Published on 08 August 2013
During the summer months we spend more time outside in our gardens. If we’re gardening then the shed door may be left open while we go in and out collecting items we need to use.
Quite often we close the shed door without another thought. The same thing happens with garages and outbuildings; rarely do we check before shutting the door. It’s only later when we realise we haven’t seen the cat for a while that we might retrace our steps and hopefully the errant cat is found fast asleep in the shed.
For some people their cats are spooked and they run off. A scared cat can run for quite a way before it stops. Then, if it’s out of its familiar territory it will hide and even if you walked past it and called it by name, it might still be too scared to come out. Here then, are the 5 things you can do if your cat goes missing:
A scared cat will hide so check under bushes and cars.
Spend at least 45 minutes circling the area he was last seen, calling his name. Shake a box of dry food or his favourite noisy toy to entice him if he’s hiding. Look under bushes and listen outside garages, sheds and outbuildings in case your cat has been accidentally locked in. While you’re out, ensure your cat flap is left open should you calling encourage him to return home.
Notify your neighbours, asking them to keep an eye out for him and ask permission to check inside their shed, garage or outbuilding (or ask them to look). You could also knock on doors around your neighbourhood with a photo and description of your cat, asking everyone to look out for him and contact you immediately they see him.
Call the microchip company (if your cat has been ‘chipped) to inform them that your cat is missing and ensure your details are up-to-date. Also, contact your pet insurance company – they may be able to provide financial assistance for flyers and advice on advertising for your cat’s return.
Call all the local veterinary surgeries and animal charities to see if he has been brought in. Again, if he has a microchip and your contact details are current, they will contact you if he is found.
Prepare a flyer with photos, a description of your cat, his name and your contact details. Print or photocopy as many as you can afford and put them up around your local area (check with your council that this is ok to do), in shop windows and in local veterinary surgeries. You could also take out a ‘lost cat’ advert in your local newspaper, post details on lost and found websites and ask your local radio station to put out an appeal. Make sure you have a recent photo just in case.
Extract from Your Cat magazine July 2012