Bernhard Schoettel said his 19-year-old son, Kilian, found the cat while walking in the woods near Munich and brought it home, the New York Daily News reported Friday.
"My son immediately noticed that the animal was quite old," Schoettel said. "He felt sorry for it because it no longer had any front teeth. The tom was very trusting. We fed him for a few days and discovered that he was tattooed, so we took him to the animal sanctuary over the weekend."
Officials at the animal shelter said they were able to trace the cat's identification tattoo to owner Monika Moser, who said the feline went missing 16 years ago. The shelter said the cat's survival was unusual and he is now suffering from liver and thyroid problems.
Moser, who lives about 2 miles from where the cat was found, was reunited with the animal, the shelter said.