Losing your cat is a very distressing time. While outdoor cats might roam for a few days at a time, we become accustomed to seeing our furry friends when they come home for food. Losing an indoor cat is an equally distressing experience Depending on your cat’s normal routine, how you find a missing cat can vary quite a bit. Indoor cats behave very different to outdoor cats, and if the cat goes missing in an area they are familar with, such as around your home, they will behave very different that if they were to go missing in an unfamilar place.
How to find a missing indoor cat
If you cat is normally an indoor cat and has managed to escape outdoors, your cat is probably a lot closer than you think. When indoor cats get outside, they often don’t go very far and will more likely be hiding. Ask your neighbours to check their sheds and gardens for your missing moggy. If your cat escaped while in an unfamiliar area – at the vet or cattery, for example – you should still limit your search to a small area around the area your pet went missing. Indoor cats tend not to roam when they are in unfamiliar areas, so you should limit your search to hiding places in the immediate area.
How to find a missing outdoor cat
If your cat normally comes and goes as he pleases and you’re worried about his whereabouts, you should search wider afield for your missing pet. When outdoor cats go missing, it often means that their normal routine has been interrupted. Since cats are territorial, a new cat in the area can sometimes upset their routine and cause them to roam further afield and stay away from home longer. If your pet is injured, they will seek shelter, so you will need to do a proper ground search of all the areas you know your pet likes to roam.
Male cats, in particular, like to go missing for days and make their human keepers worry about their welfare. To tempt them back, leave fresh food and water by your door and monitor the bowl for signs that your cat has returned. You should also check that their cat flap is working correctly, so they can come home when they are ready.
Who can help find a missing cat?
- You should let your neighbours know your cat is missing and ask them to keep an eye out for your four-legged friend.
- Leave a missing cat report with your local vets and animal shelters with your pet’s name, description, a picture and their microchip details.
- If your pet is registered with SmartTrace or a similar database, you should flag your pet is missing so anyone who scans the chip will receive a notification.
- Pet insurance suppliers will sometimes offer help and financial support for finding your missing pet.
- Social media can be a huge help for finding lost pets. Look for local lost and found pet pages to help spread the word. You can also utilise your personal social network to get the word out that your pet is missing.
Prevention is best
Being prepared for your cat to go missing is the most important step to finding a missing cat. Even if you have an indoor cat, you should still make sure it is microchipped and that the microchip details are up to date. Cats can roam further than you might think, which means you might be searching for them in the wrong area. To increase your chance of being reunited with your pet, always make sure they are fitted with a microchip and are wearing a collar with your contact details.