Dealing with stray cats: Advice from the experts

Dealing with stray cats: Advice from the experts

LEWISTON — Katie Lisnik, executive director of the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, 55 Strawberry Ave., in Lewiston, offers tips on dealing with cats that have been found.

• Many of these cats are owned locally and let outside to roam free in the neighborhood. They are not lost or stray. Cats love free food and will keep coming back if you put out tasty treats — even if they have a home and their own food!

• If you find an injured cat, animal control personnel and police are legally required to get medical assistance for the cat.  You can find ACO information here.

• Research has shown that cats are 13 times more likely to be reunited with their family if they stay in their neighborhood versus coming to a shelter. Please wait a little bit to make sure that the cat is actually lost and in need to help, not just a visitor who has a home close by.

• We have seen a lot of misinformation about euthanasia of stray and feral cats. We do not euthanize unless there is a severe medical issue and a veterinarian recommends this to end suffering. We regularly place feral cats in barn settings, and work with local trap/neuter/return groups where there are colonies of unsocialized cats.

• We are extremely full of cats needing new homes. Because of this, we are trying to schedule incoming cats so we don’t exceed our kennel space and staffing levels to properly care for the cats. Please contact us to schedule an appointment to bring a stray cat in and help us to help these cats.

• Please help spread the word about adoption. A cat going to a new home means an empty kennel where we can assist a new cat waiting for assistance.

• Please get your cats microchipped and keep your contact information up to date. This is by far the best way to ensure reunification. We microchip animals for $20!

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