If you have found a healthy cat and think it may need to come in, a helpful first step is to determine what kind of cat you have found by using the Cat Type Guide below. Because Edmonton has both a large feral cat population and a substantial population of domestic cats that roam on public property, it can be difficult to determine how best to help a cat that appears lost.
Starting in November 2019, we are asking citizens to make an appointment before they bring us healthy lost, stray or feral cats. For guidelines, visit our Scheduled Intake page.
As a general rule, if you have found a healthy cat, it’s almost always best to leave it where it was found or take it to a vet to have it checked for a microchip.
Lost cats are 10 times more likely to be reunited with their owner or caregivers if they are left where they were found than if they are removed and taken to a shelter(1).
(1) Source: Alley Cat Allies. Chu, K. and W. M. Anderson (2007).
Other types of cats such as feral cats, owned outdoor cats or community “stray” cats, can also usually be left where it was found as they are used to being or living outside.
If you still think the cat should come into the Animal Care & Control Centre (ACCC) and the cat looks healthy, call 311 to schedule an appointment. Intake guidelines and information on whether a cat needs immediate care can be found on the Scheduled Intake page.
Feeding stray cats is not recommended. If there is a food source, cats will stay and will attract other cats or other unwanted wildlife to the area.