It’s every cat owner’s worst nightmare. You let Felix out in the morning, and he doesn’t come home as usual in the evening. Or perhaps you realise too late that you left the window open and Badger has disappeared. Your imagination begins to run away with you and you envisage him trapped in a garage, lost in the next village, or -worst of all- in an accident.
But a little bit of knowledge will hopefully help you put these terrifying hours to good use. Instead of sitting worrying about what to do, follow these simple instructions to ensure that people are on the look out and you have the best chance of getting Kitty back.
Hints and Tips
1. It sounds stupid, but make sure your cat is actually missing. Check all the usual hiding places, and anywhere else you can think of. Try calling your cat and shaking a treat pack or tapping a food tin- anything you can think of to get them to come running.
2. Hopefully you got your cat microchipped. Phone your microchip provider and report him missing- this means he will get flagged up on their website and will be returned more quickly if he is found.
3. Report your missing cat on www.cataware.co.uk. Find a photo of your cat and post with details on the Petlog facebook page and any local rescue centres or lost and found pages- including us! There are many Facebook pages for missing cats, find a few that are local to your area and post there. You can also try Tweeting- many rescues local to you will retweet a lost cat post. Make sure you add as much information as possible- see the next tip for a template!
4. Call your local vets and rescue centres with a GOOD description of the cat. ‘Male tabby’ is not good enough as vets see these every day. If possible, give them the following information:
- Name of cat
- Age of cat
- Gender and whether neutered
- Colour- be descriptive! ‘Black and white’ isn’t as good as ‘mostly black with white feet, longhaired’
- Whether she/he has a chip
- Whether she/he was wearing a collar
- Any distinguishing features (especially if not chipped!)- nicks in ears, eye colour etc
5. Walk door-to-door and talk to your neighbours. Ask them to check their garages and conservatories, or any other place your cat might have sheltered and got locked in. Don’t forget to take a photo so that they’ll recognise your cat if they see them. Leave them your phone number so that they can contact you if he’s found. It’s a good idea to take leaflets with you- sometimes people let in a cat they think is a stray and let it out again once they realise it has a home!
5. Chat to the local postman- remember he covers a large area, often on foot, and so may have spotted your cat around. Even if they can give you a rough idea of where your cat is it will help you to focus your search.
6. You could also produce posters and distribute them in local stores, post offices and houses. There are templates available for this online.
Most of all, remember not to give up hope. Cats are known to come back after months or even years of going missing, totally unharmed!