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Cat Behavior

8 Tips to Find A Lost Cat


This is the time of year when we receive the most lost cat alerts. Doors are left open during holiday parties, cats escape while groceries and presents are shuffled in and out of the home, and kids are home from school (who doesn’t want to escape?!).

Before we start, please make sure your cats are all microchipped, wearing ID, spayed/neutered, and indoors only. Accidents happen, but most accidents can be prevented with a little forethought. If you really want to let your cat out, build a catio or Cat Enclosure.

And now, here are some important tips to get your lost cat found.

1. Place Your Cat’s Litterbox Outside

This helps your cat navigate their way back home. If you can’t leave the litterbox out, then consider leaving some personal belonging out – a toy, your shoes, bedding, anything that will help the cat stay put once they find their home again.

2. Leave Garage Door Open.

This is important, particularly in areas with extreme weather. Cats are crepuscular by nature and will hunker down during the day, then explore and roam at sunrise and sunset. Leave your garage door open a few inches so your cat can squeeze in for shelter. Check the garage often.

3. Hang Posters.

Put posters up within the first 24 hours. This is your best chance of finding your cat. You can place them on light poles, mailboxes, doors and just about anywhere else. Be sure to include a photo and contact number, as well as special medical directions (if applicable).

4. Post on Social Media.

There are millions of cat lovers in your area who are likely to help you find your cat – many lost cats show up at feral feeding stations and at the doorstep of animal lovers who feed strays. Most who feed, know who they’re feeding and when a stray cat shows up, they will do their best to help it find it’s way back home. Facebook groups can help a great deal.

If you’re in Arizona, these are the groups that will help you the most:

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How to Find Local Lost Cat Facebook Groups

  1. Go to Facebook
  2. Type in search engine: Lost Cats (STATE or LOCAL COMMUNITY or COUNTY or HOA or NEIGHBORHOOD) and the groups will appear. Click the search button after typing and you’ll wind up with a list of options. Post in as many as you can!
  3. Be sure you search on the Friends of ___ Shelter (i.e., Friends of Arizona Shelter Animals) which will give you the e-lists for the day. This is a list of animals that are scheduled to be put to sleep unless a foster or owner can be found. These lists change every day, so be sure to check each of the albums every single morning.
  4. If you see your cat in any photo, immediately comment and call the shelter to request a courtesy pull so you can get your cat.

Check every listing you make daily as people may only post on your listing that they have found or have seen your cat. Prompt action is of utmost importance during this time. Don’t forget to update every listing as soon as you find your lost cat! This is important for the group, as well as those

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6. Walk Around and Take a flashlight.

The best time to search for your cat is at dusk and dawn.

Walk around shaking a small bag of food and calling your cat’s name, or walk around tapping on a dish or opening cans. Dusk and dawn are your best chances of finding your cat. Be sure to check drainage ditches, trees, roofs, and parks. Take a flashlight and shine it in every tree, shrub, bush, garage and drainage ditch you can find. The light reflects in their eyes – you will be very surprised at all the critters you will find!

[heading style=”2″ color=”#ff9933″ style_color=”#ff9933″]7. Ask Neighbors For Property Access.[/heading]

Ask neighbors to let you in to search their garden sheds, garages, and backyards. Cats will use block walls as walkways and if they find a yard that is safe, they will often hunker down there for the day (or night).

If your neighbor isn’t keen on letting you in, ask them to search. Check back in with them often – before long, everyone will be looking for your cat!

8. Never Give Up.

If you can’t find your cat right away, don’t give up. Cats have been found weeks (even years) later and returned to their owners. The important thing is to never give up.

Your cat relies on you to be vigilant, and you owe it to yourself and your family to do the same.

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