Speaking from experience, few things are as panic-inducing as being
faced with the possibility that your beloved cat has escaped and run away. It can be terrifying to go
through all the different scenarios of horrible or tragic things that may have befallen your fuzzy friend,
but don’t freak out just yet! There are plenty of perfectly calm, rational things you can- and should- do
to find your cat. Here’s how you should go about finding your lost cat.
The first thing you need to remember is that panicking does no good. Thinking of the worst-case scenario only
leaves you depressed and anxiety-ridden, but taking an active role in finding your cat can help immensely.
Before jumping to the conclusion that your cat has indeed run off, be sure to search your entire house, top to
bottom, and even do the classic tuna test. I can say that many times I believed my cat to have disappeared
completely, only to find her hidden in a new spot tucked behind a chair that I had no idea she could get
behind. If your cat doesn’t appear from being called and doesn’t turn up when dinner or tuna is served, then
you need to kick it into searching mode.
Before anything further, check with your local shelters, rescues, and pounds. Chances are, if you cat was
actually scared and confused, they were found by someone and taken to a shelter. The hope here is that you have
your cat implanted with an ID chip, or at the very least with an ID tag with an up-to-date address and phone
number. It can be tempting to forgo the collar if your cat spends the entirety of her day indoors, but if she
does ever get out, that’s a great way to make sure she comes back.
If you’ve called all local shelters and such and have no confirmation that they’ve found your pet, at least
you’ve left the description with them so that if your pet is found, they can call you right up and let you
know. Otherwise, it’s time to set up an aggressive viral campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social
sites you may frequent. Also include Craigslist here. The goal is to get the word out to anyone that you can
regarding your missing pet, and be sure to post recent and high-quality pictures as well so that anyone who
does find your cat can correctly identify her.
Once that’s done, you may want to go the classic route of posting missing cat posters around your neighborhood.
If you live at an apartment complex, speak with the manager about your lost cat to see if anyone’s called the
front office. Some apartment managers will even send out email notifications to all residents to help you with
the search, though that’s a case-by-case instance depending on where you live.
Finally, after everything else is done, it’s time to go looking. Be reasonable with how far you search,
starting first with local streets and such. Bring a flashlight and check in obvious places, but don’t trespass
onto other’s properties in order to search, naturally. Be respectful in your panicked search. Don’t search more
than maybe twice in a day though, and do try and keep someone at home at all times in case your cat turns up on
her own, as is usually what’ll happen.
More often than not your cat just felt like exploring for a while on her own and will come back when she’s darn
well ready. It can be stressful and even bring you to the point of depression, but don’t blame yourself if your
cat indeed runs away for good. Felines are capable of making their own decisions, as they prove to us
frequently during a day, so if they really decide they want to go, they’ll go, and if they really decide they
want to come back, they’ll come back. At the very least, remember to get that ID tag onto their
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