Adding a New Puppy to Your Family

Help Kitty Come Home: Your Proactive Checklist For Finding Your Lost Outdoor Cat

by Arttu Kari

If you allow your pet outdoor freedom, there's a greater risk it may become lost. A free-roaming cat may be chased by animals or humans, become trapped inside a structure, or become unwittingly transported to another location by hopping aboard a moving vehicle. If your feline friend has gone missing, you need to implement a smart strategy to bring him or her back home again. The following tips may help bring about results:

1. File a Report With Your Local Humane Society

If your state has a local chapter of the Humane Society, place your cat's profile on their lost pet list or file a report. Give them a clear description of your cat, as well as details pertaining to its last location. If your cat has any distinctive markings or characteristics, include these in the profile. Also, list any medical issues your cat has.

Don't forget to check the Humane Society's lost cat listings every day. The Humane Society may keep a lost pet for a set number of days before placing it up for adoption; therefore, it's best to check daily. Check all local shelters in your area as well.

2. Be Sure Your Pet's Microchip Information is Up-to-Date

If you've had a microchip implanted on your cat, it needs to be registered with the company. The information you've provided will be permanently on file with the microchip company's database listings for lost pets. It's also vitally important to keep that registry information up-to-date.

Also, if you've moved or changed contact phone numbers, give the company a call. Your information will provide identification if your cat has become lost (and subsequently found). If your lost cat ends up in a shelter or animal clinic, that facility can scan your pet's microchip to receive the information you have provided. These measures help ensure the return of your cat. Be sure to update any changes to your pet's health as well.

3. Print Effective Flyers and Hand Them Out to Neighbors

Going door-to-door may seem tedious, but it's an effective way to reach out to the locals. Create colored flyers with your cat's picture and information, then begin knocking on the neighbors' doors. Alternatively, you might simply slip these flyers into your neighbors' mailboxes.

It's important to create a flyer or advertisement that will be noticed. Instead of showing one closeup photo of your cat's face only, include a few at various angles, including body shots. The photos should display distinctive physical characteristics. Also, rather than creating a handwritten sign, use a computer-based program with boldface text, as it is often neater and more noticeable.

4. Put Your Social Media Connection to Good Use

Get the word out about your lost cat through social media websites. Post a current photo of your pet and all pertinent information, and ask everyone on your friends list to keep their eyes and ears open. Ask your friends to share this post on their own social media pages in order to spread the word.

5. Place a Lost Cat Ad in Highly Visible (or Unusual) Places

While placing ads in the lost and found section of a local newspaper is commonly considered, other methods are often overlooked. If you want to reach those in your immediate area, get creative, because it often helps to advertise in the most conspicuous spots.

Try placing a sign (with your cat's photo) on your garage door or on the front of your barn or shed. Write a Lost Cat notice on your truck or car. Create a banner for your yard. When neighbors find lost pets, they are likely to scout the neighborhood looking for the rightful owner, and these messages may bring results.