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When your cat goes missing, it is devastating. Not knowing where your cat is or if they’re okay can be unbearable. When cats wander off, they do tend to have a good sense of direction and often find their way home. However, you can definitely help in getting your furry friend home quicker! Here are some practical and effective tips for how to find a lost cat.

 

How to Find A Lost Cat

  • Double-check your house
  • Contact local shelters
  • Call the microchip company
  • Hang up flyers
  • Spread the word
  • Post online
  • Put food outside along with a familiar scent

 

First, Double-Check Your House

First, double-check your entire house to make sure your cat isn’t hiding in a closet or in an obscure place. Many cats that are presumed lost end up being found inside of the couch or bed frame. If you’re pretty sure your cat didn’t get out of the house, try to lure your cat out by shaking their favorite toy or treat bag before you panic. This can take a bit of time if your cat is scared. If your cat does suddenly reappear inside of your home (acting as if you haven’t been calling their name for an hour), it’s a good idea to pay attention to where they came from. It’s important to know their hiding spot in case of an emergency.

Contact Local Shelters

Contact your local Humane Society (and other local shelters) as soon as you can. They will ask you for a photo and information about your pet. You’ll also be able to take a look at the cats they have found recently. In addition, if someone finds or spots a cat that looks like yours and then calls the Humane Society, they will contact you. Many shelters have websites, so you’ll be able to look online to see if a cat that might be yours has arrived.

Call The Microchip Company

If someone brings a stray cat to a vet, one of the first things the vet will do is check for a microchip! If one is found, they will read the chip and then call the company with the chip’s information. Most vets offer this service for free and most animal rescuers are aware of this. If you lose your cat, call the microchip company to verify that your information is in their records so that they can contact you if your pet is found.

Lost Cat

Hang Up Flyers

Put up posters in places in your neighborhood that will get a lot of visibility like outside of a grocery store. Even Starbucks has a board, usually towards the back, where anyone can hang up a flyer. Make sure your phone number and general location are on the poster. Also, include a description and a recent photo—preferably color—of your cat. Make sure any posters placed outside are in a waterproof sleeve or taped over with clear tape.

Spread The Word

Knock on your neighbors’ doors and ask them to keep an eye out for your cat. Give your neighbor a poster and your phone number. Chances are, the cat hasn’t wandered off far, so there’s a good chance your neighbors can help. Also, talk to other people who frequent the area like your local mail carrier or any local businesses!

Post Online

Publish “lost cat” posts on as many websites as you can find. Even if you aren’t on Facebook, create a free account and make a public post with the title “lost cat” followed by your city name. Also, include your cat’s name along with some more information about your cat. When people find what looks like a lost pet, they will often look on Facebook and will find your post. Also, if you do a search on Facebook, there are local groups in many cities for posting about lost or found animals. There are also apps/websites like PawBoost and Nextdoor that can be very helpful with getting the attention of your local community.

Put Cat Food Outside Along With a Familiar Scent

Put your cat’s food & water just outside of your home along with a familiar object like their favorite cat bed. If you have a garage, you can leave it open a little so that your cat can enter, and put the bowl of food and water inside. This can be especially effective if it rains or snows. Just be very careful to watch for the cat as you drive in and out! When cats get disoriented, familiar scents can help them find their way home.  Keep watch for your cat regularly (and keep in mind, you might get some other feline visitors too). You can also try adding a pet camera with the motion detection on.

Related: How To Help An Outdoor Cat Adjust To Life Indoors

Follow These Tips For How To Find A Lost Cat!

Lastly, don’t give up! Cats can find their way home after weeks or even months. Keep on calling local shelters, posting online, and talking to people in your community! Getting your beloved pet back really does take a village. Luckily, we have many tools available nowadays for reuniting with our lost pets.