WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CAT IS LOST
Before we even begin this section please give thought to giving your cat the best chance of being returned to you, should it ever get lost, by having it microchipped NOW. Please remember to change your microchip details if you move house.
If you have ever lost a cat or found a cat please read the story of Katsumi.
We recently heard of this little cat that had turned up in the garden of a house in Leeds. The owner of the house saw the cat, obviously extremely hungry, eating bird food so he gave her some cat food. The cat took up residence in the garden. No one in the area seemed to have lost her or to know anything about her. The kind owner of the house did what should always be done with a cat that appears to be a stray - took her to a vet to be scanned for a microchip. The cat was chipped and had come from Essex! Her name is Katsumi and she had been reported missing 5 weeks earlier. How did she end up in Leeds? We shall probably never know for sure but, because of the microchip and the action of her feeder in taking her to be scanned, she was safely reunited with her owners. Had there been no chip that reunion could never have taken place. Katsumi is doing very well back home in Essex and her owners and her rescuer have kept in touch. Please, please get your cat microchipped and, as this story illustrates, if your cat is missing but is chipped don't give up hope of finding him/her.
Most lost cats will wander home in a day or so. However, if your cat has not seen for longer than is normal please consider the following.
Thoroughly search the house, opening all doors and cupboards, calling them to you or even whistling if this is your normal way of attracting their attention.
Check the garage and any garden sheds or outbuildings and listen for them calling you if they are shut in anywhere.Have a walk around the streets surrounding and backing onto your street and again call/whistle to your cat. Pay particular attention if you see an empty house - cats are by their very nature curious animals. Could they have gained entry to such a house and been locked in?
Prepare leaflets advising the time of disappearance, description and, if possible, a photograph of the cat and your contact details. Post these through letterboxes on the streets you covered earlier and perhaps even a little further afield.
Put more copies of these leaflets in the windows of local shops, vets surgeries and supermarkets.
Ring the local vets, as the cat may have been injured, local animal charities, as the cat may have already been handed into them and the council's cleansing department, as they deal with road accident victims.
It is not unknown for cats to be missing for a month or two or even longer so don't give up on them - keep looking, even widening the search.
This is Bibi. She went for a quarter of a mile ride under a car. When the car stopped she shot off and over 5 weeks she walked one and a half miles in the wrong direction! She was "found" when a lady saw a poster in a store window and recognised her as the cat she had been feeding for several days. Within hours of Bibi's owner seeing pictures of the cat that was being fed she was home so NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!
PETWATCH is a voluntary organisation which registers lost and found pets in the Leeds area. The contact number is 0113 2689973.
When your cat is found remember to take down all posters and inform everyone that you had previously notified so they can stop their search too.