Cats are curious creatures. So it’s not surprising that they end up in tight spots from time to time. But if you can’t find your cat for whatever reason, it’s vital that you don’t panic and start looking early. Here’s a step-by-step plan to help you bring him home.
Make a noise
First, spend at least 15 to 20 minutes calling your cat. Follow up with familiar noises like tapping their food tin with a fork or shaking the dry food box. There’s a chance that the thought of food might bring them out of their hidey hole. Make sure you leave the door ajar when you go back in the house.
Enlist the neighbours
Get a posse together to work the streets and local backyards. Not only will it help you cover more ground faster, having people to support you makes your feel better in a tense situation. Going door-to-door with your cat’s details and information is a good way to spread the word. Ask your neighbours to check under their homes and in their garden sheds.
Widen the net
Got a clue where your cat was last seen? Try walking or cycling around the area and ask passers-by if they’ve seen anything.
Cats get stuck in the strangest places and a cat that spends most of his time indoors might be unsettled outside and find an enclosed place to hide. Under houses, up trees, under cars. Remember to check inside thoroughly too – any cupboards or closets could be potential traps for an inquisitive and unlucky puss.
Spread the word
Print out flyers with a recent pic of your cat, as well as a good description and information such as the name he answers to and your contact number. Post them up in the area where he was last seen, distribute them among the community and give a few to the local animal shelter too. Social media can help so let your friends and communities on facebook and twitter know that your cat is missing. There are pet businesses that can help with this too.
Ask the professionals
If your cat is found sick or injured, chances are he’ll end up either at neighbourhood vet or animal shelter. It’s vital you check in and leave your details, including colour, age, size, collar, tag and microchip.
Check with your local council and at your pound. Even with a microchip, some pets end up here. Check every day or so.
Return to sender
One of the most important things you can do to keep your cat safe is to microchip and tag him. In some States this is a legal requirement. Choose a collar and tag that suits your cat’s lifestyle and make sure it’s legible and contains up-to-date information, including his name, suburb and your best contact number. Consider having a couple of spares if your cat has a habit of losing them.
Dr Lisa says..
- If your cat goes missing, act fast and don’t panic
- Check in with local shelters and vets
- Make sure your cat is microchipped and has a tag to make returning easier
Dr Jo says..
- Call your cat’s name and check out all their favourite hiding spots
- Enlist your neighbours and friends to help
Did you know?
Cats that haven’t been desexed will often wander a lot further in search of a mate.
Ask the local kids. They often notice animals and might give you a crucial clue in your search.