The shock is first of all enormous, when you realize that your beloved cat has run away. She does not do it on purpose! Either it is frightened and does not find back or the cause is pure curiosity or hormones.
Whether it is a house cat or an outdoor cat that has not returned for too long, there is no need to panic. There are many ways that can help you find your missing cat. Which are those, I have listed to you in this adviser.
You cannot include the cat’s running away in your daily schedule. Even if the fright is huge at the beginning, it is useful to keep calm at first. Before you rush out in a panic, you should make some preparations:
- Breathe deeply!
- Think about where your pet might be hiding.
- Ask your neighbors to look in their garages and basements.
- Take your favorite treats with you to the search.
- Print out wanted posters that you can distribute.
- Inform neighbors, veterinarians, animal shelters and animal registries like TASSO or FINDEFIX.
- Do not give up!
In addition to the personal search for the cat, you can draw attention to the lost darling with the help of wanted posters. Attentive passers-by significantly increase the general search radius. You can also post or display the wanted posters at your local veterinarians.
Then it is definitely helpful to ask in animal shelters and organizations that specialize in finding missing cats. In addition it is very helpful in the apron to mark the cat with a transplanted chip clearly and to let it register. (More about this below.)
Look for the cat yourself
The first logical step after noticing the disappearance is of course to personal search for the lost darling. Especially if your cat has just run away and is perhaps still nearby, calling and rustling or clattering with his favorite food and the food bowl will help.
You can lure many cats to you with the help of rustling treat packages or the clatter of the food bowl.
The search for the cat will be much more successful if you have a plan and know how your cat thinks. Just walking around and calling the name helps in the rarest cases. It is better to have something with you that the cat recognizes by the sound. For example, many cats come running as soon as they hear the familiar clacking of a treat box. Others come running at the sound of a bell. Since the hearing of cats is much better than that of humans, the cat perceives the sound over a very long distance. Of course, it is even more helpful if you have conditioned your cat to this sound beforehand. An article to the cat education, you find here.
The most likely locations
Cats have their own head, but in a certain way they are predictable on the run, because their curiosity or even their fear, let them act according to a certain pattern.
The probability that you just run into the cat on the street is not very high. There are two ways how the cat reacts outside: either she gets scared and hides or she is curious and wants to discover everything around her.
a frightened cat will usually hide somewhere. That is why you should first among the cars parked nearby look. Also under bushes or in small hidden corners you should look intensively. The search radius should not be too large at first, because a house cat also knows outside, where he lives approximately and will probably creep up nearby.
To lure cats out of their hiding place needs some patience
For a curious cat, as far as the search radius is concerned, the same applies. However, cars, bushes and corners do not have to be the priority. Curious cats have a talent for locking themselves up somewhere. Behind the open door or window from which she escaped, so many interesting things were lurking already. It can certainly be much more exciting behind the next door.
Usually the curious four-legged friend slips through a closing door still unnoticed. Or he jumps through an open basement window, through which he can not get out again. Or he hides in a room gripped by fear. Therefore, it is advisable to look especially in basements, garages or sheds in the area. Cats are such good sneakers that the neighbor may not have noticed them when he closed the cellar door recently. So ask your neighbors if you can look for your pet in their sheds or basements.
It is well worthwhile to repeat an unsuccessful search later on. Because perhaps the animal has come near again or could free itself. If it is quieter outside in the evening than during the day, the chance of being able to perceive the mewing of the imprisoned pet increases, in order to free it afterwards.
By the way, you must never forget to look into the trees. Because fire department operations because of a cat, which climbed on a tree and did not dare to get down again, are no rarity.
Young or inexperienced cats sometimes do not come down from the tree again
Attract frightened cats
Sometimes it can happen that you see your cat but you can’t catch it. Be it because she is too scared by the unfamiliar noises. Be it because she has not lived with you for a long time and therefore does not have enough confidence to come back immediately.
It can be very helpful to look for the animal during the night or to look for it behind the next door. to lure. Because especially apartment cats are often overwhelmed by the new impressions outside of their usual environment and instinctively look for a place to hide. In the evening, when it is quieter and the noise from the city traffic and the many strange people and dogs has been minimized, you have a greater chance that your frightened cat will hear you and dare to come out of hiding.
Luring frightened kittens out of their hiding places again may require patience.
Sometimes cats also run away because they had a fight with their fellow cats. Then it is important to lure them in and rebuild their trust. She should again associate positive things with home. This can happen by giving her food near the house. You can also put a cat house outside for your darling for the transition period, where she can retreat and in or in front of which she can find food and water. This way you tie her to your home, but also give her the space she seems to need at the moment. With time she will surely feel more comfortable with you and maybe move back in.
Preparing a wanted poster
Generally it is helpful if you have a current photo of your cat have to be able to make a profile in case of emergency. This should be as informative as possible. For the profile you need a photo, on which your four-legged darling and its special characteristics are well recognizable. The chances that someone recognizes the animal and informs the owner are much higher if the color, coat pattern and special features are clearly visible on the picture. This can include a single white paw, a torn ear or whatever visually distinguishes your cat.
A good wanted poster is not just a picture of the cat, the date it went missing and the owner’s phone number. The text should contain as briefly and precisely as possible all other important characteristics of the animal. Important characteristics are, for example, the name, whether the cat listens to it and characteristics that are difficult or impossible to recognize on a picture. This can be for example a special peculiarity in walking or in the attitude. Of course, you should not forget whether the animal has a collar, a tattoo or a chip.
We have created a sample letter that you can download here and easily edit in Word.
It can not hurt to prepare the wanted poster. Because then you have a cool head and are not too excited, because you are worried about your fur ball. If you already prepare your cat’s wanted poster, you will not forget any important details. Then, in case of an emergency, you only have to write the date and time before you print it out and distribute it in the area.
Distribute your cat’s profile
You can distribute them on lampposts or trees in your neighborhood.
I would strongly advise you to post them also at the vets, animal shelters, boarding kennels or on the bulletin board at the supermarket. On the one hand you inform the responsible authorities that your cat has escaped and on the other hand you enlarge the circle of those who can look for your darling.
The more people search for your cat, the greater the chance of finding it.
For a still further spreading you can additionally search announcements in the Internet (z.B. post it on Facebook in the local city groups). For this purpose, there are various sites that can help you in the search for your darling. This way you can ask Tasso if your pet has been found somewhere, submit a search report to the animal registration office or contact FINDFIX – the pet register of the German Animal Welfare Association look up.
Since there are unfortunately enough people who exploit the suffering of others and want to extort money through fake reports, there is the possibility to run these wanted ads through TASSO. Tips on this, you can find here: Search tips from TASSO.
If the search was not successful
If your beloved animal is simply not to be found, helps beside the hung up wanted posters the grasp to the telephone. The police are also a friend and helper for animal lovers. It happens that people who have lost a cat bring it to the police, because they do not know what else to do with it. The cat is then registered as lost property and placed in an animal shelter. The local police station can then tell you in which animal shelter you can pick up your cat again.
Of course it is also useful to animal shelters in the area to call directly, if you have not already done this with the distribution of the wanted poster. You can leave your number there, so that the staff will call you back if a cat matching the description is found.
Vets are also a good place to go. Maybe the cat was injured and someone brought it to one of the nearby vets. If the cat is not identifiable, no one will report that it has been found. Veterinarians can also keep the kitty overnight and then give it to a home of their confidence in care.
Many runaway cats end up in animal shelters
In addition to the self-posted wanted posters you should also put on other notes on trees, lanterns, facades, etc. look. Many people who are not bothered by a strange cat and who have not seen the wanted posters, post them themselves with the message that a cat has been found. Such messages are often posted on supermarket bulletin boards.
If the outdoor cat does not show up for a longer period of time, it is also possible that he simply looked for a new family. If there is someone in a distant neighborhood with other cats or is generally considered very fond of animals, the fugitive could also stay there. If the person does not know who owns the cat, they will probably keep it and feed it until it runs back to its old family.
So you should not give up hope! Again and again we read and hear about cats that have returned to their families after months or years.
Precaution: The chip in the neck
It is often better to take precautions than to be left in the lurch afterwards. Although you probably don’t like to think about the possibility of your cat escaping.
To make it easier to identify your pet, you can have them chipped by your vet. Each chip has a unique number, which makes the animal uniquely identifiable. However, just chipping your pet does not help you yet. You have to register the chip with the number too. The vet records all important data of the cat and the owner, including address and phone number.
In addition, you should register the chip with at least one service such as TASSO or FINDEFIX – The Pet Register of the German Animal Welfare Association itself. This can be done easily online:
- Click on one of the two links above.
- Enter the unique coding of the chip (= transponder number = microchip number)
- Add the data about your darling and of course your contact details.
- Save your data.
Your fur ball is already registered.
This has two advantages:
- If someone finds your lost animal, the chip number can be read with a scanner. By checking the registration services, the staff of the animal shelter or veterinarian can determine the identity of the owner within seconds and notify the owner.
- As soon as you notice that your pet has escaped, you can report it to the registry and file a missing person report. This way your lost cat will be listed among the missing animals and even more people can search for him/her.
The chip is not expensive and remains active for a cat’s lifetime. Your vet can check if the chip is still readable during the check-ups. The system is uniform throughout Europe. So the owner is still identifiable if the cat should have sneaked over the border.
Do not panic
The majority of lost cats reappear within a few days. It’s important to act wisely.
Go to the Search right on, use great treats and repeat this to different times of the day. Take precautions by having a current profile in the drawer have. Let your Chipping a cat and don’t forget to register the chip at TASSO or FINDFIX to register. Inform the Neighbors, pet registers, veterinarians, animal shelters and boarding kennels about your runaway cat. So you can find your darling with high probability again.
If this is not immediately the case, repeat your search. You should not give up hope so quickly!