How to find a lost cat? lost cat search tips
Have you lost your cat? Find your lost feline faster with the help of Pet Search pet detectives.
At Pet Search, rather than telling you general things to find your lost pet, we’d rather see you use lost pet services available in your community! Expecting grieving, broken-hearted people (who are not trained or equipped for the task) to search for their own missing pet does not make sense! However, since pet detectives might not be available in your area, we offer these unique lost pet behaviour recovery tips. What makes our lost pet recovery tips unique? Two facts: they are species specific and they are behaviour specific. By “species specific” we mean that the methods, techniques, and resources that you should use to search for a lost cat are very different from those you should use to search for a lost dog or a lost ferret. Cats, dogs, and ferrets are very different animals. They behave differently, they are responded to differently when people see them, and they travel different distances when lost. One of the biggest mistakes made with pet websites and people that offer “lost pet tips” is providing canned suggestions that might not be the most effective method to recover a lost pet. For example, most shelters and animal websites tell you that if your cat is missing you should do three primary things: place an Ad in the newspaper, check the local shelter cages, and post flyers in your area. But if your cat is a skittish, indoor-only cat who escaped outdoors then these three methods are NOT going to increase your chances of recovering your lost cat! By “behaviour specific” we mean that the individual behaviour and temperament of a cat, dog, ferret, or other species will influence how that particular animal will respond to human contact as well as the distance he/she will travel when lost. The roots of our knowledge in lost pet behaviour stem from our knowledge of studies conducted into the behavioural patterns of missing people. There is a science to finding lost people and a lot of that knowledge can be applied to finding lost pets. Professionally trained searchers don’t wander aimlessly in the bush when searching for a missing hiker. Instead, an organised search plan is implemented based on the knowledge of the behavioural patterns of lost people.
Outdoor access cats: When an outdoor-access cat suddenly vanishes, it means that SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED to that cat to interrupt its normal behaviour of coming home. The disappearance could mean that the cat is injured, trapped, or deceased within its territory. Or perhaps the cat was transported out of the area-either intentionally (by an irate neighbour who trapped the cat) or unintentionally (by the cat climbing into an open vehicle). Possibly the cat was displaced into unfamiliar territory (something as simple as being chased by a dog several houses away) causing it to panic and hide in silence. The investigative question when an outdoor-access cat disappears is: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CAT?
Indoor-Only Cats: The territory for an indoor-only cat is the inside of the home where it lives. When an indoor-only cat escapes outdoors, it is “displaced” into unfamiliar territory. Usually they will look for the first place that will offer concealment and protection. Their instinctive response is to HIDE IN SILENCE because that is their primary protection from predators. How long they remain in that hiding place and what they do from there is dependant upon their temperament. The investigative question when an indoor-only cat escapes outdoors is: WHERE IS THE CAT HIDING?
Temperament influences actions. How a cat behaves when in its normal territory will influence how it behaves when it becomes “lost” or displaced into unfamiliar territory. In addition to posting flyers and checking the cages of local shelters, we encourage cat owners to develop a search strategy based on the specific behaviour, personality & history of their cat.
Our pet detectives are trained and qualified pet detectives or Missing Animal Response (MAR) technicians and are members of the Missing Pet Partnership. Pet Search has over 23 years experience in searching for lost and stolen pets across Australia.
If you need help call Pet Search on 1300 309 004 or you can register your cat straight away by going to the services menu at the top of the page.