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
Assuming you didn’t witness your cat bolt out the door, Albrecht’s first piece of advice is to double-check that your missing cat isn’t still lurking about in the home. A family once approached her, sure that a bobcat had murdered their missing pet and that she might help them. After a few days, the family decided to adopt a fresh kitten from the local shelter. When the mewing kitten returned home, a commotion could be heard coming from the house’s chimney, where the first cat had been lodged.
According to Albrecht, if you have an indoor cat, it’s quite probable that they’ll be in or near your home at any given time.
- But, she advises, don’t merely inquire as to whether or not they have seen the cat; instead, request that they investigate about their home like you did at yours.
- It is your responsibility, not your neighbor’s.
- A 2017 research on missing cats examined how far away from home 477 cats were discovered, according to the results of the study.
- For indoor cats, the median distance was 39 meters (128 feet) away, according to the study.
- According to the study, their median distance was measured at 300 meters, which is more than three football fields away from one another.
How to Find a Hiding Cat
According to Albrecht, your cat’s prior conduct may provide you a clue as to what he’s up to while he’s separated from you. In the event that your guest enjoys socializing while at your place, it’s possible that he just went down to a nearby residence and found a way inside. If your cat is used to hiding and not coming out until long after houseguests have left, she may be hiding somewhere while you believe she is “lost,” which would explain her behavior. In her terror and fear, she will remain silent, ideally concealing away from any predators she may come across in the process.
- The majority of the time, they will be hidden, according to Albrecht.
- Eventually, the rescuers had to break through part of the cinderblocks in order to get to the kitty.
- If the cat is hidden in plain sight, it is better to hunt for it late at night, when outside activities has ceased to be active.
- Leaving your house in the middle of the night may not be tempting, so another alternative is to install wildlife cameras to follow the cat in case it escapes from its hiding spot.
Examining security camera video from your or your neighbor’s home—doorbell cameras to the rescue!—could also be beneficial.
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.
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.”
How to Find a Lost Cat
Your cat has gone without a trace from the inside of the home. His getaway was either made when you opened the door and you weren’t quick enough to grab him, or he managed to pry an exit screen or find an exit and is now on the other side of it.
It’s possible that you were lucky enough to see him escape and have a broad notion of where he’s hiding. But, if you don’t know where he went, how can you track for a misplaced cat?
Before we get into the specifics of the cat being outside, let us first discuss some preventative actions that you may take to avoid this situation from occurring. Cats should be microchipped. Microchipping is currently available from the majority of veterinarians. It is a simple and affordable method of keeping your cat safe. There is a disadvantage to microchipping that must be considered. Not all animal shelters or veterinarians are equipped with the hand-held scanning equipment that is universally compatible with all of the chips.
- Your cat will be identifiable by the scanner ID code that is generated.
- Microchips, on the other hand, which are roughly the size and shape of a grain of rice, are able to remain securely embedded beneath your cat’s skin.
- Take more than a nice facial image; take a full-body shot so that the cat may be identified with the assistance of this photograph if the situation calls for it.
- Aid-A- Pet out of Gresham, Oregon, Friskies Lost PetServices, Infopet, and Petfinders are just a few of the numerous organizations out there that may assist you in answering your concerns and attempting to protect your cat from harm.
What to Do if Your Indoor Cat Escapes Outside
You have arrived at your residence, and someone has opened the front door for you. A few steps outside, your cat turns around and vanishes into thin air. What are you going to do? In the first place, you chase after your cat without running or making any loud noises. Try to keep the cat in sight, but if an indoor cat ventures outside, the scents and noises are usually too much for them, and the first thing they want to do is seek refuge as near to home as possible. Any loud noises, such as yelling their name or clapping your hands, may likely cause them to become even more startled.
Call the cat in the most calm voice you can muster.
But, what if they don’t?
Under your porch, the cat has suddenly vanished without a trace. He can be seen in the furthest corner of the room. So, what is the best way to catch his attention? Place some tasty cat food and water in a convenient location nearby for him. After that, you retreat and wait for the outcome. Ideally, you want the food to be served as close to your front door as feasible. It is possible that the cat will come out when he is more relaxed and feed before coming inside the home.
Gone Without a Trace
You’ve arrived home to discover that your cat has vanished without a trace. The first thing you should do is do a thorough check of your residence. Take a look around each room and look for anything unusual. Get on your knees and think like a cat for a while. Remember that when they are terrified or wounded, they may crawl up into places you would never expect them to be able to fit into. You’ll want to examine beneath chairs, within arm rests, inside reclining seats, and wherever else you can think of (a lot of times a cat will tear the underside lining of either a chair or a bed and vanish up into the springs).
Following your thorough property search, you will need to complete a few tasks.
Just start going around your yard calling to your cat while wearing sneakers without socks or a shirt without sleeves.
You want to get that shirt and those shoes particularly sweaty with your fragrance, just in case you don’t find your cat, because the perspiration from the shoes and shirt will aid in scenting the cat back to its house.
If you are unsuccessful in your search, when you return home, hang up your shirt outside where the wind may blow your fragrance about, and place your shoes up outside as well, near your front door, where the wind can blow your scent around.
How to Find a Lost Cat
Here are a few pointers to help you locate a missing cat and securely return him to his home:
- Take a huge cardboard box and turn it on its side to see what happens. Make a hole on the side the size of a cat’s head and lay it outside with some soft bedding inside. Weighing the bottom down can help to create a secure haven for your cat to return to. Set up food and water nearby
- The ideal time to look for a missing cat is during the night when everyone else is sleeping. The optimum time to go is between 2:00 and 2:00 a.m. Take a flashlight and some food with you when you go out. Take a few cans of cat food with you, stand out in the open and pop the cans, or shake a treat jar to attract the attention of the cats. If you open the first can, you will be shocked at how far the sound may carry in the stillness of the morning, and your cat will frequently emerge within minutes of the can being opened. Cat owners who are resourceful have even recorded the sound of their can openers opening a tin of food and played the tape over and over while searching for their missing cat
- And created leaflets to hand out to passersby. Include a photo of your pet as well as an incentive such as a gift card. These leaflets should be distributed in supermarkets, veterinary clinics, feed stores, and every other location you can. Post them at a convenient viewing height. It is not acceptable to shove them in mailboxes. You might face legal consequences if you do this. Using these leaflets, walk around your community, tape them to telephone poles, and talk to the youngsters in your neighborhood, the paper boy, the UPS guy, the postmaster, and anybody else who walks about your neighborhood
- Make a call to the local newspaper and put an ad for a missing cat. Call the local radio stations
- Many of them will broadcast free public service announcements for lost animals. Call your veterinarian and inform them that your cat has gone missing. Distribute fliers to all of the veterinarians in your region, as well as any animal rescue organizations in your area. If you’ve just relocated and took your cat with you, make sure to check your previous address as well. Locate a Havahart trap and position it in a secure location close to your residence. However, depending on where you live, you may also catch another cat, or possibly even a possum or a skunk
- However, you may also catch your own cat. If you come across a dead animal on the side of the road near your home, remove it with a shovel and dispose of it in the weeds off the roadside. A number of occasions have occurred in which domestic cats have gotten intrigued by road dead and ventured out to investigate, only to become road fatalities themselves. Keep a detailed record of everything you do in order to locate your lost cat. If nothing seems to be working, post on cat message boards and ask for suggestions. It is possible to hire or get help from firms such as Pet-Detective.com and Sherlockbones.com, who provide excellent tips on their websites and may be contacted for hiring or assistance
- Every day, go through your newspaper for lost and found advertisements. Weekends are for working outside. Toss some putter in your garden, or simply sit outside near your home, and talk in a calm voice, sing, or gab so that your cat can hear you even if she is close by. Consider taking her canine companion outdoors to see if she will come out and join you
- Alternatively, take the canine companion for a stroll around the neighborhood to see if the cat will come out and join you. Examine the trees on your land
- Create a map of the areas where you intend to display posters and/or distribute fliers. Every three days, double-check to make sure they are still there. Keeping tape, pushpins or thumbtacks, black felt markers, and white poster board in your car will allow you to make up for any that may go missing. Take a photo of your pet and deliver it door-to-door. Talk to all of the people that live in the house, especially the children. Previous experience has demonstrated that small girls are the most effective finders of missing pets. Keep the flame of hope burning. It is very uncommon to hear accounts of people who have been separated from their cats for extended periods of time, just to have the animal appear at their door one day.
Not every lost cat will find its way back home, but if you check all of your bases as thoroughly as possible, you can reduce the likelihood that your cat will remain missing. You must maintain your concentration and avoid being anxious, no matter how difficult this may seem. Your cat will be aware of any tension emanating from you and may choose to remain hidden until you have calmed down. Unless they are pursued or terrified away, most cats will quickly go to ground, which means they will hide in or near their familiar environment, such as their house.
We hope that these suggestions may assist you in locating your cat in the event that he goes separated from you.
We have both experienced this feeling.
It is our goal that our combined skills can assist you in locating your cat and returning him to the house he is familiar with and the people he enjoys being with.
How to Find a Lost Cat
It is impossible to determine the number of pet cats who go missing, as well as the number of cats who, regrettably, never come back to their owners. Cats can become separated from their families even after their owners have done everything they can to locate them. However, many folks are completely clueless as to how or where to even begin seeking for such information. Kat Albrecht, an investigative pet detective, is on a mission to make it a thing of past. After all, locating a misplaced cat entails more than simply standing outside your front door and saying, “Here, kitty, kitty.”
Best strategies for searching for a missing cat
Kat operates Missing Animal Response Network, which provides seminars on basic pet recovery tactics. She is a former police bloodhound handler, crime scene investigator, and search-and-rescue manager. In addition to effective search skills, the seminars teach students where to look for missing dogs in the first place. According on the species, this last characteristic differs. According to Kat, “the behavior of dogs and cats has an impact on the distances they travel.” Dogs run, sometimes over long distances, but cats prefer to hide.
Cat hiding inside the house
Kat operates Missing Animal Response Network, which offers classes on basic pet recovery tactics. Kat has worked as a police bloodhound handler, crime scene investigator, and search-and-rescue manager. In addition to effective search skills, the workshops teach students where to look for lost dogs in their area.
According to the species, the latter might vary significantly. As Kat explains, “the lengths that dogs and cats travel are determined by their activity.” In contrast to cats, dogs will run, sometimes for long distances. Instead of hiding, they do so in complete secrecy and usually near to home.”
Cat hiding outside, close to home
As Kat points out, even cats who go lost outside are frequently found hiding under the porch on their own home or hiding somewhere nearby, within three to five houses of their original escape site. Her argument about cats rarely going far is based on more than anecdotal evidence. Kat collaborated with Jacquie Rand, an emeritus lecturer at the University of Queensland, on a missing-cat investigation. They gathered information on 1,210 missing cats using an online questionnaire in order to identify which search tactics were most successful and where animals were most frequently discovered.
In fact, 75 percent of the cats were discovered within 500 meters (about a third of a mile) of where they had attempted to flee.
When comparing cats who live indoors vs cats who have regular access to the outdoors, there was a little variation in behavior.
Conduct an active physical search for a lost cat
Another important conclusion reached by the study was the need of conducting an aggressive physical search: 59 percent of cats were discovered alive because their owners pounded the pavement and crawled behind bushes seeking for them. That’s important because Kat frequently encounters individuals who rely exclusively on passive tactics, such as putting posters or asking their neighbors to keep a look out, in the hopes that someone would notice their cat and contact them. Putting personal belongings or a filthy litter box outdoors is one of the most prevalent ideas, according to Kat, “under the assumption that the stench will attract the cat back home.” Kat expresses herself.
Furthermore, according to Kat, the pheromones released by a litter box might have a negative effect by attracting territorial cats, which can prevent the missing cat from coming home.
Don’t stop searching for a lost cat too soon
Kat has also witnessed the impact these assumptions may have on the lives of those who have lost a companion animal. People make the mistake of calling off their search too soon or not looking at all because they feel that their cat has already encountered a coyote or other wild animal, which is much too often. “When a cat goes missing, use every available search strategy as soon as possible,” Kat advises. “This includes doing a thorough physical search, disseminating fliers, and putting out humane traps, among other things.” “Repeat the same route over and over again at different times of day.” And don’t forget about the human aspect, because cats do get picked up and brought to a shelter on a consistent basis.
However, there are numerous anecdotal and recorded stories of individuals being reunited with their felines months or years after they went missing, according to the missing-cat research (the results of which were published in the journalAnimals).
“Above all, don’t give up,” Kat says as she draws to a close. It is possible that your cat is somewhere out there, ready to be reunited with the family she loves.
Top tips for finding a missing cat
The following proactive tactics will increase the likelihood of you and Fluffy having that long-awaited reunion you’ve been dreaming of. The actions items in this list are intended to be repeated on a regular basis.
- Search your whole property, both inside and outdoors, for any signs of trespassing. Remember that cats are most active late at night and early in the morning, when it is calm, so vary your search periods accordingly. Obtain permission from your neighbors to check their land, and then try to broaden your search area by three to five homes in either direction. Examine inside their garages or any other places where a cat may have become trapped. Rerun your search and double-check the same locations. Cats may be frightened out of their initial hiding place and locate another one in a location where you have already searched for them. If your cat is accustomed to being outside, broaden your search criteria. Post huge, eye-catching posters (for example, using brightly colored paper) with your pet’s information all throughout the area to attract attention. Make a post about your lost pet on social networking websites such as Facebook, Nextdoor.com, and PetAmberAlert.com
- Set humane traps in areas where you will be able to check on them on a regular basis
- Animal shelters will often rent out these traps to the general public. In addition, by leaving doors open in your home or garage, you might set a trap for yourself. Make sure to look into all of the shelters that serve your region, not just the one that is closest to your house. Keep your cat’s microchip or collar and ID tag with you at all times in case he or she gets into trouble and has to be returned to you.
More information on locating lost pets may be found at the Missing Animal Response Network.
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.
- Not many cats are as fortunate as this one.
- Not all missing cats are distressed or desirous of being reunited with their owners. Cats are well-known for their ability to conceal themselves in the most inconvenient of situations. If your cat is gone, conduct a thorough search indoors, outside, and in your yard using a flashlight and the sweetest, most fragrant goodies you can find before concluding that he or she is not there. A cat that has been trained to respond to the “come” command will come in handy at this point. If a cat is hurt, confined, or very agitated, it may or may not listen to commands, but this increases the likelihood of success. Yes, some cats leave their homes for a variety of reasons and do not wish to be located. Attempt it nevertheless. The statistics for missing cats coming home on their own are around 2% of the population. Possessing a microchip and wearing a collar and tag improves one’s chances of survival. Discover why Petfinder feels that all cats should be microchipped and should always be wearing a collar and tag. Don’t spend any more time. For those who know their cat has gone missing, take your cellphone (which should already have a picture of it) and some snacks before heading out to look for him. Dress with loose-fitting garments and soft-soled shoes that are comfy. Don’t get too worked up over it. Take a deep breath and attempt to think like a cat to keep yourself calm. What would you do if you were a cat and had nowhere to go? To begin, start with your near neighbors on both sides of your home and work your way outward. Where does your cat tend to go on a regular basis? What is the most likely path out of the situation? How do you know where their preferred bushes or hiding locations are? Crawl low beneath porches and search high on rooflines and tree branches for any signs of life. Is it possible that anything happened recently to make them feel uneasy? Is it the construction or the cat or dog of a new neighbor? Alternatively, if something has happened lately in your house that has made them uncomfortable, such as chemicals from having your carpets cleaned or putting out baggage for a trip, SPREAD THE WORD! Because the greater the number of people who are aware that you have lost a pet and that you are sad, anxious, and frantically trying to find your pet, the greater the number of individuals who will contact you if they spot an animal in the woods, on the road, or in their backyard. Make personal phone calls to all of your neighbors. Inquire of passersby, knock on doors of neighbors, and display the photograph. Inquire whether you are permitted to inspect their garage, outbuildings, or beneath the porch. My desperation drove me to trespass in the gardens of my neighbors, and I must confess that I did so. This is not the time to be modest. Call every veterinarian clinic in your region, including emergency veterinary facilities outside of your immediate vicinity. Occasionally, somebody may pick up a stray and transport it to a nearby clinic. To get the word out, contact all local animal shelters, animal control officers, and dog control officers, as well as all local police and state troopers, all local kennels, the highway department, dog training groups, and grooming businesses. When you get back home, put food and drink in a container outside your door. Cats who are afraid of the dark will frequently slink out after dark. If you leave a baby monitor near the food, it may pick up on weak meows. Local TNR rescue organizations are frequently willing to donate a trap. Create a trap based on their recommendations. Prepare yourself in case you end up trapping a raccoon or another cat. Before going to night, go outside one final time to check on your cat and shout his or her name. Make an effort to get some sleep. Energy is expended in searching for your pet and leaving no stone unturned. Make an effort to speak with your cat in the silent night. Imagine their face, call their name, and establish a heart-to-heart connection. Make an effort to tune in to where they may be. It might be a sensation, a picture, or a sound.. Affirm your commitment to bringing them home
- If you haven’t already, create a missing cat flyer to put up in their neighborhood. Keep things as basic as possible. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but make sure the words “Lost Cat” are large enough to be seen by drivers or pedestrians going by. Fortunately, the majority of us have a billion images of our kitties. Select or crop a big close-up shot that shows details of the face, as well as another one that shows the complete body, preferably standing up. If you are not computer literate, you may simply attach a photograph to a sheet of paper and write the text by hand using a marker on top. In particular, if your cat is distinguished by a distinctive color or markings, color photographs are better. Copies printed on neon-bright paper display well, and plastic page covers are used to protect the copies in the event of rain. Include your cat’s name (this may make it easier for someone to call your cat over and catch him), a description (for example, “Beige, wire-haired terrier” or “Striped grey and black short-haired cat”), and a photo (for example, “Striped grey and black short-haired cat”). Please don’t assume that people will be familiar with your particular pure breed), any special identifying markings or collar, when and where it was last seen (cross street), your phone and e-mail, but please do not include your name and address or the amount of a reward you are offering for security reasons. At the bottom of the page, I prefer to include a contact information section that is divided into four or five vertical strips that may be easily peeled off
- Make dozens of index cards with the same information as above, and visit every property in every direction from the location of where your pet went missing, handing out cards or sticking them under doors or on windshields as a last ditch effort to find your pet. Continue to stop and chat with everyone you come across — the more people who are aware of your lost pet, the more likely it is that the one person who notices him will contact you. You should urge folks to kindly inspect their barns and sheds, especially at night, because your pet may be scared. Enlist the assistance of relatives and friends to help you distribute fliers and spread the news. Push pins, tape, and a staple gun should all be available depending on the surface. Among the finest places to put flyers are street junction poles, local bulletin boards at grocery shops and other public places such as laundromats and community centers
- You may report missing cats online atTabbytrackerCraigslist, local online newspapers such as Patch, and other places. Make use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Inviting everyone to participate. Place a “Lost” ad in your local newspaper the very first morning your pet is missing and keep it there until it is found. These advertisements are often free. Ensure that you visit all of your local shelters, even if they claim they do not have a cat matching your description. If you’ve recently relocated, broaden your search to include your previous neighborhood
- Be persistent! Cats have reappeared weeks and months after they were first seen. Continue to network and inquire of neighbors to see if they have observed anything. Maintain the freshness of your flyers or posters by using a “Still Missing” heading
- Even the friendliest and most sociable of pets can rapidly become fearful and wild if they are not properly cared for. When your own friendly pet becomes separated from you, he may hide from others, run away if he spots a human, or perhaps run away from you altogether. Don’t run after a missing pet
- They are far faster than we are, and you will simply scare them even more. Instead, take a seat on the ground and speak in normal tones, repeating his name and other well-known words over and over in your mind. A scared animal will normally hang around for a while and, after a few minutes or hours, will begin to approach closer and closer
Even though I hope you never lose a cat, it is always best to be prepared, therefore make a copy of this list.
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 panicked cat will usually follow along the side of the house rather than risk slinking or bolting 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 walking up the sidewalk, the cat may bolt and run directly across the street from the mailbox. Indoor cats, on the other hand, will typically slink left or right along the edge of the house, 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 Lost Cat On The Day They Go Missing
If you’ve come across this post, it’s likely that you’ve been unsuccessful in your search for your cat. While having a member of your family go missing is one of the most devastating experiences a person can go through, there is no need to give up hope. You want to find your cat, and you want to find her immediately away, whether she managed to slip past your watch when you unlocked the door or she managed to discover an escape route via a cracked window. Assuming you were fortunate enough to witness her escape and have a general sense of where to begin your search, what happens if you are beginning from scratch?
We’re here to assist you.
What are the chances of finding a lost cat?
According to the American Humane Association, around 10 million pets go missing every year. In contrast to lost dogs, where an astonishing 93 percent were reunited with their owners, just 74 percent of lost cats were able to find their way back home. Please keep in mind that whereas over 60% of missing dogs were wearing an ID tag or microchip, just 25% of cats that went missing were wearing any sort of identification at the time of their disappearance. Even if you confine your cat to a single room, there is always the possibility that she may escape.
The moment a neighbor discovers your lost cat and brings her to the veterinarian, they will be able to call you right away.
Can cats find their way home if lost?
Dogs have an extraordinary ability to find their way home after becoming separated from their owners, thanks to their excellent smell capabilities and nearly mystical homing skills. What about cats, on the other hand? Cat fur parents may rest easy knowing that their cats are in good hands. Numerous studies have demonstrated that cats, like dogs, are capable of retracing their steps after escaping from their homes. Cats may come home days, weeks, months, or even years after they have gotten out of the house.
A variety of explanations have been proposed to explain this phenomena, including the use of the animals’ sense of smell, visual memory, territorial nature, and even a complicated sense of magnetic geolocation.
The specific process that allows them to find their way home is still under investigation, but pet owners of missing cats may rest certain that their fur baby will return if she is capable of doing so.
How do you attract a lost cat home?
A recent study by the SPCA of Northern Virginia found that many missing indoor cats were really hiding — and they were probably hiding much closer to home than you might think. “Most indoor cats that go missing aren’t really missing – they’re in hiding,” says the organization. An estimated 75% of lost cats are found within 500 meters(a little more than 1,640 feet) of where they went missing, according to statistics. Even though your pet believes she wants to go exploring in the vast outdoors, she’s probably scared and seeking for a safe haven to take refuge in.
Fortunately, there are a variety of approaches you might use to entice her back home.
1. Put your cat’s bedding outside
In the event that your cat has her own bed or favorite blanket, placing it outdoors where she can smell her own fragrance may be sufficient to entice her to return to the household. Some cats love to sleep with their backs pressed against their pet owners’ legs. If this is the case with your furry friend, you may put one of your unwashed shirts outside to keep him company. This aroma may be reassuring to her, allowing her to feel comfortable enough to come home.
2. Spread your cat’s litter outside in the yard
Spreading spent cat litter outside provides a pungent odour that is guaranteed to attract your cat’s interest. We strongly advise wearing gloves for this task.
3. Set out some stinky food
It is recommended that you avoid the temptation to put out your cat’s regular food, according to Pet FBI. Instead, choose for a fish that is oily and stinky, such as tuna, sardines, or mackerel. Your furry friend will be drawn to the aroma, and you may be able to lure her back inside the house with it.
4. Leave the garage door cracked
If you believe your cat has escaped by a particular door, leave the door open and watch to see if she returns. For the rest of the time, we recommend that you leave your garage door open slightly, providing your pet with a consistent point of entry to come home. Keeping your fingers crossed that your missing cat will come home is nerve-racking, but try not to get too worked up. Inquire of friends and neighbors to look beneath their porches and automobiles, as well as inside their garages for evidence.
If they are aware that your furry companion has gone missing, they will inform you if they come across a cat that matches her description.
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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.
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
If your cat has truly just bolted out the door, refrain from chasing after them. Attempt to urge cats to approach to you by staying in close proximity to them and getting low to the ground. This may entail calling them, not gazing straight at them (which can be frightening to a cat), and stretching your hand or a finger out to see if they will come up to you. It may also be beneficial to shake the treat packet. You should make sure that your cat has a free path back into the house and that you don’t get in the way of their getting back in there.
Photograph courtesy of Andreas Lischka/Pixabay You should explore carefully throughout the home if you are unsure of where your cat has disappeared to see whether they are hiding under furniture, in a closet, in the basement, or any other hidden location.
Once upon a time, I discovered that my cat had hidden inside a box-spring mattress; similarly, they may be able to get inside your sofa, open cabinet doors or drawers (which may close behind them), hide in small gaps behind furniture, get behind the washing machine or refrigerator, hide behind books on shelves and even curl up underneath your clean linen.
Because the majority of cats are located in close proximity to their owners’ residences, search very (very) carefully in the nearby region.
Remember to look up as well, because cats prefer high areas and may be hiding in the branches of a tree or on the roof of a building or shed.
When it gets dark, you can use a flashlight to look for things.
Carry a treat packet with you and shake it every now and again, but keep in mind that a nervous cat may not dare to come out and greet you.
If your cat is an indoor-only cat, you might place their litter box outdoors near where they went out to relieve themselves when they are done.
They may find it soothing and return to it in the future, or they may simply wait nearby.
Create a safe haven right next to the front door.
Put some of your cat’s bedding inside it to make it more comfortable.
In addition, you may provide food and drink nearby (but be aware that this may attract rodents and other animals).
A baby monitor, if you have one, might be placed outside the front door in case you hear a meow.
Speak to your neighbors and inquire as to whether or not they have seen your cat.
If you find your cat in a tree and feel they are trapped, contact local arborists to arrange for one of them to climb up and rescue your cat.
Produce ‘lost cat’ posters with your cat’s photo on them and post them throughout the area in prominent locations where people may see them, such as near community mail boxes or on utility poles.
Post a copy of your “lost cat” poster on social media as well.
Distribute the message to any missing pets and neighborhood groups in your area.
Inform your veterinarian that your cat has gone missing.
Check with your local animal shelter and animal control to see if your cat has been taken there by someone.
If you have just relocated, you should do a search at your previous residence as well, since there have been reports of cats returning to their former residences after being adopted.
In addition, many locations offer a pet finding firm that will attempt to locate your lost pet for a charge if you pay them.
Above everything, keep looking in your immediate vicinity (very close to home for an indoors-only cat).
The most essential thing to do is to do this. Keep in mind to update your social media posts and take down the flyers you had posted throughout the area after you have located your cat. Wishing you the best of luck in locating your kitty!