Found Kitty Etiquette
August 8, 2011 6:07 PM   Subscribe

Cute little cat help: Orange kitty, young, declawed, followed my wife home from her walk just now. We think we know where kitty belongs, but the people don't seem to be home.

I called the number on Kitty's tag. Kitty's owners' names are on the answering machine and I recognized one name from the neighborhood -- just a few doors down on the next block. I called the number and nobody's home. Walked down there with Kitty and no one answered the bell. I'm allergic to cats and have two dogs.

Lights are blinking off all over the neighborhood, so other neighbors aren't much of a resource right now. Is this an outdoor cat to begin with? My feeling is no - declawed and very tiny (like a not-yet-fully-grown cat). And when he leapt out of my wife's arms at one point, Kitty trotted into the street and lay there until my wife scooped her up again.
So, cat owners, what do I do?
posted by Buffaload to Human Relations (12 answers total)
If the house is on a street with little traffic, walk kitty back to the house with a small dish of cat food (or canned tuna as you are unlikely to have cat food in your cupboards), set the dish down on the porch and leave while the cat is eating. Cats like to chase the moving thing, unless distracted by something more interesting than the moving thing.

If it's a super-busy street and you don't feel comfortable leaving the cat there, stick her in your bathroom while you wait for the owners to return. Personally, I'd leave a note on their door w/ contact info because some people (including me) are lax about checking the answering machine. After kitty has been claimed, the residual cat dander is pretty easy to vacuum out of the bathroom's hard surfaces.
posted by jamaro at 6:14 PM on August 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

2nding jamaro - I'd leave a voicemail and a note and hold on to kitty if you can - a small plastic container (or in a pinch a cardboard box) with shredded newsprint or sand could be a makeshift litter box. A little water for drinking & she should be ok for until morning.
posted by pointystick at 6:16 PM on August 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'd keep kitty confined in a bathroom or something and leave a note on the door for the owners.
posted by Maisie at 6:23 PM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ahhh! Kitty ran away from me. Jumped out of my arms. I left neighbors a voicemail/answering machine message. I believe kitty is underneath a different neighbor's porch. Last message from me says, "I have your cat." I'm gonna go leave a note on the door.
posted by Buffaload at 6:26 PM on August 8, 2011

Try leaving the tuna on the owner's porch. If there is a concern about kitty's safety, you could wait until he/she comes out and try to grab it while it's eating.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:39 PM on August 8, 2011

Declawed the kitten, left it out in the street, and left for vacation or whatever?

These folks do not deserve a cat. Keep it!
posted by charlesminus at 7:01 PM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

IMHO you did the best you could. Cats are wiley. I bet the cat escaped - people only declaw their cats if they're going to be indoor-only.
posted by radioamy at 7:05 PM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Update: Awesome neighbors showed up with cat carrier, kitty-chow, and cat toys. We looked around for Kitty for a bit, and left cat carrier with food on my porch. We think we caught a glimpse of Kitty down the street, near where we believe she lives. Note is taped to presumed-Kitty-owners' door. We feel like our karma is intact on this one. Thanks, hive.
posted by Buffaload at 7:14 PM on August 8, 2011

I'm surprised I'm the only one who thought that cat would be fine. Cats wander! Don't worry about cats!

"left for vacation" ? Nothing from the OP indicates they may be on vacation. Stealing someone's cat when it's just on the next block over is unjustifiable.

Lots of people declaw indoor/outdoor cats. What if you want to let your cat outside, but you also don't want to let it ruin furniture?

Use some common sense, people.
posted by victory_laser at 9:21 PM on August 8, 2011

OK -- here's what happened. About 11 p.m. last night, Kitty Owner called me and said, "Thank you so much for your concern, but Kitty likes to wander. She's fine." I explained to her that I don't routinely scoop up neighborhood cats, and that Kitty seemed particularly lost. And the phone number on her collar tag seemed to convey, "if found, please call xxx-yyyy." So now I feel a bit butt-inny and over-reacty, but all is presumably well. thanks for the advice.
posted by Buffaload at 5:05 AM on August 9, 2011

Buffaload, you are correct, your karma is great on this; unfortunately, Kitty's people are apparently the shits..... small DECLAWED baby kitteh shoved out to wander the streets all day?!? If you see Kitty out wandering again, please call somebody like Animal Control and explain that this (leaving a defenceless kitten outside) is apparently a regular thing. Hopefully they'll manage to explain to the owners WHY this is such a lousy idea.

Heck, I'd almost go so far as to find Kitty a GOOD home.....
posted by easily confused at 7:31 AM on August 9, 2011 [4 favorites]

Use some common sense, people.

Common sense is not declawing a cat you intend to let outside. Taking away her main means of defense and dumping her outside is also a shitty, shitty thing to do.

So now I feel a bit butt-inny and over-reacty, but all is presumably well. thanks for the advice.

You did exactly the right thing, it's not the kitten's fault that her owner is a jerk.
posted by crankylex at 8:15 AM on August 9, 2011 [6 favorites]

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