This week we were called to a large industrial area in Belvedere by some concerned factory workers regarding a beautiful fluffy cat that had taken up residence in their yard.  They had stepped up and provided a sheltered, waterproof bed area and regular food but were really concerned about her coping in the long term without a home of her own.  When I met her she was indeed exactly where they said she would be and the first thing I did was to scan her for a microchip.  On investigation we discovered that her home was just across a bridge over the railway line in a residential area and was not missing.  After a long conversation with her owner, who was on holiday at the time, we discovered that “Jess” was regularly wandering for days and weeks at a time but always returned home.  The owner had tried various different methods to encourage Jess to stay at home including neutering and microchipping so that she could be located but the main problem seemed to be a dispute with her other cat and following her adult son to work on the same industrial area daily.
Jess is not unusual and her owners had done the responsible thing by having her microchipped. As of June this year it will be a legal requirement for all cats to be microchipped. We can help local owners to get this done. Those of us who have been involved in animal rescue for any length of time are really relieved about this, as whenever we are asked to help a friendly “stray” cat we are worried that we are potentially removing an owned cat and rehoming it. That is why the RSPCA has a clear policy on what to do before a “stray” cat can be collected here.
We were able to give Jess’ owner some more advice about resource placement indoors to encourage a more harmonious home life for Jess and encourage her to stay and she also sent her son to the location to retrieve Jess until the next time she went wandering!

Advice on keeping your cat close to home from Vicky Halls