11 things to do when your cat goes missing

Jasper the lost cat
Jasper the lost cat
Jasper the lost cat
Jasper the lost cat

Sad to say, I’m getting quite good at hunting for lost cats. This is the third or fourth time in 15 years of cat ownership that one of ours has wandered off. Last time the cat ended up several miles away and only a piece in the local paper reunited us with him! At the moment, Jasper, an 11 month old smoke blue (grey) Maine Coon has been missing since Wednesday, so I’ve been busy spreading the word to make sure people in our town are on the lookout for him. I’ve got a mental list of things to do and thought I’d blog it so that I have it in one place, and it might help anyone else who has lost a cat:

  1. Check cupboards, sheds, and anywhere the cat might have got shut in in your own home.
  2. Ask neighbours to check sheds and outbuildings.
  3. See if any neighbours have gone on holiday – could the cat be shut in their house? Knock at the door and listen for miaous!
  4. Start spreading the word through social media. Post a cute pic of the cat and ask local friends to share via Twitter or Facebook.
  5. Contact the police who have a database of lost and found animals
  6. Contact local vets in case anyone has bought your cat in.  Vets can scan animals, so if your cat is chipped they will be able to discover the owners name and the company your pet’s chip is registered with will contact you.
  7. Contact pet rescue centres locally.
  8. If your pet is chipped, contact the company they are registered with to notify them that your cat is missing.
  9. Create posters to stick in your window and ask neighbours to put them up for you. Radiate out from where you live: think where  most people will walk past. Right now we have posters in a couple of cafes and the fish and chip shop that are along the nearest main road to us. (If you find your cat, go back and thank people and take the posters down).
  10. Contact your insurers – you may have an allowance as part of the policy for advertising your lost cat and/or for a reward for finders. Add the reward details to your posters.
  11. Write a ‘press release’ for the local paper. Mention when the cat went missing, where it was last seen, and who to contact if found. Add in a quote (from yourself or family members) explaining how you feel about your lost cat – emotions make a good news story. Include a high res image of your cat looking its best! Find the reporter who covers small local events and charm them into covering your story. Report back to them when you find the cat!

Let me know if you have any other tips that might help.

ETA: We’ve found Jasper the cat! He was caught by string round his leg in the void under the house. 

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