Finding a Deceased Cat

Firstly, is it dead, or injured?

In some cases, it may be obvious that a cat has sadly died. If the cat is found curled up or stretched out in a shed or garden, however, it can be difficult to tell. As upsetting as it may be to look for these signs, knowing what to look for could ensure a cat receives urgent medical attention in time to help.  If you spot a cat lying by the side of the road it might not be dead, but could be in pain and afraid. So stop if it’s safe to do so, and check for signs of life:

  • Look for signs of breathing. Is the chest moving up and down, can you see the stomach move?
  • Look at the cat’s eyes. Cat’s eyes usually remain open after death, since it requires muscle control to keep them closed. The pupils may appear larger than usual if the cat has died. To check whether the cat is unconscious, try shining a light briefly in the cats’ eye (use the torch on your phone). If the pupil’s react, the cat is unconscious, but still alive.

If the cat is alive, but seems hurt or unwell.

Call National RSCPA on 0300 1234 999, or visit the RSPCA site to report cruelty.

If the cat has passed away.

We understand that it may be difficult to do, but if you can.  Please wrap the cat in an old blanket and place it into a cardboard box or cat carrier.  Take the cat to your local vet. The vet will be able to contact the owners to let them know their cat has been found if they are microchipped, and they are usually prepared to look after the body even if there is no chip.

I have hit a cat while driving. What should I do?

If you hit a cat with your car then the Road Traffic Act 1988 doesn’t require you to report to the police (if it was a dog, got, horse, cattle, donkey or sheep you have a legal obligation to notify the police).  

Whether you choose to report the accident or not, it would be kindest to take the following steps to ensure the cat’s owner is notified:

If the cat is alive then follow our advice under “lost and found cats”.

If the cat is dead and you can do without risk, follow the advice above for dead cats.

I’ve seen a dead cat but I can’t stop / I can’t take it to a vet.

If you find a dead cat and aren’t able to stop, or aren’t able to take it to the vets, then the kindest and responsible thing is to let someone else know so they can instead.

Can I report it to MK Cat Rescue?

We can go out and collect a dead cat, but as we’re all volunteers with day jobs, we aren’t able to respond quickly.  We usually find that by the time a cat has been reported to us and we have arranged a volunteer to go out, that the cat has already been collected by someone else as its been reported via social media.  So to get a quick resolution, try one of the options below:

Local heroes – Animal Helpers MK, and other facebook groups:

There is a fantastic group on Facebook called Animal Helpers MK, please consider reporting the cat on here, and on other lost and found pages on Facebook.  Explain you have found a dead cat, and give the date, time and location, and include a description of the cat (a picture can be helpful to offer to someone who responds with questions, but bear in mind it might be distressing for others if you posted it directly onto a group).

Environmental Team at Milton Keynes Council, Highways Agency

If the dead cat is on a busy road please notify the Environmental Team at MK Council, or the Highways Agency if it’s on the A5.