Here’s what to do if you ever find yourself needing to find a lost cat…
1. Walk slowly and call out your cat’s name. A lost cat will probably not come out of hiding, but will whimper and cry. If they’ve just run out, leave the door (or wherever they left by open as they may be just out for a walk and will come back soon)
2. Make familiar sounds likely to attract your cat: Shake a box of her favorite dry cat food or open a can.
3. Search your neighborhood thoroughly late at night, including your old neighborhood if you’ve recently moved. Be cautious around cars and garbage cans. Tell your neighbours to be on the lookout as sometimes cats are simply next door.
4. Place fliers that give a good description of your cat around your neighborhood. Be sure to make small tear off tabs at the bottom with the cats name and any identifying marks, collars etc, your name and your phone number. Many times people don’t respond to the fliers because they can’t remember the phone number!
5. Check the Found Cats section of the newspaper daily.
6. Check with your local animal shelter, vet and humane society. Ideally visit them daily or provide them with a picture as these shelters are often understaffed. The offer of a cash reward may also help.
7. Place familiar smelling items such as T-shirts you’ve worn and not washed in a cardboard box, then place the box in your yard, as far away from the house as possible. Regularly check it late at night and early in the morning.
These days its compulsory in many countries to put a tag or microchip on your cat to increase the chances of recovery. A microchip is an identification device inserted beneath your cat’s skin. All humane societies and agencies have scanners to read the chip. I highly recommend their use.
Very scared cats will not come when called. Something that works well for this is to sprinkle flour around areas where the cat might be. Then look for paw prints and follow them. Another point to note is that if others in your area are feeding your cat, or she doesn’t have a collar on then its more likely she’ll temporarily run away to some well meaning neighbor’s house.
Tell your neighbours to not feed your cat and preferably keep your cat inside or at the very least observe where he goes so you know his favorite places in case you need to go searching for him at a later date.
One of the best sites that shows you all of this and more is Ultimate Cat Secrets, put together by top Cat Trainer, Mary Mathews. Click here for more information