How To Find A Lost Cat Outside

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.

  1. 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.
  2. It is your responsibility, not your neighbor’s.
  3. A 2017 research on missing cats examined how far away from home 477 cats were discovered, according to the results of the study.
  4. For indoor cats, the median distance was 39 meters (128 feet) away, according to the study.
  5. 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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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?

Take Precaution

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 smells and sounds are usually too much for them, and the first thing they want to do is seek refuge as close 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

Under your porch, the cat has suddenly been discovered to be missing. The farthest corner of the room has his silhouette. So, what is the best way to attract his interest?

In close proximity to him, place some delicious cat food and water. After then, you withdraw and wait for the outcome. You want the food to be as close as possible to your front door. It is possible that the cat will come out when he is more relaxed and feed before entering the home.

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Make a call to the local newspaper and put an ad for a missing cat. Call the local radio stations
  5. 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
  6. 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 and, who provide excellent tips on their websites and may be contacted for hiring or assistance
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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.
See also:  How To Deal With An Aggressive Cat

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

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.

Cats may vary their hiding places over time, so double-check first and then check again.”

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

In the research, one of the most significant findings was the need of an intensive physical search: 59 percent of cats were discovered alive because their owners pounded the pavement and crawled behind bushes seeking for them. Because Kat frequently encounters individuals who rely exclusively on passive measures, such as putting posters or asking their neighbors to keep a watch out, in the hopes that someone would notice their cat and call. 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 inside.” This is what Kat has to say: She does not believe in that technique, stating that if the cat does return on his own, it is more probable that he was able to overcome his anxiety of being apart from his family and return home.

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 relocating.

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,, and
  • 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.

  1. It was the end of the story for me.
  2. 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.
  3. Coco was rescued and is in good health.
  4. WildeCats appear to have a form of homing sense, which has taken them hundreds of kilometers back to their original location in certain circumstances.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. I walked up and down the block, knocking on every house and introducing myself to everyone.
  8. Merlin returned to his room on his own at bedtime, unperturbed as always.
  9. 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 typically 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
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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.

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 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.

  • 2016).
  • 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.

  • 2018).
  • 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.
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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.

  1. Because the majority of cats are located in close proximity to their owners’ residences, search very (very) carefully in the nearby region.
  2. 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.
  3. When it gets dark, you can use a flashlight to look for things.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. They may find it soothing and return to it in the future, or they may simply wait nearby.
  7. 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!

How to Find a Lost Outdoor Cat

According to a 2018 research financed by the University of Queensland, around 15 percent of cat owners experience the loss of their pet during a five-year period. A second conclusion of the study was that if the owner makes a thorough physical search for their missing cat, the odds of locating him or her increase dramatically. The personality of a lost cat has a significant impact on how far away from home they are discovered. According to the findings of the study, lost indoor cats traveled less distances than lost indoor-outdoor cats or lost outdoor-only cats did.

Understanding the habits of a lost cat can also assist you in determining how to locate your missing pet as quickly as feasible.

Top 5 Reasons an Outdoor Cat Gets Lost

Cats are often territorial and creatures of habit, and this is especially true with domestic cats. Outdoor cats, on the other hand, tend to be more autonomous and tend to explore a larger area on a regular basis than indoor cats. The majority of the time, there is a significant reason why a cat who enjoys the outdoors is suddenly unable to find his way back home.

1. Your cat is injured

An outdoor cat can get ill or wounded for a variety of causes, including being involved in a car accident, swallowing poison, or becoming involved in a fight with a dog or another cat, among others. It would be natural for a cat to seek refuge in a place where it may feel comfortable and rehabilitate after suffering an injury. If the cat’s injury becomes deadly, it may succumb to its injuries while hiding in its hiding location. The importance of doing a comprehensive search as soon as possible and covering a larger geographic region cannot be overstated at this point.

2. Your outdoor cat is trapped

Cats have a natural curiosity for learning new things. The person may be having a peek into someone else’s garage or shed, and they may find themselves imprisoned when the owner closes the doors behind them. Cats are also frequently seen stranded on the limbs of trees, where they may have fled after becoming involved in a pursuit.

3. Your cat was escaping a threat

Cats that live outside are free to come and go as they want. If a cat perceives a threat, such as an animal or a moving truck, it will escape the scene and may wind up in a new area of the environment. In the event that a cat feels attacked or finds itself in a new environment, it will follow its natural tendency to flee. Depending on your cat’s disposition, he may take a long time to emerge from hiding and attempt to find his way back home to you. Lost cats will almost certainly emerge from hiding in order to find food.

This is one of the reasons why hunting for a missing cat at dark or morning is a worthwhile endeavor.

4. Your cat was displaced

Depending on the circumstances, your cat may have leapt onto an open car or a parked RV and been mistakenly carried away from its home.

In the worst-case scenario, your cat may have been transferred all the way across the United States. This is why it’s critical that pet cats have up-to-date identification tags on their collars. Finding a cat that has been microchipped might also be beneficial in these cases.

5. Your cat was taken

The probability that someone has abducted your cat exists, either because they believe it is a stray or just because they don’t like cats roaming about the area is a distinct possibility. Perhaps someone came across your cat and assumed it was lost; in this case, they were merely attempting to assist a stray cat in need. If the information on your cat’s ID tag is valid, you will receive a call from the founder as soon as possible.

How to Find a Missing Outdoor Cat

It doesn’t matter what the reason is for your outdoor cat becoming separated from you; you must be proactive in your search efforts in order to locate your cat safely and alive as soon as possible. You may certainly attempt additional tactics to locate your cat, such as: distributing lost cat flyers contacting animal rescue and animal shelters placing an advertisement in the newspaper ads reporting a lost pet to web sites such as A physical search, on the other hand, is still believed to be the most efficient and successful method of locating a misplaced outdoor feline.

1. Search a bit further

According to a research report on search tactics used to locate lost cats, 75 percent of missing cats were located within a 500-meter radius of their last known location. When searching for an indoor cat, a 200-meter radius around the location where the cat was last seen should be adequate. It’s important to broaden your search area if you’re trying to locate an indoor-outdoor cat that has gone missing.

2. Knock door to door

Take into consideration the possibility that your cat is stuck somewhere and will not be able to escape. Asking individuals for permission to check their sheds, below porches, and garages in the event that your cat is hiding in one of these locations may be a good idea in this situation. If your cat has a naturally inquisitive nature, there’s a strong possibility you’ll discover him in someone else’s house. Don’t forget to look up at the rooftops and the trees while you’re hunting.

3. Search all possible hiding places

You may not receive an answer when you call a cat that is in a scared condition as a result of feeling threatened and fleeing to a hiding place. When conducting your search, be sure to look around every corner and look for any possible hiding spots large enough for your cat to burrow inside. Construction sites, parking lots, and alleys should all be checked. Additionally, searching in the dark, when it is quiet, and when you can hear your cat better in case he answers might be beneficial.

4. Report your lost pet to

By submitting a lost cat report to, you may get aid from concerned members of the community. You may publish a listing for free and search the missing animal database to check if anybody has previously seen and reported your lost pet, if this has happened. PawMaw also provides the option to send out a free alert.

Here is more tips on lost outdoor cat

If your cat doesn’t spend nearly as much time indoors as it does outside, it may be a while before you even realize that he has vanished off the face of the earth.

If you want to discover your missing outdoor cat as quickly as possible, the greatest piece of advice you should follow is to begin a physical search within a fair radius of your house. Last but not least, don’t forget about the other crucial techniques for locating a misplaced cat.

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