Is your cat lost?
Cats love to explore, smell the fresh air, chase birds and stretch out in the sunshine. But sometimes they can tend to stray away from the home, which can lead to worry. It’s important to remember that even cats with a regular routine can disappear for days at a time, returning later with no hassle. Also, cats love to hide in small places – from wardrobes, under beds and sofas, behind tumble dryers to garages and outhouses.
The first thing to do is to remain calm and check in and around your home. Call out there name and check in all of their favourite cosy spots they like to hide. One place in particular that cats love to hide is under cars as the engine is usually warm which they tend to like. Sometimes they even sleep on top on the car bonnet for the warmth. Make sure you check this and pull your cat out gently. The next step should be to ensure your neighbours are aware. Ask them to check their property, sheds and garages and keep a look out for your missing cat.
What should I do if my cat is lost?
Keeping a list of phone numbers pinned to a board or attached to your fridge is a good idea. Download our lost cat checklist http://www.cats.org.uk/uploads/documents/COM_1029-L_Lost_checklist.pdf
Speak to your local Cats Protection branch to find out if your cat has been listed as missing, as well as contacting any vet practices in the area. Although it is a difficult phone call to make, it is also a good idea to speaking to your local council’s Environmental Health department. They’re likely to keep a record of cats filled on the roads and although distressing, it is worth ruling it out.
How should I advertise that my cat is missing?
If you’re able to, make some flyers up to place around your local area. Include a good description of your missing cat with the gender, age, colour, breed and any distinguishing features they may have as well as a photo. Include a contact telephone number & perhaps an email address. With permission, you’ll be able to put up your flyers in local shops, vets and notice boards.
Social media sites are packed with great resources to help track down your cat, as well as offering an opportunity to advertise your missing pet. Post on the Facebook pages of Animal Search UK and CatAware as well as other local animal charities. You might also want to post on your local community’s Facebook page as well as your own to attract the attention of those living in the local area.
How can I find my missing cat?
• Cats have a strong sense of smell – try putting out your cat’s blanket or bedding to entice it out of hiding
• Cats are generally more active at night, especially in hotter weather. Go out with a family member or friend when it is dark and call for your cat by name
• Leave a bowl of water out or some food. Although you might find it attracts other animals, it is still well worth putting your cat’s favourite dish out. Try a tasty treat such as tuna to entice your missing cat from its hiding place. Try dinging a spoon against a can or open a sachet outside as cats have very good hearing and associate the sound with the ritual of being fed.
How can I stop my cat from going missing?
• Keep your cat in at night. Even if your cat is particularly restless before bedtime, a little bit of exercise through playing should help them settle in for the night.
• Make sure your cat is micro-chipped and the information is kept up to date. Cats Protection believes all owned cats, even indoor ones, should be identified in order to trace their owner should they become lost or injured
• You might want to identify your cat with a collar with your contact details attached. Cats Protection advises the use of a quick-release or snap-opening collar in preference to an elasticated one. Follow safety precautions when using cat collars; it must be fitted correctly. Two fingers should fit snuggly underneath it to prevent injury
Above all, it’s important to remain optimistic and hopeful that you will find your beloved pet. There are often tales of cats being found and reunited with owners, sometimes years after they have gone missing. For more advice, speak to our Helpline team on 03000 121212 or go to http://www.cats.org.uk/lost-cat