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Help with finding your lost cat

Whatever his lifestyle, any cat can go missing. Being prepared for this distressing scenario is the best way to ensure you get him back!

Your cat may have just gone exploring for the afternoon and be absorbed in watching wildlife, but what happens he doesn’t return? We look at ways to help you…….find your lost cat.

Every year many thousands of pets go missing, leaving owners understandably distraught. It is estimated that cats are twice as likely to be involved in road traffic accident than dogs.

Tom Watkins from Animal Search says: “Most of the cats we find stuck in sheds, houses or garages.”

 

Why do cats disappear?

Cats go missing for a multitude of reasons. Top of the list is curiosity; cats explore and are notorious for becoming stuck in tricky spaces. There are hundreds of cases of cats climbing into vehicles, sheds, garages etc. and going missing for weeks until they are found and released, or find the opportunity to escape.

 

Spread the word

Publicity is vital when trying to find your missing pet. A poster with a photo could jog someone’s memory – put them on lamp posts and in shops (with permission).

The perfect poster will:

  • Have a large clear picture of your cat with a description
  • State whether they have a collar or if they are microchipped.
  • State when they went missing and when/where they were last seen.
  • If possible include a mobile phone number. Offer a reward, although it’s important not to specify an actual amount.
  • Distribute smaller versions of your poster through doors in a broad area around your home.

The internet is a useful source for finding lost pets. There are websites where you can post photos and descriptions of your lost cat, enabling you to raise awareness further afield – cats are notorious for their curious natures and have been known to climb into or under vehicles and find themselves many miles from home. For example: www.lostmycat.org and www.animalsearchuk.co.uk people can post information about their missing cat, as well as cats they have found. These websites, national charities and smaller organisations alike all have advice and help for worried owners.

 

Professional Help

Animal Search UK specializes in finding lost pets. They have a network of people who will help search the local area and go door knocking for you, as well as print posters and search in hard to reach places with specialist equipment.

 

What to do

If your cat has been missing for an unusual period of time, then it’s time to begin your search:

  • Ask neighbours if they have seen you cat and persuade them to look in their sheds and garages.
  • Create a poster and missing notices to drop through letterboxes.
  • Search surrounding areas with another person, taking your cats favourite treats and perhaps a toy with you.
  • Call local veterinary surgeries and animal shelters and charities to see if your cat has been taken in to them, and if not they will be happy to take some details from you and contact you if they hear anything.
  • Phone your local council to see if they have taken any stray cats to an animal shelter or found any cats on the road. While distressing, it is helpful in tracking down your cat and gaining closure. Have a friend with you, or ask them to make the difficult calls for you.
  • Ask the local postman and milkman to look out for your cat on their rounds. They cover a wide area and so may be helpful in finding your cat.
  • Send information to local newspapers and radio stations as they may be able to give your cat a mention.
  • Don’t give up – There are stories of cats being found weeks, months – even years – after they originally went missing.

 

Top Tips

  • Make sure you have a few good photos of your cat that show off his markings – you never know when you might need it.
  • Offer a reward – but don’t be specific
  • Your pet insurance company may be able to help with the fees of a professional search, and even pay for the reward.

 

Keep them safe

Microchipping is one of the best ways to make sure that your lost pet finds his way back to you.

Microchipping is a permanent and painless procedure performed by a vet; a chip the size of a grain of rice is placed under the cat’s skin, near the shoulder blades. It holds a code that is linked with your details, which are stored on a database and will show up when the chip is scanned by a vet or an animal charity, the number is then entered onto the computer and your details accessed.

A reflective safety collar with a breakaway buckle will help ensure your cat is visible on the road in poor light. An identity tag will let everyone know that he is not a stray, and help anyone who finds him to return him to you.

It is also highly advisable to neuter your pet. One of the many reasons for this is that entire cats tend to wander far from home in search of a mate.

 

Remember if your cat does go missing don’t loose hope. They are resourceful creatures.

 

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