If your cat is missing, don’t panic! Start by taking these steps:
- Talk to all your neighbors — ask them if YOU can look in their sheds and yards (don’t rely on them to do it for you) and then do it! Check everywhere! If you’re searching at night, use a good strong flashlight so you can see a cat’s eyes shine.
- If your cat is very timid, or is normally an indoor-only cat, or is missing in any area he/she is not familiar with, SET A TRAP! We can’t stress this step enough! Often shy cats might be just a few feet away from you, but because they are terrified, they won’t come to you. It’s nothing personal — they are in survival mode! Read this VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION for more on how different types of cats behave when they are lost.
- Once you’ve conducted thorough indoor and outdoor searches, make BIG, BRIGHT lost cat posters using these tips, and flyers to hand out in your neighborhood.
- Post your pet’s photo — along with the STREET, TOWN, and DATE he/she went missing from/on on your own Facebook page — be sure to set the post to “Public” and end with “Please share!”
- Share your Facebook post with lost pet Facebook pages in your area/state (search to find them).
- If your cat is microchipped, report him or her missing to the microchip company right away so they can send out lost pet alert emails.
- Alert your local animal control officer (often accessed through the local police department business line) and local vets offices. Don’t forget to give them posters.
- Place a lost pet ad on Craig’s List and in the local paper — they are often free.
- Check with local shelters, and KEEP CHECKING! They get tons of lost pet calls and often don’t have time or staff to keep comparing intakes to lists, so keep checking back — or better yet, come in and look around!
Visit these websites for more information:
Missing Pet Partnership (*great advice on why a trap is great for lost cats — and why cats don’t “run away”)
Home Again (*report your microchipped pet as lost here)