New kitty on the block? Here are a few tips |

New kitty on the block? Here are a few tips

To the Editor:

Have you ever noticed that when a new cat wanders into the neighborhood hungry and frightened of dogs, children, and virtually every stranger, that your first instinct is to toss it some vittles? If this describes your behavior with stray cats, you may be relegating a beloved lost, domestic kitty to life as a stray.

What are the best options for returning a kitty to its rightful owner? The problem with cats is that it is difficult to capture one unless it belongs to you, whether you are the kindly neighbor or the animal control officer.

Understand that the local animal shelter will not accept a lost kitty unless you deliver it to them in an animal carrier. They will rent a trap to you and leave you with the responsibility of bating it, keeping it free from wild animals and attempting to capture a trap-savvy cat.

Cats are smart, but they are generally very shy, vulnerable to the elements, predators and are highly susceptible to suffering or perishing needlessly. They rely on humans to make the right decisions on their behalf, but unfortunately, most people do not understand the best plan of action when it comes to lost kitty care.

Here are some tips for returning a lost/stray kitty to its owner or the animal control facility.

• Report the kitty to your local animal control officer, describing it in detail. This is the first place owners look for lost pets.

• Try to get it inside an enclosed area.

• Make it feel safe, warm and well-fed.

• Once it is less frightened, try to lure it into a cage with food.

• Call animal control to retrieve it in the carrier.

Please, think of the safety of these lost kitties and their grieving owners. Call me directly if you know of the whereabouts of the kitty Kichi in the LOST photo around town, 970-281-9513. Or, call Grand County Animal Control: 970-887-2988.

Keli McMillen

Winter Park