What to do if you have lost Your Kitty!
If you have an indoor or outdoor cat that has gone missing here are important steps to take. As soon as you know your pet has gone missing it is important to call around to your nearest shelter. Once you have cleared the way and your beloved is not at the shelter here is a list of items you will need to do in order to have the highest chance of recovering your kitty.
FACTS about Lost Kitties
- Cats become silent when they feel threatened or out of their territory
- Indoor Cats typically stay in a 5 house radius
If your kitty is an Indoor Cat:
When an Indoor Cat goes missing their behavior will be different than a cat that is familiar with the outdoors. One of the first things to do is to check the inside of the house thoroughly just to make sure your cat is not hiding in the house. Many times cat's can curl up and ignore your calls. However if you find it your Kitty is not inside hiding here are a few things to consider.
Indoor cat's have a different behavior pattern once outside. Since they are out of their own element they will try to hide in the nearest safest place. Cats will run into low dark hiding places. They may run up a tree. If they have never been outside the sounds such as cars, horns, people, dogs, sirens, everything will be bombarding their senses as well as unfamiliar smells. Many times it is so traumatizing they may get quiet and remain that way for days or weeks until they reach their threshold. Many times a loud noise may have taken spooked him and sent him running into unfamiliar territory or possibly into another cat's territory which pushed him further away from home.
When looking for an Indoor Cat:
a. Typically an indoor cat will be so overwhelmed by being outside they will hide in the nearest spot that he deems safe. Look around outside high and low, under houses, bushes, sheds, trees, porches, boats, cars, anywhere your kitty can hide is a potential kitty hideout.
b. Many times an indoor cat will be found within a 5 house radius! Relax. If he has gone missing from indoors he most likely will not travel far unless there are other outdoor cats that have chased him away. Stay close first.
c. Cat's go silent when they are scared and will stay in "silent" mode for weeks. Then they reach what they call a "threshold" where the desire for food or water overwhelms the need to be "silent".
d. Sometimes it can take weeks to get your Kitty back but you must dig deep. You need to walk around at night with a flash light looking in the bushes, under cars, and also get up early. Cats tend to like to be up before dawn to get their prey. Many scared cats will make sure all other cats are away before venturing out.
e. Meet your neighbors. Go door to door with pictures of your cat and ask your neighbors to keep an eye out. Many neighbors will do this but they are not going to look under their house for your cat. If your neighbors house or yard has good hiding places ask him for permission to take a look around.
If your kitty is an Indoor/Outdoor cat
If your cat usually comes running home when you call him or shows up every night for dinner and then one day does not show up that means something in his day/night has happened that is preventing him from returning back to you.
Many times cats wonder off but come home a few days later and I have had a few cat's like that, but it is when a "predictable" cat does not come home it is time to get serious about locating your buddy.
A few things to consider:
a. Your cat may be have gotten into a fight with another cat and is possibly injured or was scared off his territory and does not know how to return home. Many cat's do not have this "honing" system that we read about it the papers. They may actually be lost and not know how to get back home.
b. Your cat went wondering too far and now cannot find his way home or was "interfered" with getting home or chased off by kids, or neighbors.
c. Your kitty may have been injured by an automobile, coyote, dog, etc....
Best Way to get your Kitty Back Home Safe!
- Food. In order to attract your cat (and most likely the neighborhood cats) buy food that has is really smelly. Sardines, and fishy type of cat foods work best.
- Cages: You will need to go to your nearest animal shelter or pound to get "Traps"...these traps are easy to use and can help get your kitty back.
- Outdoor Wildlife Cameras: Having a camera in the vicinity of where you think you cat is will help reinforce whether or not you should focus on that area.
Let EVERYONE know!!!
- Email and Phone Call Blast
- Posters and Signs: Making posters and signs is critical for obtaining the BEST chance for your kitty being found. DO Follow these instructions. Your kitty is important and you need to make everyone aware around you that your kitty is missing. Lot's and lot's of posters, signs. Everywhere!
- Make Signs on 3x5 Plastic with Neon Colors with a clear image of your cat.
- Craigslist: Check Craigslist everyday for found kittys and also post your own listing.
- Door to Door: It is important to ask neighbors if you can check their backyards, under their houses, cars, bushes, sheds. You can ask your neighbor to keep an eye out for you but you need to do the dirty work yourself. Make sure to wear long pants and shirt for protection from being in hiding places for cats.
- Don't Give UP!!! NEVER GIVE UP!!! Your kitty has been there for you and needs you now the most!