LIFESTYLE

How to Find a Missing Cat: Bring Kitty Back Home

Lost cat sign on a tree
Stella Noble
Written by Stella Noble

You come home and hope to see the familiar sight of your cat waiting for you as usual at the doorstep. But as you walk through the door, you notice right away that something is different. The familiar purring is not there, and your feline friend is gone. It’s easy to let panic take over, but before you rush out there in your slippers to search blindly, taking a minute to calm down and learn the proper ways on how to find a missing cat is a more effective solution.

Understandably, you’re worried about what has happened to your friend. But you need to understand that now is not the best time to wallow in guilt or lose yourself to panic—that wouldn’t help your furry friend. What would is calming yourself down so you can think clearly about which gap in your house’s defense could have allowed your cat to escape, and whether there are clues as to where he had gone off to. Even if you can’t find anything, don’t worry because we have some proven measures that could help you bring your cat back home in time.

a cat hidding in the autmn leafs

Whatever the reason is for your cat’s disappearance, this article will help you take the necessary steps to find him again. While it may take a lot of effort and time, finding your cat, in the end, will give you happiness beyond measure. Read on to understand the circumstances that could have caused your cat to leave the house and how you can help him find his way back.

Why Do Cats Leave Home?

A good number of circumstantial factors could have played a part in your cat’s disappearance. Perhaps you left a window open before you left and the cat was curious. Sometimes the cause was a simple lapse in attention, but other times it’s not your fault at all.

They Were Chased Away

Your cat could have been chased away by more dominant cats or other pets in your home. Cats especially are prone to leaving the house because of conflict with some other pets. They are solitary animals after all—unlike dogs that follow the alpha in a pack-based system.

A cat in a tree looking down at the camera

They won’t try to get along with the other animal if they don’t hit it off from the start. Instead, they will be tempted to pursue their loner instinct further.

They Want to Explore the Outside World

Other cats choose to leave just because they want to explore on their own. Owners may wonder why their cats choose to do so when they never lack food, care, and attention.

The right answer to this question remains a mystery—some say that they are simply clueless and don’t know what they are getting themselves into while others believe that Cait Sith the king of cats have just called upon all his underlings to gather for a worldwide meeting!—but the one that’s probably closest to the truth is simply because cats are curious creatures. They have a craving for the wild and adventures.

A cat exploring the outside world

While they may stay away from home for weeks, months, or even years, they may simply just wander back one day, as if nothing ever happened; adventurers have to miss their home at one point or another, right? The reasons why cats leave home—despite the attention, care, and love that their owners provide them with—are endless.

While there will always be that fear that your cat may slip through your fingers one day, if you can prepare yourself beforehand by learning the proper ways to search for a missing cat, you will be able to enjoy your cat’s company even more without being haunted by doubts. If your cat is already missing, then all the more reason for you to read our tips and tricks on how to find a missing cat in the section below.

The Search for the Missing Cat

If it is confirmed that your cat is really missing, the number one thing that you have to do is to keep calm. There is no way that you can think straight and plan a search properly if you let your emotions overwhelm you. Once you’ve cleared your head, follow these steps so you could be reunited with your best friend.

Clear Your Schedule (If You Can)

Your commitments are definitely important, but there is no denying that your cat is also very important. If you are worried and scared of what could have happened to your pet, you would also have a hard time concentrating at work.

Image of the plans for the week of a person

You would have difficulty doing anything at all. Rather than suffering through an agonizing and unproductive day at work, it might be best to clear your schedule for the day—if you can, of course.

Keep Your Phone Lines Open

If you cat has micro-chip or a name tag, it is very likely that someone would be contacting you about your lost cat. Always keep your lines open. Who knows, you may get a call from a concerned citizen or agency and you will be reunited with your friend.

Sign Up with Automated Services

There are companies or agencies that specialize in the search of missing pets.

Pet rescue agent holding a kitten

Their system works by mass calling or emailing everyone living in the neighborhood of the household that lost the pet. With many people on the lookout, finding the cat would be easier.

Put Up Signs with a Clear Photo of Your Cat

Print photos of your cat from your phone or computer and have these copied clearly. The picture should be accurate in terms of color and other distinguishing features of your cat. You can also share the sign with some local shelters so they can give you a call if they find a cat with such traits.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

These days, social media can be very helpful in reuniting pets with their owners. Create a lost cat graphics and post it on your account.

Close-up image of a lost kitten

You can ask your family members and friends to also share the post on their pages. You may also ask shelters to post it on their own network.

Give a Reward

While there are indeed many people who empathize with pet owners whenever they lost their furry buddy, a cash reward is still a good motivator, and it may be more effective at prompting others to be on the lookout. You may have to cough up a good amount for many people to notice you, but it is worth it when you think about how it will allow you to be reunited with your baby.

Visit Animal Shelters

Shelters can assure you that they will give you notifications if they ever find your cat.

A lost kitty in a shelter

However, they may be busy, too. It would help if you could take the initiative to go to these shelters whenever you can and check if your cat is there among the animals they found.

Run Announcements on Local Media

It may be a little expensive, but traditional media—the newspaper, radio, and television—could be really helpful when it comes to piquing the interest of people in your search for your missing cat. You just have to be prepared to spend a bit more as a slot in any of these media can be quite expensive.

Let Your Friends and Family Members Join the Search

Family and friends will never leave you in times of trouble. Never shy away from the idea of asking them for help in such a trying time. You will never know how much an extra hand could ease the pains and worries that you are experiencing at the moment.

A woman taking a picture with a cat

You can ask them to help you in putting up signs around the neighborhood or beyond it. They can also utilize their own network to widen the search for your missing cat. Their moral support also comes in handy, especially at such a trying time.

Never Give Up

The search for a missing pet could be very difficult and draining both mentally, emotionally, and financially. Just don’t ever give up on your pet as your perseverance will eventually pay off.

How to Keep Your Cat Home

It’s your cat. You found him! He’s home! If your search bore fruit and you finally got reunited with your cat, the next crucial step is to keep him inside your house. This doesn’t mean that you should just lock him up and make his life miserable. Instead, you should take precautionary measures to keep the cat from straying away from home again. Here are some steps that you can take to make sure your cat will stay at home without feeling bored or depressed:

Put a Micro-Chip on Your Cat

You can trust your vet to micro-chip your cat. This is a safe an inexpensive way to safeguard your cat. Ask the vet to install a universal chip so other vets and shelters can scan it too.

Microchip implant for cat by Veterinarian

Micro-chips are non-invasive and very reliable in tracking down a cat. Unlike cat tags that can be easily removed, microchips are hidden underneath the cat’s skin. Wherever they go, the owner will always have a way to connect with the cat.

Keep a Cat Nanny

With technology being so advanced today, cat owners could find a way to monitor their cats when they are away for work or somewhere else. Cat nannies are like a closed circuit television system that feed cat owners actual videos of their home so they could monitor their cat remotely.

Kitten sleeping on a womans hand

This will need a bit of an initial investment, but it should be worthwhile as you get to see all of your cat’s activities through your computer or phone.

Keep Contact Details of Specialized Agencies

Many agencies are willing to help cat owners in their search for their lost cats. Keep the contact details of these agencies around so if your cat ever wanders off you can ask for their help immediately. The sooner they act, the better the chances of them finding your cat would be.

Keep His Life Interesting

Your indoor cat may actually hate the mundane, monotonous life of being locked inside the house. The misery would be even worse if they are left alone in the house for most of the day. Of course, it’s for their own good. But they don’t know that, and your job is to make sure they don’t feel bored or lonely.

Dog and cat cuddling

Although cats are not as active as dogs, you can add toys to keep him occupied. If you are open to the idea, and if your cat is not hostile to other cats or animals, you can consider adding another pet. Another good way to keep cats occupied is by providing them with treats. With a nanny cam to help you, feeding your cat treats on a schedule even when you’re away is possible.

Give the Cat a Space of His Own

You are not expected to give your cat a whole room, but you can at least put his litter box, food, and water in quiet and secluded areas. This way, he will feel like he has his own territory. Cats love their privacy.

Keep Windows and Doors Closed

The world outside may still be appealing no matter what entertainment you provide your cat with.

A woman assuring the window is closed

This is especially true if they can peek through windows and see other cats “living the life.” The best way you can keep them from feeling sad or envious is to keep any exit points closed if you are away.

Shower Your Cat with Love and Attention

Cat owners definitely have their hands full with many things but giving your cat attention, showering them with love, and making them a priority once you are home is the key to keeping your cat tethered to your house. Do not let life overwhelm you so much that you neglect to give your cat the love that he needs.

Wrap Up

Losing a cat is like torture to cat owners. Many cat owners wallow in guilt because they feel like it is their fault. However, it pays to understand all the different reasons these animals choose to leave their home. Some of them may leave because it is a part of their nature, others because they get fond of other cats outside, and some others may be chased away by a threat coming from inside the house.

A cat-in-backyard

Other than trying to minimize these threats as much as possible to create a safe and comfortable living environment for your cat, pet owners should also try their best to look for their cats. With so many available medium today that could help them, the search for a missing cat should prove to be fruitful. The only mantra to always think of is: never give up.

Is your cat missing? Or are you reading this article because you want to be prepared for any unwanted future occurrences? If you are experienced in the matter of searching for missing cats, please share your knowledge with us in the comments section below so our readers can reunite with their best friend too.

About the author
Stella Noble
Stella Noble

Stella Noble lives in Warren, Michigan with her family and three cats. She is a Certified Cat Trainer and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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