Cats do not have the same legal status as dogs do, meaning that they have very little protection in the eyes of the law. This means that local councils and authorities do not have a responsibility to deal with lost or stray cats.
Due to their roaming nature, it can be very difficult to determine if a cat is genuinely lost. You might think the cat that regularly appears in your garden looking hungry and lost is a stray only to discover its home is a just a couple of streets away. Cats are regarded as the property of their owner in the eyes of the law and so removing a cat from their owner could be regarded as theft. Therefore you have to be very certain to establish the status of a cat before taking any steps.