When to Help Bats

The UK is host to 18 species of bat. All are highly protected in law because they are threatened. It is illegal to handle a bat without a licence unless you do so to help an injured bat with the aim of returning it to the wild.

Bats most often come to the attention of people when they’re seen clinging to a wall in the day or are caught by a cat.


When to seek rescue help #

A bat caught by a cat
Any animal which has been in a cat’s mouth must be treated with antibiotics to prevent a life threatening infection.

A baby without its mother
All our bats are pretty tiny so adults are commonly mistaken for babies. A true baby will have little or no fur.

A bat stuck to fly paper or caught in netting
Please don’t try to release it yourself. Contact a rescue urgently for help.


When to take other action #

A bat on the ground or in an exposed area
It may just be exhausted or disorientated but it is in a very vulnerable position so should be moved out of harm’s way and a wildlife rescue contacted for advice.

A bat flying around indoors
Close internal doors to contain the bat, open windows and turn off all the lights and the bat should find its way out.

A bat roost has been disturbed
If you accidentally disturb a bat roost during building work you should immediately contact the Bat Conservation Trust for advice. Carrying on with the work will be illegal without a license.


When to leave alone #

A bat flying around during the day
Although they are generally nocturnal, it’s not unusual for bats to hunt during the day.

Bats nesting in a loft
Bats are highly protected in law and it is illegal to disturb their roosts.

Finding Help #

You can find details of rescues in your area by searching our directory. If you're unsure whether to intervene or you have difficulty finding a rescue who can help, we have information about sources of bespoke help. We also have articles with detailed, practical advice about capturing an animal, providing short term care, contacting a wildlife rescue, and getting the animal to them.

Updated on May 28, 2024