To help you get your cat back, please do the following:
- Leave canned cat food and fresh water outside your back door.
If possible, leave something that has your smell on it—a
blanket, towel, etc, outside. If your cat is near your home this will
anchor him/her to the area. Also, leave a light on at night.
- MOST IMPORTANT: Make up flyers with your cat's picture,
using a font large enough to read from a passing car, and immediately
blanket the neighborhood with them. (You can create a flyer with our free tool.) Start close to home; then,
distribute them in an ever-widening radius, dozens of them. Post them
where people will see them from their cars when stopped, or out
walking. Print them on bright, eye-catching paper. Go door-to-door
and talk to as many neighbors as possible, enlisting their help. Also
(very important) drop them at people's doors or
mailboxes. Typically cats do not wander far, but "hunker down" until
they feel it is safe to move (usually at night). Your cat could very
well be at a neighbor's house a few doors down the street and
your neighbor could be feeding him/her, unaware that he is lost! If you do
this and someone contacts you and says they've seen him, ask if
you can put food in their backyard to anchor him to that
location. Then hang out and call your cat's name—your cat
won't wander if he/she has food and feels safe.
- Drive around your neighborhood at night and call for him. Lost pets will
hide during the day. They may even recognize the sound of your car.
- Please contact your local animal shelter and file a missing cat
report; you may have to do this is in person. There is a list of local animal shelters on our Resources page.
- Talk to your neighbors, and especially children! Children are often
outdoors and ride their bikes around, and thus know what's going on in the
neighborhood. They are often the first ones to notice a newcomer.
In one case, a cat companion followed these suggestions and found their cat 4 weeks later—a neighbor down the street had
been feeding their cat, and didn't know he was lost. Another family had lost
their cat, and found it by walking the neighborhood at night while calling
its name. Don't give up too quickly!
You may request a community listing in our adoption gallery by submitting this form online. Visitors to
our website who are interested in your cat will submit an application
online which you will then be able to view.
You should always charge a
sufficient fee for the adoption to ensure that the potential adopter
is serious and is likely able to provide medical care for the
cat. This call screening guide can help you to
interview and assess potential adopters. Always keep in mind that you
must be able to sleep at night with whatever adoption decision you
make, so don't ignore any nagging doubts you might have about a
Although we do not charge for a community listing, we would always welcome
a donation to help us continue our rescue work.
Many common houseplants and flowers are toxic to cats when eaten; lilies in particular can be fatal. Check here for a quick list of problem plants.
The ASPCA's website has a list of over 300 plants that are toxic to cats (and photos of the toxic plants).
The site also has a list of over 500 plants that are safe for cats. Please make sure you are looking at the correct list!
The Cat Fancier's Association also has a list of plants toxic to cats.
Please visit our adoption gallery to see which cats are available. Click on a photo for more information. If you are interested in the cat, the click on the "Adopt name" link beside the main picture.
Blue Society offers human-animal conflict resolution services. It
has successfully intervened in many situations in which the welfare of feral cats has been threatened through ignorance or indifference.
"TNR" stands for Trap, Neuter and Return (or Release). This has
proven to be the most effective and humane approach to managing the
homeless cat population. The population of a colony of cats is
stabilizied by systematically catching, spaying/neutering, and then
returning each cat. It is uncommon for new cats to join an existing
colony and the existing colony members can no longer reproduce. Alley Cat
Allies also has a good introduction to TNR.
An adjunct part of a
TNR program is feeding and monitoring the colony. By providing food
and water on a regular schedule, the cats remain anchored to the area
and will appear at the regular feeding time so that a caregiver can
see if there are any symptoms of illness or injury that would require
Please contact us if would like to find out
more about using a TNR program for a colony of cats near where you
live. We can always use more volunteer feeders and trappers! You can see what is involved by reading our trapping instructions.
Please contact the Palo Alto Humane Society at (650 424-1901 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get introduced to an experienced trapper who can show you the ropes. And thank you!
If you will only need a trap for a short time, Peninsula CatWorks has a few Tru-Catch
traps available for short-term loans. We require a $50 deposit, which will be returned when the trap is
returned in good condition. Please review our trap lease agreement, which you will be asked to execute.
Other organizations that rent/loan traps for short periods:
If you expect to be trapping often enough to own your own trap, our
members use Tru-Catch and Tomahawk traps,
depending on personal preference. Please visit their respective web
sites for purchasing information. Our volunteers also recommend Animal Care Equipment & Service for a full range of cat handling equipment.
For especially trap-wise cats it may be necessary to use a Drop Trap (known to our
trappers as the "Magic Trap" for its high rate of success). Please contact us to find out about the availability
of a drop trap. These traps are not commercially available and require a team of
a least two trappers to use. You may of course, build your own drop trap.
If you are new to trapping and wish to protect your hands, you can find heavy gloves that fit ladies hands for $10-$15 at MADCO (Welding Supplies) at 1988 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View. (650) 969-2323. Other animal handling gloves are
available through Animal Care Equipment & Service.
Please read our detailed trapping instructions.
If the cost of spay/neuter surgery at a low-cost clinic is still a financial burden, you may be able to obtain a voucher to cover some or all of the cost of the surgery. At some clinics the vouchers may also cover one or more vaccinations for feral cats. Inquire at the clinic before making your appointment or requesting a voucher.
Vouchers are accepted at the following veterinary clinics. If the clinic has a
website you may click on its name.
Click on a clinic's address to get a map or driving
directions. Some clinics may charge a small additional fee in addition
to the voucher for the spay/neuter surgery.
Take a look at our population calculator. You don't have to believe our assumptions; you can alter the assumptions for yourself to see the effect on the size of the cat population.
There are various directories for online pet supply sites. We neither recommend nor endorse any particular directory. Please use them at your discretion.