Etiquette around finding a cat...

4 years ago

Sunday night as I was leaving the grocery store I found a cat wandering around the parking lot. Although he looked scared he came right up to me for a piece of salami and I put him into my car. I was perplexed about what to do next. There aren't houses in the immediate vicinity, the parking lot and the busy road seemed dangerous - but my cats wander freely in the more rural area where I live. So I went into the grocery store to see if the cart people had seen him around. No dice.

So I took him home - posted his picture on Facebook with friends, the local shelter, the local lost cat rescue... Figured I would try to find his owner and if unsuccessful bring him into the shelter. Then a mass of contradictory suggestions descended.

My sister said I should have left him there to find his way home. A friend said I should have taken him but don't bring him to the shelter because they will just euthanize. The shelter said I needed to bring him to the animal control officer - they won't take a cat directly from the public. The dispatch (which is how one contacts the ACO) said I essentially stole the cat and I should have called the dispatch Sunday night and waited for a pickup in the parking lot. Which is unfeasable because I called this AM and still haven't heard back from the ACO.


The cat is charming, well socialized, clearly a pet. But he is also flea covered and driving my animals a bit batty. So I don't really want to be a long term foster. I would have donated some $s to the shelter to give him time if I was bringing him directly to them.

What was the right thing to do?

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