There are definitely some techniques you should try if your cat escaped and hasn’t come home yet. It’s important to keep in mind that cats do not travel far so they might only be two to three houses away from yours. Here’s your emergency checklist and how to lure a lost cat back home:
1. Check driveways and under cars near your home
2. Check your garden thoroughly
3. Call for your missing cat early morning and late in the evening
4. Leave food that smells outside your door
5. Leave your cat litter out
6. Leave a familiar blanket outside or your cat's bed
7. Create a missing cat poster
8. Knock on your neighbours' doors
9. Leave missing cat posters at your local stores
10. Tape lost cat posters on pillars
1. Driveways and cars
Firstly, check your own driveway and under your car. Cats tend to go under cars if they feel somewhat unsafe and scared. Move on to your neighbours’ cars and driveways.
2. Check your garden thoroughly (if you have one!)
Make sure your missing cat is not hiding somewhere in your garden. Check in green houses, under bushes and anywhere your cat might think is a good hiding spot! Remember, cats are very good at hiding and do not respond to calling, so check places where your lost cat might be able to sneak in and hide. If you're checking in the evening, make sure you take a torch with you, check behind and inside sheds. Check under bushes, garden furniture, behind bins and up trees, your cat might be stuck in a tree and can't figure a way to come down.
3. When to call for your missing cat
Lost cats tend to go undercover when they are in an unfamiliar place. Your missing cat will most likely move from its safe spot either early in the morning or late in the evening. It’s worth setting early morning alarms from 4am onwards, to check whether your kitty is waiting for you to let him or her back into your home. Leave a baby monitor outside, incase your cat starts meowing to come in and you're unable to hear the cries.
4. Leave food outside
You will need to leave some food that smells! You could microwave a bit of tuna and the smell could help bring your lost cat back home. This may of course also bring unwanted visitors, so keep an eye on it and refresh it every few hours or so.
5. Cat litter tray
Let’s hope your cat's litter is not completely clean. Put this outside, the smell could help your lost cat find its way home.
6. Leave a familiar blanket outside or your cat's bed
Cats love familiar scents, it makes them feel safe and secure. Cats love to brush against items, furniture and even your clothing, they do this to mark their own territory by leaving their own unique scent. Leave a blanket outside your back door or your cat's bed, the scent could help bring your cat back home.
7. I’ve done all the above, and my cat is not home yet! Create a missing cat sheet.
This is probably the hardest part because the whole situation becomes even more real. Just remain calm and make sure you include the following:
Add a clear picture of your missing cat.
Mention any noticeable marks that your cat may have that could distinguish it from other cats.
Include your cat’s name, whether it is male or female, its size and whether it has got a collar – list the colour.
Mention where you live and that your cat might only be a few doors down from you in someone’s garden.
Ask them to check their gardens, green houses and under their cars.
Is your cat shy or confident? Would your cat welcome human attention or would it run away?
Include the date/day your cat went missing.
Include your phone number
If you have a paper laminator – great! If not, insert your sheet into a plastic folder and tape the opening end
Missing cat poster template
8. Go around your block and knock on your neighbours’ doors
Yes, if you are like me and you’re stressing out then just go and knock on people’s doors, there’s nothing wrong with that. Have your missing cat sheets ready so you can hand them out. If no-one answers their door, put your cat sheet in their letter box. They might also let you in their home and garden to have a look, so have your Dreamies bag with you, just in case! Remember that your cat will not have travelled far and is probably hiding somewhere safe.
9. Leave a missing cat poster at your local shop, near your home
If there is a local shop near you, make sure you add one of your missing cat sheets and stick it onto their billboard. They will be more than happy to help you find your lost furry friend!
10. Tape missing cat posters onto pillars
You’d be surprised at how many people will actually try and find your pet. Continue to call out for your lost cat early in the morning and late in the evening.
My missing cat experience
My wonderful boyfriend left the bathroom window wide open one evening and my cat went out for a little adventure. She was out for three nights with no sight of her. The day after I knocked on people’s doors, I set up my alarm at 4am and went outside in the garden to check if she was there. My kitty was pacing up and down my garden waiting for me to let her in. I trust that your cat will find its way back home to you. I was overwhelmed by all the people that contacted me. There are wonderful people out there that will take the time to look for your missing cat on your behalf.
I would love to hear your lost and found cat stories and any other tips you may want to share.