How to get help to find a lost cat
Thank you for getting in touch with us to help find your lost cat. Searching for a lost cat is very different to searching for a lost dog or any other type of pet. For example, less than 1% of lost cats end up in the pound, compared to 30% of lost dogs, so searching for a lost cat requires different techniques. Here is a link that you can click on which will take you to our lost cat profile for you to fill in. We ask you lots of questions on your cat’s history, personality and circumstances surrounding their disappearance as this information helps us guide you on how to find them.
There are 3 things that determine your chances of finding your lost cat:
1. Your cat – We can guide you on lost cat behaviour and how your cat’s personality, history, age, breed and even the colour of their fur can impact on your search.
2. Your search behaviour –including how, when and how long you search – the most crucial- using the wrong techniques, searching in the wrong places, calling your cat, tapping food tins, using a poster that doesn’t work, spending time on low probability searching dramatically reduces the chance of finding your cat
3. Other people – particularly rescuers of stray cats – understanding the thought processes and psychology of people who feed stray cats, take in stray cats, steal cats or just see them enables you to design your posters and signs to reach them.
Most people jump straight into conducting a hasty search for a lost cat. They jump in the car, drive around, calling their cat, looking for their cat on the street, start putting up quickly designed posters sometimes with missing information or too much information. The problem with this, is that you are going faster and covering more ground however you are sacrificing witness development, you are missing out on gathering information from neighbours, people walking around the area or identifying if your cat is already in someone’s yard. This is good for some species that travel long distances fast e.g. horses, some stock and a small number of dogs.
Instead, search probability theory is a theory that you have a higher likelihood of locating a lost pet by identifying and searching the areas that have the highest probabilities and by using appropriate resources, tactics and strategies. This is true in most lost and stolen cat cases.
All of our senior detectives are experienced professionals. They have the knowledge – and scars – that come from being on the frontline, working on tough cases and getting lost cats home. They are trained in search theories and techniques, deductive reasoning, witness analysis & behaviour, lost cat behaviour, equipment used to find lost cats and evidence of missing cats.
We have over 24 years of searching for lost pets and have reunited over 25,000 lost and stolen pets! We know what works, what doesn’t work, how long you should search and how hard you need to search. We are here so you don’t waste time, money, resources or risk not getting your lost cat home by doing the wrong thing, searching in the wrong place, saying the wrong thing to people or writing the wrong thing on your signs.
Enlisting Pet Search to help search for your cat has shown to at least double to triple the chances of finding your lost or stolen cat. Searching for a confident cat is different to searching for a shy cat. Searching for a Burmese is different to searching for a domestic short haired cat and searching for an cat in a rural area is different to searching for a cat in a built up area. Using the wrong techniques can mean you won’t find your cat. Most owners tell us this is a risk they don’t want to take. We will guide you on the right techniques.
Here are some comments from a couple of lost cat clients:
I just wanted to drop you a quick line to again express my sincere thanks for helping us bring our missing cat home. After being hit by a car she had gone into hiding. 9 long days later i managed to find her hiding under a house a few streets away after a lady had seen your poster and called Pet Search. One of the best things about using your service was the 1300 number provided which I think people feel more comfortable calling than directly calling the owner when they are not 100% sure if the pet they have seen is yours and don’t want to get the owners hopes up.
On a personal note I want to thank the whole team at Pet Search for the great service they offer but particularly Lee who’s regular phone calls and encouragement kept my spirits up and made me continue to search when i felt so sad and wanted to give up altogether. All the advise about scared/injured/lost cat behaviour that you gave was completely spot on and assisted in the search to find her.
Needless to say both my cats now have a curfew and wont be going exploring at night anymore!
Thanks again for helping get me through the most stressful period a pet owner can experience.
xxx Charlie (and Pippin)
I can’t even begin to thank you for your help yesterday. Everything you told me sounded completely logical but completely against what we were trying. Geez, there is a cemetery not far from our house and there I am walking around with a torch in the middle of the night hoping to see something reflect in the cats eyes. Sounded completely strange to NOT go out looking for her and to just sit there in the backyard having dinner and talking. I was talking to my partner about our conversation and about the flyers and the reward (I’m glad to you talked me out of offering $5,000 for her return, it probably would have made her more of a target) and all the other things we discussed earlier in the day. I really didn’t think that sitting in the backyard just talking was going to be very helpful. It really didn’t sound like something that had ANY chance of working. After about 25 minutes, we hear a distinctive meow and there is our girl looking at us, meowing. Straight into the house she goes, grabs something to eat and is now sleeping contentedly in the bed. Lee, Thank You so much. Not having to see that desperately devastated look on the face of the girl I love, or seeing her walk around the streets at the crack of dawn with her shoulders slumping and hearing her voice cracking as we drive aimlessly around the suburb is something you can’t put a value on. You’re an angel.
We hope that we can get started helping you be reunited with your lost cat soon.
From The Pet Search team