The North County Humane Society & SPCA (NCHS) is reminding cat owners that there is much more to finding their lost cat than posting fliers. Research, legwork and assessing a cat's temperament can be a key to figuring out their whereabouts.
What to do if your cat becomes lost:
- Look all over your property (inside and out), as well as your neighbor's property. Remember to look at night and during the day.
- Place scented items (treats, clothing, etc.) around your property and carry them with you while looking.
- Visit your local animal shelter and others in the surrounding areas daily or weekly. California law states that animal shelters must shelter a lost cat for five days. After that, the shelter is able to place the animal up for adoption.
- Contact feline rescue groups.
- Post large colorful fliers at least 1 mile around your home and at local vet offices.
- Place an ad on lost and found wweb sites or in the local newspapers.
- Think like your cat. Cats have different temperaments and will behave differently. Outdoor cats tend to stay in their territory. When an outdoor cat disappears, something has happened him. The cat could be injured, trapped, or deceased or possibly transported out of the area intentionally or not. When an indoor cat gets out of his home, it will look for the first place that offers protection.
- Don't give up! Cats have been located months after their disappearance.
The NCHS wants all cat owners to be cognizant of not getting themselves into this situation. Following are important factors to keep cats safe:
- Spay and neuter. Animals that are altered are less likely to roam.
- Transport cat in carrier. Cats are often spooked and even the best behaved cat can get scared and run.
- Microchipping: Shelters scan for microchips, so even if your cat has been missing for awhile, you can be reached, but make sure to keep your information up to date. NCHS offers a low cost microchip for your pet.
- Tags: Be sure to get an identification tag for your cat with your name, address and phone number.
- Indoor cats: Cats kept indoors are less likely to disappear and live years longer than outdoor cats.
- Prepare: Keep a file with good photos of the face and body of your cat with a description.