Found a Stray?

Our organization is focused on helping feral cats - cats born in the wild, and not socialized by humans. And although we do not have financial or staff resources to assist tame cats, we have provided the following information to help you reunite a tame stray cat with its owner.

If you find a cat that looks like it may be lost, first check for an ear tip.  If one of the ears is clipped flat, you can reasonably assume it was a feral cat who has been TNR'd; in that case, if the cat is healthy and thriving, you can leave it alone. 

If the cat is friendly, not feral, please take it to be scanned for a microchip at any animal shelter or veterinarian's office. 

If the cat is chipped:  there are several manufacturers that make chips and others that register them. There is no universal shared database (yet). Find out which company manufactured the chip you have and go to them first to check for registration with them.  If the chip is not registered, don't stop there!  Find out from the manufacturer which shelter, vet, or other agency that chip was sold to, and go to that agency to find out who adopted that cat. Most agencies will have that information even if the chip hasn't been registered by the owner.

If no chip is found, and the cat is friendly, you can advertise "found pet" details, check for "lost pet" ads posted by the owner, create and circulate a flyer. If you are on Facebook, you may post a found cat here: (1) Lost Cats of King County  If you choose to hang onto the cat, if you have done "due diligence" in trying to find an owner, but no one seems to be looking for the cat, you are legally allowed to adopt or rehome the cat on your own, or surrender it to a No Kill shelter.

If you cannot hold the cat, the Seattle Animal Shelter (SAS) is a reasonably safe shelter to take a stray cat. They provide animal control for Seattle, and are the only shelter in the Seattle city limits with authorization to receive stray cats.  SAS is able to provide veterinary care for injured or sick cats. They will house stray animals for a three day "stray hold," and then offer them up for adoption, if not redeemed by owner.  If the cat is healthy and friendly, it will do very well finding a new home at SAS.

If the cat appears to be feral, i.e, not friendly toward humans, then please contact us for TNR (trap-neuter-return).

Tips for creating a flyer:

  • Keep the message simple: "FOUND CAT / NORTH GREENLAKE AREA / ORANGE TABBY"
  • Include your phone number
  • Include 1-2 photos (well lit, taken from cat's level not from overhead, include full body)
  • Print large (make it readable from a distance of 10 feet)
Tips for distributing a flyer:
  • Protect flyers posted outside against the weather by securing it in plastic, sealing all edges with tape
  • Post where people are likely to be driving slowly or walking
  • Give a copy to your mail carrier (it is illegal to put flyers directly into mailboxes)
  • Distribute copies to all veternarian clinics in the area
  • Add a flyer to the "lost pets" notebooks kept at animal shelters
Sites for posting found pet ads:

Craigslist: for your neighborhood:  Nextdoor
West Seattle Blog – Lost/Found pets:

Feline-Amber-Alert (Yahoo Groups – must join, free) 
Tabby Tracker