It breaks my heart every time you I a “missing cat” flyer in my neighborhood. It’s horrible to think what they must be going through but it could happen to anyone.
A cat can accidentally escape even the safest of homes. If that does happen, here are some tips to help you find your kitty and bring him or her back home.
1. Stay Calm And Focused
Of course you’re upset, but you need to locate your pet as soon as possible and freaking out will only delay that from happening — every minute counts because the longer the time they’re gone, the further they can travel. So take a deep, cleansing breath so you can move forward to find your pet.
2. Check The Neighborhood
We are assuming you’ve already searched your home from top to bottom, in every hiding place, left food and treats out, opened every closet door and still no kitty. Now it’s time to go door to door with a photo of your pet. Bring fliers if you can and leave them with your neighbors so they will have all of you contact info and a photo of your pet to keep. Maybe they haven’t seen your cat yet, but that doesn’t mean they won’t see your cat in the coming days. Check your neighborhood carefully and make sure all your neighbors know who you are and that your cat is missing.
3. Make Phone Calls And Visit Local Shelters In Person
Call around to neighbors, animal control, and local cat rescues. Once you’re done with phone calls get in your car and drive to all the shelters your cat could possibly be at. Talk to the employees, bring more fliers, look at all the cats including the ones back in the sick/holding area. Check the shelter daily because cats come in every day.
4. Post Flyers
The flier is going to be important. Be sure there is a clear photo of your cat and that the words “Lost Cat” or “Missing Cat” can be read clearly from several feet away or a passing car. Don’t reveal too much about your cat or you could become victim to scams. Hold back tiny details to ask anyone who claims to have your cat. You’ll want to canvas the area with fliers: the neighborhood, parks, library, gas station, cafes, book shops…anywhere with a cork board or a place to hang fliers.
NOTE: Be sure to get permission before hanging fliers if that applies.
5. Use Social Media
Now it’s time to get that same flier up on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, Nextdoor and any other app or website that caters to the area where you live. The power of social media, especially local Facebook groups, can be especially effective in helping spread the word about your lost or missing cat. Ask everyone to RESHARE your post. If you don’t ask, people won’t do it. Don’t forget to send out an email or text blast with a photo and info about your cat to everyone you know in the general area. Ask them to forward to anyone they know in the area and so on.
6. Smells Can Help
Leaving out an article of recently worn, unwashed clothing can help your cat find his or her way home because the pet could pick up and track your scent. Putting out a bowl of your cat’s favorite food can also help with tracking the smell to come home. Likewise, the familiar scents of your cat’s litter box outside can help lure your kitty back home.
7. Don’t Give Up
It can be emotionally and physically exhausting looking for a lost cat, but don’t stop. Sometimes it’s useful to do a rigorous search for a couple days and then take a break for a day, and return to fight the good fight for your four-legged friend. Remember: Many lost pets can be found only because of the dogged determination of the owners.
Do you have experience finding a lost cat? Any tips to share with the rest of us?