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If You’ve Lost a Cat










Where’s My Cat?

You already know that allowing your cat outside is an invitation to tragedy.

Sometimes, though, a cat outsmarts us and we have to react quickly in a moment of panic. Take action immediately. The longer you wait, the greater the risks to your cat.

  • First, thoroughly check the house and yard. Once you’re certain your cat is no longer on your property, walk—don’t take the car—around your neighborhood as you call your pet. Ask anyone you see outside: “Have you seen him?”
  • Look online at your local Animal Control sites. Call and visit all local Animal Control facilities and humane shelters daily. Ask to access the isolation or hospital areas too. Be persistent, but polite.
  • Just as when you’ve found a cat, create a brightly-colored flyer to post in the area where you lost the cat. Include a minimal description of the animal, the date and cross-streets. Use a bold heading like “LOST CAT.” Include all your contact phone numbers or an e-mail. Make it nice and easily readable. Print lots of them and also e-mail. Place the cat’s photos on the appropriate Facebook Lost and Found Pets for your area along with other social media sites. These sites usually contain files with great templates for lost and found pets.
  • Think like a marketing executive. Place an ad in your local newspapers, in the Recycler and Recycler.com—some placements are free!—on Craigslist, and in nearby pet supply stores.
  • Money talks, so offer a reward. Example: Lost Cat: REWARD! Adult Siamese Mix: Dolly. Please Call 555-555-5555. If your cat requires medication, state this on your poster as it indicates urgency. While you’re posting signs, don’t forget to read any signs previously posted. Someone may already have found your cat! We hope so!
  • Canvas the local area thoroughly. Most cats stay near home.
  • Ask neighbors to check under houses, in garages and cellars or basements. Cats climb into odd places and get stuck or may snooze in a garage where a door is later closed. Be ruthless about this: If it can happen, it often will.
  • If a caller claims to have your cat, please be cautious. Meet the person who claims to have your cat in a public place during daylight hours. Tell someone where you’re going and share contact details of the person you’re meeting. Do not give your home address. You may be asked to provide proof of ownership such as license receipts, vet records or family photos that include the pet. Be prepared to pay the offered reward in cash.

Websites for Lost and Found Cats

The followings websites are highly recommended by us if you’ve lost or found a cat.

Some may be free, some may charge. Stray Cat Alliance has no connection to any of these sites and cannot vouch for their effectiveness, but in our experience many animals have been returned to owners or found by good samaritans who help lost and found animals.

Look first at your local animal shelter’s website and also go there in person as some animals are kept in ISO (isolation) as they are injured or ill and cannot be in the general population.

  • Petco Love Lost – Petco Love Lost is a searchable national database that uses patented facial recognition technology to find lost pets quicker and easier. Register your pet for free.
  • Nextdoor – community by community connect to neighbors with common interests
  • Craigslist – visit the “lost + found” section to search for or list your missing pet for free

A few of the pay sites to help you in finding your pets (others likely exist in your area or are being developed – search on the internet for others):