Tips For Finding A Lost Cat

Remember: the odds are in favor of you finding your lost cat; and the faster you move, the better those odd get. Here are some ideas to get your search started:

1. Make fliers with your pet’s picture, a brief description and your phone number. Make sure there is an answering machine or voicemail that will take messages if you can’t pick up a call at that number.

2. Go to all the local shelters, including Ventura County Animal Services & Humane Society of Ventura County, Return at least every other day.

3. Call local veterinarian offices in case someone found your pet injured and took her in for treatment.

4. Post flyers around the area where you lost your pet. Use brightly colored poster board and paper. For details about making effective posters and flyers visit the Missing Reunite Poster and Flyers tips page.

5. Put a “lost pet” ad in local newspapers. Include your phone number, when and where the pet went missing and a good description.

6. Check the “pet found” sections of local newspapers every day.

7. File a report with the local police if you think your pet may have been stolen. Review these risk factors for dog theft.

8. Get online. Send descriptions to all your contacts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, and ask them to send the information to their contacts. The more people looking for your pet, the better.

9. Cats tend not to go far from home, especially indoor cats. They are usually in “a five to ten house radius” of home, although they may wander further if they aren’t neutered. Knock on all the doors within that radius and ask if they have seen your pet. Give each household a flier.

10. If someone is home in those houses, ask if they mind if you look around their garages, yards or patios for your cat. Look under and behind bushes, under decks and in every other hidden nook.

11. When looking outside, it is best to do it late at night or early in the morning when it is quiet. Bring your pet’s favorite food and a flashlight.

12. Walk around the area calling for your pet. Make other noises that usually bring your pet running, like shaking a container of treats. Remember that your pet may be trapped somewhere. Pause and listen carefully for her voice because she may not be able to come to you. Remember also that if your cat is scared and hiding, her instinct will be to stay quiet so she doesn’t attract predators.

13. Look in every nook and cranny in your own house, inside and out.

14. Put the kind of smelly things your pet would like outside your house: clothes you have worn, bedding, even other family pets (in crates or on leashes, and supervised). Cats and dogs use scent to navigate and that will help them find their way home.

Beware of Scam Artists

Some people may take advantage of your plight, especially if you offer a reward. To protect yourself, don’t put the amount of the reward or your name or address on fliers or give that information to strangers. If you go to pick up your pet from a stranger, bring someone with you.

Be persistent. You never know where it will happen or how long it will take, but you have a good chance of being reunited with your missing pet.

These tips were excerpted from this post

The tips on include putting food outside. Please take into consideration what other animals this may attract in your area. Some parts of Ventura County regularly have visits from squirrels, raccoons, opossum and other small wildlife. Other parts of the county have coyote and larger animals, from whom you want to exercise caution in the everyday care of your cats and other domestic animals.