Whether your indoor cat has escaped the comforts of home, or your outdoor cat hasn't returned home at their usual time, losing your feline friend is bound to cause emotions ranging from concern to outright panic. Today our Santa Clarita vets offer a few tips to help you find your lost cat.
Strategies for Finding a Lost Cat
Your beloved cat is out in the wide world and you have no idea where. You are bound to be emotional and trying to think of where to start looking and what to do first.
Take a deep breath, and check out the steps below to help you methodically approach your search for your feline friend.
Check All the Hiding Places in Your Home
OK so we know you've probably already done this once, but do it again. Check everywhere your cat could fit. Could your feline friend be trapped in your bed frame, in the basement, spare room closet, or cupboard under the sink? Perhaps they are hiding behind the curtains, tucked behind the pillows on your bed, or in your laundry basket?
Don't forget the outdoor spaces around your home. Maybe your cat has been shut in your garage or shed, or just relaxing in a sunny spot at the back of the garden.
Check Close to Your Home
If you are absolutely sure that your kitty isn't hiding at home it's time to begin your larger search. Start looking close to home then expand your search further from home.
Try going out your front door and making 'dinner sounds' or 'treat sounds' - shake some of their food into their bowl, or open a bag of their favorite treats, then wait a couple of seconds to see if they appear. No luck? Try this approach outside of your back door.
Update Your Cat's Microchip Information
If your cat has been microchipped (which our vets recommend) then contact your pet's microchip company to ensure that your contact details are up-to-date. That way, if your cat is found and taken to a shelter or vet, you will be contacted right away.
Check The Neighborhood
Begin by asking your neighbors if they have seen your cat. Keep in mind that sheds and garages can be a lure for our feline friends, so even if your neighbors say they haven't seen your cat, ask them to check their spaces to see if your kitty has wandered into their garage, barn, workshop, or shed and become trapped when the door was closed.
If you have backyard neighbors don't forget to ask them too. Anywhere close to home that might attract a curious feline.
Post on Social Media
Creating a lost cat post on social media is a good next step. There are several apps dedicated to finding lost pets, and helping you post to Facebook and Instagram. Alternatively, you can post directly on lost pet and community pages, as well as sharing your post on social media pages linked to your local vets and animal shelters. The more people who know your cat is missing, the more eyes that will be looking for them.
Be sure to share a good photo of your pet along with a detailed description of their personality, and of course, instructions on how to reach you if your cat is found.
Begin Calling Around
If your cat has been missing for over 24 hours, it's time to start calling local shelters, veterinary offices, and the animal control officer in your neighborhood.
Speaking to as many people as possible will help to ensure that if your cat is found, they will know who the owner is.
Set-Up or Check Security Camera Footage
If your kitty is sneaking around your property under the dark of night, you may be able to spot them on your security or wildlife camera footage.
If they make an appearance on camera, take note of the time and try to be ready for them if they return the next night, or set a live trap baited with some of their favorite things.
Call In The Pros
Pet detectives aren't just fictional characters created by Hollywood, they are real professionals who are trained to find elusive missing pets!
While there aren't many, Missing Animal Response (MAR) Technicians are professional pet finders that can help you to find your pet fast using a variety of approaches including specially trained cat-finding dogs who are trained to follow the scent of your pet.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets, or search and rescue advice for pets. If you have lost your cat contact veterinarians and animal shelters in your area for help in your search for your missing cat.