Source: CBS6 Albany (Extract)
Posted: April 24, 2021

The Berkshire Humane Society in Pittsfield says many strays brought into the shelter are actually someone’s pet, and that too often they aren’t reunited with their owners if they aren’t microchipped.

According to the Berkshire Humane Society, well-meaning people pick up cats they see outdoors and bring them to shelters as “strays” every year, mostly in early spring and early winter. Many of these cats turn out to be someone’s indoor/outdoor pet cat.

The shelter offers advice on how can you tell if the cat you see in your yard is owned or in need of intervention.

Common signs that a cat is just passing through and has a home to return to are:

• The cat confidently roams around in the middle of the day

•  The cat appears clean and healthy

•  The cat does not search for food

If these apply, the cat likely belongs to someone. However, you should always try to confirm this.

Post flyers expressing your concern for the cat’s wellbeing, including a picture, description and a way the owner can contact you. Another way to locate an owner is to use a paper collar. Cut a strip of paper to roughly 3/4 inch wide and close it with scotch tape. Put a message on the collar, such as “Am I yours? Please call (your name & phone number).” This will show the owner that someone is concerned.

Many local veterinarians and animal shelters will scan cats for a microchip, free of charge. If the cat is microchipped with current registration, an owner can be contacted immediately.

If the cat is hiding, scared, looks dirty or disheveled, is hungry or appears in any way to be injured or distressed, do not wait to get help. Call your local animal control officer or Berkshire Humane Society for advice and help.

If your cat doesn’t come home, don’t wait. Begin looking for them immediately. Post flyers, search on foot and call local veterinary hospitals, animal control officers and rescue groups.

Have your cat microchipped to help them find their way back home quickly.