Any pet owner will experience heartbreak when they learn that their cat has escaped the house or hasn’t returned as normal.
Cats like to explore and are independent and inquisitive. They have been known to dart out doors or slip out windows.
The earlier you can react to the occurrence, the better, as most cats prefer to stay close to home.
You can boost your chances of getting reunited with your cat by doing these 8 methods to look for it.
1. Rustle a treat
Your cat may still be close to home so the first thing to do is search close to the house while calling their name and loudly shaking a bag of their favourite treats.
Your cat can be enticed to return by the sound of the treats rustling.
Note:When calling your cat, use a calm voice to encourage them to come home because if you sound anxious or frantic, they might not feel comfortable leaving their hiding place.
2. Pour food into their bowl
Use your cat’s food bag or tin to make noise at their regular meal time so that, if they are nearby, they will hear that it is time for supper and, hopefully, come back.
3. Search your home thoroughly
Making sure your cat isn’t hiding someplace in the house should be your first step because there are various hiding places throughout the house.
Check the attic and basement as well as below furniture, in cupboards and wardrobes, cabinets, and beds.
4. Search your local area
A comprehensive search of the immediate region is the best course of action because, according to a research by Kat Albrecht, the majority of cats are located within 500 meters of their site of escape.
Calling your pet’s name will help you locate them as you speak with your neighbors and look for potential hiding places.
5. Ask your neighbours to check their homes and garages
Your cat might be in a neighbor’s house or garage if they haven’t yet returned home.
Talk to your neighbors and urge them to check to see if your cat isn’t someplace on their property because cats are inquisitive and love to explore.
In order for them to get in touch with you if your cat is found, provide them with a description and your phone number.
6. Leave strong & familiar scents in the garden
Because cats have such a keen sense of smell, leaving some of their belongings outdoors, such as old bedding, a favorite toy, or used cat litter, can aid in their return.
7. Alert your neighbourhood:
It’s best if there are several people watching out for your cat. Share the news that your cat is missing so that others can assist in your search.
Here are some actions you can take to inform your community effectively:
1. Post a picture on the nextdoor app
A excellent place to communicate with your neighborhood is the Nextdoor App, which you can get from the Google Play Store or the App Store.
- Sign up using your address and email address then find your neighbourhood and fill out the required information. You will need to verify your address and email address before you can post but don’t worry, this is quick and easy.
- Look at posts from neighbours who might have found your pet.
- Create a post – include key information including good photos, when your cat went missing, what your cat looks like, what someone should do if they find your cat (e.g. keep their distance, don’t chase), and your cell phone number.
2. Put posters up of your cat in the area
Making neighborhood residents aware of your cat’s disappearance is beneficial because it’s possible that your cat is nearby.
A decent photo of your cat, their name, description, the time they were last seen, any pertinent information regarding potentially fatal medical or nutritional issues, and your contact information should all be included on a “lost cat” sign.
The information on the poster should be clear and simple, and the poster should be large.
Place the posters in high-traffic areas where many people will see them, such as on public message boards and near playgrounds, busy roads, veterinary clinics, and dog parks.
8. Check & alert cat rescue centres
In order to find out whether they have received a cat that matches your cat’s description and to let them know your cat is missing, contact your neighborhood animal control, humane societies, vets, and cat rescue shelters.
Make sure your local SPCAs and rescue organizations have your contact information as well as a photo and description of your cat in case someone finds a lost cat and needs to contact them.
What are the chances of finding a lost cat?
In accordance with a 2018 study, one-third of lost cats are located within seven days of going missing, and half are located within the first 30 days.
In total, 61% of cats were discovered to be alive in the first year.
Although there are fewer chances of finding a missing cat as time passes, don’t give up; there have been instances of cats coming home or being located years after they were last seen.
How long can a lost cat survive without food?
In general, if a cat has access to water, they can go up to two weeks without food.
Remember that there’s a strong probability your cat is getting some food when you’re not home (they could be hunting small prey or finding food around the neighbourhood).
How long can a lost cat survive without water?
A cat can go three days without drinking on average (this is likely to be shorter if they are in hot weather or unwell).
How To Find A Lost Cat In Your House
Cats are excellent at hiding and can fit into the smallest hiding spaces.
Do a thorough search of the house if you believe you have a cat or kitten but are unsure of where to look.
Ensure your cat hasn’t hidden in the drywall, garage, basement, rafters, or other crawl spaces by looking under and inside furniture, inspecting large equipment like the washing machine and dishwasher, and checking large appliances like these.
Put out some enticing food to assist draw them out of their hiding place if you haven’t been able to find them. If this doesn’t work, you might have more luck using a flashlight at night to locate your cat since you can see the cat’s eyes reflecting the light.
How To Find A Lost Cat In The Woods
Mark the location where you last saw the cat if it has been lost in the woods because it is likely that they will be found there and you don’t want to get lost.
Use food and your voice to call the cat to come back to you.
If the cat is lost in the woods, mark the spot where you last saw it because it is possible that it will be found there and you don’t want to get lost.
To get the cat to come back to you, call to it with food and your voice.
How To Find A Lost Cat With a microchip
If your cat is microchipped and is found, a passerby can bring it to a veterinarian or animal shelter, where the chip will be read and you will be called (as long as your contact information is up to date).
This implies that once your cat is located, you will soon be reunited.
If your cat is found by someone else without a microchip, it will be far more difficult for you to be recognized as the cat’s owner.
So that people are aware that your cat is missing and so that you may be notified if they are located, it is crucial to get in touch with any nearby shelters and veterinarians, put up posters, and post online or on the nextdoor app.
How To Reduce The Risk Of Your Cat Getting Lost
1. Keep them indoors
Keeping your cat indoors will help prevent them from being lost because the majority of missing cats are outside or have access to both indoors and outside.
If you do allow your cat to go outside, be careful to do it in a safe area or keep them close by by using a harness and leash.
2. Ensure they feel safe, content & secure
Provide your cat with all the amenities they require at home, such as food, water, hiding spaces, beds or resting areas, scratching posts, toys, and access to a few different rooms.
Ensure that their litter box is placed in a peaceful area so that they can feel secure when using the restroom (this is a time when they feel most vulnerable, so avoid placing the litter tray in an area with a lot of noise or foot activity).
By interacting and playing with your cat every day to strengthen your link and promote natural behaviors like stalking and pouncing on toys, you can assist your cat in feeling pleased.
A content cat will exhibit its natural instincts, be engaged by its environment (you might see them staring out the window or perched on a perch keeping an eye on what’s going on), purr, meow, and seek affection, use the litter box, and have a good appetite.
If your cat is happy, they won’t want to flee and, if they do, they’ll stay near to home if they do venture outside.
If you are having guests over or throwing a dinner party, for example, place your cat in their favorite room with their food, water, bed, litter box, toys, and scratching post and keep them there for the remainder of the night. Cats don’t enjoy a change in routine or unknown people.
This will ease their anxiety about the house guests and prevent your cat from running out the front door as people come and go.
When celebrating fireworks on holidays like July 4th in the United States or November 5th in the UK, think about taking comparable safety precautions.
3. Use a cat tracker
When you don’t know where your cat is, a cat tracker will help you find them quickly and simply. It will also provide you additional peace of mind.
Choose a cat tracker that fits your demands and your budget from the several that are available on the market.
No matter how far away your cat is, GPS trackers can provide you with precise real-time tracking data despite their higher cost.