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MyNewtBoobs's avatar

If I find a neighbor's cat outside in 23 degree weather, what should I do?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19026points) March 7th, 2011

I found my neighbor’s cat outside, with a kinda “let me in??” look on her face. I finally got her to let me pet her for about 10 minutes before scruffing her, getting the name and number on her tag, and taking her back to her owner’s door, where I knocked, but no one answered. The light is on, but that really doesn’t mean anything. I’m kinda worried that she wasn’t put out there to explore (I hope not), but rather is trapped outside on accident. But I don’t let my cats outside, so maybe she’ll be fine?

What should I do here?

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20 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Take her in (even if its just your basement or garage for the night). If it were daytime I’d say call the police (mine do this work) or your local Humane Society. Heck it’s too cold out there for me tonight.

My neighbors cat was once outside. He was not supposed to be and they were delighted that I kept him until they came home (which was less than an hour). He had sneaked out their garage door.

zenvelo's avatar

In addition to what @SpatzieLover suggests, can you call your neighbor?

blueiiznh's avatar

Take it in and in the morning light of business hours, call or walk over again. Past that, call the local animal officer.

jaytkay's avatar

Take it in, it’s easier than fretting about it.

Zaku's avatar

Ya, take it in and call the neighbor or leave a note on their door letting them know where their cat is.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Ok, I got her again (which, considering I just met her tonight, is basically a miracle), she’s in the hall between the door and my door (I have a basement apartment, so you know how it is). I gave her water, can of food, bit of litter in a shoebox, put a space heater in there, and put a note on my neighbor’s door explaining where she is and why I took her.

Aethelwine's avatar

Cats have a way of finding warmth on cold nights, so I wouldn’t worry too much. My cat just bugged the hell out of me to let him out for the night, and we’re as cold as you. They can keep warm in these temps. I’d be more concerned if it was much colder. We have barn cats out here that are out all winter. I don’t know how they do it.

Be ready to have a regular visitor if you decide to keep it for the evening. ;)

zenvelo's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Good job! all taken care of, no risk of kitty becoming dependent, and owner knows where to look!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jonsblond The thing was, she was kinda harassing them to let her in, so I’m thinking that she slipped out without their knowledge and they’re either out for the night or dead asleep. Since it’s only 10:30 and already 23 degree, it’ll probably be 15 by 4:30 am. But I’d love to have a visitor!

jerv's avatar

Cats are a bit hardier than some people think, but they do have their limits. Personally, I would take the little fuzzball in for the night. While @jonsblond is correct that cats have a knack for finding warmth, they are not always intelligent about it.
For instance, I had one cat that crawled under the hood of my neighbor’s car… twice. He survived both incidents, but his tail was a little shorter after the first time, and the second time he was literally dragged home by one of our other cats since the gash on his leg kept him from walking for two weeks. Why he crawled under the hood instead of just walking 30 feet to the front door of our always-occupied home… well, he was the dumbest cat I ever owned :/

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jerv And this is why I hate it when people let their cats outside in the city – I’m constantly in fear of accidentally running over a cat that’s just trying to stay warm or check out the sweet honeys out and about!

jerv's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs This was small-town VT, and that was the only cat that was dumb enough to even get near a car, parked or not. Now that I live in Seattle though, my (much smarter) cat is strictly an indoor cat.

Kardamom's avatar

Take the cat in and try to contact the owners by phone or by going over there again, tomorrow. They may have left her out accidentally, she may have gotten out somehow, they may have had an emergency and not remembered to put the cat inside, or they might not give a hoot, because they think that cats are outdoor animals.

If you talk to them and they are relieved that you helped, then just be grateful. If they laugh and say that you were a schmuck or that “cats can take it” and they don’t keep him inside” then consider contacting the animal protective authorities or keeping the cat yourself (indoors) and not letting them know. They are the ones, if they think it’s ok, that are abusing the poor cat.

kitkat25's avatar

Since you tried to take her home but no one answered then I would take her into my own home until the owners were home. That kind of cold couldn’t be good for the cat especially if he isn’t used to being out in the cold.

bunnygrl's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs well done honey for taking the little angel in, you’re such a lovely person for caring, I wish everyone was like you. I agree with @Kardamom too, if they left her out on purpose they don’t deserve her. Poor wee lamb, she must have been freezing.
huggles xx

augustlan's avatar

I think you made the right choice. Hope your neighbors appreciate it!

jca's avatar

I let my cats out in the whatever weather except rain (rain they don’t enjoy). Usually in the winter they want back in within about 15 minutes, but there are exceptions. Sometimes they don’t want to come in for a while. I would say if you don’t see your neighbor’s cat out too often, it’s not a big deal. As my mom used to say “cats have fur coats.” Not saying that I would leave them out all night in the cold, but feral cats and other wild animals do survive in all kinds of weather.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs So what happened with the neighbors? Did you ever give their cat back? ;)

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@SpatzieLover She was gone this morning, so either they came and got her, or that cat managed to undo a deadbolt and open and close a door (and really, if she can do that, she’ll be fine).

SpatzieLover's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Teehee…If she can do that maybe the next time—-if there is one—you could put it on YouTube for the world to see

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