If your cat has gone wandering, there are a number of things you can do to help find him/her:
The first thing to do is to check your home thoroughly, including rafters, basements, cupboards and even washing machines. After that, check your garden and outbuildings, including under bushes, and inside and behind sheds & garages.
If your missing cat is not in any of these places, the single thing that brings the best results is to publicise the fact that he or she is missing. There are a number of ways of doing this:
Create a poster advertising the fact that he/she is lost. The poster should include:
- The text "please check your garage, shed and other outbuildings as he may be trapped in there."
- A photo of your cat (a picture speaks a thousand words)
- An offer of a reward (don't say how much, it might only be a few pounds, but it will give people an incentive to look)
The following places may display your poster for you: newsagents, supermarkets, post offices, libraries, police stations, schools, community centres & youth clubs. You can also put your poster up on bus shelters, bus stops, trees, etc. Please ensure you don't get sellotape on the paintwork, as it takes the paint off and you'll have the council after you!
Stick a copy of the poster through all your neighbours doors, or walk around and knock on them. Bear in mind that the average domestic cat has a territory of 5 square miles, so we're not talking about the people next door, but a good long walk.
If he/she is in unfamiliar territory and disorientated, it may help them find their way home if he/she can smell a familiar scent. If he/she uses a litter tray, scatter some used litter in the garden. Cat urine has a very powerful scent and it will travel a long way. If you don't have any litter, hang out something that smells of him/her or of you, e.g. his/her bed/blanket, the sheets from your bed, your dressing gown, etc. It may seem odd to hang out laundry before it's washed, but it might just help.
Local radio/ press
Northsound radio will usually read out an appeal for you, as will most other local radio stations. To register your appeal, go to Northsound Radio's website
or phone 01224 337000.
Your local paper will print a Lost & Found advert for you (although they will probably charge for it). To place your ad, go to the P&J and EE's website
or phone 01224 691212.
Other useful contacts
There are also a number of other places that you can contact:
Mrs Murray's Cat & Dog Home: 01224 483624
SSPCA: 01224 581236
PDSA: 01224 632042
Pet Search: 01224 734134
: This is a free online search service for missing pets in Britain. They specialise in helping to reunite owners with lost or stolen pets. Their website provides local and nationwide coverage and lots of information including help and advice for people who have lost or found a pet and are wondering what best to do.
Please try to ascertain whether it belongs to one of your neighbours.
Helping with strays - paper collar.
Sometimes it is difficult to tell whether a cat is truly a stray. We have introduced a new measure where we attach a paper collar to the cat (with our details) and if it is still on the cat 48 hours later then we can assume that it is a stray.