Try not to panic!
Firstly, check around your home and garden. Your cat might just be hiding or asleep – places in the shade are favoured by cats when the weather gets warm; check your garages and outbuildings.
Tell your neighbours
Make sure your neighbours know. Ask them to check their property, sheds and garages as well as keeping a lookout. Talk to anyone who might have seen your cat recently; the postman, milkman, newspaper boy and local vet are all worth telling.
Pick up the telephone
- If your cat is microchipped, talk to the database owner so they can register your cat missing. You can find the right number by entering your microchip number into www.check-a-chip.co.uk
- Register the details of your cat at www.animalsearchuk.co.uk and www.petslocated.com
- Get in touch with any other local animal rescue organisations in your area. Try www.catchat.org to find your local shelters
- Call all local vet practices in your area
- Speak to your local council’s Environmental Health Department. They’re likely to keep a record of cats found killed on the roads and although not an easy call to make, it is worth giving them a call to rule out this possibility.
Social media sites are packed with great resources to help track down your cat, as well as providing an opportunity to advertise your lost pet. Check if you are able to post a message on the pages of local animal charities.
If you have your own Facebook and Twitter accounts, posting a picture of your cat and asking your friends to share and retweet.
Whilst social media is great, not everyone sees everything – print off (or draw up) some flyers: make sure you include a good description of your cat, age, colour and any distinguishing features they may have. A photograph is a really big help. Don’t forget to include a contact telephone number.
Put up your flyers in local shops, vets, outside schools and local notice boards – anywhere that a lot of people will them.
Some other tricks
- If your cat has a favourite toy, try leaving it in your garden
- Cats have a strong sense of smell so if there is a regular blanket or bedding that it usually sleeps on; leave it out in a dry spot to entice it out of hiding. If your cat uses a litter tray, move that outside
- Cats are generally more active at night, especially during hotter weather. Go out (with a friend or family member for safety) after dark and call for your cat by name or shake its treat tin if you use one
How to stop it from happening again?
Once your cat is home and safe you can help to ensure this doesn’t happen again by following a few steps:
- Keep your cat in at night. Even if your cat is particularly restless before bedtime, a little bit of exercise using play will soon help them settle in for the night
- Make sure your cat is microchipped and the information is kept up-to-date. Silk Cat Rescue believes all owned cats, even indoor-only ones, should be microchipped so their owner can be traced should they become lost or injured.
- If you choose to fit a collar with your contact details attached, for safety, we advise the use of a quick-release (snap-opening) collar in preference to an elasticated one.
Don’t give up hope!
We hear many tales of cats being found and reunited with their owners, often many months or even years after they have gone missing.