i found a cat

Most stray cats you see are likely in their own neighbourhood and have the best chance of getting home if you leave them alone. Research has shown that the odds for a friendly outdoor cat getting reunited with their family are more than 10 times better if the cat stays in its home neighbourhood than if they are taken to a shelter!

If you think the cat is truly lost or abandoned, please call us at 519-966-5751. Please note that all stray animals are accepted by appointment (urgent appointments are available when needed)

If you are not able to bring the cat in or if a cat is sick or injured, we may be able to pick them up if they are confined. You can reach us 24 hours a day for assistance with cats with life-threatening illnesses or injuries by calling 519-966-5751.

Fees to Drop Off a Stray Cat

Windsor, Essex, Tecumseh, Lakeshore, Kingsville, Lasalle and Amherstburg: No charge

Leamington, & Pelee: $30

Due to the cat overpopulation issue we are dealing with in Windsor/ Essex, we are unable to accept stray cats from outside Essex County.

These fees help offset our costs, however, no animal in need will be turned away because the finder cannot afford to pay.

The best approach to helping a found cat depends on a number of factors. Please scroll down and identify which situation fits your found cat:

I’ve found a cat who seems to be sick or injured

If you’ve found a cat who appears to be sick or injured, and there is no sign of an owner, you can bring them to the Humane Society between 8am and 6pm seven days a week. Please give us a call first at 519-966-5751 so we can be ready for you and the cat when you arrive. If you are not able to bring the cat in please confine them and we will come and pick them up (24 hours a day for urgent illnesses or injuries only). Our medical staff will assess the cat, and make treatment decisions. You may also take the cat to a veterinarian yourself, but the vet will expect you to pay for treatment, even though the cat isn’t yours.

A friendly cat has been hanging around or just showed up at my door

Most likely, this cat belongs to someone nearby and is just wandering. They will most likely make their way home on their own, often before their people realize that they are missing. If the cat has been showing up repeatedly, speak to your neighbours – they will often know who the cat belongs to. Or, try this tip from the Ottawa Humane Society and put a paper collar on the cat asking their owner to contact you: Paper-Collar.pdf. There are lots of online sites where you can post found cats, and you can also send a photo and found report to pound@windsorhumane.org which we will post to help connect you with someone who is looking for their cat. You may also want to watch to see if they go home on their own – they might be a community cat that cruises around several homes for food and friendship and is doing quite well in that lifestyle! You can also take the cat to a vet or to the Humane Society to be scanned for a microchip.


If you have taken these steps and believe that the cat is actually lost, or if you have knowledge that the cat has been intentionally abandoned, please call us at 519-966-5751 to book an appointment to bring the cat in. Please note that the Humane Society doesn’t pick up healthy stray cats, you will need to bring them in.


If you find or are feeding a cat who is friendly with you, but not friendly enough for you to pick up or friendly enough to be approached and petted by a stranger, please see the heading below.  

There are stray cats around that are a nuisance

If you find a cat who isn’t friendly enough to walk up to and pet or pick up, they may be a “community cat” or feral cat. These are cats whose home is outdoors, and who normally have not lived inside a home. When you find a feral cat in good condition, chances are someone is feeding this cat. If it is ear tipped, then it has been sterilized and the best thing to do is just not intervene. Sometimes these cats may engage in behaviours that can be annoying, like urine marking or mating, but trapping and removing them usually isn’t the best solution. Often, a neighbour is feeding the cat and his friends, and if you remove one (or several) the remaining cats will breed more quickly to fill the spaces that the removed ones left open.

Talk to your neighbours, as you may be able to come up with an effective solution. The cost to have the cat fixed at the Humane Society’s spay/neuter clinic is only $50, and by fixing the cat you will reduce nuisance behaviours and prevent the birth of kittens while allowing the cat to stay in his territory and protect it from other cats who may move in. Please call us at 519-966-1118 for more information about how to borrow a trap and arrange surgery. Feral cats are very stressed by coming in to a shelter and can pose a safety risk to staff, so the best thing to do if the cat is not ear tipped is to book an appointment with our veterinary clinic for same day surgery. 

While you may desire to see these cats in a home, the reality is that for feral cats, their “home” is outdoors, and they are normally not adoptable into a typical home. It isn’t an easy life, but it is the life that they are comfortable with. Feral cats are not normally friendly enough to be adoptable, but by fixing and releasing them (also called Trap-Neuter-Return, or TNR) you will make their lives easier, and allow them to live where they are comfortable.

Please note that feral cats should not just be trapped and brought to the Humane Society. If you have tried the above steps without success, and still need help, talk to us about booking a time to bring the cats in to the Humane Society. Trapped community cats that are brought into the Humane Society as stray cats will be assessed for adoption, but most often will be altered, microchipped, vaccinated, and returned to the area they came from. Please note that unsocialized cats will be returned to the area they came from after being spayed or neutered; the Humane Society will not put down a healthy community cat for you simply because they are unwanted.

There are stray cats around, but they all seem to have part of their ears missing

This is a great thing, as it means that your neighbour is likely being a responsible cat caregiver! When a feral, or “community” cat is spayed or neutered, a small piece of their ear is removed at the time of surgery to identify them as being spayed or neutered. Ear tipped cats normally have a caregiver, and they are living outside because that is the home that they are most comfortable in. They should not be trapped and brought to the Humane Society unless they are sick or injured, and should never be trapped and relocated as that is extremely stressful, and many cats don’t survive relocation.