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How to Find a Lost Cat

  • Cats are nocturnal -- and even the most social cat is wary of strangers.  So when looking for your cat outside, look late at night or in the early hours of the morning.  Listen for meowing.  Shining a flashlight in a tree or bush might illuminate the cat's eyes (though be careful not to spook the neighbors).

  • Put out some of your cat's favorite food to lure it back home, or use a personal item of yours such as a t-shirt that carries your scent.  If your cat is fond of canned cat food, open a can of food outside so that it can be heard.

  • Consider using a humane cat trap to trap the cat safely. 

  • Post on social media sites that focus on lost pets and local news in your community.  Facebook, for instance, has a group called "Gloucester County Lost and Found Pets."

  • Create a flyer to post around your neighborhood, in local pet stores, on community bulletin boards (libraries, coffee shops, etc.) and in local veterinary offices. 

    • Make sure the flyer is legible (can be read at a distance, and ideally can be read from a moving car), has a clear picture of the cat, its name, a physical description, where and when it was last seen, and your contact information. 

    • Create a new email address and/or purchase an inexpensive "burner" cell phone if you are wary of publicizing your personal contact information.

    • Use bright, attention-grabbing colors.  If possible, print on brightly colored paper.

    • Add a QR code that viewers can scan with their phones to get more information or go directly to email, social media, text message or a web form to contact you.

    • Consider laminating copies of the flyer if you plan to post them in places where they will be exposed to the elements.

    • Do not put flyers in individuals' mailboxes, as this is against USPS regulations and can get you into trouble. 

    • You can download a flyer template in Microsoft Word here.

  • Contact your local animal shelter and police department in case someone has reported or found your lost cat.

  • If you haven't done so already, make sure that your cat is microchipped with a chip registered to you, and wearing a collar with an ID tag with your name and phone number.  All Purrfect Angels cats are microchipped prior to adoption.

Lost cat
  • As soon as you notice that your cat is missing, start lookingStart by looking around inside your house; cats will sometimes hide in unexpected places if they get frightened.  Keep things calm and quiet, in case the cat was frightened by loud noise or activity. 

  • If you can't locate the cat in your house, look around outside.  When cats get out, they often don't go far, so look nearby, in bushes or under sheds.  According to one study of missing cats, the vast majority of indoor-only cats that go missing rarely wander farther than five houses from home.

Updated February 21, 2023

DISCLAIMER:  These resources are provided for information purposes only.  Purrfect Angels Cat Rescue makes no warranty as to the performance or availability of these resources, and inclusion of a resource here does not necessarily imply endorsement.  Purrfect Angels Cat Rescue has no interest, financial or otherwise, in any of these listed resources.

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