How to help outdoor cats
Need paper collars? Click here to download a printable template.
Frequently Asked Questions
• This cat is roaming around outside. Aren't they lost?
Nearly half of all pet cats have outdoor access.
• I put up flyers and posted them online and no one responded. Does that mean this cat does not have a family?
If a cat with outdoor access is returning home to their family every day, they are not looking at lost pet flyers and posts because their cat is not lost.
• The cat eats the food I leave out every day, sometimes even more than once a day. Don't they need help?
If you leave out food or treats, you'll get visitors. Cats who are fed regularly at home will still happily have an extra lunch at your house!
• Isn't it too cold (or too hot) for cats to be outside?
Cats who have outdoor access insist on this privilege year-round, regardless of the weather.
• I asked all my neighbors and this cat doesn't belong to any of them. Are they lost?
Cats with outdoor access have a home range MUCH larger than you may think! Since cats don't stick to roads or sidewalks as humans do, they utilize backyards to travel significant distances on their daily walks. The maps below indicate the average roaming territory of an indoor-outdoor cat. To accurately determine if the cat has a family, using the paper collar method has the highest chance of getting that answer.
Thank you for your care and compassion when looking out for the well-being of cats in your community. Together, we can keep cats safe and with their families.
Remember, not all who wander are lost.