Due to current laws in the UK, cat owners are working against the clock. We know our cats habits and behaviours so if your cat does not come home at the usual time do not delay in trying to find him/her. It is better to be safe than sorry and a lifetime of your cat never returning home and you never knowing why is a mental torment no pet owner ever wants to endure.
If Your Cat is Missing
If Your Cat is Microchipped
Firstly, check immediately if your cat's microchip is up to date. You can check your pet’s details here
A microchip is your cats only voice when outside your home, and could be the difference between life and death should an incident occur as vets are only obliged to give them pain relief in the event of an accident. A microchip is the only way vets, rescuers or councils can easily identify your cat and swiftly contact you in the case of an emergency. However, they are only effective if you keep your contact details up to date. If you move house, change your telephone number or email address, it’s vital that you inform whoever manages the database you’re registered with.
If Your Cat isn't Microchipped
Contact all local shelters and vets to see if they know of any cat recently brought in matching your cat’s description. Find details of all local rescues in your area here, and your local vets here.
Phone your local council and speak to the waste disposal team. Tell them the general area your cat would be around and give a description of your cat. Tell them to keep an eye out and inform them you will regularly phone them to check. Click here to find your local council
Canvas the area. One of the most effective tools in either finding a cat or gathering critical information is by speaking to neighbours and distributing flyers around the area.
Speak to neighbours. Let them know to keep an eye out, and ask them to check out buildings to ensure your cat has not been locked in a shed, which is extremely common.
To create missing posters free of charge use this tool
which will also help you generate the most important detail to include in your flyer/poster.
Once you have done this, take advantage of this tool where you can have 50 copies printed and posted to you completely free of charge.
Cats have over 200 million olfactory scent receptors (humans have around 5 million) - 40x stronger than ours. This is why it is advised to try and help your cat find their way home using their amazing ability to smell.
leave your cat's favourite toy or piece of his (unwashed) bedding in your garden, somewhere sheltered from rain. Also, leave an unwashed item of your clothing, as well as their litter tray. This will smell familiar to your cat, and may help to guide them home.
Walk around the area calling them on an evening when noise levels are at their lowest. This will enable you to hear any calls back, as well as allows them to be able to hear you better too.
However, if sick, injured or panicked, they can hide in complete silence in fear their compromised state makes them vulnerable to predators. Meowing may give their position away to predators so they might ignore your calls. Check well hidden areas, such as under patios and heavy brush. Using a torch at night helps locate eyeshine.
Use social media to get photos and details of your cat out there as far and wide as possible. Social media has proved to be an invaluable tool in reuniting cats with owners. Re-post every so often to keep your cats details fresh and continuously out there.
Someone may know where your cat is and looking for you so keep an eye out for new posts regularly.
Upload your cat's details to the national lost pet register. who will automatically share this on all their social media accounts, as will PetsReunited.
Create a flyer and post this on other local social media pages too such as vets, local rescues and even your local councils page.