Blog da Pet Anjo

My cat ran away? What do I do to find it?


“Lost cat” or “My cat ran away!” No cat owner likes to hear these words.

However, it can happen so easily that your cat runs away, a curious cat can take advantage of a half-open door, an open window facing the street, holes under the fence and run away to explore the neighborhood.

Sometimes you can even see your cat trying to escape. And this can happen during a party or during a move, for example, the delivery person can leave a closet door open and your cat gets in there and then runs away.

Or, you can prepare his dinner with food or pâté and keep calling for him and he doesn’t show up. Then you start looking all over the house, inside and behind the furniture, inside the closet, under the bed, under the sofa, in the backyard and nothing. However, you conclude that your cat has escaped, and now what to do?

12 tips for trying to recover a lost cat:

1- Retrace the steps

Think about how and where your cat may have escaped. If your cat is an indoor cat, try looking for a place where he may have escaped. Start by looking around the doors – including the garage door and windows; if any of them are ajar, you’re pretty sure that’s where your cat escaped.

Once you have found the point where you think your cat ran away, you can start searching, generally cats don’t go very far, they hide in places close to where he fled.

If your cat is not used to living outside the house, he will probably run somewhere where he can hide and be quiet.

If your cat is used to living outside the house, you need to try to understand what happened to make him stop his normal behavior of always coming home and running away this time.

He could have been chased or attracted by another stray cat, a dog could have chased him, or someone from the cart who also catches cats, could have caught him.

Also take into account that outdoor cats are more comfortable when they are on the streets than indoor cats, so he may have gone much further than you think, so expand your search area!

My cat ran away what to do: check the doors

2) Look in the yard and especially in the garage

As soon as you notice your cat has escaped, start looking immediately. Start by searching your house, all the furniture and go straight to the backyard.

If you have a swimming pool, make sure the cat hasn’t fallen into it, look around the entire yard, under and in the treetops, in the middle of the bushes.

Then go to the garage, look under your car, under any furniture you have, on the windowsill and in any place that seems quiet and hidden. Remembering to check inside boxes and the trash can.

Remember that your cat will probably be scared, you can even call for him, but he won’t meow or come out of his hiding place, a good idea is to walk and stay calling your cat with a treat that he really likes.

Cat scared when running away

3) Look for your neighbors

After searching your home thoroughly, run to talk to your neighbors within a three-house radius. Show your neighbors a photo and tell them your cat ran away. Ask if they’ve seen you, remember to leave your name and phone number and ask them to call to let you know.

But don’t stop there, ask neighbors for permission to look for your cat around their house. If they agree, look in the same places you looked in your home and ask them to keep an eye out for any signs of a cat on their property.

4) Lure your cat out of hiding with food or treats

If your cat is an indoor cat and you think he might be hiding in the surroundings, try making some noises that you would normally make when preparing his food, knocking the bowls and picking up the food.

Place your cat’s usual food bowl on the floor near the door at breakfast and dinner times and leave it there for a while.

Always keep an eye out so that no stray cat or other animal eats the food you have set aside to attract your cat.

5) Spread flyers

As soon as you notice that your cat has escaped, it’s also a good idea to create a way to draw attention to the cause. Create a flyer, make as many copies as you think necessary – prefer to use neon paper, it attracts much more attention from those passing by on the street.

At the top of the flyer, place the words “LOST CAT” in bold letters, below place a recent photo of your cat, the place and date he ran away, his breed and the colors of his fur. Also place your phone number in large letters prominently.

If you want, you can put a reward, but don’t specify it, say “I offer a reward”, as you could end up being the victim of some smart person wanting to take advantage of the situation.

Stick your flyers on poles, bus stops, ask the doormen of the surrounding buildings to pick them up and stick them at the entrance, stick them in payphones, stores, churches, schools and community centers.

Ask local businesses to contribute to your search, leaving flyers in restaurants, hairdressers and pet shops.

6) Visit shelters, animal control centers and pet stores in the region

Go to all the animal shelters in your area to see if anyone has sent their cat there. Also try going to shelters further away. Sometimes someone found your cat, but didn’t take it to the nearest shelter.

Check all of these shelters at least once a week, as animals come and go every day.

My cat ran away what to do: look at cat shelters

7) Call/Contact Local Vets

If your cat ran away and ended up being hurt, bitten or run over, he may have been taken to a veterinarian in your area.

Call the clinics in your area to see if a cat with the same characteristics as yours has been taken there. If they don’t have any cats like the ones you described, leave your phone number so they can get in touch if one appears.

8) Use social media to your advantage

Post posts on your personal social media page, lost animal pages and groups. You can search the groups, pages, websites and blogs to see if anyone found your cat and posted it there.

Once registered on the sites, you will receive notifications if someone finds a cat that could be yours.

9) Use newspapers too

Some newspapers let people advertise their lost pets. Often times for free, or charging a small amount.

It’s worth putting in one of them that your cat has escaped, try announcing it for a period of a week or more if you think it’s necessary. Put the same information you put on the flyer.

10) Pay attention to the “animals found” column

Stay alert and respond to any ad that you think might be your cat, other people may find your pet and use different words than you would, so keep your eyes peeled.

Also remember that your cat ran away and it may have been through some trauma, it may be dirty, injured or have something in its fur that it didn’t have before, be careful!

11) Set a trap

If you think a cat is around your house somewhere, try setting a trap. Some pet stores or even shelters have a cage that you can place a bait inside to close the cat.

Place some tuna, sardines or cooked chicken inside the cage, tie the piece of food that will be used as bait to a string, so that it hangs. This way, the cat will pay less attention to the trap if there is something for it to pull or play with before eating.

Place this cage close to where you think your cat is hiding. Remember to also check if the area gets a lot of sun, so if your cat falls into the trap, it will not be exposed to the sun for long and remember to check the trap many times a day, at least 4 times.

understand what to do when your cat disappears

12) Never lose hope

Don’t give up just after a day or two, keep looking for a week or more. Most cats get tired of hiding or end up getting hungry and come back after a while.

There will come a time when, if he is around, he will come in through the back door, jump in the window or, if you are in the habit of calling for him in the area, he will appear.

This usually happens after a week or two, so don’t give up. Keep your mind positive despite the sadness, even if a week or two has passed. Remember that your cat can still be found.

Always prevent!

There is no way to stop your cat from escaping, but you can prevent it from happening. Close all doors, windows and cracks very well when leaving the house, be aware of the furniture that enters and leaves your home.

Above all, don’t forget to identify your cat, a collar with an identification pendant is a way to prevent your cat from disappearing and becoming unrecognizable.