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What to do when you lose a cat

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by kelly-joy, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. Aruna Veni

    Aruna Veni PetForums Newbie

    Nov 7, 2017
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    Use a lot of flyers and very important: Talk to people! Once in 2002 (or 2003? Can't remember exactly) my cat Oliver went missing. I hit up sooo many people about it (I didn't care whether they found it embarrassing, I loved that cat) and somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody called me and said Oliver ran towards them a couple of days ago. This way I got him back again! Good luck to you all. Aruna
  2. Gayle1983

    Gayle1983 PetForums Newbie

    Nov 14, 2017
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    Hi, I was after some ideas. I lost my male cat on Friday after he was hit by a car. He was 7 years old and we are devestated. My problem is his sister, whilst they’ve not really enjoyed each other’s company over the last few years, we tended to have a one in one out situation, they did love each other very much. She is behaving very oddly, I’m pretty sure she’s now realised he’s gone, she hasn’t wanted to go out since he died. She has an upset tummy. She’s overly affectionate compared to normal and lethargic at times. Whats concerning though is she appears to have gone completely mental. She’s jumpy, constantly wide eyed and staring at nothing intently. Chasing nothing round the room, chasing her tail, trying to bite her tail, running around the house(not unusual when she was small but at 7, she usually sleeps when at home) flicking her tail a lot. She was also out when her brother was killed, I’m worried she may have seen it. I’m just not sure what to do to help her....
  3. Abby Cox

    Abby Cox PetForums Member

    Nov 21, 2017
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    Cats could easily find their way home especially if they have been living with you for a long time. But in case your cat is not able to return home after a day or two, he/she could be lost somewhere. First you should report it, then asks permission to post posters in your community or contact local radio station so that whoever saw your cat would be able to contact you. Another is you could attach a tracker device for you cat so that it would be easier to track them down. As a precaution to avoid losing your pet, don't let them roam freely outside be it on daytime or nighttime unless you're watching them or you have a fence surrounding your house. Just make sure that there's no hole or something that let your cat escape from it.
  4. AnninDurham

    AnninDurham PetForums Newbie

    Mar 19, 2018
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    That only works if someone takes the cat to a vet to find the chip, it isn't a complete answer.
    Summercat likes this.
  5. JetSet

    JetSet PetForums Newbie

    May 14, 2018
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    Never give up. A few experiences I've had over the years. Back in The Summer of 1984 one of our cats "Fluff" aged 4 went missing. I should add here that I live in a very rural area, only 3 houses within a mile of us. Despite extensive searches there was no trace of him and I stopped looking for him after a month or so. Fast forward to 1988 and I was out running when I spotted him by a country cottage down the lane that I live on about a mile and half away. I spoke to the people at the cottage who had adopted him as a stray a few years before. I decided the only thing to do was to leave him there . Then there was the case of "Kit", a small tortie who used to go missing for weeks on end, a month was her record! Never did find out where she went but she always came back. Then, in January last year our male stud 12 month old Bengal escaped. We searched as far as 5 miles away but once again drew a blank. We purchased another male Bengal as we thought he'd gone but blow me down he came home 7 months to the day, a bit skinny but still intact. It's possible that someone had either stolen him (we never figured out how he escaped) or possibly just picked him up. You see he's a big cat, very very noisy and a real handful so I'm thinking that whoever had him simply returned him. Of course its also possible that he just got lost and the smell of the 2 females finally brought him home but I guess I'll never know.

  6. Islander

    Islander PetForums Junior

    Mar 3, 2019
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    Much the same story.. one of mine went missing one year. I did all the advised things. Posters, local radio, cat rescues.... I was in a tourist area and had read of some folk with a holliday home feeding a " stray" while they were there then leaving it there and "hoping it would be OK ". I emailed all the local lets but it was autumn, three months, before one day I herd her familiar shrill cry. |went to the gate and there she was way down the lane.. Rattled a spoon in an empty can and called and called and she came nearer and nearer util I grabbed her. "You are never going out again! " She was emaciated and sat on my chest wailing and talking at me all the night long. I think she got shut in somewhere empty? Never give up!
  7. PhatCat

    PhatCat PetForums Newbie

    Feb 15, 2019
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    Thank you for advices
  8. shiblover

    shiblover PetForums Newbie

    Sep 28, 2019
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    Thank you for sharing this! This means a lot!
  9. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows PetForums Newbie

    Dec 29, 2019
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    Never give up.

    Posters with contact details (online at lost and found pet sites and services/on the street level/in the local bulletin boards in shop windows or big supermarkets).

    Do the leg work.

    Work with what you know about the cat.
    If it's a new cat you've just adopted and has ran away (so the cat would have no reason to return to you since it has nothing to connect you or it's new home as home), always inform any previous owner if you've a 'displaced lost cat', never be afraid to say
    "You know that cat you've just sold me?.."
    "It got out my house right away/I under estimated it and the window..."
    "And now I can't find it."
    "Your fluffy baby I've just adopted is now lost." (Basically).

    Because chances are, they'd have the cat microchipped.
    If they've microchipped the cat but haven't updated the information or don't have the microchip number to hand, then which ever vet who inserted the microchip would have the microchip number on their records of when they inserted the chip - they'd always ask for the pet to be registered upon inserting the microchip and they'd always keep a record of the microchip's number inserted into the animal on its file.

    It's on you to try your hardest and inform all parties with a vested interest in any "new" lost cat.

    There is a whole plethora of different microchip companies with different databases and chances are; if you read the number to a microchip company, if it's not on their database, based on the number, there is a real chance they could point you in the direction of the correct microchip company. Once you've made contact with the correct company, notify them the cat is missing so they can flag it. Update the information (which should take 28 days).

    Have the microchip number to hand at all times so you can use it to identify your cat if it's found within the transfer window, all the registered keepers details will be locked during this transfer, but the number will still show when scanned.

    A previous owner would probably have more photos and videos of the cat you could use; try using a photo that shows the cat's body and length of fur and any unique markings as well, rather than it sitting on a pillow looking at the camera (unless it's got a unique face). Chances are, when looking for the cat, you're going to see a lot of cats, so try and find a picture where you can match body size and fur length better, if you can.
    Talking to the previous owner about behavior could indicate if you've a lost timid cat or playful cat (there's a bunch of cat personality types you'd see when diving into the world of pet detective to find your missing cat).

    Know what type of cat you're looking for.
    The personality of the cat can let you know what radius to cover when searching for your cat.
    If the cat's an indoor cat or an outdoor access cat, can also determine which radius.

    After 10 days, any cat will be so in need of TLC, it won't be afraid to approach a friendly stranger, between 7 - 10 days.
    Days 1 - 3, the cat is lying low, hiding, it's a basic survival strategy for the cat to keep quiet and probably isn't too far away - but it is an expert hider, master of not being found if it doesn't want to be.
    Days 3 - 5 a displaced adult outdoor access cat will then feel brave enough venture out further.
    Days 7 - 10, it will be so in need of TLC and want of cat food it will open up to the kindness of strangers.
    To be kind to a cat.
    Food. Food. Food.
    This is an animal still.
    It associates food with good and your smell with the food smell creates a positive association with yourself for the cat.
    How to get your scent into its food?
    You could handle it with your bare hands, might sound nasty or gross, but, our hands have pours and we have a smell and if we wash our clean hands in its food a little, any animal who finds this food will smell you and the food together and will probably let you hand feed it if you're lucky enough to find it once a trust is built up between you and the animal. Use plastic bowls as plastic bowls keep the scent better than ceramic when creating this positive association. Handle the plastic bowl as well as the food to get your scent all over it.
    Cats are all about the positive association, so any new lost displaced cat might find your food (or another cat/wild animal), and learn your smell as good when mixed with food. So to be nice to a new lost displaced cat, the answer is food, and to create the positive association to yourself with this new displaced cat, get your smell in its food to tie you in with
    'oh, this human isn't so bad, they give me food'.
    And that's how to win a cat's trust.
    Then depending on the personality of an outdoor access cat (a previous owner could let you know what type of cat it is). how far.
    Let's say it's what's classified as 'brave cheeky cat'... Give it a mile.
    Also, if the cat is spayed or neutered can also factor in its radius.
    A cat will establish itself somewhere.
    Probably a garden or a house of another cat/where there is a source of food and shelter.
    So do the leg work, don't be afraid to knock on doors in your search area if you suspect your missing cat is around, because it's more text book than unique. Just got to work out what type of missing cat you have, do the leg work, get the poster made and circulated. Local vets and animal shelters could also do with a copy of a missing poster in case the cat is found and taken to be scanned locally.
    The Cat's Protection League could let you borrow a humane cat trap as long as you return it within the agreed time.
    Good luck pet detectives, because, like it or not, you're going to enter the world of pet detection when looking for your cat.

    I speak from personal experience and a success story that wouldn't have happened if I hadn't have made posters and in looking for my cat in 2019, I found an identical missing cat which was reunited too with that cat trap...
    Took the cat I thought was mine to be scanned, was another cat who was missing too. The microchip knows.
    Get the information, update it, and let the company know the cat is missing.
    My cat was found within 3 weeks by somebody else alive and well who saw a poster of mine online.
    They contacted me, I got the call, to confirm we went to the vets to get it scanned (out of hours vet one Saturday night), it was mine.
    I was looking in the correct radius, but in a completely other direction (you live, you learn), but the radius and personality was text book based on the personality and type of missing cat. It was an American website with very few reports in the London area that taught me about types of missing cats and classifications of missing cats and different behavioral types. I'm not sure if I can link it due to the forum, but, to pin point a search area, find some American company called Pet FBI (something to that affect) and you can register it missing there too for free. I live in Greater London, there was a handful of missing or found cats in my area on this American site, but it taught me how to determine the search area.

    Once found, inform everyone with a vested interest in this cat that it's found. This may include former owners you've notified, local places you've displayed posters, the microchip company, any neighbours looking for the cat or keeping an eye out for your cat, inform everyone the cat is found once found.
    There is a very high probability of a missing cat being found, so bare this in mind and do the leg work.

    At dusk and dawn are great times to see cats (because that's when they like to be out I gathered from my patrols, so I began to patrol around these times), also, bring a bright torch, even in the daytime a hiding cat could be hard to see, so bring a bright torch and use your ears too, when patrolling/looking for your cat. Listen for jumping sounds and running sounds and noises the animal makes to determine what something was and where it ran off too as well as your eyes.
    If you think you've found your cat. Loiter there, this gets your smell in the air.
    Try to hang out around it, and bring food and a crate for it and try and lure it into a crate (or humane cat trap) with the food. If it doesn't work and you can't catch it, bring food and feed it. This lets the cat know you're friendly, and, it lets you know your cat has eaten. Try and bring fresh water too.
    #89 Bobby Burrows, Jan 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
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