6/28/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff

If your beloved feline recently found an escape route and is nowhere to be found, you’re likely feeling scared, anxious, and worried – and, most importantly, wondering “how do I find my lost cat?!” We’ve got tips to help find your sweet kitty, and prevent her from leaving again.

To the rest of the world, it’s merely a cat, but to you, it’s a member of your family. Depending on your stage in life, it might be the only family member that remains under your roof. And if your cat goes missing, it can be heartbreaking and frightening.

However, there is no need to panic. A study from 2017 indicates that people find their cats within 50 yards of home, on average, with indoor cats being recovered at 128 feet and cats with outdoor access at around 300 yards. It’s also reassuring to know that three out of four cats are successfully reunited with their family.

To ensure that you’re in that majority, follow these steps to find your lost cat.

Confirm that the cat is actually lost

The first step in problem-solving is to make sure there is a problem. Similarly, the first step to retrieving your cat is to determine if it’s really missing.

Before you enlist a search party, check all the usual hiding places (cats are flexible and hide in small spaces). Look under the sofa, beds, porches, and deck. They feel safe in high places, so check the top of cabinets and on shelves. Ask any family members if they have seen the cat lately. Once you have thoroughly looked around the premises to no avail, you can begin an official search.

Bring them home with food

Place your cat’s favorite treat or a bowl of food outside the door. Your cat might get a whiff of it and head right home for a bite to eat. Just be sure someone is home to greet the returning feline. But don’t leave the food out too long, especially if you live in the country. Possums and raccoons are partial to cat food, and you don’t want to be attracting them.

Some people use a humane trap with food as the bait. Check with an animal control agency or the local shelter about renting the trap.

Ask for help

Tell your family and friends that your cat is missing, and find out if they will help you search for it. Talk to your neighbors, and ask them if they have seen your cat. If they can’t help you search for it, at least get their permission to look around their property.

BONUS: Track them down! The Whistle Go Explore location tracker attached easily to any collar and uses GPS to track pets wherever they are. The Whistle Switch Smart Collar is a collar that also uses GPS to help locate a pet, and fits any animal five pounds or larger.

Search your neighborhood

If you have not been able to lure the cat home or find it close by, it’s time to widen your search through the neighborhood. It’s best to search during a quiet time of day. If you choose to search at night, use a flashlight. You might get lucky and see the reflection from your cat’s eyes.

Bring along your cat’s favorite treats, and shake the packet as you gently call its name. Walk slowly and regularly stop to listen for your cat’s response. It might be hiding out of fear, so keep other animals away as you search. And if it is scared, it may not leave its hiding place quickly, so be patient.

Your cat may be stuck up a tree, so keep looking up, as well as around trash containers, cars, or other potential hiding places. If your cat is sick, injured, or pregnant, that’s one more reason they could be hiding.

Put up some posters

Putting up posters is a tried-and-true method that often gets results. Dropping off leaflets at the neighboring houses can also be productive. People tend to respond to signs and leaflets, so it’s worth the effort if your search has been unsuccessful so far.

How do I find my lost cat using social media?

Social media has changed the way people search for lost pets. Many communities have a lost-and-found page on Facebook where pet owners can post pictures and details of a lost pet. Posting on Nextdoor is another option that’s more likely to reach your neighbors. And classified ad websites such as Craigslist or Reddit have “Found Pet” advertisements and an area to post “Lost Pet” ads.

Don’t give up on your search too quickly

You may be getting discouraged if you’ve been wondering “how do I find my lost cat?” for a while. Sometimes people call off the search too soon or don’t look at all, thinking that their cat has been the victim of an encounter with a coyote or another wild animal. Although most cats are found within a few weeks, there are instances of them returning months later. Keep believing that your cat is out there and is anxious to be reunited with its family!

Related: How Do I Find My Lost Dog?

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff