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Collars and Sense

Stray and lost cats fill shelters (but a movement to identify kitties could stem the tide)

Echoing in the classifieds and online postings of desperate people in search of their loved ones is a sad refrain of remorse:

Lost: Small shorthair tortoiseshell cat… no collar.

Found: Siamese, very friendly, wants to be indoors badly… no collar.

Lost: Ragdoll, looks like long-haired Siamese, blue eyes… no collar.

Found: Female tortoiseshell, hungry, crying, very sweet… no collar.

The endless recitation of regrettable omissions and last-ditch hopes reveals the one thing that most often foils the reunion of a stray cat and his family—the absence of a simple collar and ID tag that could serve as his ticket home.

The oversight may seem minor in the case of a single cat and a single owner. But the cumulative results are overwhelming—especially for shelters. “[In 2008], we took in 2,604 strays. Of those, only 44 were reclaimed,” says Jaime Johnson, front office supervisor at the Sacramento SPCA in California. “... None had collars.”

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