The owner of Toffee, the former Tauranga cat found wandering in a Brisbane suburb, has been found in Hong Kong.

Toffee the cat was found in the suburb Yeronga looking unwell.

Rescue Cats and Kittens Brisbane posted this morning on its Facebook page that they had made contact with Toffee's owner.

"... she [the owner] is very upset that he was on the street and would like to have him back with her. All we know is that she had left him with someone to take care of him while she went overseas. We are talking with [the owner] to try to work out how to reunite her with Toffee," the post read.

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How Toffee ended up on the streets of Brisbane alone, scared, flea ridden and very underweight yesterday remained a mystery.

Kathy, from Rescue Cats and Kittens Brisbane, said Toffee was taken in by some students but they were unable to continue caring for him so the group took the 12-year-old Turkish Van under their wing.

Kathy, who wanted to be known only by her first name, told the Bay of Plenty Times when Toffee's carer, Eloise Thorpe, checked him for a microchip the group discovered he had been chipped in Tauranga in 2005.

"Eloise, she has done most of the searching here in Brisbane," Kathy said. "Eloise has done an amazing job with him. He's been fully vet checked, had his teeth cleaned, vaccinated, wormed and flea treated all paid for out of her own pocket."

The search included ringing everyone in Australia with the same surname as the one recorded on Toffee's microchip and appealing for help online.

Kathy said the group had managed to track down Toffee's owners in Hong Kong. The group cannot publicise the owner's details for privacy reasons but was waiting for replies to messages.

"We just need to speak with Toffee's owner and find out how he came to be on the streets in Brisbane," Kathy said. "We also need to know what their wishes are with Toffee, such as transferring the microchip if they want him to be rehomed or if they wish to collect him." Toffee was currently in fostercare with excellent health "although his teeth were in bad shape and he was on the skinny side".

Toffee's plight has since gone viral on Facebook with animal lovers sharing the group's appeal, which also attracted help from transtasman animal groups such as New Zealand Lost Pet Register.

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By yesterday the Facebook post had nearly 1000 shares and hundreds of comments.

But how Toffee got from New Zealand to Australia to end up as a stray remained unclear, Kathy said.

Chip check

Name: Toffee
Born on March 1, 2003 - aged 12 years
Microchip implanted on June 23, 2005 in Tauranga, New Zealand