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Tips to find your lost cat
Itís spring time and the end of breeding season. Bartee, a four month old tomcat slips out the opened window one evening. Drawn by the scents sprayed in his yard and on surrounding bushes, he follows the lure and vanishes into the night.
Becky comes home one afternoon from work. She opens the door, and before she can stop her, Tabitha, her Siamese cat bolts out the door. Dropping her parcels, Becky goes after her cat. By the time she reaches the last place Tabitha was seen. Tabitha is gone.
Sound familiar? Are you now experiencing that emptiness that many cat owners experience when their indoor cat gets outside and vanishes? How can you bring the cat back home? Here are some tips.
Tips to find your lost cat
Soiled litter- Donít toss out the litter in the litter pan. Use it and spread it outside on the ground in the last place you saw your cat. You want her to smell her scent and come home.
Sweat it out- Take an old tee shirt of sweatshirt and put it on. Go for a long walk, a bike ride, jump on the treadmill or head for the gym. Get that old tee shirt so sweaty you have to wring it out! Take the shirt off, it is an old shirt you really donít care about, then tear it into long strips. Hang those strips on trees and post where they will catch the wind and your scent will travel.
If you can, leave the escape hatch (the way the cat got out) open. They generally will be hiding close by, overwhelmed by the scents, the noise and the outside world. When it is quiet, they will sneak back to the house and try to get back inside. They will return the same way they left.
Kitty Call- Do you have a special kitty call? Use it to your advantage. Take some canned cat food and walk the neighborhood or the property in the wee hours of the morning (when most of the world is asleep). Call to your kitty and pop the cans open as you call. Or if you use an electric can opener, record that sound and play the tape over and over as you look for your cat.
A Picture is worth a thousand words- Keep current photos of your cat just in case. If your cat becomes lost, make up flyers and pass them around to your neighbors. Put them into protective sleeves and post them around the neighborhood. Rewards are effective.
Call the veterinary clinics, the animal shelters, local rescue groups and even the dead animal patrol. Let them all know the description of your cat and how long she has been missing. Drop off pictures at the places as well and keep checking back daily.
If your cat is ďmissingĒ and you didnít see him get outside, check your house thoroughly. Check inside cupboards, washers, dryers even dishwashers. Check under recliners and the footstools, look under the bed with a flashlight- look up into the bedsprings for holes. Check in your fireplace if you have one, look everywhere. Section each room off, get down on your hands and knees and search. Even if you donít think your cat can fit in the space, look anyways. Cats donít have collarbones, if their whiskers can fit into the space, they can fit as well. If you have a bookcase, look behind the books.
Spread the message- Buy a large bag of the cheapest dry dog food you can find. Dog food has a powerful scent to it. Spread the dry food out in lit areas so your cat can be seen if he comes to eat at night or early in the morning.
Go get a haircut, if your spouse needs a haircut ask him to do the same. Keep all the trimmed hair and use that as a scent beacon. Spread it around the outside of your house to help lure your cat home.
Borrow a humane trap and set it up with food. Your cat may return while you are asleep. You might also trap wild animals or other cats.
Talk to the kids in the neighborhood, they notice things adults dismiss. I know of one gal whose cat went missing. Her block was full of young boys that liked to skateboard. She offered a yearís pass to the local skate park for the return of her cat. Three days later, a teenager came to her door holding her cat.
Before your cat does go missing, and this happens in the best of cat homes, take precautions by microchipping your cat. Contact the local vet clinics and ask them what type of scanner they use. Also contact the animal shelters to find out what they use. Then be sure that you have the same type of chip inserted in your cat. It takes only a minute, and doesnít hurt.
Spay and neuter your cat(s). Reduce their desire to roam. You both will be better off in the long run.