What to do when your cat is Lost.....

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What to do when your cat is Lost.....

Post by HappinessGrows » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:34 am

Cats/kittens that go missing will hunker down somewhere and won't venture out of their hiding place for several days. This hiding place may be close by your home. Cats that are usually indoors will be very scared outside and they don't have the strong sense of smell that dogs have to find their way home. Unlike dogs, cats do not travel long distances on their own, they may get scared off over and over again by dogs/other cats/people and can get pushed out of your area, but most likely they will be a few blocks (possibly further) from home. Cats are territorial, so another cat can keep your kitty from coming home. Do not put food out for your cat; this will only attract other cats, raccoons, dogs, and fox. Be sure to leave water out! Put up fliers, talk to neighbors and especially kids, as kids know when someone has a new pet in their home. Don't give up and keep the pressure on with fliers and going door to door, as many times someone will take in a lost cat believing it was dumped or a stray.

My situation happened many years ago during a cold February when my dad passed and I picked up the 4 cats that he had at his home. When I got to my house the only kitten was the one who bolted from the car in my driveway and she didn't even know her surroundings. Since I had the other 3 adult cats, as the young kitten was part of their family (playmate), I used their meows for a recording because that kitty didn't know me. I recorded the other cat(s) meowing (got food out to get the "happy hungry" meows recorded), then I put that recording on a loop to play over and over again. I stuck a speaker out the window (and moved it outside on my deck from the sliding door) and I played the recording throughout the day and into the night (at night I was careful not to play it too loud because of neighbors). In many of those efforts, I placed the other cats in a closed bedroom, because I didn’t want them escaping outdoors, then I opened the sliding door a few inches, with lights out, staying very silent and still near the door… ready to close if kitty showed up. It took 3 nights, and that kitten came back because she recognized the meows of the other cats (playmates).

You will need to walk your neighborhood, call out for your kitty and if you have a recording, play it, but be sure to always call/use recording the entire route, as you want your kitty to hear you/the recording heading back to your home and not get confused by going further away from your home. When walking the neighborhood calling for your kitty, be sure to turn around and look behind you on lawns and under shrubbery, as kitty may come out of the hiding place, but not meow. Your kitty wants to be found, and when he/she is ready, it may come out of the hiding place, but slink down in the grass or under a shrub, without making any cries for you. Some kitty's may come running, but don't expect that to happen. At night, take a flashlight and shine the light under porches, inside outbuildings, under anything that looks like a hiding place and around shrubbery to look for the glow of eyes peering back at you.

If you don't have another cat in your home, then record a noise that's distinct to your home; ie: sound of food that's made for kitty's dinner, shaking of dry food in bowl, opening can of food, someone who whistles, a squeaky toy, music box, etc. Be diligent and repeat your efforts, but don't give up! Be sure to post in and check Craigslist 'pet' section; Facebook groups and other ‘lost and found’ pet websites for your area. Also, with Craigslist, use the homepage search, as cats/kittens and other pets are found and sold by evil pet flippers. The description may deliberately disguise the age, eye color, breed type, and reason for "rehoming/selling" a pet, so verify (pose as a buyer/adopter) to rule in or out your missing pet. I've also seen posts from people who've found a loving friendly "stray" cat and post it for free (or rehome for a fee) in the 'free' and 'general' (and other) sections, on Craigslist, in their effort to rehome the animal. Anyone who finds a pet must make a reasonable effort to locate the owner and not keep, sell or give away a pet that isn't yours.

I wrote this content in 2014 and have posted this on Craigslist in the past. After posting and re-posting, I've heard from several cat owners that found their cat/kitten after reading my story and suggestions. Other cat owners have suggested that this post should be in every city, but I'm only one person, so I ask anyone who reads this to please copy, paste and post to other cities on Craigslist ('lost and found' and 'pet' sections) and other websites, including Facebook groups, to help owners find their missing pet. Please pay it forward.

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Re: What to do when your cat is Lost.....

Post by Cat-FAQ » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:02 am

Hello from CatChat

Thank you for your advice, you can also find more information on Cat Chat’s Lost & Found advice page, the information there might help: https://www.catchat.org/index.php/cat-m ... lost-found
Also, see the latest Found Cat reports (from PetsReunited.com) here: https://www.catchat.org/index.php/lost-found-cats

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