The top 10 techniques to find your lost pet

This post is also available in: Français (French)

Translated with DeepL

A few weeks ago, a friend’s fat cat decided to go for a very long walk in the alleys of the neighbourhood. His 11-year-old companion, never out before, had been missing for 4 days when, after many combined efforts, he came home, a little hungry, but still safe. I discussed with her the techniques used to maximize the cat’s chances of finding its way back, and some impressed me as much by their logic as their simplicity.
I also had the impression that they are not necessarily all part of popular knowledge. Besides the traditional posters on the posts, here is a top 10 of the best techniques to find your lost cat.

Step 1: Calling the cat, yes, but when

The best way for the cat to hear you, and you to hear him too, is to call him late at night or early in the morning. The alleys are quiet, there is little or no car and your pet will be more likely to come out of hiding and meet you in these conditions.

Step 2: Bring the kibbles!

Walk quietly through the surrounding streets and alleys with the bag of food and shake the kibbles to attract it. If your cat is greedy, it is even more likely that he will answer the call. You’ll probably have other feline friends soon, but your kitten may be one of them!

Step 3: Finding the right hiding place

The cat can take refuge a little everywhere, think to check under the hoods of cars (cats sometimes take refuge there to seek heat), the huts, hangars and garages where a door could have closed behind them. Here again, a silent alley will allow you to hear the meows better. There are also swimming pools not to neglect, one can find a very bad surprise but stop looking…

Step 4: Dirty litter, a good ally

Cats recognize smells well, especially their own! It was the trick my girlfriend put into practice that allowed her cat to find her balcony. She took some of the litter used by the cat and sprinkled it on the gravel in the parking lot behind her house. Not much, a few granules to the balcony, like Petit Poucet.

Step 5: Effective posters

That’s one of the first things you think about, but you still need the information to be relevant… Here are some examples of what you should put there:

  • a recent, clear photo of your pet
  • his name
  • coat colour and eye colour
  • a distinctive sign such as a white leg or a spot on the nose
  • the last place he was seen
  • your email address and phone number to reach you quickly
  • reject the idea of writing that you are offering a reward, in order to keep dishonest people away.
  • You will always have the option of doing so if someone brings your pet back to you.

Focus on strategic areas that are visible to as many people as possible, such as near your home, local convenience stores, grocery store, bus stop, veterinarian, etc.

Step 6: Call out the neighbors

Think of producing a small flyer with the same information as the big poster and distribute it in the mailboxes of neighbouring houses. Add a little personality and be friendly in your message. Not only will your neighbours keep an eye out, one of them may well be feeding your cat for some time.

Step 7: ...and the kids!

Children who play in the alley are more likely to see and identify your cat, but remember to make them understand that they should not try to catch the animal by themselves. Make sure they know where to come if they see your cat.
In the same vein, the postman can also be made aware.

Step 8: Social Media

Well… Yes!! What better tool than that of the cat photo kingdom to get some popular sympathy? Don’t skimp on the charming anecdote or inspiring story! The more touching your search, the better the chances of sharing.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Kijiji for the mass, or more specifically, Petluck, local SPCA, pound and kennels. There are even facial recognition applications like Pip my Pet and Finding Rover.

Step 9: The trapdoor

Some organizations, such as the SPCAs, can provide you with a trap in an attempt to catch your pet. However, you must be available and vigilant in order to quickly free any animal that would find itself there that would not be yours!

Step 10: If you find your cat...

They tell you we found your cat a few blocks away? Great!!!! Now, get ready to go get it properly, bring the carrier or a blanket. Your cat may be traumatized, nervous or in bad shape from the days to wander, it is better to plan a safe way for everyone to bring him home quietly.

Step 11: A little extra: prevention

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