Cats are independent animals. They enjoy their freedom and usually come and go as they please. But what if it’s been hours and they haven't returned home? If the hours turn into a day or two, your cat could be lost.
As a cat owner, this can be problematic and frustrating. The idea of not knowing whether your cat is safe or isn’t can be worrisome. Before anything else, you need to be calm, so that you come up with a systematic approach to find your lost cat.
Finding your lost cat takes a lot of patience, effort, and work. But you must not give up easily. Here are some of the practical approaches to finding your lost cat:
Start inside your home and work outwards
This may surprise you, but cats don't always respond when you call their name. There’s a possibility that your lost cat is lounging in the upstairs guest room or tucked under the tiny space inside your closet, behind your furniture, dirty laundry bag or even curled inside your garbage bin.
So yes, they could be just ignoring you while you’re panicking because you think they’re lost.
Do a thorough search inside your home, and then gradually move outside. After thoroughly searching your home, you can start by searching your balcony and backyard and then slowly progress to your neighbors' houses and gardens. Don't depend on your neighbors to keep an eye out for your cat. Instead, ask permission if you can search their properties.
Look up and out
Remember to gaze up in addition to looking at the ground. Cats prefer to be on higher ground, so keep an eye out for your cat on rooftops, cars or other high platforms.
If you're staying in an apartment, check your balcony or window for traces of your cat hanging around the building's edge, as well as the balconies of your neighbours on other floors.
Search during the night
Though it might cause a lot of grievances, your missing cat could actually just be hiding. Usually, when it’s night and everyone settles to sleep, cats come out from their hiding spots.
Searching for your cat during nighttime offers a more quiet setting that will allow you to hear any sounds your cat makes. If searching for your cat at night is not feasible, then you can also ask permission to check your neighbors' surveillance cameras for any signs of your feline.
Another way you can lure your cat home is by leaving some strong-smelling food like a can of tuna outside your door so that your missing pet is attracted to the smell. Your cat could be hungry after spending all its time outdoors and leaving its favorite food on your porch can help it find its way home.
Use social media and old-school flyers
It’s a great idea to get the word out that your cat is missing and one of the most effective ways to spread the news is through Whatsapp groups, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or any other platforms available to date. In today’s age, posting in community groups on social media can be a powerful means to look for someone or something.
Make sure that you include a picture of your cat in your post, as well as any unique description of your feline. At the same time, also check social media posts about lost cats and people selling cats in your vicinity.
Encouraging your family and friends to share your post will also help spread the word. It’s also practical to distribute some flyers. You can distribute the flyers in frequented areas around your neighborhood so people in your local community can be informed about your lost pet.
During this time, it would also be smart to contact or message animal rescue shelters or even nearby veterinary clinics to check if someone might have brought any cats in recently. If your cat has a collar or tag or is even microchipped, then you have a higher chance of finding your lost pet. Sometimes, including a cash reward may help in expediting the process.
Some cats may go missing for weeks and months, and almost all the time, they end up finding their way back to you. Just keep on searching, and never give up!