National statistics show that less than 10 percent of all the cats that go missing are found. As a cat owner who was able to recover her lost cat in an area known for coyote-sightings, I know that these stats can be discouraging. Rather than sobbing, because your pet companion is missing, take action and vow to get him back by incorporating various cat-recovery methods. Even if you’re unable to recover him, at least you’ll know that you did everything in your power to try to find him.
Find the Scene of the Crime
The first thing to do when you lose a cat is finding out how he got out, because this is the initial area where you’ll be looking for him. In my case, George slipped right through the front door when the cable guy had left the door open so he could get in and out of the house. You might have to trace back your steps, because I didn’t realized that my cat was missing until the next day, after searching the whole house for him.
Search For Your Cat
Indoor cats are basically lost when they’re outside in a new, strange environment. Their territory is your home, and when they’re out of their territory, they’re likely to look for shelter and hide in an area nearby. Searching around your home and the neighborhood is the first thing you should do. Ask your neighbor’s permission to search their yards, and get as much help as possible from friends and family. Call your cat’s name and closely listen, because he might let out a soft meow when you do. After a long 24 hours, I found my cat George when I called his name and he softly meowed while sitting on the windowsill of our home watching us frantically search for him. My joy was indescribable, and I was amazed that he was so close by the entire time.
If your search is unsuccessful, make missing-cat posters. Print out a photo that clearly shows your cat, put his name on the poster with your contact information. Also, if your cat was wearing a collar, make sure to describe it, and if you’re really desperate to find him like I was, offer a reward. Make copies of the poster and bombard the vicinity near your home with them. Hang them on light poles, in the local grocery stores, or hand them out to people.
Contact Local Shelters
It never hurts to call local animal shelters to see if someone turned in a cat. Even if your cat wears a collar, it could have somehow got stuck somewhere and detached from him. An Internet search or the yellow Pages can quickly provide a list of local shelters.
Lure Your Cat Back
If your cat is hiding nearby, he might be too scared to show himself, or depending on his personality, he might enjoy the outdoors and wish to explore some more. To lure him back, it never hurts to place a bowl of food inside a humane trap that you might be able to get from a local shelter. When your cat enters the trap to get to the food, it closes behind him and traps him, after which you can bring him back to safety.
America’s National Lost & Found Pet Database