Many of us who have indoor cats don’t prepare for the possibility of losing them. We’re careful, after all. Unfortunately, no matter how careful we are, cats are sneaky creatures that are bound to find their way outside at one time or another whether through a door that has been absentmindedly left open, a screen that they’ve secretly fidgeted with until it gets pushed out, or during the chaos and confusion of a house fire.
Since September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, this is a great time to make sure you have all of the tools and information to keep your cat safe. Knowing how to prepare in advance and what to do if the unthinkable happens can make the difference to whether or not your cat finds her way home.
1. Identification Tags
Many people make sure that their outdoor cats have identification tags so they aren’t mistaken as strays, but people with indoor cats often don’t make the same effort. If your cat finds her way out, however, tags with your phone number or address can help her get back home quickly.
PetHub has a greatly improved version of the basic ID tag. The PetHub ID tag allows the person who finds your cat the ability to access your cat’s personal online profile, which will not only help your cat get home fast, but it can also provide critical information such as health issues and necessary medications.
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Microchips can be easily placed while your cat is under anesthesia for another procedure such as spaying or neutering and can provide a lot of important information. In order to be effective, you must be diligent about updating the contact information associated with the chip.
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3. Posters with Recent Color Photos
Posters can be a great way to alert your neighbors to be on the lookout for your cat. Getting into the habit of always having recent and clear photos on hand will help you make effective posters. Take pictures, too, of any distinguishing features, such as the heart-shaped spot on her side or a crooked tail.
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4. Alert Local Organizations and Businesses
Many people who find lost cats take them immediately to an organization or business they think can help. Alerting these places of your missing cat can help bridge the gap. If your cat goes missing, consider calling your local animal shelters and organizations. It wouldn’t hurt to tip off your local Trap, Neuter, Return group too.
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5. Search Close to Home
Kat Albrecht of Missing Pet Partnership has discovered that most indoor cats will stick very close to home if they get loose. She believes that cats will find the first safe place to hide and stay there as long as they can. Therefore, she advises checking nearby hiding spaces first, such as garages, sheds, and cars with open windows.
Image Source: Angus MacAskill via Flickr.com
6. Cans of Smelly Food
At some point, your cat is going to get hungry. Try luring her home with the smelliest wet cat food you can find. You’ll want the smell to be strong enough to travel. If you have an idea about a shed or basement she may be hiding in, place the food strategically to draw her out.
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7. Set Up a Humane Trap
If she has been spotted in a certain area, set up a humane trap with some more smelly food to catch her. Only do this when you’re able to keep an eye on it though. Traps should never be left unsupervised.