Unlike dogs, there are usually several different “kinds” of runaway cats: the lost/escaped indoor-only cat, or the lost/escaped cats who have regular access to the outdoors. Cats are less likely to get lost as they are to hide if they are in an unfamiliar area (such as out on a picnic, camping trip, or visiting a friend.) How far the cat roams when he is displaced, will range based on the cat’s personality. Felines with dynamic and bold temperaments might have the curiosity and courage to explore several blocks or miles away from where they live, while nervous and shy cats might be more likely to look for cover and a safe hideaway close by.
How to Find Your Lost Cat
Since cats tend to be more independent, many kitty-parents take for granted that their pet might be have run away or gotten lost, often assuming the cat will just return soon. This can be dangerous since tracking down a cat in the first 24 hours usually increases the chances of finding it. If your cat has been absent abnormally long or you feel uneasy, it is worth reaching out to discover if anyone has seen her.
- Check hiding spots: If your cat was an indoor-only pet, before you spin into a panic, first check the prime hiding places nearest to your home or wherever you saw the cat last. Check in trees, on roofs, under bushes, and in dark corners to see if your kitty in cowering somewhere. If your cat was an indoor-outdoor cat, chances are he is exploring new stomping grounds, or something has happened to him that has interrupted his normal routine of returning home.
- Use Social Media: Text your friends, post a picture and description of your kitty and where he was last seen on your social media platforms. Ask your friends to keep a look out and let you know if they spot your cat.
- Tempt them to return: Find a high place (where pesky critters will not be able to reach) and put out your cat’s favorite treat on a dish. Bring out your cat’s favorite “noisy” toy, such as squeaky chew toys, feather fishing poles with bells, anything you can jingle, or squeak while calling his name.
- Notify the neighborhood: If the cat hasn’t been found after a day, create fliers you can post around the block. Attach the fliers to the electric poles, fences, and street corners near your house. Staple them to announcement boards at your local coffee shops or gas stations, and hand them to the mailman, UPS or FED-EX delivery trucks who drive regular routes in your area.
- Contact the shelters: Finally, call the shelters in your area and let them know the breed, age, coloring, temperament, and name of your lost cat. They will then be able to let you know if anyone drops of your cat thinking it is a stray or abandoned pet.
Lost Cat Poster Tips
When making a “Lost Cat” poster, be sure to consider the following guidelines to protect yourself and increase the chances of your cat being found:
- Include a picture of your cat. This is a MUST if you want to ingrain an image of your feline into people’s minds. Also include the cat’s name, so that if found, the person can call to him.
- Write the word REWARD in capital letters on the poster. Many people choose not to specify the amount, while other believe listing the numbers provide incentives.
- Note that the cat is neutered or spayed so that no one would try to breed the cat if found.
- List your contact number. (Your first name can also be listed, though many choose not to do this, since it can lead to prank calling and isn’t really necessary to finding your cat. The caller can always just say “Hi, I am calling about the lost cat.”)
Note, it is important to be careful when receiving calls, since you never know who is on the other end of the line. Some of the lost pet scams can be devastating and dangerous, so it is best to be wary and shrewd when dealing with an unknown caller. Stay safe while you are awaiting your cat’s return!