by Gigi McWhirter
Cats, like dogs, can go missing.
According to pet detective Kat (yep, that’s her name) Albrecht, “The behavior of dogs and cats influences the distances they travel. Dogs run, sometimes great distances, while cats will hide. They not only hide, they do so in silence and typically stay close to home.”
Cats usually are found within a third of a mile of where they escaped. Some cats are found within a few hours, others may take days, weeks and even years. Sadly, some never make it back to their owners. To increase the odds of finding your pet it is important to use every avenue available.
Unless you saw the cat escape out of the house, go through it thoroughly. Look in the obvious places, and then start looking in and under every piece of furniture. Look in the closets and on the shelves. Look on top of cabinets and appliances, especially on top of higher places. We used to have a cat who loved watching us look for her from her position on top of the fridge.
Continue the search around the yard. Look in and under bushes and trees. Check in and under the car. Cats are usually more active at night and the early hours of the morning, so try to vary the times you go searching.
Notify your neighbors your pet is missing and ask permission to search their yards. Make sure to look inside of their garages and parked vehicles. Consider any structure where the cat could become trapped or seek shelter such as garages or storage sheds.
Put up big, eye-catching posters. Using brightly colored paper helps. If you can, put a photo on the poster. Include a phone number where you can be reached at all times. Take the posters to all the veterinary offices in the area, pet stores, feed stores and grooming facilities.
Check all animal control facilities serving the area. Contact shelters and rescue groups, and let them know about the missing animal. Go visit the shelters frequently and look for your cat. If your cat has a microchip, contact the microchip company. Keep your contact information current, and offer a backup contact in case they cannot get in touch with you.
Make sure and post lost pet information on social media sites. Facebook, nextdoor.com, petharbor.com, petamberalert.com and craigslist are a few examples.
If possible, set humane traps in spots where you can check them often. Your garage also can serve as a trap by leaving enough space where the kitty can crawl through.
Repeat the search checking the same spots over and over again. Cats get scared easily and may move out of their original hiding place if spooked.
If you know of a neighbor who leaves food for outdoor cats, ask them to watch for your kitty.
Check out the website missinganimalresponse.com for other suggestions on finding lost pets.
Never give up. Your kitty is out there somewhere trying to get back to its loving family.
Happy tails to you!