Help… my cat’s run off!

Missing cat? It’s every cat owner’s nightmare – when their furry little pet doesn’t return home as usual come the evening. Or the next day… or the next… If your cat’s run off, there’s still no need to panic, but more to proceed carefully and objectively with finding the creature again.

Check with your neighbours

First of all, you should ask your neighbours to have a look in their garage or shed to see if they haven’t perhaps shut the little tiger in there by accident. This is often the simplest solution. Cats are very inquisitive when they’re roaming around and like to take over strange gardens, gazebos or sheds. So it can happen that a cat can’t get out again by itself: the shed door is shut, the access window is only on tilt or closed the garage door. Even water butts which are uncovered or not provided with a means of climbing out can become a trap just like ponds or pools. Sometimes the animal suffers an injury and can no longer get back on its own.

Spread the word

At the same time, inform the people living in your neighbourhood that your moggie’s gone missing. Maybe you can all keep your eyes open, the more people taking part in the search and the further word of mouth spreads, the better. If you have a bad feeling about it because your cat has stayed out so long then it’s worth doing the rounds. Inspect the neighbours’ gardens, danger spots, and look for open windows. Listen out for scratching sounds while you’re doing this or for your cats typical noises from behind closed doors or windows. It’s best to ask the neighbours if you can check, in places like their garden or cellar.

Put up notices

You should also, without fail, pin a notice with a photo and description of your cat along with your telephone number to the lampposts in your locality. Even an insertion in the local paper often brings results. Local radio station, too, might be kind enough to make an announcement on air.

Check animal shelters

Are there animal shelters in your region? Then you should ring them up. Not only to find out if your cat is already waiting there for you but also as a precaution for the future, it could be that someone will still hand it in to them. Leave them your telephone number so they can inform you. Even if one would like to push these thoughts as far from the mind as possible. Phone up the veterinary practices in the region also and ask if an injured cat has been brought in. You could even post a notice there. Vets, as well as their clients, often get to find out a great deal! And don’t just restrict yourself to the local vet. Cats frequently wander very far!

Chip your cat

What’s ideal is, if you chip your cat and have it entered in a pet register. One can often get help here with posters and worthwhile tips. On top of that, your pet can be identified by the chip number when it’s found.

Sometimes it happens that even house cats run off. Then you have to proceed with extra caution as armchair tigers, due to the unfamiliar noise and excitement of the unknown outside world, are mostly scared out of their wits and won’t even be attracted to your call. They’re often sitting close by in the bushes but don’t dare to come out. Best thing is to put down food and water by the front door and provide a box as a warm place to sleep. It would be ideal if you have a second cat to place it, safely stowed in a transport box, near to your home. Encourage it to meow, this way there is a good chance of attracting your runaway cat if it’s in the neighbourhood.

Don’t give up

It is important that you don’t throw in the towel too early. Never give up, keep persevering with the search. There have been cases where, after months, the beloved moggie has turned up again!

How you can prevent your free-roaming friend from ranging too far

–          Important: have your cat neutered, this will keep its stomping ground smaller, the cat will be more level-headed and there won’t be any unwanted offspring.

–          Only let a young cat into the outside world alone after neutering.

–          New cats should first be familiarised with their new home for four to six weeks, that also applies to an out-door cat after moving house.

–          Go with it on its first walkabout, maybe with a loose leash, but never chain the cat.

–          Familiarise your pet to a fixed daily routine by only letting it out at dusk, for example.

–          With feeding or giving treats you can get the cat used to an easily recognised sound, that’ll motivate it to return home!

If you don’t come home at a regular time yourself then a cat flap will be a help so that the creature can get into the house at its usual time.

Call into your local store today to discuss your cat’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts