If you have ever lost your cat it can be an upsetting experience. Most cats don’t actually run away or stray from home. We all know cats like to explore new places, sometimes, though, this could end up with them getting trapped.
They can also get lost if they are investigating new territory, and even sometimes they can be taken away by circumstances not of their own doing. When a cat is ill or injured it may seek haven in a safe dark place but very rarely do cats leave their home, even if badly treated. Try not to panic too much if you can’t find your cat, but start a thorough search as soon as you realise as any delay could put your cat at risk.
It is sometimes advisable to take a minute to think like your cat; after all, you will probably know where it tends to be, and what it tends to do on a day-to-day basis. Cats are excellent at hiding so I would be advise that you look around the house carefully, then double check. Even in spaces you think that a cat couldn’t fit there is a chance that they can. Listen for any sounds of stress, as cats like to explore weird spaces and can be innocently drawn to dark places. If your sure the cat is nowhere in the house, then check your front and back gardens and in the shed or green house if you have one.
If you have recently moved house, it is probably beneficial to check your old house, cats normally have a good sense of direction and if a cat gets lost, they may tend to use their initiative and try to find their way back home to the place they know the best.
If all this is proving fruitless, it may be advisable to ask your neighbours if they have seen or heard anything of your cat, asking them to check their property and gardens if they wouldn’t mind. You will find that most neighbours will co-operate. If you get on really well with your neighbours, ask them if you can check their house for yourself as a frightened cat may only respond to a friendly voice.
If you still haven’t found your cat, please try not to panic, as this will cause you to stress and you will probably miss some ideas that you can try. If time is dragging on and your cat is nowhere to be seen it may be an idea to stick a few posters up in your local vicinity, or a postcard in your local newsagents, these should describe the cat, its name, when it was last scene and your name and phone number. If the cat is missing even longer, place a ‘lost’ advertisement in your local paper; there is normally a ‘lost and found’ section in the classifieds.
I hope that you don’t have to get to this stage, but if you do, still keep in contact with your neighbours to see if they have noticed somebody with a cat who didn’t have one before. Sometimes children find cats playing or away from an environment and assume that they are stray, taking them home only to be put outside by the parent and then finding themselves in a strange environment and lost.
As hard as it is for you, it is important not to rule out that your cat has been mistreated. As much as you love your cat, there are people out there that don’t; I would even go as far as they actually hate cats for a reason known only to them. They think it is amusing to dump a cat in another area, and even worse, some think that it is funny to cause physical injury to a cat. If you have a local animal shelter in your area, it would probably be an advantage to phone or visit them, to see if any cats have recently been brought there. You could even ask the shelter if there is anybody in the local area who is known by them to have a history of wishing cats harm.
If all this is still failing to locate your cat go over your checks again, sometimes an injured cat may choose to withdraw into a quite place to care for their injuries. The sooner a cat can get medical treatment the better the chances of it surviving.
Think about the last time you saw your cat, and try to remember anything from that time. Maybe you had a van or lorry driver drop something off with you and your cat climbed into the back. Ring the company up to see if they have found anything, after all they wouldn’t know who the cat belonged to as they probably do umpteen drops a day. Try talking to your postman to see if he has seen anything, your postman has a better chance of visiting houses in your neighbourhood and may be able to spot something whilst doing his job.
If you feel the need to offer a reward, I offer a word of warning, whilst researching this article I came across the story of a couple whose Persian cat went missing and after fruitless searches they offered a ?50 reward, only to be phoned by a man who had found their cat and wanted ?100 and was affectively holding the cat hostage. They ended up paying the money. If you do offer a reward and this scenario happens I would seriously recommend calling the Police.
I have mixed views about Micro-chipping, and as yet I am unsure what to recommend, if you have researched the subject and feel that it may aid you find your cat should your cat get lost then go ahead and get your cat micro-chipped. It is a reliable way of stamping your ownership on your cat should any disputes arise, but it will not guarantee the safe return of a lost cat, but then again, nothing guarantees the safe return.
Finally don’t give up the search too soon. Keep looking in the same spots time and time again, and don’t feel overcome with anxiety. Cats are tough cookies and can last for many days without food and water.
I hope that you read this as an article only, and not as something to refer to should you be in the unfortunate position of losing a cat.