Search & Identification Methods That Owners Use to Find a Lost Cat

Distrubuting "Lost Cat" flyers is an important part of the search effort.
Distrubuting "Lost Cat" flyers is an important part of the search effort. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Few experiences are as scary for a pet parent as a missing cat. If you can't find your cat, stay calm and focused. First, check with other members of the household; ask if they know where she is and when and where they last saw her. You may find your pet isn't missing at all, or you'll at least have an informed guess as to where to begin your search.


Should she ever go missing, the chances of recovering your cat are much better if she wears an ID tag. Securely affix one to your cat's collar. Include your name, phone number and address. Microchipping is the high-tech version pet owners are increasingly taking advantage of. A microchip containing identification information may easily and safely be implanted subcutaneously on your cat. Register with the microchip company and national databases using your name, phone number and address. Remember to update all registries if you get a new phone number or if you move.

Home Search

Before you head out to look for your cat, perform a thorough home search. Cats have a habit of nestling down under a pile of laundry, in a cabinet, under beds, behind furniture and in other hidden-away places. Search them all. Also, open a can of food or bag of treats; the sound alone may bring your cat rushing to you. If a careful search of every inch of your home turns up nothing, expand the search to your yard. Your cat may have gotten out but not wandered far. Check the trees and bushes, under the car, behind the shed and everywhere else on and around your property.

Expanded Search and Flyers

If your cat isn't anywhere on the premises, expand outward. Make flyers to hang and hand out while you look. Write "LOST CAT" in big, bold letters at the top; include a recent picture of your pet; give your cat's name, breed, age, sex, weight, coloring and pattern; and list your name, phone number, a secondary phone number and address. Get as many people as possible to help with flyer distribution and the neighborhood search to cover more ground efficiently. Ask neighbors if they've seen your cat and for permission to check their properties and leave flyers with them. Hang flyers on telephone poles and at area shopping centers -- especially at pet stores and other pet-related businesses.

Important Points of Contact

Call area animal shelters, rescues, adoption centers and hospitals. The Humane Society of the United States recommends contacting all those within 60 miles of your home. Give a detailed description of your cat, as she may already be at one. File a missing pet report with each agency and check back daily. If your area has no such locations, the police may take a missing pet report. Also, harness the power of the internet. Post on Facebook and other social networking accounts so friends and family in your area know to be on the lookout. Make posts on Craigslist and other websites allowing personal ads or messages. File lost cat reports with online missing pet databases, too, like The Center for Lost Pets and

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