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How do you tell a stray from a cat that's out 'cattin' around?' Every night I see cats out in the freezing cold. Some of these are strays,others have homes but are allowed out every night,and some go from house to house,where people leave food and water.How do you tell them apart? If I see a kitten nose-deep in the snow,and I can catch the li'l sucker,he's as good as warm and fed! But WHEN should I intervene?
 

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bluemilk said:
If ... I can catch the li'l sucker,he's as good as warm and fed!
That has been my policy! I have almost always lived rurally, so any cat I saw was known to be stray, abandoned or feral. When I lived in a town for a short bit, I asked neighbors up to several blocks away and if I could find no information about that cat, it became "mine". Where we live now, I know most of our neighbors and they have dogs, so any cats I see that look like they need assistance (skinny, pregnant) are the ones I try to catch/help. I tend to leave the males alone if they appear in good health/weight. Females I would try to TNR on general principle because I don't want them having litter after litter to add to the population and/or the suffering kittens who don't make it go through before they expire.

So...if the cat looks healthy, food/water/shelter and some petting if they desire. If they need something more, those are the ones I bring in. If you can, talk with your neighbor and become familiar with the cats they own so you can recognize who belongs to whom and who is looking to belong to someone.
Heidi
 
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