Can You Own a Cat That's Stray or Feral?

cute kitty playing in grass

Free-Roaming Cats

You might see a free-roaming cat in your town or neighbourhood and want to adopt it. But it's important to remember that some cats have homes – but are outdoor cats – and like to wander. There are also cats who have been abandoned by owners or become feral.

black and white cat asleep laying down

What Kind of Cat is This?

Free-roaming pet cats appear well-groomed and adequately fed. Stray cats may be abandoned or lost. They could look a little untamed, but ultimately enjoy human touch. Feral cats are cats that have never had owners and live on the streets in colonies. They are untamed, ungroomed and often look underfed.

cute grey cat next to a tree

Help a Stray Cat

If you find a stray cat, you'll want to catch it and try to find its owner. If you can't find the owner, try to re-home it to one of your friends or family members. Animal shelters are often overrun with stray cats and may not be able to re-house it successfully.

woman holding up a fluffy grey cat

Help a Feral Cat

Feral cats often live in colonies near dumpsters or restaurants. Left untreated, they can multiply quickly and spread disease. A successful way to deal with feral cats is TNR (trap, neuter, return). It's cheaper and better to ensure wild cats are vaccinated and neutered, then returned to their “homes” than to euthanise them.