What to do if your cat is missing
Q: My cat is missing, what should I do?
A: Firstly, don't panic. If your cat has gone missing in a location it is not familiar with, it will be very close by. Many cats have been successfully reunited with their owners by following the steps below:
- If your cat has gone missing in an unfamiliar location, follow these steps:
- The most crucial time to act is within the first 24 to 48 hours
- If possible, sit outside in the location where the cat went missing
- If available, spread the contents of your hoover and/or the cat's used litter around the area the cat is missing. The scent will attract the cat and familiarise it
- Talk in a very soft voice, you could read the newspaper out loud, but do not say the cat's name or attempt to call it
- Try to ensure there is no anxiety in your voice, imagine you are talking to a very young child
- If you see the cat come out slightly, completely ignore it and keep talking
- Wait for the cat to approach you
- Once you can touch the cat, use one finger to rub its head, whilst still not looking at it or talking to it
- Once you're comfortable that the cat is safe, take the cat inside and ensure you keep all doors and windows closed
If your cat has gone missing close to home, follow these steps:
- Create missing cat flyers and posters, and put them up EVERYWHERE
- It is very important to raise as much awareness as possible. Someone could've taken your cat in, it could be trapped in a garage/shed, it could be injured in someone's garden
- Knock on your neighbours' doors and ask them if they have seen your cat, and to keep an eye out. Most people are absolutely willing to help
- Complete the steps above on what to do if your cat has gone missing in an unfamiliar location
- Additionally, empty out your hoover contents in the location, throwing it up into the air to spread the scent
- If your cat uses litter, do this with the used litter too
- Remember, it is very important not to call your cat's name
When cats go missing, their instincts outweigh their domestic nature. Their priorities are food and shelter, and if they are called they could feel threatened which makes them less likely to come out of hiding.
It is very difficult, but we have had a lot of success when people follow the steps above.