Found Cats and Kittens: What should I do if I find a friendly healthy cat that appears lost?

Only attempt to handle a 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.

Wandering cats are more likely to be returned to owners using the following steps rather than taking them to Ten Lives straight away.

The reclaim rate for cats from Ten Lives is only 2.6%.

  • Collar and ID tag – phone owner.
  • No ID – check, then post cat found, on Tasmanian Lost Pet Register:
  • Provide water only, not food or milk (feeding will discourage cat to return to its owner).
  • Ask neighbours if they own the cat or know who does.
  • Make flyers and posters – distribute within a four-block radius, see below for example and template.
  • No response after 24 hours – phone your local vet or Ten Lives to book an appointment for a microchip scan. Microchip scans are a free service.
  • Ensure the cat is securely contained when transporting to vets or Ten Lives, see below.
  • No microchip – 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 stray cat in to Ten Lives.
  • Remove all posters if cat is claimed by owner.


If someone contacts you claiming the cat belongs to them, and it is not microchipped, ask for proof of ownership such as a photo.

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

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.