determine the best course of action for how you will proceed with the situation.

Transporting Cats & Kittens

  • When taking a cat to a vet or Ten Lives ensure it is contained securely in a carrier. If a carrier is not available a large container/box which has ventilation holes (or ventilation holes added) and a lid which can be secured will suffice.
  • Temporarily placing a lightweight blanket or towel over the cat/kitten will assist with handling.
  • Covering the carrier/box with a light weight blanket or towel will assist in calming the cat/kitten.
  • Do not attempt to carry any cat/kitten in your arms, it must be securely contained.
  • If you arrive at Ten Lives, and the cat/kitten is not contained, leave the cat in the car and ask reception for a carrier.
  • Containing a cat/kitten when transporting it will make the cat feel safe and prevent it escaping and becoming lost.

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