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How to Find a Lost Cat: Five Practical Tips

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When your cat suddenly goes missing, what should you do? First, take a deep breath. Your cat may just be playing hide and seek with you. Try calling your cat’s name and shaking a bag of treats to get her attention. Next, walk through your home and look for possible hiding spots. If you aren’t able to find her in the house, she may have actually slipped out. 

Here are 5 practical tips to help you find a lost cat.

1) Search at the right time of day.

In the daylight hours, cats are more nervous and wary of being approached. Your cat may be frightened by pedestrians, cars, and other animals in the neighbourhood. This means she may not respond to your calls. Surprisingly, the best time of day to look for a lost cat is in the early morning hours. Why? There will be fewer distractions for your cat, and your voice will travel further in the quiet air.

2) Set up a “welcome home” box.

Before leaving to search, place a large cardboard box by the door your cat normally enters. Include old t-shirts that have your scent or unlaundered towels to attract your cat. Also, set your cat’s food and water bowls next to the box. That way, she’ll have something to eat if she makes it home before you do.

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3) Get ready to search.

To find a lost cat, it is best to wear unlaundered clothes. Your cat will be able to recognize your scent and feel more secure about approaching you. Also, bring along a flashlight to look under structures. And grab a little bag of kitty treats to lure your cat home.

4) Play detective.

First, search under and around your house, outdoor furniture, and outdoor cat house. Your kitty may have found a warm spot and curled up for a nap. Next, extend your search to neighbours’ yards. Show your neighbours a photo of your cat, and ask for permission to search their yards. As you search, gently shake the bag of kitty treats, and call your cat by name.

5) Get the word out.

If you can’t locate your cat immediately, print out some flyers to put up around your community. According to the Ohio State Vet College, “Posting signs in the neighborhood is one of the best ways to find a lost pet…According to an Ohio State study, 71 percent of lost dogs were found within a mile of their homes, and cats are often found within one block of their homes.” Also, post a photo of your cat on social media, and ask for people’s help to find your cat. Don’t give up!

Losing your cat can be a traumatic experience. However, by following these simple tips to find a lost cat, chances are good that you will soon locate your beloved cat! Cats are resilient and resourceful, and they are generally pretty good at taking care of themselves. Best of luck in your search!

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