A friend of mine encountered a problem of one of their male cats went missing the other day. I thought I’d share some tips I gave her as they searched for him.
- Search for them when things are calmer outside. Such as between 9pm-5pm. They will be more likely to come out and they will be easier to catch.
- Do not wait to search. Go about your search calmly but swiftly.
- Put something outside with a familiar scent. It could be your hoodie, their favorite blanket or toy etc. A cat’s scent can carry pretty far.
- Also putting out smelly food(fishy scented food works best)can help. But make sure to monitor the food especially at night because other cats or animals that notice the food might keep your cat from approaching.
- Alert neighbors and local animal shelters or vet clinics to your situation as well as your cat’s name and what they look like. The more people being on the look out the more likely you can get a sense of what area to search in or having the likelihood of someone else finding your cat. Give them a number to call in case they find your cat before you do.
- If your cat is used to the outdoors though it would be best to widen your search. Wandering far isn’t unusual for them.
- When you find them the most ideal way to approach them is low to the ground and calling their name in a soft voice. Don’t give off a feeling of “I am going to pounce once you come close”. They’re most likely scared and on high alert even if you’re their owner. The best way I can describe it is try to embody “safety” because that is what your cat is looking for in the first place when dealing with an unfamiliar environment. Be the way you are with them normally.
- Overall know where your cat likes to hide. What places do they consider safe? As a general rule I check underneath cars, in bushes, boxes, under stairs or a porch etc. Also knowing whether they tend to stick to lower or higher ground is very helpful.
Those are just a few tips I’ve learned mostly based on experience as well as common sense as a cat owner. As well as having worked with people that humanely trap animals or deal with lost pet situations often. Feel free to add any of your own tips! I kept this post general but discussing the differences in searching for a completely indoor vs indoor/outdoor cat is important as well if anyone would like me to bring that up. (By the way my friend thankfully found her cat that same day. I might write another post about that considering it brings up the decision to have an indoor/outdoor cat).