In a 2019 blog by The American Humane Association, it was estimated that over 10 million pets are lost every year in the US. That’s a sobering thought. Although some pets do manage to find their way back home, the reality is many of these lost pets end up in shelters across the country.
What Can I Do To Prevent My Cats From Getting Lost?
Since July is National Lost Pet Prevention Month, we’ve decided to compile a list of the ten best ways to prevent your cats from getting lost. Feel free to save a copy of our infographic and put it in in your home as a visual reminder.
What Should I Do If My Cat Has Gotten Lost?
Of course, nothing in life is fool-proof. If your cat has wandered off your property or ran away for whatever reason, don't panic. There are things you can do to get yourselves reunited.
Search your home
As every cat owner knows, cats are the best at hiding. They can squeeze into the tiniest of spaces and be perfectly content for hours while they nap the day away. Before you go into full-blown panic mode, take some time to carefully search your home. Use flashlights to catch a glimpse of their eyes if it's dark. Rattle treat containers or toys. If they're truly just hiding, the noise or light should get them out in the open.
Put their litter box outside
In a popular cat behavior blog, it is stated that cats have around 200 million scent receptors in their nostrils (by comparison humans have about 5 million) which means if you leave their litter box outside, and they're close enough, they can smell the scent and use that as a homing beacon of sorts to return home.
Keep your contact information up-to-date
If you had your cat microchipped, you likely registered the microchip online. Make sure you keep your contact information on your cat's microchip updated every time it changes. This way, if your cat is found and it's scanned for a microchip, you can be easily reached.
Call veterinary clinics, shelters, animal control, and rescue organizations
In addition to calling these locations daily for updates, make sure you're also visiting them in-person to drop off lost pet flyers that includes a color photo of your cat, a brief description, and your contact information in case it's found.
Post on social media
Unleash the power of social media! Create a digital version of your lost pet flyer and post to sites like Nextdoor, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Add your cat to lost pet databases like Paw Boost and Lost My Kitty. As an incentive, you can even offer a monetary reward to the person who finds your lost cat.
Don't lose hope
The days and weeks that follow will likely be dark and grim as you worry and lose sleep. But don't give up! Many people have successfully been reunited with their lost cats. Check out this heartwarming story of an owner who was reunited with her cat after she went missing for four years.