Fostering a Cat
What To Do If:
Your Cat is Lost
You Find a Cat
About Ms. Kitty
About Ms. Kitty's
Cat Rescue, Inc.
What To Do When Your Cat is Lost
It can happen to the best of us. . .your kitty sneaks out the door when the repairman walks through the door. . .the kids left the door open and the temptation to go outside was too great for your kitty. . .or a tornado hits your home, and your kitty is nowhere to be found.
Proper Identification is the First Step
The first step in finding your cat takes place BEFORE your kitty is lost. Proper identification is a must. We recommend at least two forms of identification: a microchip and a break away collar with proper identification. (We have worked with so many stray kitties who were found with a collar with absolutely no identification. If only the owner had taken the time to get a permanent marker and write contact information on the collar! A cat collar without identification is of little or no value.) We strongly advocate implanting your kitty with a microchip. The microchip is safe and permanent. It takes only seconds to implant. The chip contains an identification number and can be scanned by most shelters and veterinarians. When scanned, he chip's number appears in the scanning viewing window. The person scanning can then call the central registry and get information regarding where the chip was implanted and find the owner's name and contact information (if the owner has supplied that information to the registry). For more information on microchip technology, go to http://www.avidmicrochip.com or http://homeagainid.com.
In addition to the microchip, we recommend a break-away safety cat collar with owner's last name and phone number written or embroider on the collar. Collars on cats can be dangerous, and for this reason, many cat lovers don't put collars on their kitties. We have found that the break away collars with proper I.D. are safe and provide enough information to allow your kitty to be returned home to you. Because tags on collars tend to get caught in fences, trees, etc., and may present a safety hazard for your kitty, we prefer writing identifying/contact information on the collar with a permanent marker.
Not everyone has a microchip scanner, and many people are not even aware that microchip technology exists. For this reason, both forms of identification are recommended.
Advertise the Fact That Your Kitty is Lost
Get the word out about your lost kitty as soon as possible. Tell neighbors, call local veterinarians, call animal control, contact local shelters and animal rescue groups, and put the word out on the Internet.
Make flyers with your kitty's picture on it. . .distribute them in your neighborhood, and in local convenience stores and grocery stores. Take the flyers to animal control, local veterinarians, local shelters, and neighborhood schools.
Place a "lost" ad in your local newspaper. Because it sometimes takes awhile for lost kitties to be found, we recommend placing an ad on a daily basis for the first month. . .then placing an ad in the Sunday paper at least once a month for a year after that.
Visit Your Local Animal Shelter(s) At Least Every Other Day
Post flyers at all local animal shelters. Don't forget that some suburban areas have their own small shelters. It's important that you contact them all.
Offer a Reward
Reward money does help. . .we have known times when neighborhood children, attracted by reward money, have joined together and searched and found lost pets. It works!
Look For Your Cat
Canvas the neighborhood calling your kitty and listening for his meow. Don't forget to look up in the trees. Often kitties will go into a neighbor’s out building or garage, or crawl space under the house. . .then the entrance is closed and they cannot get out. Ask neighbors if you could check these places.
Finding a lost cat can be exhausting and discouraging. It's important that you don't give up. We were once told that the primary reason most pets are not reunited with their owners is that their owners give up looking for them too soon.