We have an inside/outside cat and I’m always so worried that she’ll go missing. What do you suggest that readers do if they lose a cat?
AWOL cat in Arcola
It’s certainly a scary feeling when a cherished pet suddenly doesn’t come home. Outdoor cats often have a tendency to roam, so it’s a good idea to double-check that you kitty is microchipped and tagged. In the event that your cat doesn’t come home, here’s what experts suggest that you do:
Start early: Begin looking for your kitty as soon as you suspect that she’s wandered off. Don’t wait and see. If your cat has gotten lost, the quicker you get started the less time she has to wander.
Stick close to home: Cats are territorial and many will rarely leave their territory unless something has scared them. For this reason, most cats that go missing are found within a five-house radius from where they live. Make sure you check your backyard and those of your neighbors thoroughly. Is there anywhere your cat could be trapped or hiding, such as in a garage? As you know cats can be curious and get trapped in all kinds of places they venture into.
Know your cat: Each cat is different and what has happened to them may depend on several factors such as their personality, whether they are an indoor or outdoor cat or whether something has scared them.
For example, research has shown that indoor cats that have escaped are very likely to be hiding near your house. They have likely panicked and gone into survival mode, so are probably hiding within a three house radius. They are too scared to move and will probably not respond to your calls. They are hiding in silence so as not to attract any predators–they are following their survival instinct.
Entice her nose: Some experts recommend leaving super-smelly wet cat food in your yard or driveway to lure your kitty closer to the house; alas that could also invite other cats as well as less cuddly neighborhood creatures to your home, so proceed with caution there. It also might not hurt to leave a favorite bed or litterbox of your kitty’s or some worn-tee shirts of yours on the porch to redirect kitty home, via her nose. Comforting scents from home might be just what she needs to find her way.
If all of the above steps fail to bring kitty home, your next step is to post her photo and your contact info all over social media and then post signs up around your neighborhood. Spread the word to your neighbors to be on the lookout as well. Hopefully you’ll never have to employ these tactics, but if you do, we sure hope that your kitty comes home safely.
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