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.
It is possible to persuade a cat back home by placing its litter box outdoors. Hopefully, the cat will smell it and return home. Albrecht, on the other hand, is not convinced. 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 water in order to survive. Cats will abandon their homes when they are on the verge of death, and the litter box is only by chance nearby. She claims that this also doesn’t happen very often.
However, this does not necessarily imply that the cats were let to die on their own; provided that a coyote or other predator was the cause of the cat’s demise.
However, when a cat goes missing, some owners automatically believe that’s what occurred.
If cat owners feel their cats have been murdered and cease looking for them, the cats will ultimately be placed into a shelter where they will be cared for. 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;
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
They may be still inside the house at other times. The tale of Bess, a two-year-old cat who went missing one night from her family’s house, is a near-tragic illustration of this concept. Until a few weeks later, Bess was nowhere to be seen, and the family was startled when they heard a faint “meow” coming from an unlikely source: the movable window seat in the living room. As Kat points out, “Bess is an excellent illustration of why you should properly comb every inch of your house.” “Look in places you don’t believe the cat could possible be, such as within cabinets, beneath beds, and behind dressers.
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. Perhaps because they feel more at comfortable outside, 75 percent of the latter traveled up to roughly a mile from their residence for medical treatment.
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).
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. “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.
- 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 returned 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 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.
In order to avoid the possibility of slinking or bolting out into the open, a terrified cat would often follow along the side of the house. Depending on what occurs when the cat escapes, this may or may not be the case. For example, if the mailman happens to be strolling up the sidewalk, the cat may bolt and go straight across the street. Indoor cats, on the other hand, will usually slink left or right around the border of the home, depending on the situation.
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 Missing Cat
Whether you are unable to see or locate the cat, you can set up humane traps, wildlife cameras, or even a plate of food to see if the cat disappears before moving on. An inquiry is underway into the disappearance of a cat. Where is the cat hiding when it comes to displaced indoor-only cats who escape outside — or even outdoor-access cats who flee in fear — is the issue that has to be answered throughout the investigation.
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!
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 it comes to people, this cat is cold and distant. It’s natural for her to step back and observe when an unfamiliar face is in the room. Her first instinct is to flee and gradually she will leave cover and seek to return home while meowing for her owner to let her back into the house. There is a chance, though, that she will go more distances than she has previously indicated.
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 someone has xenophobia, they have a strong dislike or fear of something odd or alien. If a cat exhibits scared behavior, it is likely that it is a product of their genetic make-up, or that they have experienced trauma as a kitten. When a stranger enters the house, the xenophobic cat will hide and will not come out until the company has departed. Being handled or petted doesn’t appeal to her, 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 terror.
In unfortunate circumstances, this often results in the incorporation of xenophobic cats into the feral cat population, which is a bad thing for everyone.
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. In the hopes of reuniting the cat with its owner, you’ll do everything you can.
What’s The Best Way To Find My Cat In The House?
What is the most effective method of locating my cat when she goes missing in the house?
When cats go missing in the house, they are often much closer than you think they are to finding them. My tabby cat Bananas, whom I rescued from my old boss Cleveland Amory, the founder of Fund for Animals and author of the classic book “The Cat Who Came for Christmas,” had a very amusing experience with me one Christmas. I was living in a garden apartment at the time, and one day I was gardening outdoors while keeping the door to the apartment closed. As soon as I walked through the door, Bananas was no longer there.
- After failing to locate her outside, I returned inside to resume my search, only to discover her seated on the coffee table, most likely laughing.
- Cats appear to like hiding in small spaces and squeezing through small openings.
- Additionally, inspect the interior of washing machines and dryers.
- If the furniture has been thoroughly inspected, try luring her out with cat food.
- In the unlikely event that she has escaped, ask your neighbors to assist you in searching for her.
- In the worst-case situation, you should contact your veterinarian as well as local animal shelters for assistance.
- As is often the case, I encourage readers to leave comments and share their experiences.
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.
You may help yourself by following the methods outlined below to track for your lost cat:
- 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.
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
- As a result of an automobile collision
- By a canine or another feline
- Wild creatures (coyote, skunk, or raccoon) are responsible for the death.
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
If your cat is properly identified, it has a better chance of being returned to its rightful owner. If your cat is wearing a collar and identification tags, the majority of people will return him to you if they believe he has gone missing. Many doctors and animal shelters will be able to contact you if your pet is micro-chipped or has an ear tattooed, even if the collar and tags have been removed.
Professional thieves avoid cats with ear tattoos because they know that laboratories will not accept animals that are owned by them, and more sinister “end users” will also avoid them, according to the ASPCA.
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.
- Inform their proprietors of your concerns by contacting them directly. Make plans to start a “cat neighborhood watch.” They should emphasize to their cats the need of identification (collars with tags, microchips, and so on)
- Watch out for strangers in the neighborhood, and if you observe someone picking up a cat, make a note of the license plate number and description of the vehicle that brought it. If you identify the cat, you should contact the owner. Learn about the pet-related regulations in your area and get familiar with these rules. Many localities have regulations stating that all discovered pets must be sent to a local animal shelter or euthanized. Unfortunately, many people are either unaware of this or choose to ignore the law.
Keep Your Cat Indoors
Although indoor cats may occasionally escape, they seldom travel far and can generally be brought back in without incident before they come to harm. It should go without saying that an indoor cat is a safer cat to have around. Hopefully, these suggestions may assist you in achieving a good recovery. It’s important to remember that our stray cats are just as terrified as we are of these situations. If you have any reason to believe your pet is unwell, contact your veterinarian immediately. Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet and are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and they can provide the most appropriate suggestions for your pet.