What to Do When Your Cat Goes Missing

Hug catIf you’ve moved house, it’s not uncommon for your cat to get lost, simply because kitty is unsettled and doesn’t know the new neighbourhood. This can be extremely distressful for both the owners and the cat, but the important thing is to try not to panic immediately.

Although the words “Keep calm” will be difficult to hear when your beloved cat goes missing, it’s important that you keep your wits about you and follow these simple steps.

  1. Go through your house like the FBI and look in places such as cupboards, under beds, and even in outside storage areas. Kitty may just want to get away from all the noise and confusion and lie low until things calm down a bit.
  2. If you still cannot find her, take a recent photo of her and make a “Lost” poster (include a reward if you like), clearly indicating your contact details (cell phone and landline numbers) as well as any distinguishing marks which could help identify her, especially if she is wearing a collar. You can also walk around your neighbourhood if you feel safe to do so and go door to door, leaving your contact details with your neighbours.
    Lost Cat
  3. Interestingly enough, a cat will often return to her old home, so even if she’s not there yet, you would want to let the new owners know and perhaps ask them if they wouldn’t mind leaving her usual window open, especially if they don’t have cats themselves. Leave your contact details with them, as well as the neighbours. There have been many reported cases of cats going back to their old homes and deciding to move in with the neighbours!
  4. Phone all the rescue centres in your area to see if anybody has brought your cat in. It is important that you do this every couple of days. Do the same with all your local veterinary clinics.
  5. If you live in an estate, speak to the body corporate or home owner’s association to enquire about whether they have an SMS or email service that could be used to send a bulk message out to the residents. In the same token, should there be a weekly or monthly newsletter that goes out, enquire about placing an advert in this newsletter.
  6. Post a missing pet notice on your Facebook page and ask your friends to share this. As the shelters in your area to post the message from their Facebook pages if they have a Facebook page.
  7. A good time to go looking for your cat is at night, when it is quieter. She may be trapped somewhere and you will be able to hear her cries when you call for her.
  8. If it is cold, open the bonnet of your car to make sure she hasn’t climbed up inside there for warmth.
  9. And always keep a pen and paper handy nearby so that you can quickly note down the finder’s details when they call.
  10. If you happen to FIND somebody else’s cat, and the cat keeps returning to you and looks otherwise healthy, try taping a note to her collar with your contact details so that when she returns home (which most cats actually do) that the owner will be able to see where her kitty has been, and she can then also contact you to allay your worries before you take the kitty to the nearest shelter

-Article posted by Phillipa Mitchell

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