Pro Advice for Finding a Lost Cat (They May be Closer Than You Think)
Finding a lost cat may need some effort, but it is not an insurmountable challenge. Begin your search at home before putting up signs and knocking on doors in the surrounding neighborhood. It’s likely that you’ve landed at this page because you can’t seem to locate your cat. First and foremost, do not panic. Most likely, your cat is somewhere in the vicinity of your home and will return at some point in the future. Possibly, a little digging will be required. Several ideas have been made by Kat Albrecht, the creator of the Missing Animal Response Network (MARN), that may be of assistance.
Start at the House, Work Outward
Finding a misplaced cat may need some effort, but it is not an insurmountable challenge.. Begin your search at home before putting up signs and knocking on doors in the surrounding community. Your arrival at this page is most likely due to your inability to locate your feline friend. The first thing to remember is: don’t get too worked up. Most likely, your cat is somewhere in the vicinity of your residence and will return at some point in the future. Some investigation may be necessary. Several proposals have been offered by Kat Albrecht, the creator of the Missing Animal Response Network (MARN).
How to Find a Hiding Cat
Finding a misplaced cat may need some effort, but it is not an insurmountable challenge. Begin your search at home before putting up signs and knocking on doors of neighbors. It’s likely that you’ve landed at this page because you can’t locate your cat. First and foremost, don’t panic. Most likely, your cat is somewhere in the vicinity of your residence and will emerge shortly. It could only require a little digging. Several ideas have been made by Kat Albrecht, the creator of the Missing Animal Response Network (MARN), which may be of assistance.
Make Fliers, Social Media Posts
It’s important to spread the news about your lost cat, but if you aren’t linked to the people who live in your immediate vicinity, a post on Facebook or Instagram may not be effective. Albrecht recommends posting your information on Nextdoor, where your neighbors are more likely to notice the message. Consider seeing if there is another social media-based missing pet group in your region that may help spread the news about your pet as well. Craigslist is another a wonderful place to post, as is searching the site for posts regarding discovered cats in your region, which you can find on the site.
- Simply taping them on a telephone pole isn’t as effective as it may be.
- Make a statement with neon.
- Place the signs at key junctions near where the pet went missing to ensure that vehicles don’t miss it in the confusion.
- MARN provides a fantastic sign-making instruction that includes advise on how to get your poster seen.
- If your cat was wearing a collar and ID tags — or, much better, if it was microchipped — and winds up at a shelter, there is a good possibility that you will be reunited with him.
If your cat lacked identification and was not chipped, phoning animal shelters or even visiting them in person may boost your chances of finding him or her.
Luring Out a Lost Cat
Finding a lost cat might be difficult, but coaxing it back into the house may prove to be much more challenging. It’s possible that your cat will prefer to remain in its hiding place. It’s possible that your cat is hiding somewhere more secluded and that a humane trap would be required. You may drip food into the trap, with a bigger portion of the food placed within the trap as the main bait. Cover the trigger plate with a blanket or towel to prevent it from being damaged.
Lost Cat Myths
Cat owners should avoid three common fallacies if their cat goes missing, according to Albrecht:
- Leaving a cat’s litter box outside will entice it to return to its house. The theory is that the cat will smell it and return home. Albrecht claims that this is not the case. If the litter box is not in use, the cat may return
- Nevertheless, it is more probable that they returned because they require food or drink. Aside from the fact that the litter box is nearby, cats will abandon their houses if they are on the verge of dying. That also doesn’t happen very often, according to her. Unfortunately, cats will occasionally pass away concealed from plain sight, and you may be faced with the terrible duty of locating them on your property. However, this does not always imply that they hid to die alone
- Assuming that a coyote or other predator was responsible for the cat’s death. When this occurs, there are frequently telltale signs, such as clumps of fur. However, when a cat goes missing, some owners automatically believe this is what has happened. Eventually, if cat owners feel their animals have been murdered and cease hunting for them, the cats can be brought into a shelter. It is possible that they will be killed if no one adopts them if they do not have identification at the shelter, according to Albrecht.
Whatever the cause for her disappearance, don’t give up hope on finding your misplaced cat. Some cats might wander gone for days, weeks, or even months before they are able to locate their way home. If you want professional assistance, you may always call a pet detective to assist you in your quest. When it comes to wanting an explanation, Albrecht argues, “that’s human nature.” “We’re all eager to figure out what’s going on.”
Lost Cat – How to Find a Lost Cat
I’ve lost four cats throughout the course of my life, out of the many that I’ve known. Two of them did not return. I have experienced the agony of searching for and losing a cherished animal. My cat Coco went lost in Toronto many years ago and has never been found. I canvassed the area and put up posters, and I could feel her presence in the background while I worked. But she was locked in a tree, so far up that I couldn’t see her and she wouldn’t make a sound. I tried seeking and calling, but she was nowhere to be seen.
- It was the end of the story for me.
- I suspended Coco by the scruff of her neck from my outstretched arm, with one hand on the ladder, to stop her being destroyed, and then climbed down the ladder.
- Coco was rescued and is in good health.
- WildeCats appear to have a form of homing sense, which has taken them hundreds of kilometers back to their original location in certain circumstances.
- An adventurous indoor/outdoor cat is more likely to roam than a terrified cat, who is less likely to trust their inner compass and become disoriented and even lost.
- During my previous trip to Canada, my cat Merlin managed to escape through an open back door and into the woods as soon as the movers had departed.
- I walked up and down the block, knocking on every house and introducing myself to everyone.
Merlin returned to his room on his own at bedtime, unperturbed as always. “See, Mom, I wanted you to get to know your neighbors and make some new acquaintances.” He never got lost again after that. Not many cats are as fortunate as this one.
- I’ve lost four cats during the course of my life, out of the many that I’ve had. A couple of them did not come back. Having searched for and lost a beloved cat, I understand the anguish that comes with it. The whereabouts of my cat Coco in Toronto were unknown for many years. When I went door to door in the area and put up posters, I could feel her close by. But she was caught in a tree, so far up that I couldn’t see her and she wouldn’t make a sound. I continued seeking and shouting, but she remained motionless. In the end, after being trapped up a tree for two days and two nights, I received a phone call from someone who had seen her on the poster and informed me that she had been found. Because the fire service does not rescue cats, I had to put my phobia of heights on wait and climb up the largest ladder I’d ever seen, thanks to a neighbor. I suspended Coco by the scruff of her neck from my outstretched arm, with one hand on the ladder, to save her from being destroyed, and then climbed down the ladder with the other. Unprecedented enthusiasm had gathered among a tiny group of people. We were successful in rescuing Coco. Layla Morgan provided the image. WildeCats appear to possess a type of homing sense, which has taken them hundreds of kilometers back to their original location in certain instances. The majority of cats who live inside do not go far. An adventurous indoor/outdoor cat is more likely to roam than a terrified cat, who is less likely to trust their inner compass and become disoriented and lose their way. The following things can happen to a cat once it has ventured outside its familiar territory: A never-ending list of issues includes barking dogs, animals, loud road noise, taunting school children, among others. During my previous trip to Canada, my cat Merlin managed to escape through an open back door and into the woods as soon as the movers had finished their work. I had no option but to go in search of him because I was exhausted after a hard day. I walked up and down the street, knocking on every door and introducing myself to the people I passed. He was quickly tracked down by an entire mob of neighbors who joined me in my search. It was time for bed, and Merlin returned on his own with the same level of annoyance. See, I wanted you to meet the neighbors and create some new acquaintances, so I told you to do so. Never again did he get himself into trouble. Not every cat is that fortunate.
I’ve lost four cats throughout the course of my life, out of the many I’ve known. Two of them never returned. I’ve experienced the agony of searching for and losing a cherished animal. Coco, my cat, went lost in Toronto many years ago. I scouted the area and put up posters, and I could feel her presence in the background of my thoughts. But she was locked in a tree, so far up that I couldn’t see her and she wouldn’t make a sound. I kept seeking and calling, but she remained silent. After being trapped up a tree for two days and two nights, someone contacted me from the flyer and claimed he’d spotted her.
- Because the fire service does not rescue cats, a neighbor found the biggest ladder I’d ever seen, and I overcame my phobia of heights and ascended to the top.
- A small group of people had assembled and applauded.
- Featured image courtesy of Layla Morgan WildeCats appear to have a form of homing sense, which has guided some cats hundreds of kilometers back to their original location.
- An adventurous indoor/outdoor cat is more likely to roam than a terrified cat, who is less likely to follow their inner compass and become confused or lost.
- It’s exhausting.
- I had no option but to go hunting for him because I was exhausted from a hard day.
- After a short while, I had a full posse of neighbors searching for him.
- “See, Mom, I wanted you to get to know your neighbors and create some new ones.” He didn’t get lost again after that.
When Indoor Cats Get Lost
When an indoor-only cat escapes outside, the best strategy to employ is to identify the site of escape, which may be a cracked door that has been discovered open.
Follow the edge of the house or building.
A terrified cat would usually follow along the side of the house rather than risk slinking or darting out into the open, according to the experts. This, however, is dependent on what occurs immediately after the cat escapes — for example, if the mailman is going up the sidewalk, the cat may flee and run right across the street from the mailbox. Indoor cats, on the other hand, will often slink left or right around the border of the home, depending on the situation.
Look for the closest hiding spots.
After following the edge of the house to the right, search for the first hiding spot – a deck, an entrance beneath a home, an open garage, or any other suitable location — and concentrate your efforts there. Then repeat the process on the other side.
Place humane traps, cameras, or food in those spots.
Whether you are unable to see or locate the cat, you can set up humane traps, wildlife cameras, or even a dish of food to see if the cat disappears of its own own. The matter of a misplaced cat is currently under investigation. Where is the cat hiding when it comes to misplaced indoor-only cats who escape outside — or even outdoor-access cats who flee in fear — is the first thing to ask when investigating a displaced cat.
How to Find a Cat in Your House?
When cats go missing, there’s a strong possibility that they’ve taken refuge in a dark corner of the house. Furthermore, in other instances, the missing cat was discovered to be sheltering directly within the owner’s own home! If you’ve just brought home a new cat, one of the first things you should look out for is the cat hiding somewhere in the house. Cats have a unique ability to squeeze into the most improbable hiding spots, including holes and nooks that you would never think to look in.
Why Do Cats Hide?
My cat has vanished from my residence. What should I do in this situation? Hide and seek is a frequent feline activity, according to the experts. Having an instinct to defend themselves from prospective predators drives cats, and being enclosed in a small, tightly-fitting area provides them with a sense of security. Cats may also hide because they are looking for warmth, in the same way that they want to cuddle up close to you all the time when they are not playing. You’re also aware of how perceptive a feline’s senses are.
They can take a break from too much stimulation by hiding away in a secure location.
It’s possible to argue that it’s a natural component of their hunting instincts.
How to Find Your Cat in Your House
So, if your cat or kitten has vanished without a trace and you’re beginning to be concerned, you might begin looking for him by doing a methodical check of your home. Make a thorough search of all conceivable hiding spots. In certain cases, cats may seek refuge or warmth in locations that are really detrimental or hazardous to them, so it’s important to respond promptly if this occurs. The following are the procedures to take in order to locate a cat in your home:
1. Look under and inside furniture.
You should be aware that cats have the ability to hide and become trapped in a location within the house from which you would have to rescue them. How can you locate a misplaced cat in your home? Examine the areas under beds, couches, tables, recliners, and convertible sofas for hidden items. You should not hesitate to examine under the bed or behind the books in the bookcases if you are seeking for a missing kitten.
Additionally, your cat might have been hiding inside a closet, a drawer, or a cupboard and become stuck. Make a close inspection of these to see whether your cat has climbed inside.
2. Search electronic appliances and machines.
What is the best way to locate a cat in the house? Cats that are searching for a warm spot to hide find electronic items to be particularly appealing. It goes without saying that they run the risk of being injured if someone switches on the appliance while they’re hiding in or around it. Check the back of the refrigerator to check whether your cat has taken up residence in the unused area there. Inspect the areas behind the washer and dryer, as well as the laundry baskets, for any signs of mold.
3. Check behind drywalls and your HVAC systems.
Yes, there is a strong likelihood that the lost kitten entered your home through a small hole in your drywall or exited through an open duct in your HVAC system while you were sleeping. How can you locate a misplaced cat in your home? By tapping into walls and listening for a faint meowing sound, you can determine the construction of your home. If you do hear your cat and he appears to be stuck within the walls, try to pinpoint his location and carefully make a hole in the drywall to allow him to exit the building.
Inspect the kitchen and bathrooms for any exposed pipes that your cat may have gotten into by climbing through the vents.
4. Lure your cat with food.
Obviously, this is one of the more obvious strategies to employ if you want to learn how to locate your cat in the house. Prepare some cat food or treats that have a strong scent that your feline companion will not be able to resist. Often, a can of tuna or some freshly cooked chicken pieces will be sufficient to entice any cat out of its hiding place. If you put kitten milk formula in a dish of cat food, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to resist. Preparing the food in a hot oven will ensure that the aroma reaches every corner of the home and draws your hungry cat out.
5. Search for your cat in the dark.
Cats slumber all of the time, which might explain why he didn’t respond when you shouted to him from across the room. What is the best way to locate a cat that has taken refuge in your home? Make an effort to locate your cat at night, when all of the lights are turned out and the home is more silent. Don’t forget to use a decent flashlight when you’re out in the dark. It would undoubtedly assist you in searching the most remote and inaccessible areas of the property and its surroundings. Revisit all conceivable hiding locations, including crawl spaces and your rafters, with a flashlight to ensure that nothing has been overlooked.
This list contains some of the most successful methods for locating a misplaced cat in the home or office.
If you’ve tried everything and are still unable to locate your pet, take a deep breath and give your cat some time to find you.
If you’ve been looking for him for an hour or two and he hasn’t shown up, you might opt to broaden your search to include the surrounding area.
Please report your lost pet to PawMaw.com if you are 100% certain that your cat is nowhere to be seen within the house and has truly ran away or gone missing.
How to Find a Missing Cat
The majority of individuals consider their cats to be members of their family (Howell et al 2016), therefore it can be heartbreaking when one goes missing. Despite the fact that just a few research have been conducted on the most effective methods of locating missing cats, they have provided vital information to those who are searching for a lost pet. The majority of missing cats are believed to be sheltering close to home.Source: Jan Thorpe/Pixabay.
Important steps to prevent and reunite missing cats
There are several precautions that all cat owners should take in the event that their cat becomes separated from them. First and foremost, make certain that your cat is properly identified with a microchip, tattoo, or collar with tag. A 2014 survey found that just 67% of veterinary clinics suggested microchips for all cats, compared to 86% who recommended them for all dogs (Dingman et al. 2014). If your cat doesn’t already have a microchip, talk to your veterinarian about getting one. A collar is a visual way to indicate that a cat belongs to someone, but it will not allow others to contact you unless the cat is also wearing an identifying tag on its collar.
- Adult cats can be trained to accept collars if you start when they are kittens, although kittens are more difficult to train than adult cats to accept collars (you may need to use a technique calleddesensitization and counter-conditioning).
- They include the name of the vet facility that performed the tattoo, the year it was performed, and the animal that was tattooed.
- Tattoos can become difficult to read or unreadable as time passes.
- They are not apparent to the naked eye, but can be detected by scanning the animal at a shelter or veterinarian’s office.
- In the past, conflicting microchip standards made it more difficult to reconnect pets in the United States, but currently, clinics should be equipped with a universal microchip scanner.
- If your area has a central pet registry (such as the United States Pet Chip Registry or the British Columbia Pet Registry), make careful to register your cat and maintain the information on file up to date with the registry.
- Photograph courtesy of Varun Kulkami/Pixabay In addition to providing your cat with permanent identification, it is critical that you train your cat to come when called.
It might be their name, but because you are likely to use their name at other times, it may be best to choose another cue such as “Here, kitty” or “Come.” Take advantage of a calm period and give them a food reward that you are confident they will like once they have completed the recall cue (such as a cat treat, piece of tuna, or some licks of a squeezable cat treat).
- Then proceed to experiment with it at less calm periods, gradually increasing the distance from which you are calling your cat.
- Not just when your cat is a kitten, but throughout your cat’s life, you should practice recall.
- Although the majority of cats go missing after escaping through an open door or garage (74 percent), some manage to escape through a window (11 percent), a damaged window screen (6 percent), or by jumping from a balcony (5 percent) (Huang et al.
- Maintain the security of your property, replace any damaged or weak screens, and ensure that all inhabitants and visitors are aware of the regulations regarding open doors and windows, among other things.
- If you ever need to print flyers, you’ll have a picture to use as a template.
- In the event that they are going to be indoor-outdoor cats, make certain that you are present when they make their first outdoor appearance.
- If you are bringing a kitten out for the first time, wait until a week after its vaccines are finished (usually around 13-14 weeks), and don’t leave them out alone until after they have been spayed or neutered (often around 4-6 months), because even young cats can have kittens.
If you are teaching your cat to walk on a leash, you may want to bring a carrier with you so that your cat may escape if they become frightened by something (a soft carrier is easy to carry).
Strategies for finding lost cats
Pet owners who had lost a dog or cat in the preceding five years were 85 percent more likely to be reunited with them, according to one research; however, people were more likely to be reunited with a dog than a cat (only 75 percent of cats were reunited), according to another study (Weiss et al. 2012). In this study, 59 percent of the cats were discovered by checking about the area, and 30 percent were discovered by their owners; just 2 percent were discovered at the local animal control facility.
- By 61 days, just 56 percent of the cats had been located, and even after that, only a handful of them had appeared.
- On average, indoor-only cats were found 39 meters from their homes, and indoor-outdoor cats were located 300 meters from their homes (although this difference was not significant).
- Cats are extremely adaptable, and they can fit into even the smallest of places.
- You will not be shocked to find that some of the cats who were found were found waiting at the entrance to be let in, which is not surprising given their feline nature.
- Cats who were deemed interested were the ones that were more likely to be discovered in a neighbor’s home.
- This included searching the yard and surrounding area, calling the cat while looking for it, asking neighbors if they had seen the cat and would keep an eye out for it or help search for it, and walking around during the day in search of the cat.
Placing posters throughout the neighborhood and distributing brochures about the cat were the most successful advertising techniques.
It’s also interesting thinking about the tactics individuals employ when they come upon a missing pet.
Instead, they employ a variety of strategies to locate property owners, including placing adverts in newspapers, strolling around the area, and posting signs.
Social media has developed significantly since this study was conducted and is expected to be a much larger impact in the future; nevertheless, it is crucial to realize that not everyone utilizes social media, and hence some owners may not be contacted through this means.
Having flexible spines and the collar bone not being attached to other bones allows cats to squeeze through small openings with relative ease.
Be calm when searching so that you don’t shock them if they are timid and wary of strangers. Consider what occurred before to their disappearance as well, in case it provides any clues as to where they could be hiding out. Here are some pointers to get you started.
Tips to find a missing cat
Pet owners who had lost a dog or cat in the preceding five years were 85 percent more likely to be reunited with them, according to one research. However, people were more likely to be reunited with a dog than they were a cat (only 75 percent of cats were reunited), according to another study (Weiss et al. 2012). Cats were found by checking about the area in this research, and 30 percent returned home on their own; only 2 percent were discovered at the local animal control facility. A questionnaire research undertaken by The University of Queensland and the Missing Pet Partnership provides more information on search techniques (Huang et al.
- One-third of the missing cats were discovered alive within seven days, and half were discovered alive after 30 days, according to this study.
- The majority of the cats that were discovered had not wandered far from their original location in the house.
- There was a median distance of 50m between the cats’ homes (whether they were inside, indoor-outdoor or outdoors), and 75% of the cats were located within 500m of their homes.
- Photograph courtesy of Thomas B./Pixabay, Inc.
- You won’t be shocked to find that some of the cats who were found were found waiting at the entrance to be allowed in, which is not surprising given their nature.
- Those cats who were seen as inquisitive were the ones who were most likely to be discovered in a neighbor’s home.
An actual physical search for the cat was the most likely to yield positive results, and this included searching the yard and surrounding area, calling the cat while searching for it, asking neighbors if they had seen the cat and would keep an eye out for it or assist in the search, and walking around during the day looking for the cat.
- Even though many individuals phoned their local shelter to report their missing cat, it was not a typical method of reuniting them (less than 2 percent); yet, the scientists believe that people were given important suggestions on how to look for their cat as a result of their calls.
- A lot of individuals are afraid of taking their animals to a local shelter or animal control because they are afraid they will be put down (Lord et al 2007).
- Only 10% of those who had lost their pets were able to reunite them with their owners because of the identifying tag on their collar.
- Social media has developed significantly since this study was conducted and is likely to be a much greater factor now.
- Having flexible spines and the collar bone not being attached to other bones allows cats to squeeze through small openings without being injured.
Consider what occurred before to their disappearance as well, in case it provides any clues as to where they could be hiding from the authorities. The following are some pointers that may be of use to you.
What should I do if my cat is missing? – RSPCA Knowledgebase
For cat owners, having their pet go missing may be an extremely traumatic experience. However, there are things you can do to increase your chances of locating your cat in the event that the worst happens and it goes missing. Don’t wait for your cat to become separated from you! While your cat is safe and sound at home, you should take the following precautions:
- Ensure that your cat is properly identified, including with a microchip and ideally with outward identification, such as a safe fast release collar with a tag that shows your name and contact information
- All of your cat’s information, including its microchip number and ID tag, is up to current at all times. In order to assist in locating and identifying your cat, you need have a current photograph of him/her (which should include images of your cat’s entire body and face)
- You have a strategy in place to assist you in locating your cat in the event that he or she goes missing. Prepare this plan before something happens
- You will likely be more calmer and more able to think clearly if you do so before something happens. This will ensure that you establish a sound strategy to assist you find your cat even if your cat is not actually gone! Preparing a strategy ahead of time will also save you important time. If the worst case scenario occurs and your cat goes missing, respond swiftly and according to the strategy you have put in place.
The following items should be included in your missing cat plan:
- A comprehensive and well-conducted physical search is the most successful method of locating a lost cat. This includes:
- Look for your cat throughout your home and backyard
- You should also notify your neighbors and obtain their permission to make a thorough search of their properties for your cat as well. Notify and contact local animal welfare organizations (such as your local pound and the RSPCA)
- Put up posters in your neighborhood with images of your missing pet
- Distribute fliers
- Navigate the internet in search of information and post about your missing cat in local online community organizations such as Facebook sites. Place an ad in your local newspaper with images of your lost cat
Most cats that live inside or are limited to their owners’ land will get terrified if they are allowed to roam free and will seek refuge within their recognized area (their house or your property), but they will eventually return. This implies that the majority of these cats may be discovered within a reasonable distance of their homes, and there are actions you can do to assist your cat in returning home. When you are looking for these cats, the majority of them are likely to be hiding someplace nearby but in locations you cannot see them; they are normally afraid and will not emerge, even when their family is hunting for them.
- Examine all of the possible hiding spots you can conceive of or come across with great care. You should be aware that some missing indoor cats may actually be lurking within the home and you are simply not able to locate them, so make sure you check the entire house completely. Place your cat’s favorite food inside, but close to your front entrance, and keep the door open. Keep an eye out from a distance to see if your cat emerges from hiding, and wait patiently for him to do so. It may take some time, but many cats will eventually come to the house to eat, and you will be able to lock the door behind them. Consider setting out humane traps with your cat’s favorite food in them if you are unable to locate your cat or if they do not come home within a few hours. In addition, go out the other steps in your “lost cat plan.” Keep in mind that the sooner you discover your cat, the better, so don’t waste time. It is preferable to follow your strategy to the letter and locate your cat as soon as possible, even if your cat is likely to come home on their own, rather than waiting and risking your cat being separated from you for a longer period of time than absolutely necessary.
Cats that are allowed to wander freely face a different set of circumstances. These cats are accustomed to being out and about, and if they do not come home, it is typically because something has occurred that has prevented them from doing their normal behavior of coming home. This might be due to an accident, sickness, or being inadvertently removed by a passing motorist. These cats are normally still located near to home, however they may be within 2-3 blocks of your home, since this is still within the ‘territory’ area of most cats’ home environments.
- However, you should broaden your search area and immediately focus on all of the other components of your strategy to locate your cat (for example, contacting vets and animal agencies, putting up fliers, advertising, using online search tools as explained above).
- Keep searching, advertising, and visiting local animal shelters even if you don’t locate your cat right away.
- Many cats may hide for an extended period of time if they are terrified, and they may only be discovered or returned home after days or even weeks, so don’t lose up hope.
- For additional information, please see the Safe and Happy Cats website of the RSPCA Australia.
Personality clues to help find a lost cat
Lost cats demand prompt care, and understanding the characteristics of cats might assist you in locating your lost cat sooner rather than later — or even never. When Bernadette Palmer’s two-year-old adopted cat, Callie, slipped out of a second-story window and disappeared, more than ten inches of snow buried the city of North Wales, Pennsylvania, that winter. The lost cat had never strayed outside of her safe and secure home, and it appeared that she had vanished without a trace. After a week of frantic searching, Palmer enlisted the help of missing-cats investigator Steve Hagey of the Detect-A-Pet Lost Pet Services in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, which specializes in lost pets.
- When Hagey thought about it, he pondered what he knew about cat personalities.
- His perseverance was rewarded.
- Hagey followed the trail and uncovered a wild feeding station, where he was able to locate Callie and prepare a humane trap for her to escape.
- Hagey was able to track down Callie by employing his knowledge of cat characteristics to his advantage.
- When lost in strange terrain, cats (especially wary cats such as Callie) tend to seek for the first area that offers hiding and security as quickly as possible.
- It is totally up on their disposition as to how long they remain in that hiding location and what they do when they emerge.
- Start looking as soon as possible.
- “If your pet has free access to the outdoors and suddenly goes, ask yourself, ‘What happened?'” (Bloomsbury USA, 2004).
When an indoor-only cat manages to get out of the house and into the wild, the question becomes, ‘Where is she hiding?'” In the opinion of Albrecht, all cats may be classified into one of four categories of cat personalities:
The Curious or Clown Cat
Curiosity gets the better of him as he approaches strangers and is fearful of the unknown, which leads to him getting himself into trouble more than once. When she is forced to flee, she will initially seek refuge, and then she will most likely continue traveling. She could easily go within a five-block radius of her house in a short amount of time. Don’t take it for granted that she will show up when summoned.
The Care-less Cat
This cat is aloof and does not appear to be interested in people. When a stranger is around, she has a tendency to take a step back and observe. Her first instinct is to flee and gradually she will leave cover and seek to return home while meowing for her owner to invite her inside. There is a potential, though, that she will go more distances than she has already stated.
The Cautious Cat
When a stranger arrives to the door, a cautious cat (like Callie) will usually run away to hide, but she will not do so if she knows the person. Every now and again, she’ll sneak a peak around the corner and cautiously emerge to explore. Whenever she is forced to flee, she will immediately cower in terror. In the event that she is not frightened out of hiding by humans or other animals, she will most likely return home on her own or meow to draw attention when her owner comes looking for her.
However, it might be as long as 10 days before she is compelled to come out of hiding due to hunger or thirst.
The Xenophobic Cat
Xenophobia is defined as a fear or loathing of everything that is unfamiliar or alien. This scared tendency is either a natural element of a cat’s genetic make-up or the effect of painful experiences during the kittenhood years of the cat. When a stranger enters the house, the xenophobic cat will flee and will not return until the visitors have departed. She does not love being handled or petted, and she becomes quickly agitated by any changes in her environment. In the event of a displacement, she will bolt and hide in quiet, remaining in the same hiding area for an extended period of time, paralyzed by dread.
Unfortunately, as a result of this, xenophobic cats are frequently assimilated into the wild cat community.
How to Catch Lost Cats
When a lost cat cannot be found, a humane baited trap is often the most effective method of capturing it. Cats have a good sense of smell, which makes them excellent hunters. A baited trap (which you may get at a feed shop or hardware store) should be lined with towels that have a familiar “home fragrance” to encourage her into the trap. You may even put some of her kitty litter inside if you want to be really careful. When creating “lost” posters, don’t forget to add information about your cat’s personality features, likes, and dislikes, as well as a phone number where you can be contacted at any time.
Inquire with your local animal shelter for assistance with traps, or hire a pet detective who will use a search canine that has been trained to identify cats to assist you in retrieving your pet.
What to Do If You Find a Missing Cat
When a cat is perched on a wall or on the pavement, it’s difficult to determine her personality type from her appearance. When approached by a stranger, the majority of lost cats will flee to higher ground. If you believe a cat in your area may have been displaced from its home, contact your local no-kill animal shelter for assistance in setting up a trap — unless the cat is really friendly and will come to you on her own. Make “found” posters and put them up throughout your neighborhood within a five-block radius of your house.
What to Do When Your Cat Runs Away
If you’re the owner of an indoor-outdoor cat, you may find yourself in a position where your feline companion goes away without a trace. Even cats who are exclusively allowed indoors sometimes escape out the door unexpectedly. However, it’s possible that your cat went a little too far. Cats are fiercely protective of their territory (even neutered ones). Instead, they are determined to defend their land at any costs. Cats will frequently seek refuge inside if they are chased out of their own territory by another alpha cat who is larger and more violent than they are before fleeing.
Consider the various causes for your cat’s disappearance while trying to locate him.
If your cat has been a victim of one of the following circumstances, there is a chance that he or she has died.
- Taken in by Animal Control, picked up by another cat lover who believes your cat is “lost,” or rescued by someone who believes your cat is abandoned, mistreated, or a stray are all possibilities. Professional “catnappers” abduct and sell the children for profit. Captured by others for cruel purposes (dog-baiting, ritual sacrifice, etc.) A cat-hating neighbor trapped and “disposed” of the cat
- Cat “abduction” that was unintentional (cat hides in a car and is taken away from the place)
Injured or Killed
- Picked up by Animal Control
- Picked up by another cat lover who believes your cat has been “lost”
- “rescued” by someone who believes your cat has become abandoned, mistreated, or a stray Professional “catnappers” abduct children for monetary gain. Captured by others for cruel purposes (dog-baiting, ritual sacrifice, etc.). A cat-hating neighbor caught and “disposed” of the cat
- Cat “abduction” that was unintentional (cat hides in a car and is taken away from the scene)
Plan Your Strategy
These factors can help you devise a strategy for rescuing your cat, should he still be alive, or for bringing closure, should it be determined that he is not. Due to the urgency of the situation, you may be required to do all of the following tasks:
- First, take a look around your yard: In most cases, indoor cats who sneak out of their homes stay close by in their own yards, or they seek shelter beneath decks, foundations, and vegetation. Use a baby monitor on your porch to keep an eye on things: A dish of food on your porch with an electronic baby monitor or other home monitoring system pointed at the bowl is an excellent idea. Create flyers with photographs of your cat: Offer a prize and hand out fliers door-to-door in a three-block radius or more to encourage people to participate. Post the flier in storefront windows and on telephone poles, among other places. Notify your local animal control officer of the following: You may hand them a flyer and urge them to keep an eye out for your cat, whether it is dead or living. Veterinary clinics in your area should be contacted: It is conceivable that your cat was brought in by a guardian angel with injuries
- Inquire with the veterinarians about posting a flier in their clinics. Visit an animal shelter in your area: Leave a flyer and inquire as to if a cat matching the description has been brought in, either alive or dead
- Advertise: Most local newspapers and retail directories will allow you to place a free “lost and found” ad in their publications. In addition, look for “found cats” in the daily classifieds. Post to the following online and social media pages for lost and recovered items in your area: Some towns support websites that are expressly designed to help people find their lost or missing dogs. Consult with the following local rescue organizations: Inquire about visiting foster homes that may have recently taken in a cat that matches the description you provided. Engage the services of a pet detective: Select a pet detective who has been trained to locate for misplaced animals with the use of technology
Jaime Knoth’s The Spruce is featured in this illustration.
The Importance of Identification
Image courtesy of Jaime Knoth’s “The Spruce.”
Use Caution in Offering Rewards
Several tragic cases have been recorded of callous extortionists who exploited mourning pet owners by demanding hefty monetary incentives under the pretense of having “discovered” their lost dogs. If you’re advertising with a prize, make sure to leave out one or two important identifying characteristics about your feline (e.g. he has one black whisker, one white toe, etc.) Don’t leave yourself exposed to false hopes, and by all means, don’t send any reward money until you’ve seen your cat in person first.
Become Involved and Involve Your Neighbors
Most importantly, take efforts to keep cats from getting separated from their families in the first place. If you live in the suburbs, there is a good chance that you may see other outdoor cats in your area as well.
- Most importantly, take precautions to ensure that cats do not become separated from their families. In your community, especially if you live in the suburbs, there are most likely several other outdoor cats.
Keep Your Cat Indoors
Most importantly, take efforts to ensure that cats do not become separated from their families in the first place. If you live in the suburbs, it’s possible that there are other outdoor cats in your community.