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6 Smart Tips for Finding a Lost Cat
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Here kitty, kitty! Cats don’t come with built-in GPS and will sometimes wander away from home. Use these tips for finding a lost cat to help ensure a happy ending.
Losing your beloved cat is absolutely devastating, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t be reunited. While some cats manage to make their way home on their own, you should take as many steps as possible to alert your community about your lost cat so that others can help you locate him as soon as possible. A housecat can fall victim to predators, the elements, abusive humans, and motor vehicles, so getting him home ASAP is imperative.
Don’t panic – keeping organized will help boost your changes of a happy reunion. Here are a few smart tips to keep in mind when trying to locate your lost cat.
Head Outside and Start Searching
A key element to finding a lost cat is not to waste any time. Take your cell phone with a picture of your cat with you, along with a flashlight and your cat’s favorite treats. Stay calm and call out to your cat. Search around your home and then ring neighbors’ doorbells to ask if you can search their yards and to ask them if they’ve seen your cat. During your search, you can also ask pedestrians if they’ve seen your cat.
Ask your neighbors to search through their sheds, garages, under their porches, and in crawlspaces to look for your cat. Sometimes cats get stuck inside with no way out, so it’s important to check these areas.
Post Flyers with Your Contact Information
Post flyers around town with a clear, color photograph of your cat, a description of him, and the date he was last seen. Offer a reward if you’d like, as some people will work harder to find your cat and will be more motivated to call you when they find him if they know there’s something in it for them.
In addition to your contact information, it’s also a good idea to ask people to check their garages, sheds, etc. right on the flyer as well. Just don’t add highly personal information, such as your address, name, and the amount of reward, if any, that you’re offering.
Contact Local Animal Shelters
Contact as many local animal shelters as possible to let them know about your missing cat. They may have you go to the shelter to leave flyers and fill out a short report so that they can alert you in the event your cat is found and brought in by a stranger.
It’s also a good idea to contact your vet, as well as other local vets, to let them know about your missing cat, in case someone brings a kitty in that fits the description.
Post About Your Cat Online
Put the same information that’s found on your flyer within your online listing, though if you can go into more detail, do so without giving away too much personal information for security.
And use social media to your advantage. Post your missing cat info on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and ask friends to spread the word. The more people you have looking for your cat, the better – you need all the help you can get.
Leave Food and Water Out, and Set Up a Trap
Leave a bowl of food and some water outside your door for your cat to find in the event that he’s in the area. Indoor cats tend to be really scared when they’re outside on their own, so it may take until nighttime for your cat to feel comfortable and safe enough to come out of hiding. Having the food out will encourage him to come home.
You can also ask a local rescue group to lend you a trap that you can set up in an effort to catch your kitty.
Don’t Give Up
Don’t put a timeframe on when you should get your cat back. Sometimes a cat can be found within hours or days. Others find their cats after a week or more. Don’t give up, keep putting the word out about your missing pet, and search the area regularly at various times of the day and night while calling out to your cat in an effort to find him soon.