Losing a pet can be one of the most heartbreaking feelings you can have. We've dealt with countless cases of people needing our need with a lost pet and it never gets any easier to see. Due to this, we've decided to compile a list of tips that may help you find your missing cat, if you are in need of the advice.
Gather up items that will hold a familiar smell such as used cat litter, contents of a hoover bag, shoes, socks, slippers and cat beds. Cats have an amazing sense of smell and placing these items outside may help your cat find his/her way home.
Ensure you check in gardens, under decking,outbuildings, under cars. The best time to search for your cat is late evening / early morning when it is quieter.
Remember to take a familiar scent or sound like your cats toy with a bell on with you on your search and take a torch
Use the power of social media! update your timeline and share on groups and pages and any local sites that may be able to help spread the word
Make posters, remember not everyone has access to social media. Please make sure your poster has a clear photo of your cat, a full description including whether the cat is microchipped, note the area where it has gone missing from and the date it went missing and your full contact details
Displaced cat? You need to think like a cat!
In general, any cat that is transplanted into an unfamiliar territory is a displaced cat. Outdoor access cats become displaced when they escape from their carrier while at the vets. Once a cat is transplanted into an unfamiliar territory, it seeks shelter because it is afraid. Cats that are afraid (and cats that are injured( will seek areas of concealment such as under decking, under bushes etc, and they will not meow!
Meowing would give up their location to a predator. Their behaviour has nothing to do with whether the cat loves you, whether it recognises you voice or whether it can smell you. It has everything to do with the fact that a frightened cat with hide in silence!
Think like your cat. Where would a frightened cat hide? What areas would be attractive and what areas would be avoided? Think low, not high. When your cat first ran, it looked for a first safe spot it could find. It very well may know where 'home is', but to get from it's current 'safe spot' (wherever that may be) back to 'home' means exposing itself. But this complete cover instinct tells it to STAY PUT and hidden rather than venture AWAY from it's new safe spot - (even if home is only a few yards away, even if the animal is starving)
To the frightened cat, it is not a choice between comfort, food and love versus fear, thirst and starvation. It is completely instinctive and automatic. Your cat is not choosing to avoid you, or choosing to starve, and it doesn't mean your cat doesn't love you. In this defensive mode, your cat believes that in order to survive, everything and anything must be treated as a threat - including you.
When any cat is displaced into an unfamiliar area, the cat is likely hiding (usually near the escape point) in fear.
The cat will likely be closer, rather than farther, particularly early on.
Early on, the cat may show its body, but that is no guarantee it will come to the owner, or allow the owner to approach it.
The more timid the personality, the closer it will stay.
CAUTION IF YOU SEE YOUR CAT: Nothing can be more heartbreaking than to lose your animal, see it, maybe even touch it. But then to have it disappear again - frightened cats could either run or stay put. Be forewarned and very careful when approaching your own pet. It may be the best chance you have of retrieving them, but it also may be the last time in a long whilst you see them.
Some cats allow themselves to be picked up, but many cats scratch and bite in fear. And then run off when the owner in unable to maintain a secure hold. If you decide the approach, make yourself as small and quiet as possible. Wear heavy gloves. Once you decide to pick up your cat, you CANNOT change your mind midstream. You have to commit to the decision, hang on to your cat and don't let go.
There is no way to predict whether your cat will allow you to pick it up or take off at a run, and there is no way to predict whether trapping will be successful or not. Use your best judgement and intuition.
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Please do get in touch with us if there is anything we can help with. Wallington, London, United Kingdom