In the last 3 weeks I’ve been contacted twice by panicking kitty moms and dads that their inside cat is missing and they fear the worst that it got outside somehow. I have to say I’ve been in this position too. You’re overcome with fear, panic and the worst ideas and thoughts of the unknown. When you’re in this state you’re not quite in the right mindset. You’re not thinking clearly and don’t know what to do first.
Ask yourself a couple questions.... Where does your cat normally head? What is the most likely escape route? What are their favorite bushes or hiding spots? Crouch low under porches, scan high on roof lines and tree branches. Could something have recently happened to spook them? Construction or a new neighbor’s cat or dog? Or has anything happened recently in your home to upset them; like the chemicals from getting your carpets cleaned or bringing out suitcases for a trip/ visitors?
Here are some tips I’ve found along the way and suggestions others have given me. I hope you never have to resort to this list but if you do, the most important is to remain calm. I know easier said than done, but if you’re panicked you’re kitty is probably 10x worse.
~ SEARCH YOU’RE HOME- I mean REALLY search every corner nook and cranny. In the case of the people who contacted me, their kitties were in the house the whole time. Now when I say search I mean tear your house apart, quietly, tear it apart. Look in the same spot 10 times. Look in every closet, drawer, and cat tree you have. Even under the furniture you think... there is no way he/she fit under there. Guess what? He/she is probably under there!!!
*If possible the first tip and this next tip should be done simultaneously just in case kitty did get outside.
~ POST FLYERS- or go door to door with a picture asap. If someone sees your kitty in their yard they may think it’s a stray. Especially if your kitty (like mine) doesn’t wear a collar.
~ CANVASS THE NEIGHBORHOOD- Walk with treats and somewhat quietly call kitty in a calm, happy manner. Remember they are more panicked than you especially if they’ve never seen the light of day aka the great outdoors.
~ Place the stinkiest fishiest wet food you have in a dish in your driveway. Along with a dirty unscooped litter box. Cats can hear and smell from very very far away. The smell of their waste can help lead them home.
~ CALL LOCAL RESCUES/VETS/SHELTERS- call them and email a photo if possible. Let them know to keep a look out in case any kind folks take them in. Keep your cat or dogs microchip info up to date. Make sure you registered it when you adopted them. I keep all my important documents scanned and in a folder On my computer that i can access from my phone.
DID YOU FIND SOMEONES PET??
If you are able to approach the dog or cat and they allow you to pet or pick them up, try taking them to the vet closest to you. You can have their microchip scanned to attempt to locate their owners. CAll around to local vets, shelters and rescue groups to let them know you found a cat/ dog and give them a description. Im sure you want to get them back home as soon as possible. It may even be a good idea to keep a couple cans of wet cat food and small bag of dry food in your pantry should a lost pet wander into your yard. So in case you need to keep them overnight you can have something handy to feed them.
If you have any suggestions please comment below and I can add them to the blog.