Important Information on Finding A Lost Cat

by catfood

The following is an excerpt from Catfoodsite’s monthly Ask the Experts Q&A on Facebook. Like our Facebook page to learn about upcoming Q&As.


Q: How can I determine whether a cat is lost or whether its owner allowed it out to roam freely? B. Brent

A: A cat can’t tell you if it belongs to someone just by looking at it, boy. We commonly deal with instances when a shy family member acts and behaves like a wild cat and has a xenophobic (fearful, catatonic, feral) attitude.

Try scanning a cat for a microchip, putting up a neon “found cat” sign, going through Craigslist ads, checking the shelter for reports of lost cat, and more to find out whether a cat is lost.


Important Information on Finding a Lost Cat

The following is an excerpt from Catfoodsite’s monthly Ask the Experts Q&A on Facebook. Like our Facebook page to learn about upcoming Q&As.

Q: Are there certain places where missing cats tend to hide out more frequently? What should be done first, in your opinion, if a cat has been missing for an hour? S. Julie

A: In the first few hours after losing a cat, it’s probably best to ask your neighbors for permission to search their yards for the missing pet.


If Indoor Cats Go Missing:

  • Finding the escape route, such as a door that has been found to be slightly ajar, is the best course of action to take when an indoor-only cat manages to get outside.
  • Keep an eye on the edge of the building or house. A scared cat will frequently follow along the side of the house rather than take the chance of slinking or bolting out into the open. The outcome of the cat escaping will determine what happens next; for example, if the mailman is approaching on the sidewalk, the cat may run and cross the street right away. However, indoor cats frequently slide to the left or the right around the edge of the home.
  • Discover the hiding locations nearby: Concentrate on finding the first hiding place, which could be a deck, an under-house entry, a shed with an opening, an unlocked garage, etc. repeat to the left after that.
  • Set up humane traps, food, or cameras there: If you can’t see or find the cat, try setting up humane traps, wildlife cameras, or even a plate of food to see if it disappears.
  • Investigating a case of a missing cat. The most important thing to ask when displaced indoor-only cats flee outside, or even when outdoor-access cats flee out of panic, is where the cat is hiding.

Cats That Get Lost Indoors or Outside

When a cat who has access to the outdoors vanishes, the situation is completely different. What happened to the cat must be investigated when a cat with access to the outside disappears. It suggests that something has interfered with the cat’s usual pattern of coming home. The cat could be:

  • Trapped
  • Sick/injured taken outside the territory taken by scavengers on purpose by a neighbor who hates cats.

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