Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Cat is Missing. How Can I Find Him?

My Cat is Missing. How Can I Find Him?

July is National Lost Pet Prevention Month. According to the National Council of Pet Population Study & Policy and the National Humane Society, a family pet is lost every two seconds in North America. That's a lot of lost pets. 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen every year in the U.S. and of those only 22% of dogs are reunited with their owners and less than 2% of cats ever see their families again. That's a lot of grim statistics.

Last year, TW's Facebook timeline revealed that one of her cousin M's cats had gone missing. BB is a big, handsome Norwegian Forest Cat. We were distressed since we don't believe indoor cats should be allowed to play outside under any circumstances except maybe with a leash. There are many dangers: predators, cars, evil humans, etc. Now BB was missing.

My Cat is Missing. How Can I Find Him?
Cousin M.'s Facebook post.

Most lost cats are wandering within five houses of their own. A cat may have started chasing a squirrel or mouse and next thing they know, they don't recognize where the are or they may have gotten chased up a tree by a dog or another animal. BB might have been injured or even catnapped. The scerarios are scary.

My Cat is Missing. How Can I Find Him?

I'm here to offer some tips for those who have reason to believe their cat is lost:
  • Search the neighborhood and knock on doors.
  • Put up flyers with a good photo of the cat and your phone number
  • Call local shelters and animal hospitals. City shelters do not have to wait to euthanize cats. You want to get there as soon as possible to see if your cat was turned it.
  • Utilize social media. Many municipalities have Facebook pages for lost and found animals. Here's the page for Lost Cats of NJ. Share pictures of lost pets on Twitter and Instagram and encourage others to share them. 
  • Leave a bowl of food, a favorite toy or a blanket or clothing with your scent out for your cat. Even better leave your cat's litter box on the porch. This is a great tip as your cat will recognize familiar smells.
  • Don't waste any time.
  • Most importantly, don't give up.
TW's cousin followed these tips and still couldn't find BB. She followed every lead only to be disappointed. Then one night the improbable happened. About a month after he went missing BB showed up at home. His sister was pacing back and forth at the window, they looked out and there he was. He was much thinner but happy to be home.
My Cat is Missing. How Can I Find Him?

Apparently, he must have gotten stuck in a neighbor's garage right before they went away.

Not everyone's cat is going to mysteriously show up home. BB and his family were lucky. He was thin and needed fluids and antibiotics for a neck wound most likely caused by pulling on his collar to free himself.

My Cat is Missing. How Can I Find Him?
Cats can run out the door before you know it.

If you live in an area of the country that regularly gets tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters—or even if you don't live in "Tornado Alley"—cats need to be microchipped for their safety. Fires happen. You want anyone who rescues your cat to be able to contact you. A delivery person or contractor may leave the door ajar and Fluffy runs out the door. Make sure your cats are microchipped and the microchips have the correct, most recent information even if your cats are indoor cats. If your cat will let you, a collar with an id tag like those sold at PetHub is a good idea. An id doesn't ensure that your fur baby won't run out, but one with the correct contact info will make it easier for your cat to be returned to you. BB was microchipped but in his case, he may have just been off on a joy ride with his posse.

Stunning Keisha is working with PetHub for Lost Pet Prevention month. While we are being compensated for this post, the thoughts and opinions expressed are our own. We never share anything that we don’t believe.

33 comments:

Summer at sparklecat.com said...

These are such important tips! My human would be frantic if I ever went missing (or Binga or Boodie)!

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

This is SUCH an impawtant post, CK! Once when her godson was here painting, the Human was SURE she'd accidentally left a door open and she practically went CRAZY right out on the street hunting for me. But in truth I was wedged into the smallest little space ever behind a shelf in the little storage room off the kitchen. Heh heh. I kinda felt sorry for her even. XOXOXOXOX

Jans Funny Farm said...

It's horrible to not know where a pet is!

Happy birthday to TW.

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

Excellent post. Collars and ID's are very important along with microchips. My friend's cat was wrongly euthanized because he had gotten out and didn't have id, no one bothered to look for his microchip until it was too late.

Savannah's Paw Tracks said...

Excellent tips CK. We have chips, but neither of us will allow a collar on our necks. Mom L wishes we would wear them with ID tag. Paw pats, Savvy

Nichole Burke said...

Excellent post with lots of great information & tips!

Three Chatty Cats said...

Great tips and reminder, CK. I would be devastated if my indoor kitties got out. They are all chipped up!

Tamago said...

This is such an important post. It's really scary less than 2% of cats are reunited with their humans when they go missing. I'm so happy BB was found.

Edie ThePug said...

I'm so happy that BB found his way home! The thought of a pet going missing is very scary. Thanks for the tips.

Christy Paws said...

This is a great post, CK. A search for a missing kitty is how I came to live with mom and is why she is so careful with all of us now.

Andrea and the Celestial Kitties said...

A big help is putting their litter box outside on the porch, the smell is strong enough that they can smell it from farther away than food which will draw other animals too. My nephews cat got out twice, I told him about the litter box but the first time he waited a week before putting it out, the cat was home within 12 hours of putting it out there. The next time, they put the box out right away and he was back within hours. He's indoors, but snuck out for a peek on the porch and got scared by something both times. I hope he's learned his lesson now.. Oh, both times the dog alerted the family that he was back by going nuts at the door!
By the way, happy birthday to TW!

Anonymous said...

Great posty CK. We 'member when BB went missin' and we was scared fur ya'll. Outside ain't all it's cracked up to be. We's so glad we all have pawsum luvvin' inside furever homes.

Luv ya'

Dezi and Raena

GLOGIRLY said...

The litter box is a great tip! We hadn't thought of that!

GLOGIRLY said...

This is SUCH an important post, CK. Just because cats are indoor only, doesn't mean the unexpected can happen. Just thinking about it is so scary... but also an important step to being prepared. We remember when your cousin's cat went missing...so heartbreaking. We were so happy to hear he'd made it home.

Thank you for sharing all of this with us.

Cathy Keisha said...

That is a great one. Gonna edit the post. Thanks.

Rene said...

We had a cat go missing, and we found him 11 days later 7 blocks away. We guess he got chased or scared across a busy street, and didn't know how to get back. We wrong a long guest post about it here: http://www.kittyblog.net/2013/11/what-i-know-finding-lost-cat-guest-post.html

Marie Symeou said...

Very good tips!

Purrs xx
Athena and Marie

meowmeowmans said...

Terrific tips, CK. It's scary for us to even imagine Gracie or Zoe being missing. They are indoor-only cats, but both are micro-chipped and have identification collars, just in case.

da tabbies o trout towne said...

total lee awesum post CK, manee thanx for sharin. we iz buzzed happee BB came home; hope full lee him & hiz pozzee just take virtual joy rides now. we haz all ways hurd storeez bout catz comin bak afturr manee manee weeks out on de road....long storee//short vershun...a grate pal oh R's frum R catster dayz went on a "walk a bout"....hiz mum went to GRATE lengthz ta locate him.....11 months later; he waz founded....knot half a mile frum hiz own houz....happee ree union for sure ♥♥♥

ANGEL ABBYGRACE said...

Another terrific post and so important too.

Brian said...

That was a great big bunch of good info CK!

Daily Dog Tag said...

Wow. I didn't realize that there isn't a holding period for cats at some shelters. That is terrible and heart breaking! I'm glad to know these other tips, including putting out a litter box, I never would have thought of that!

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

There is nothing more terrifying than a missing pet. I can't even imagine people allowing their cats to roam outside; not knowing where my cat was would drive me crazy. I'm so thankful Mudpie is micro-chipped...I think it should be mandatory as part of the adoption fee!

Sometimes, Cats Herd You said...

This is such important information. The idea of one of us getting out and becoming lost scares the head peep to no end, so she believes in taking preparations to prevent it happening... and making sure we are identified so we can find our way home in case we do get out.

The Florida Furkids said...

Angel Sniffie got out overnight and it was a horrible experience for Mom. Mom is extra vigilant now.

The Florida Furkids

The Island Cats said...

These are important tips, CK. Fortunately none of us have ever gone missing, though the cat that came before us did get out one time and the mom and dad guy spent the better part of the night looking for him all over the neighborhood. He was finally found hiding underneath a neighbor's car and wouldn't come out. The mom finally had to go under and drag him out kicking and screaming.

Kitties Blue said...

The moment our humans adopt a kitty, we get a collar and I.D. tag, which we wear 24/7. Some of us have microchips, but that can't be seen by a neighbor should we get outside. Our angel Louise was missing once for two weeks. She ended up in a neighbor's basement. Good post with great advice. XOCK,, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

Jean Neilson said...

Very interesting stats CK. Our neighbours have just been through a missing cat problem. He was found luckily.

Shoko

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

Just dropping by to say Happy Birfday again to TW. We is happy she hadded such a nice day with the whine & cheese par-tay and the nice balloons (but what has Hello Kitty got that *we* don't anyway--oh yeah, BILLIONS of green papers!) Love you! XOXOXO

The Menagerie Mom said...

This is such a wonderful, so very important post. It terrifies me to even think of one of my furbabies getting loose and lost. You bring up so many great points for preventing a lost furbaby, and for finding one. Thank you for sharing this with us, CK!

Christina Berry said...

Very good information, thanks for sharing. The thought of one of my pets becoming lost makes me a nervous wreck. I pray none of us ever have to experience it.

Happy late birthday to TW, btw! :)

Rosa Silva said...

These are great tips! When I was a teenager one of our outdoor cats disappeared and even though we looked for him for weeks unfortunately we never saw him again. Nowadays I have an indoor cat and I'm extra careful with him.

Rosa @ Cat Lady Confidential

Herman TattleCat said...

Wonderpurr article! Wonderpurr tips about how to prevent lost pets. Purrsonally I'm pretty sure most of the lost pets end up in my yard. My mom adopts stray cats all the time. In fact, she adopted one from our yard two weeks ago. No collar. No chip. Nuffin! But once we are adopted (all of us at my house are ex-strays including me) we get a tight leash. No yard patrol without supervision. Have a Wonderpurr weekend! Herman!!!