Have you ever lost your indoor cat? Anyone who has lost a pet will tell you it is traumatic. Since most domestic cats still possess much of their ancestral predatory instincts, sometimes they stray farther away than usual hunting birds or mice or even chasing other cats. While felines also use their ancestral instincts to find their way home, they do go missing from time-to-time. If you have ever lost your pet, even for a short period of time, you are all too familiar with that feeling of panic over not knowing where your beloved family member has wandered off to.
Losing your indoor cat can be very stressful, but with some proactive preparation and quick affirmative action, your cat is more than likely to be found and returned to your loving home in no time at all.
Here’s what to do if you’ve lost your cat
One of the easiest ways to track down your lost cat is also the most proactive. Ensure your cat has identification. There are a couple effective options:
Microchip: Technology has permeated all aspects of our lives and using it to help recover a lost cat is one of them. Microchipping pets is commonplace in many areas now, and most vets offer this service. They are about the size of a grain of rice and are inserted subcutaneously (just under the skin) between the shoulder blades. Each microchip contains essential data – think your name and contact information – that is stored in a central database and retrieved with a special a scanner.
Tattoos: You can also have your cat tattooed. No, not quite like that crazy friend of yours and their full sleeves, these cat tattoos are placed on the skin around the groin area with a tattoo pen and, at most, generate a slight tickling sensation on the animal. Your pet is forever inked with a unique ID number that also traces back to your contact information.
If you have purchased a purebred registered cat , at least one of the above methods will have been used by the breeder to identify your pet for registration purposes. However, microchip implants or tattoos are a good option for any pet, and it is a minimal expense considering how well these options work.
ID Tags: The simplest and most cost-effective way to ensure your cat is easy to identify is to put a cute collar and identifying tag on them. An easy-to-read plate makes it simple for a good samaritan to give you a call ASAP without having to locate a vet first. Ideally, your cat should have a microchip or tattoo and an ID tag on them anytime they are outside.
Search the area & put up posters
If your cat goes missing, the first thing you should do is search the surrounding area. Bring treats and call out to them. They could be wandering around in the open, but they might also be scared and hiding, so check places that a cat could tuck into — under vehicles and bushes, along the sides of houses, sheds, etc.
You should also consider searching your neighborhood in the evening and at night. Sometimes a scared cat will be more relaxed when the chaos of the day has settled into the quietness of the night. A more relaxed cat is more likely to respond to you during your search.
Putting up posters around your neighborhood is a great way to enlist the help of others. A poster should include a clear, color picture (or two) of your cat, a brief description of how people can help (do not approach, responds to NAME, please call) and access to your phone number. Posters can go up on community mailboxes, light posts, public fences and even the windows of local businesses (once you’ve received permission, of course).
Use social media
Social media may be a polarizing topic these days, but it sure can help if you’ve lost your cat. Most communities have local Facebook pages or other private apps that allow neighbors to communicate with each other. Many communities also have pages dedicated to lost or missing pets. By posting online, you will ensure that more people know to be on the lookout for your lost cat.
Your post should include the same type of information as was outlined for a poster; clear, color pictures, description, when and where your cat went missing and how they can contact you.
Contact local vets, animal shelters and by-law enforcement
You should inform local vets and animal shelters if you have lost your cat. A lot of people who find missing pets will bring them to these places if contacting the owner is not immediately possible.
You should also contact by-law enforcement as they provide a built-in fleet of people who spend their days in your community keeping an eye out for things, including lost pets.
Hopefully you never have to experience the stress of losing a pet, but if the day ever comes, ensure you have already taken the precautionary step of ID-ing your kitty beforehand and then getting the word out to neighbors and local vets and shelters as soon as possible. Doing so will help you minimize those agonizing moments you and your furry little companion are separated and encourage a speedy and safe reunion.