Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More

How to Find a Lost Cat (10 Tips)

Ashley Bates

Losing a pet can be one of the most terrifying things cat owners can face. It leaves so many questions—and sometimes, you are at the mercy of chance. But there are certain things you can do right away to try to bring your baby home.

Here, we have 10 tips that will help you relocate your little lost feline if they ever escape your clutches. It might not be easy, but if you stay optimistic, they can be snuggled on your windowsill again in no time.divider-cat

10 Tips to Help You Find a Lost Cat:

1. Microchipping

Cat Vet_Stock Asso_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Stock Asso, Shutterstock

One of the most successful ways to find a lost cat is through microchipping. If your cat gets away, the person who finds them will be able to take them to a vet or rescue facility to check for one of these chips.

Microchips are injected between the shoulder blades of your cat. If a scanner runs along the area, it reads this chip, producing an individualized number. It will point them to the brand of the chip so they can access the database of customer information.

As long as your contact information is up to date, the company will give out your details so the office can contact you directly. If for any reason, the chip doesn’t have accurate information, they won’t be able to get ahold of current owners.


2. Social Media Sites

These days, social media sites have many online walls and pages where people can advertise goods, create awareness, and make alerts. These posts are shared across social media platforms and are sometimes highly successful in locating lost pets.

If you can’t find your kitty, look up groups and pages on the sites and encourage your friends to share the information. It can be highly successful since you typically get so many shares in such a small window of time.


3. Online Ad Listings

Cat Travelling
Image Credit: Brian Goodman, Shutterstock

Certain online sites serve as advertising platforms. These platforms will help people who are buying, selling, trading, and searching connect with one another.

If your pet is missing, you could always post an ad with pictures to let people know what to look for in your area. Craigslist is a prime example. If someone spots your lost kitty, they can contact you with the details you provide.


4. Shelters/ Rescues

Shelter cat
Image Credit: Mimzy, Pixabay

If your kitty got picked up or taken into a rescue or shelter, you could always check locally. Many times the shelters or rescues will actually post pictures of lost pets online so you can browse before going in. You can always call around with a verbal description of your cat, too.

Most shelters and rescues hold lost animals for some time before trying to find them a new home. So, since it is time-sensitive, the quicker you act, the better your odds of finding them.


5. Word of Mouth

If your cat escaped your house, ask around to neighbors in close proximity. It could be a chance that someone doesn’t know the cat is yours. They might be housing them or feeding them until they can locate their owner.

Plus, these people can tell others who might know the whereabouts of your feline. Informing as many people as you can, encouraging them to spread the word might work wonders.


6. Leave Food Out

Cat eating outside
Image Credit: MaraZe, Shutterstock

If you’re feline is like any other, they are highly enticed by food. If you were trying to lure your kitty home, leave out some of their favorite snacks or yummy treats. Cats have a great sense of smell. So, if they are lingering nearby, these savory foods might just call them back to your yard.

Granted, that’s my little neighborhood raccoons and other wildlife, so check on the spot frequently to avoid any freeloaders looking to get a free meal.


7. Check with Local Businesses

Don’t be afraid to ask around your neighborhood. Check with local businesses and surrounding houses to see if your kitty wandered into their territory. We might even be able to place flyers or other advertisements up to show locals what your cat looks like.

If anyone has any information, these ads will help the party contact you directly. It’s a great way to get the news circulating.


8. Offer An Incentive

Woman checking out a stray cat
Image Credit: sandryriveraa, Pixabay

Some people offer rewards for the safe return of their cats. Sometimes a person might take in a homeless pet thinking that they don’t have an owner. If you publicly place a cash reward for your cat, a person might be more likely to return the cat home where it belongs.

Also, if a person notices a cash reward and subsequently sees your cat, it might motivate them to pick it up and bring it home to you—instead of just dismissing it.


9. Update Tags

If you let your cat outside without your supervision, you always need to make sure that they have a collar with up-to-date tags. Even if they have a microchip in place, tags are the quickest way for someone to recognize that this kitty is indeed a pet.

Your kitty’s tags should have at least your phone number, but it can have your address for return as well. Unmistakably, any onlookers will recognize that this cat isn’t a stray.


10. Prevent the Situation Entirely

cat behind a wire fence
Image Credit: greghristov, Pixabay

Ultimately, you want to prevent your cat from running away entirely. That means that you will need to supervise them directly if they’re outside. You might also want to get some enclosure, like a kitty playpen or kennel, so they can enjoy their time outdoors safely.

Always make sure to get your cat spayed or neutered before they reach 6 months of age. Once they reach sexual maturity, they will be out looking for a mate. Your cat can travel long distances this way and might end up very lost. So, as a preventive measure, always make sure to have them fixed.

divider-cat

Final Thoughts

Even though it might seem like the end of the world when you lose your kitty, the chances of you being able to find them if you are proactive are pretty high. Make sure to cover every avenue you can, and always put safety measures in place before your cat even winds up missing in the first place.

If you already lost your cat, we wish you the best of luck. Hopefully, these ideas will create a bridge to bring your furry friend back.


Featured Image Credit: Hanspeter Lechner, Pixabay

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.