It can be quite a scary situation when your cat is missing, and you would want to find it and bring it home as soon as possible. However, cats are notorious for remaining hidden or running away from home; so once your cat is missing, it might be tough for you to find it. Still, it is far from impossible. Here are our 15 tips on how to find a missing cat.
Top 15 Tips on Finding Your Lost Cat
Be Sure Your Cat Is Missing
There is a chance that your cat is still inside the house, napping somewhere comfortable out of sight or under a pile of clothes. So before you proceed on knowing how to find a missing cat, establish the fact that your cat is indeed missing from the house before you go on your search. Look through its hiding places or call out its name a few times and wait for your naughty cat to make an appearance.
Start Looking Immediately
After you have established that your cat is definitely not hiding inside the house, start your search immediately. If your cat has only gone missing for an hour or so, they couldn't have gone very far from the house. To know how to find a missing cat, check your surrounding neighborhood first - every nook and corner that your cat can find shelter in, neighbor's garage, bushes, and under the standing cars in the drive way.
Start Questioning Around
Start with asking the people who live around you, families in your neighborhood where your cat could have taken shelter. Be sure to ask families who have children because your cat could be with them, playing or just basking in their adoration. Ask them if you could look in their garages or basements, or in any places inside their home where it could have entered and gotten trapped.
Ask Passersby About Your Cat
To know how to find a missing cat, another good idea is to ask people walking around the neighborhood - the mailman, people out on a jog and, especially, children playing outside. Keep a photo of your cat with you so that you can show the people who don't know it and ask if they have seen a similar cat around while they were outside. Children are more effective in this situation because they generally pay more attention to stray animals.
Carry a Flashlight
If it is night, carry a flashlight with you during your search. The light from the flashlight will alert and attract your cat if it is hidden; the light can also catch the reflection of your cat's eyes.
Call Out Its Name Quietly
Don’t scream your cat's name hoping for it to respond; instead move around the whole block and call out softly. Your screaming voice may scare an already frightened cat and it can refuse to come out of its shelter. If anyone else is searching with you, ask them to do the same and let them know of any special way that you usually call out to your cat.
Stop to Listen Once in a While
In between calling out to your cat, stop and listen. If your cat is trapped and frightened, it will probably recognize your voice and call for help. If the cat has been missing for long, then it would be hungry and tired, so watch out for low mewing sounds coming from hidden areas.
Create a Safe Environment for Your Cat
Request your neighbors to temporarily keep their own pets inside while you look for your cat, especially if they own a larger animal that your cat can be afraid of. If your cat is hiding from fear, it will come out to your voice once it knows that danger is out of the way.
Bring Along a Favorite Toy
If your cat has a favorite squeaky toy, bring it along so that the sound from the toy can attract your cat and bring it out of its hiding place.
Set Up a Temporary Feeding Station Outside
If you are giving up for the night, be sure to setup a temporary feeding station outside your home so that your cat, if it returns, will have food and water. If possible, leave a baby monitor so that you can hear the cat's faint mewing sounds if it returns.
Make a Missing Poster
If your cat has been missing for some time, it's time to make a poster advertising its photo and description. Start with distributing and stapling these posters around your neighborhood with your contact number in case someone has anything to tell you.
Announce a Reward
Although this is optional, announcing a reward in your poster might be a good idea to catch someone's attention, especially the people who work in your neighborhood, i.e. the mailman, local taxi drivers, part-time housekeepers and others. As they commute between neighborhoods a lot, they might start looking around because of the reward money.
Ask Your Neighbors to Help
Put together a team of at least 4 or 5 people in your neighborhood to look for your cat, especially after dark. Use your flashlights to look inside places where your cat could be hiding, and call out to it.
Notify Your Local Animal Control
If all other efforts are to no avail, don’t forget to contact your local animal control with your cat's description to see if they have picked up any animal with the same description. If not, they can keep a lookout for your cat when they are out at their job.
Get Online with Your Search
These days, people look at their smart phones more often than they look around, so get online to reach them. Post a picture of your cat in a trending social media site and ask your friends to spread it, and hope for someone to notify you.