Advice for lost and found cats

If you have lost your cat:

Don’t panic! Cats can disappear for days at a time and return with no trouble.

Look in…
  • all rooms, cupboards, boxes and household appliances, eg washing machines
  • gardens and hedges – he may be hurt, frightened and hiding nearby.  Keep calling him, particularly at night when it’s quiet. Put out his used litter tray as cats can smell this from a distance. Put out a bowl of water and some tasty smelly food
  • sheds and garages
  • vehicles
  • the lost and found section of your local newspaper
  • your microchip company (and make sure your registered contact details are up to date)
  • local veterinary practices
  • neighbours, using leaflets – or even better, talk to them directly to ensure they check garages etc – or better still, ask if you can check there yourself (pay particular attention where neighbours are away, as cats can get locked in by accident)
  • us and other local cat charities
  • as many 'lost pet' websites that you can find
  • the cleansing department of your local council
  • your postman, milkman and newspaper delivery person
  • Facebook groups such as ‘Lost and Found Pets in High Wycombe and Surrounding Areas’, ‘Harveys Army South’, ‘Lost and Found Pets UK’
  • posters on trees, distribute leaflets to shops, post office, garages.
  • in local schools, newspapers, radio
  • on local noticeboards, including a recent photograph of your missing cat
  • offer a reward
  • the earlier you report your cat is missing, the more likely it is that it will be found
  • we know that losing a cat can be very traumatic for you.  If you need some practical information and emotional support, please call our free Paws to Listen service on 0800 024 9494 or email
  • when your cat does return, DO inform any organisations who have been asked to look for it
  • have your cat microchipped!
If you have found a cat:

  • Only feed the cat if it is thin and starving
  • See if it looks like any on our lost page, or any listed on the 'lost cat' places above (eg Facebook)
  • Knock on the doors of houses nearby to see if anybody knows who might own the cat
  • Take the cat to a vet who will check for a microchip (free of charge), and you can ask if anyone has reported a similar cat missing
  • Put a paper collar on the cat - try this a few times if the collar comes off
  • Produce some 'cat found' leaflets to be distributed in the area it was found
  • Contact us and other local cat rescues, just in case anybody reports their cat as missing to us
Doing these things is often very successful in reuniting a cat with its owners and it is important that this advice is followed before Cats Protection takes the cat in for rehoming.