Losing a cat can be a scary and stressful experience for any cat owner. If your cat is missing, it's important to take immediate action to find them and bring them home. In this blog post, we'll cover everything you need to know if your cat is lost and how to prevent it from happening again in the future.
In a study conducted by the University of Queensland, researchers found that indoor cats are more likely to be returned home when they are lost compared to outdoor cats. The study surveyed over 1,000 cat owners in Australia and found that indoor cats were returned home in 75% of cases, while outdoor cats were only returned home in 63% of cases.
The study also found that the most common reason for cats being lost was that they were able to escape from their homes or were allowed outside by their owners. In addition, the study found that microchipping was a highly effective way to increase the chances of a lost cat being returned home, as microchipped cats were more likely to be identified and returned to their owners.
Overall, the best way to prevent a lost cat is to keep them indoors and ensure that they are microchipped and wearing a collar with identification tags. If your cat does become lost, it's important to act quickly and thoroughly search your home and surrounding area, post flyers and search online lost and found pet resources. Don't hesitate to contact local animal shelters, vet clinics, and animal control agencies to report your lost cat and provide them with a detailed description and recent photos.
Preventing a Lost Cat
The best way to deal with a lost cat is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some steps you can take to prevent your cat from becoming lost:
Keep your cat indoors
One of the best ways to prevent your cat from becoming lost is to keep them indoors. Indoor cats are less likely to become lost or injured, and they're also less likely to come into contact with diseases or parasites. If you want your cat to experience the outdoors, consider building a cat run or cat-proofing your backyard.
Microchip your cat
Microchipping your cat is a quick and painless process that can help reunite you with your cat if they become lost. The microchip contains your contact details, and if your cat is found and taken to a vet or shelter, they can scan the microchip and contact you.
Use a collar and tag
In addition to microchipping your cat, it's a good idea to use a collar and tag with your contact details. This is a quick and easy way for someone to contact you if they find your cat.
Keep your cat entertained
Cats are curious creatures, and they love to explore. If you keep your cat entertained with toys and scratching posts, they're less likely to become bored and wander off.
Secure doors and windows
Make sure all doors and windows are securely closed before letting your cat roam around the house. Cats are masters of escaping, so it's important to make sure they can't open doors or windows themselves.
What to Do if Your Cat is Missing
If your cat does become lost, it's important to act quickly. Here are some steps you can take:
Search your local area
Start by searching your local area, including your garden, any nearby parks, and your neighbours' gardens. Cats can often become trapped in sheds or garages, so make sure you check these too.
Contact local shelters and vets
Contact your local shelters and vets to see if they have any information on your cat. If your cat is microchipped, make sure your contact details are up to date.
Use social media
Use social media to spread the word about your missing cat. Post a photo and a description of your cat on your local Facebook group, and ask your friends to share the post.
Put up posters
Put up posters in your local area with a photo and a description of your cat. Make sure you include your contact details, and offer a reward if possible.
Finally, remain positive. Cats are resilient creatures, and they often find their way home after a few days. Keep searching, and don't give up hope.
The Odds of Finding a Lost Cat
The thought of losing your cat can be overwhelming, but it's important to remember that many lost cats are eventually found. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Queensland found that 75% of lost cats were found within a 500-meter radius of their homes.
When Should You Stop Looking?
Never give up on searching for your lost cat. While it's true that some cats may never return home, it's important to continue searching for as long as you can. The University of Queensland study found that the longer a cat was missing, the less likely they were to be found, but some cats were still found months or even years after going missing.
Preventing a lost cat is the best way to deal with the situation. By taking simple steps such as microchipping your cat, keeping them entertained, and securing doors and windows, you can reduce the chances of your cat becoming lost. If your cat does become lost, act quickly and use all available resources to find them. With persistence and a little bit of luck, you'll be reunited with your beloved pet in no time.
American Humane Society. “Lost Pet Prevention Month: Tips to Keep Pets Safe and Home.” American Humane Society, 24 June 2021, www.americanhumane.org/blog/lost-pet-prevention-month-tips-to-keep-pets-safe-and-home/
University of Queensland. “Lost Cat Study Reveals Perils of Letting Cats Roam Outdoors.” Phys.org, 16 Jan. 2018, www.phys.org/news/2018-01-lost-cat-reveals-perils-outdoors.html
“Lost Cat Behavior.” Missing Pet Partnership, www.missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-tips/lost-cat-behavior/
“Lost Cats.” The Humane Society of the United States, www.humanesociety.org/resources/lost-cats