|House cats can be particularly difficult to find outdoors,
especially ones that scare
easily and have a tendency to hide from strangers inside the home. Even
indoor/outdoor cats that know the area around the home can get lost,
too. People have not considered that when any animal is frightened they
run past their scent markings and loose their sense of direction.
However, they will be searching for food. Contrary to popular
belief house cats do not hunt and eat prey. Hunting is learned from the
mother cat and house cats are not taught to hunt.
Here are some tips
on how to find your missing cat.
Most Important Tips Before You
Lose Your Cat!
- Take some good photographs of your pet every year. You may need to take
many photos to get one good shot.
- Prepare the stage and the background simple. Use a sheet over the
animals favorite chair.
- Take the photographs in a well lit area with a
contrasting background color. For big dogs, drape a solid
colored sheet over a door or a fence for the backdrop.
For cats or small dogs, drape the sheet over a couch or a
big sofa chair. Use a light colored sheet for a dark
colored pet, and a dark sheet for a light colored pet.
- Kneel down to take the photograph at the same level as
- Keep people and furniture out of the photograph.
Protecting Your Pet With
- Keep a collar and tag with current contact details on
your pet at all times.
- Ask your veterinarian about microchip identification. The microchip is
inserted under the pet's skin by a veterinarian. Animal control Officers
scan for microchip identification during the impounding process. If a
microchip is found the shelter calls you to pick up your lost pet!
- Always pay to register the chip with the national recovery database.
(many people chip their animals and never knew that they have to pay to
register the chip in addition to having the chip implanted!) Remember
to keep all phone numbers updated with your vet and microchip company.
- Instruct housekeepers, guests, baby-sitters and construction people
that they will not be welcomed back if they leave a door open and let the
- "Before" housekeepers, guests, baby-sitters and construction people
arrive at the home, coax the cat with canned food into a room and shut the
door. Never chase a cat, always move cats to another room by saying
"come here" and show the cat a small plate with a small teaspoon portion of
canned food. I might suggest duct taping the door closed, too
with a note.. "keep Shut Cat Inside".
Before You Look Outside Check
Inside Your House!
- Look under the bed and up inside the box spring. (most common hiding
- Look inside recliner chairs and "beware of built-in recliners inside
new modern couches".
- Look inside the "lip" of the chimney flue of the fireplace.
- Look behind and inside the refrigerator.
- Look inside the cabinets, oven, dishwasher,
- Look on any shelving in built-in closets (they can hide under the
- Look inside of piles of the dirty or clean laundry
Steps To Take to Look Outside.
Step 1 - Bait!
- Take Action! Time is of the essence! Don't wait to see if your cat comes
- Chances are that your cat is nearby. Put tuna fish around your home to
keep it smelling like food.
- Use a tablespoon of tuna in each dish and place by the front and back of
- To keep the ants away from the tuna, use pie tins filled with water as
moat around each dishes.
Step 2 - Trap!
- Rent a "Humane Animal Trap" from a local feed store, animal shelter, or
- Buy a trap on-line..
suggest purchasing the economy traps (32 x 10 x10)
- Learn How to Trap... Read our instructions on
"How To Trap A Cat".
Step 3 - Prepare To Pack A Plastic
Pet Carrier To Carry To Look For Your Cat
- Pack the pet carrier with a towel.
- Pack the pet carrier with canned food - be ready to pop-lid
- Pack the pet carrier with a flash light
- Pack dry cat food inside a large plastic cup large enough to make sounds
like cat food pouring.
Step 4 - Prepare Yourself To
"Market & Advertise"
- Create A "Missing Pet Flyer" - Samples & Instructions -
Great Missing Pet
- Make 500 Flyers Or More Flyers
- Distribute Flyers As the Crow Flies And Put them Out Monthly
- A Reward In A Dollar Amount Is Important!
- "For A Safe Return" Prevents Prank Callers.
- Children Are Often The Ones That Can Help find The Animals and Are
Willing to Help.
- Get the Neighbor Kids Involved To Help with the Flyer Delivery and Flyer
- Door knob delivery is best. Use a hole punch and a rubber band
for each flyer to attach to the door knob.
- DO NOT GIVE UP! AND TRAP AT NIGHT!
Step 5 - Prepare Yourself To Look
For Your Cat
- Go alone. Not with a group. It will scare the cat.
- Apply your regular body lotion or scented perfume for a familiar scent.
- Tip: Cats know people by their scent and sound (familiar vocal tone).
- Wear long sleeve shirt in case you get scratched. (the cat may not know
- Bring your cell phone to call for help. Take numbers that you need to
call for help.
- Remember to take along a notepad, pen and reading glasses to read other
- Call phone numbers on pet tags of other cats to let people know there
cat is out. It could be lost, too
- Call for help from friends "only" if you absolutely need it.
- Find the cat then decide the plan. (Trapping is the best way to get the
- Tip: You can use the pet carrier to put the canned food in and shut the
door behind it.
- Warning: Some cats are so frightened that they will run as you approach.
Even the nicest cats can run from their owners. Better to plan that the cat
Step 6 - Look!
- Walk through your neighborhood between 10pm and midnight or between 5am
and 6am. Your neighborhood is quieter at
these times which encourages cats to come out of hiding.
It is also easier to hear sounds that are normally
obscured by traffic noise.
- Take a flash light to scan beneath bushes, in trees,
under steps and under cars.
- Listen carefully to any sounds that you may hear.
- Call your cat's name and roll dry food back and forth inside a cup as you
walk. Cats May follow!
- Other lost cats may follow you. Take note of the details
on their tags and report them to owners
- Remember to take along a notepad, pen and reading glasses.
You can help to recover other lost cats in your community!
Step 6 - Report!
- Call your local
Control to find out whether your pet has been picked
up in your neighborhood, or if any animals have been
picked up injured, or dead.
- Make frequent visits to all your local
You have only a small window of time to reclaim your pet.
Make sure to ask about sick and injured animals in the
- Meet your neighbors and personally ask them to call you
if they see your pet.
- Check your city's laws before making and distributing
flyers. Blowing papers are seen as trash.
- List your pet in THE NETWORK's
Missing Pet Directory.
- Advertise your lost pet in your local city paper. Most have "free" ads
for found pets and charge for lost pet ads.
- Don't give up, your actions will help your cat be
- THE NETWORK's successful experiences indicate a cat missing for
three months may be only 4-7 blocks away and after six
months a distance of 10-12 blocks, usually being fed by a
- Microchip Your Next Pet! Talk With Your Vet About Insertion. All
animal control officers scan all animals during the impound process for
microchips. This is one way to insure your pet will be returned to
you if it enters a shelter nation wide!
Don't Forget To Read
"Action Plan For