All cat are thought to vent out and explore their locality at least once in a lifetime, they can actually go as far as 10 miles, so it's understandable that some of them will actually get lost. For me this is a good enough reason why every cat should be micro chipped or have a collar with your contact details on.
Many people wrongly assume that a friendly cat who regularly sits at your door step or window sill is a stray cat but this is not usually the case. These cat's know you're someone who is kind to cats and are trying their luck.
A stray is a cat who is lost and can not find their way back home, if a unfamiliar cat is seen repeatedly, check with your local vets to see if anyone has lost a cat with a matching description. If you suspect that they've not been feed or have not found shelter within 14 days then contact your local Cats Protection League or other cat rescue organization, plus your local vets and put an advert in your local paper. Chances are there's someone who is tryingly trying to locate the cat.
There's no harm in feeding stray cats, its important that someone takes care of them until they can make it back home safely. It's better that they can be reunited with their owner or rehoused with no health problems due to malnutrition. However keep in mind that if you become too attached to this cat, you will be heartbroken when you reunite them with their owner so remind yourself of this and make sure your children understand that soon the cat will be going home.
Once you have managed to locate the cats owner, ask them for their contact details just in case you find their cat at your door again, as you might find them door step if they lose their bearings. It's important that you do not continue to feed them a second time, just ring their owner and ask them to come and collect. If you continue to feed them after you've given them back to their owner the first time they'll keep visiting for more food.
If you find yourself in this situation it's always worth viewing the situation from your own perspective. If your cat was the one who got lost, would not you want someone to be kind and offer them food and shelter until they can be returned to you?
Source by CL Kerrie