Losing a loved one and not knowing his or her whereabouts is always a painful experience. If you’re reading this and have lost your cat, I can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through. If your cat is an indoor cat and isn’t used to being outside alone, this can be even more worrying for you. Well, the good news is that there’s hope, according to a ASPCA.org survey to cat owners who lost their cats, 74% of missing cats are recovered. That’s encouraging. To make sure you find your cat I have come up with the ultimate strategy for finding a lost cat. If your cat is missing or you want to be prepared should in case kitty decides to go MIA, this is the guide for you.
Here’s What You Have To Do When Your Cat Goes Missing
I’m guessing it’s been a few hours or days since you last saw Kitty. What do you do now? Below is a detailed missing-cat guide for you to follow when you lose your feline friend.
1. First, Look For Kitty At Home
While this may sound too obvious to be considered a part of the crucial steps to take, many pet owners forget to search their homes. It’s important to understand that not all missing cats are actually lost or want to be found. If you stay in a huge house, this might be the case, and cats are notorious for finding impossible spots to hide and nap.
Before you conclude that your cat has decided to pack up and leave, consider giving your house one last thorough search. Organize a small search party and with everyone holding a flashlight, search all the rooms, the yard, the garage, and even the basement. Turn the house inside out until you can be certain kitty isn’t there. If your cat might have been injured or trapped or is merely hiding, leave her favorite toys out, shake a box of treats, or leave her favorite bedding out in the open. If the weather doesn’t allow it, install a stray cat shelter type outside, making sure you put your cat’s favorite things. Because cats have a great sense of smell, there’s an increased chance of finding her this way.
2. Proceed With Outdoor Tracking Immediately
Now that you’re sure kitty isn’t hiding in the house, you might want to start panicking, but panicking doesn’t solve anything. It’s now time to expand your search and take it outdoors. If you have a microchip installed in your cat’s collar, now would be a great time to contact the company that installed the chip. This way, they can help you track your cat’s location with the power of modern technology. The keyword here is ‘Immediately.’ Because kitty could be venturing into unknown territory, it’s vital to act as fast as possible. The next step is to notify your local animal control agency. If your cat has your phone number printed on its collar, someone might have reported the case, or your cat might have been found.
3. Grab A Few Supplies And Comb Your Neighborhood
It’s more like you’re going hunting, so you need all the supplies you can carry. Because there’s efficiency in the division of labor, organize your family members to carry out group searches. Ensure you all grab enough pictures of your cat (either printed photos or on your smartphone), take flashlights, and take your cat’s favorite treats and toys.
Armed with these supplies, ask yourself, if you were a cat, where would you go? Now search every possible place around the house where kitty would fancy hiding. An excellent place to start would be the dumpster, areas around the house, the neighbor’s yard, bushes, crouch low and check under porches. Ask your immediate neighbors for permission to search their garages, sheds, under parked cars, and gardens. Please provide them with a recent photo of kitty should in case Kitty stops by later.
4. Talk To Pedestrians And Post Fliers Around
While you wait for a report from animal control or the police, you can take your search a little further by posting copies of your missing cat’s photo around the neighborhood with your phone number written boldly. Because cats love their homes and will not do anything to wander too far away on purpose, there’s a huge chance that kitty has been roaming around the neighborhood, and someone somewhere might have seen her. Getting the word out there by talking to people jogging or walking along the street and posting fliers will yield positive results. Someone somewhere must have spotted your cat, and you’ll have a better chance of finding her.
5. Use Social Media To Help Your Search
Because almost everyone is tweeting and posting on their timeline these days, there’s a greater chance of meeting someone who saw your cat on social media. One good move to make is posting about your missing cat in a local Facebook group or other local online community. With the simple push of a button, your post can be retweeted or shared with so many people with minimal effort.
6. Search The Internet
Another way to take advantage of the internet is to search dedicated lost and found directories for pets. One such database for lost pets is Pet FBI, and you can quickly post a lost cat report. There are many other lost and found pet databases on the internet, but the Pet FBI is the largest and oldest database I know. You can also post an ad on Craigslist and monitor these sites for updates.
7. Don’t Give Up
It might have been days now and kitty still hasn’t been found. You feel heartbroken and out of ideas, and you’re considering quitting. Please don’t! All domestic cats are believed to be descendants of the Middle Eastern wildcat, Felis sylvestris, which literally means “cat of the woods.” Your cat has the instincts to survive the harsh world and will most likely be okay. If you give up on your search, you decrease her chances of being found by 50%. So what do you have to do? Keep at it. Keep talking to people, keep checking in with the local animal control or the police, keep sharing pictures with your neighbors, just keep going.
Because there’s no place like home, most missing cats have been reported to return to their homes after many days, weeks, and even months. To ensure your home is still accessible for kitty, leave some food and water outside your door. Use a baby monitor to detect faint meows if kitty eventually comes home. Before you go to bed, go outside and try calling out your cat’s name a couple of times. Try to get some rest afterward and continue the search the next day.
How Can You Prevent Kitty From Going Missing (Again)
As they say, prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips to help you prevent kitty from getting lost again.
1. Microchipping Your Cat
This is by far the best way to ensure your cat can be found, even if kitty is adopted by aliens from Mars. It’s a safe and inexpensive way to safeguard your feline friend as a microchip is an electronic chip that’s usually the size of a grain of rice, and it’s implanted under the skin of your cat. If kitty gets lost and is found by local animal control, the chip can be scanned and immediately provides an ID number for identifying the owner of the cat.
2. Always Have a Current Photograph of Your Kitty
This is also important for making posters, and fliers should kitty go missing.
3. Pay Attention When Opening The Door/Window In Certain Circumstances
You may be used to leave the window open because it has a screen. Maybe your cat is not the sneaky type when you open the door. These simple and routine actions could become a tragedy in certain circumstances. If you know there will come loud noises outside, for example, fireworks, lighting storms, construction machinery, etc. you need to be extremely careful when opening the door or leaving the window open, even if it has a screen.
4. Always Investigate the Different Agencies That Deal with Identifying Lost Pets
Some of these agencies include Aid-A-Pet, Infopet, Petfinders, Pet FBI, and many more.
Finding a lost cat requires patience, lots, and lots of patience. The good news is that most people treat missing cats well, and if a stranger finds your cat, she’ll be treated nicely and safely taken to the local animal control. So you have nothing to worry about. All you have to do is not give up on your feline friends; they’re counting on you not to.