Tips on How to Find a Lost Cat

How to find a lost cat. What to do when your cat is missing. Steps to take to get your lost cat back home. Places to look for a lost or missing cat. How long do animal shelters keep stray cats before putting them to sleep? What to include on a lost cat poster. Who to contact when a cat is missing or lost? Tips on recovering a lost pet cat.
Home & Garden > Pet Supplies

If your cat has gone missing there are several steps to go through to help you find it.

Act Fast

You might think that it is okay to wait a few days to see if it returns on its own. This is not a good idea. If your cat was hit by a car and in a veterinarian's office someplace chances are they are not doing anything for it other than keeping it comfortable. This is because in most areas there is a 72 hour law, meaning they cannot do anything for your pet for 72 hours. So if you wait, your pet could be suffering.

Another reason why you should not “wait a few days” is because if your cat has found itself in an animal shelter, or pound, they legally have the right to “dispose” of it after 72 hours if no owner has come forth (either by euthanasia, or putting it up for adoption).

Other fates await a lost cat, it could be stuck someplace, it could easily suffer from dehydration if it cannot get water. There are no good reasons to “Wait to see if it comes back on its own”. Act now to find your lost cat.

Make Phone Calls

You will immediately want to phone the animal shelters, pound, and by-law department in your area. You need to leave a description of your lost cat with every place that accepts stray cats. The description should be the color, hair length, gender, and so forth. The local by-law department is often responsible for picking up cats that have been hit on the road (not necessarily dead), they should be called as well.

Call your local radio stations, some have lost and found recorded phone lines were you can list your missing pet, and listen to recordings of found pets.

Walk Around Looking for the Lost Cat

Walk around your neighborhood. Put a small note in the mail boxes alerting neighbors that your cat is missing. Your note should mention the color of the cat and its hair length, most people won't know gender, and if you say it had a collar on, they may be confused if they find the cat after it lost its collar. Include your name, phone number, and address. Ask people to check in their garages and sheds.

Call your cats name, and listen for meowing. If the cat has gotten itself trapped in a garage, or shed, it may meow. Never trespass while looking for your cat. Look on the road and particularly along the side of the road and under bushes. If your cat was hit by a car it may have crawled under a bush. Check the back alleys if you have them in your area.

If your cat is an indoor only cat it probably did not go far and is hiding. If your cat is not neutered, it may have gone looking for a mate, and could be 3, or more, blocks away. Generally cats are missing within 2 blocks of their home – with a big exception. Sometimes neighbors are angry at cats in their yard, they may pick up a cat and take it to another place of the city (or country) and leave it.

Leave Food Out

You can leave a bit of canned cat food outside, it is not necessarily going to bring your cat home, but if your cat does come home when you are asleep, it will encourage your cat to stick around a bit longer.  If your cat is normally an indoor only cat, you might also want to leave a used towel out, or something that smells familiar.

two cats

After 24 Hours

If your cat is still missing after 24 hours you can also call your local newspaper, many offer free lost and found pet ads.

Go to the animal shelters and check their “found” cats for yourself. Many time owners describe a missing cat slightly different than the shelter describes a found one so the connection is not always made. Leave a picture of your lost cat for the shelter to attach to your cat's Lost Report. If the staff have been busy they may not have made the connection between our lost cat and one that has been found. Visiting the shelter for yourself is a good idea, and you may want to do this every few days.

Put up posters of your lost cat, including a photo, your name and phone number. You may offer a reward. It is not uncommon for people to find “stray” cats and decide to keep them. As well sometimes children bring home a pet and try to keep it telling their parents a friend gave it to them, your poster will let the parent know this is not true.

Call the veterinarians in your area. The vets are suppose to call the shelter when an injured stray cat comes in to them, however sometimes this step gets missed so you should touch base with them too.

Walk your neighborhood again.

If your cat is normally an indoor only cat, it might be terrified to be outside, and could be hard to catch, even by you.  Setting a cat trap my be an option.

Never Assume

  • If your cat has a collar and identification, never assume it will stay on.
  • Just because your cat has a microchip, or tattoo, do not assume that a person who finds the cat will be aware of such.
  • If a similar cat is found miles from your home never assume it is not your cat.
  • If your cat has been missing for a long time, never assume it will not return, often somebody else has taken your cat into their home. They “assumed” it was an unwanted stray, it may return to you sometime.

When you do find your lost cat, be sure to remove all posters, and call the shelters to let them know they can remove your Lost Cat Report from their books.

Further Reading

How to Describe a Lost Cat

What to do when you Find a Stray Pet

4 comments

Add a comment

0 answers +0 votes
Post comment Cancel
Lorena Williams
0
56 answers Posted on Apr 13, 2011
This comment has 0 votes  by
deepblue
0
5 answers Posted on Apr 13, 2011
This comment has 0 votes  by
Jerry Walch
0
246 answers Posted on Apr 13, 2011
This comment has 0 votes  by
john doe
0
155 answers Posted on Apr 12, 2011
This comment has 0 votes  by

Related articles

Why Do Cats Pee on Beds, Towels, and Dirty Laundry?

Some cat owners will have a strange thing happen at some time or another... their cat will pee on their bed. We all know cats are suppose to urinate in their litter box, but what are the reasons that some don't? Some of the places that cats will select to urinate, other than their litter box, ...

How to Make Homemade Dog Food

The past few years the quality of many of the commercial dog food brands has come in to question. Many dog foods contain corn, which is nothing but filler, questionable meat bi-products, chemicals and preservatives. Multiple dog food scares have left owners uncertain on what brands are safe to feed ...

Why Do Cats Kill Mice and Not Eat Them? Is It Okay if My Cat Eats Mice?

Cats are natural predators. If they see something moving they are likely to chase it. This applies to birds, cat toys, toes under blankets, and of course – mice. Cats are true carnivores, they need to be good hunters in order to survive. While our house cats might dream about taking down a...

How to Use Sevin Dust For Cats With Fleas

Fleas are a big threat when we have pets. They can cause anemia and the spread of tapeworms. Many flea control methods are available for dogs, cats, the home and yard. In order to get rid of your flea problem with your cat, the pet as well as its habitat should be treated. However, cats can be more ...

14 Gigantic-looking Long-legged and Longhaired Dogs: The Tallest in the World

The 14 Tallest Longhaired Dogs in the World Some dog owners and enthusiasts prefer longhaired or moderately longhaired dog because they are more appealing and more beautiful although they require more time in maintaining and grooming them. Others prefer shorthaired dogs because they are easier to m...

Costs of Owning a Pet Tiger

Many people think that having a pet tiger is a great idea, but most people can not afford to care for a tiger properly, let alone buy one. Even if you can buy one, pay for its feed, provide it with enough space, is a tiger really a good pet for you? Let us find out. For the most part this article i...

Pomchi Mix Breed Facts, Temperament & Training

About the Pomchi The Pomchi is not a breed of dog, rather it is a mixed breed dog (a designer dog), the cross between a Pomeranian and a Chihuahua. They are small dogs and can either lean towards being more Pomeranian like or more Chihuahua like. The Pomchi will often have long hair, although not ...

What to Do when a Dog is Hit by a Car and Killed on the Road

If you have witnessed a dog get run over, and killed, on the road, or if you were a driver who hit and killed a dog, or even if you are the owner of a dog who was hit and killed, you may be wondering what to do, and who is financially liable for what. Witnessing a Dog get Hit If you witness a dog ...

Normal Bathroom Habits for Dogs

Many new dog owners wonder how often their dog may need to go to the bathroom. This is a good thing to consider if a person wants to be sure they have enough time to take their dog out when needed, but there is not a simple answer. Puppies Puppies have a poor ability to hold it in for long. A rule...

What Causes Hair Loss on a Cat's Tail?

The correct name for hair loss in alopecia. Is your cat missing hair on the top of his tail? This could be caused by many things, many people suspect fleas, mites, or even ringworm, but the most common cause of hair loss on top of a cats tail is a condition often referred to as “Stud tail&rd...

What to Do if Your Cat Has Blood in Its Urine

Blood in a cat's urine can be a sign of many things and there really is no home remedy for this problem. The first thing you need to do is get your cat to the veterinarian. Your veterinarian might suggest you bring the cat in, or bring in a urine sample. How do I know if my Cat has Blood in its Uri...

Awesomely Unique Tailless and Short-tailed Dog Breeds

Some dogs are naturally born tailless – absence of the tail while some breed of dogs’ tail are docked or shorten artificially by cutting. Tailless dogs and dogs with short tail are unique-looking are preferred by people wants to own a peculiar-looking breed of dog. Here are some of the ...

Is Goat's Milk Safe for Cats to Drink?

By now most people know that cats should not have cow's milk. Cats love the taste but most cats are lactose intolerant, some get stomach cramps, others get diarrhea, and others suffer from constipation. Additionally the calcium content of cow's milk is linked to causing the formation of crystals a...

The Cutest and Most Remarkable Long-bodied But Short-legged Breeds of Dog

The Prettiest and Cutest Dogs with the Shortest Legs There are hundred different breeds of dogs from around the world. These dogs largely differ in size, color, appearances and may other traits but they all have one thing in common – they are very loyal pets; hence regarded as man’s bes...

Lovely Ticked, Speckled and Marbled With Brown Dog Breeds

Dog breeds with spots and dots are absolutely unique and handsome. They can be easily identified because of their unique coat pattern and design. Some dogs with spots and speckle are the results of cross breeding of particular dog breeds. The list of dogs below are characterized by brown spots, spec...

Should I Be Concerned if My Cat Eats Ants? Will It Get Sick?

Kitty is a Hunter There is no immediate cause for alarm when a cat eats ants. In the first place, ants are exotic delicacies safely consumed by humans in some parts of the world. So per se, don’t be overly alarmed if kitty decides to have a sampling of this delicacy. There are even cat owners...

How to Find Homes for Kittens That You Cannot Keep

If you have a mother cat that has had a litter of kittens and you are unable to keep them, there are several possible solutions. If possible you should keep the kittens indoors with the mother, until they are at eight weeks of age (six weeks is the earliest they can be weaned). Giving Kittens Away ...

The Top 18 Tallest Dog Breeds in the World

These Are the Certified Tallest Dog Breeds in the World The list of dogs below is the certified tallest dogs on the planet in terms of height. So, if you are looking for the tallest dog breeds for pet, this is the perfect site for you. On this particular article, you will find the tallest breed o...

Why is My Cat Not Using Its Litter Box?

One of the most stressful things cat owners encounter is when their beloved feline stops using the litter box and starts making messes around the house. There are several different reasons why cats stop using their litter box, and therefore several different solutions. Owner Error The most co...

World's Most Popular and Recognized Long-legged and Tall Purebred Cats

If there are longhaired, shorthaired, heavily built and small sized cat breeds, just like dogs, there are also long-legged and slender breeds of cat. There are only few long-legged cat breeds to choose from. Here are some of them. All the cat breeds which were included on the list are all show cats ...

Complications That Can Arise from Spaying a Cat

Cat Spaying Overview Cat spaying, also referred to as female neutering, desexing and female sterilization, is a surgical operation performed by a veterinarian to take out the reproductive system of female cats. The organs removed consist of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. This procedure i...

The Heavily Built Ones: Top 15 World's Largest Dogs By Weight

Certified Heavyweights in the Dog Kingdom Do you like huge and gigantic dog pet? There are several large breeds of dog to choose from such as the Saint Bernard, Tibetan Mastiff, English Mastiff, Tosa, Pyrenees Mastiff, Bully Kutta, Newfoundland, Great Dane, American Mastiff, Kuvasz, Kangal, Landsee...

Are Pig Ears Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Dogs love chewing on pig ears (real ears of pigs you can buy in pet supply stores) but are these safe for your dog to eat?  Let us look at the risks and dangers of letting a dog eat, or chew, a pig ear.  Pig ears are a fairly new treat offered for dog owners to feed their dogs, they are ...

Most Common Health Problems in Persian Cats

Not all long haired cats are Persians, but many do have some Persian breeding. Purebred Persian cats are prone to some health problems and if you own a Persian cat, or are thinking of getting one, you will want to be aware of these issues so you can watch out for them. Hairballs Naturally, being ...

How to Get Rid of Smelly Tear Stains on Your Dog's Face

I own a nine month old pure bred Maltese myself and this has been an ongoing battle since day one. We have tried everything and anything people have told us (including the vet!) and nothing, by itself, really works. However, a combination of treatments really does the trick and you will be able to m...

Does Garlic or Parsley Get Rid of Cat Worms?

Overview Parasitic worms could be devastating to your cats because they can harm their health and make them extremely sick. Some worms common to cats are roundworms, tape worms and others. These parasites can make your felines feel uncomfortable. Many pet owners prefer to give their cats' natural h...

Stress Trauma on Your Cat: Residual Effects Of Stress & Anxiety

Sometimes there are traumatic occurrences in our lives that we in due time do overcome . . . but when it comes to our pets, trauma can have a more lasting effect on them. They can’t exactly communicate “in words” to us so we have to look for signs to know how they feel and how to ...

Best Dog Food for a Chiweenie

The Chiweenie, a combination of dachshund and chihuahua, is one of the most popular mixed breed dogs. This playful dog requires a lot of energy without the need to eat a lot of food. Eating a lot can make it gain weight that its relatively small body can’t handle. You need to get a dog food pr...

Most Common Health Problems of Pit Bull Dogs

Every breed of dog has some health problems they are prone to. It is always good for dog owners to be aware of the problems their dog may encounter. In some cases if an owner is aware of the potential for some problems they may be able to try to prevent them, in other cases they may just select a ...

Can Pedigreed Black Labrador Retrievers Have White Markings?

The Labrador retriever is the most popular purebred dog in the United States.  This popularity has not always been good for the dogs.  Black Labs with small white markings are often penalized or euthanized because they fail to live up to the breed standard. Labrador retrievers have been t...

What Can Go Wrong at the Dog Groomer and What to Do

There are many things that can go wrong following a trip to the dog groomer, accidents do happen and dogs are sometimes hurt.  If your pet is acting odd, or shows signs of injury after going to the dog groomer, be aware that you may need to do some checks. Normal Dog Behavior Af...

Distinctive Longhaired Dog Breeds With Bushy Curled Tails

Some dog breeds are longhaired while others are shorthaired. Some dogs have large ears and others do not. You will also see dog breeds with short legs while other breeds have long legs. There are also breeds of dogs with long tails while others are tailless. In addition, there are also breeds of dog...

How to Stop Your Cat Sleeping on Your Pillow at Night

If you have a cat who loves to sleep on your pillow, right next to your face, you will know just how annoying and uncomfortable this can be. Especially if your cat is large, or takes a long time to settle down. Even the most patient of people may find themselves getting frustrated if their cat is ca...

Characteristics of a Domestic Shorthair Cat

Overview The Domestic Shorthair cat is a mix of a lot of cat breeds, making it a little unpredictable in terms of personality. However, it's short coat domestic shorthairoften makes it ideal for people who do not have the time to spend in frequent grooming sessions. For beginner cat owners, the Dom...

What You Should Consider Before Adopting A Belgian Malinois

The first thing you should consider when you are considering adopting one of these gracious Belgian originated shepard dogs, is their physics. Especially dogs from working lines can be quite large and have huge strength. Your puppy might grow up to be a real strong dog with a mind of its own. There...

Good News for Cat Lovers Who Have Allergies

There are many options for cat lovers who are allergic to cats but still wish to own one. Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds The hypoallergenic cat. There are several cat breeds available for cat owners who want their very own feline. The most common are the Sphynx breed, often called hairless, they have h...

How Much Salt Does My Cat Need?

Salt or sodium chloride is necessary in a cat's diet, just like in humans. It plays a very important role in maintaining the balance of fluids inside and outside individual cells in the body. It also helps in transferring nutrients to cells and aids in maintaining the proper acid and alkali level in...

Black Spotted and Speckled Dogs

Undoubtedly, Dalmatians are the most recognizable and most popular black spotted breeds of dog. There are only few black spotted dog breeds in the world. Aside from Dalmatians, other black spotted dogs include American Hairless Terrier, Great Dane, English Setter and Braque d'Auvergne. Keep that mou...

What to Do? My Cat Has a Runny Nose

Overview The nose is a vital part of the cat’s ability to perceive his surroundings. His sense of smell is often remarkable as he can smell all sorts of scents. His sense of smell however, may get affected due to several illnesses caused by viruses, pollens and bacteria. Some of these may man...

Can I Use Milk of Magnesia for Dogs?

A pet dog suffering from constipation often show symptoms of passing out hard stools, infrequent bowel movements, or sometimes no bowel movement at all. He may manifest with much straining, lack of appetite and vomiting. Causes of constipation usually include lack of fiber in the diet, less fluid in...

How to Sell My Dog's Litter of Puppies

If your dog has recently had a litter of puppies you may be wondering when to sell the puppies, how much to sell the puppies for, and how to sell the puppies.  This information is provided to help you to sell a litter of puppies, it is not considered a guide for becoming a professional breeder....

Common Health Problems of Siamese Cats

Siamese cats are one of the most popular breeds of cats, and certainly one of the most recognizable. Although sometimes portrayed as cunning and mean, Siamese cats are actually very intelligent and more trainable than most other cats. As far as purebred cats go, the Siamese is one of the healthier...

Caring for a Kitten with a Collapsed Lung

Signs of the Affliction A veterinarian’s help is definitely in order on how to take care of a kitten with a collapsed lung. This condition, which is also referred to as pulmonary contusion or lung damage, is certainly life-threatening to the pet. It can be the result of external factors which...

What is Canine Preeclampsia and Eclampsia?

There are two forms of this disorder which are called preeclampsia and eclampsia. Eclampsia is a more severe form of preeclampsia. Both of these disorders are more commonly known as milk fever. The symptoms of preeclampsia in dogs are tetany; this is a life threatening condition. If the condition go...

How to Get Rid of Warts on a Dog

Warts are often associated with old age, they are more common in some dog breeds than in others, and some owners find them disturbing and want to be able to get rid of warts on their dog. What is a Wart? A wart will usually appear as a small raised area on a dog's skin. Often the size of the erase...

The 15 Most Interesting Facts About the Cute and Lovely Shih Tzu

One of the most popular and cutest companion dogs is the Shih Tzu (Lion Dog), breed of dog that originated in China although there are some claims that it originated up high in Tibet. This lovable dog with long silky hair is the closest known descendant of Senji, the prehistoric Chinese wolf. Here ...

Giving My Dog Pepto Bismol

What is Pepto Bismol? Pepto Bismol is the leading drug used in the treatment of gastrointestinal tract problems. These include indigestion, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea and an upset stomach. People with any of these stomach problems, are often relieved after taking Pepto Bismol, whether in chewable ...

Can a Cat Experience Night Terrors?

Overview Often during sleep, cats and kittens shake, bite, twitch their whiskers, or fight against an invisible enemy. However, this abnormal phenomenon of cat night terrors is simply common among cats. The process of retained traumatic experiences being manifested internally through dreams is not ...

Characteristics of the Shinese Dog: a Shih Tzu and Pekingese Hybrid

Characteristics of the Shinese Dog: a Shih Tzu and Pekingese hybrid The shinese dog is a cross between two purebreds-shih tzu and Pekingese. It is not a breed in itself but a hybrid. As a result of being mixed, the shinese can display characteristics that are from either parental purebred. They mak...

How to Make a Cat More Friendly

If you want a friendly cat the best thing to do is start with a friendly cat. When people get a kitten there is no guarantee it will grow up to be a friendly cat. There are a few things a person cat do to help shape their cat into being more friendly, and a few things they should not do. S...

Get deals for top pet supplies brands

PetSmart promo codes Chewy promo codes Rover.com promo codes Petco promo codes Tidy Cats promo codes Pet Mountain promo codes Healthy Paws promo codes DogVacay promo codes 1-800-Petmeds promo codes Horse.com promo codes State Line Tack promo codes Litter Genie promo codes PetCareRx promo codes Only Natural Pet promo codes Petplan promo codes BarkBox promo codes Sea Life promo codes Wag.com promo codes Value Pet Supplies promo codes Purina promo codes Banfield Pet Hospital promo codes Thundershirt promo codes PetSafe promo codes Friskies promo codes Allivet promo codes In The Company of Dogs promo codes PetFlow promo codes Entirely Pets promo codes Taste Of The Wild promo codes Greenies promo codes