For an indoor cat that has never traveled outdoors, it’s very scary to think about your cat going missing. Cats are naturally skittish by nature, so an indoor cat that gets lost outdoors is typically terrified and doesn’t have the first clue where to go or what to do. Often times a cat’s curiosity will get the best of them, and that open door that looks too tempting to resist can equal disaster after your indoor cat quickly finds themselves lost and all alone.
Here are some helpful tips to follow if your indoor cat gets outside, and we hope by following these you can get them home sooner rather than later.
Check The Outside Areas Around Your Home In A Calm Manner
This one probably goes without saying, but if a cat find themselves outside, the first place you should think to look is in the bushes around your home should you have any. Remember: even though it might have seemed like the best idea ever, you’re curious kitty probably realized it was a bold–not to mention dangerous–move once they did it. Your cat knows they are safest when they are with you, even if they didn’t realize it until they found themselves outdoors. This is why retreating in the bushes where they are hidden from plain sight is the best place to start looking.
Do your best to remain calm despite the alarming situation. Yelling or shouting their name or calling for them at the top of your lungs will only prove to scare your already frightened cat even more. Try your best to use the tone of voice you would should you be calling them just as you would if they were inside your home.
Important: In case you didn’t already know, cats are crepuscular creatures–meaning that they are most active at dawn and at dusk. In the wild, this is when cats will do their hunting. Try searching for your cat during these times of the day to increase your chances of finding them.
Get That Food Bag And Some Strong Smelling Canned/Wet Food
You may attract all the cats in the neighborhood by doing this, but one of those cats just might be yours if you’re lucky! Get that food bag out and shake it, open a can of canned cat food (the fishier the better!) and start stirring it up outdoors while sweetly calling for your cat. Hopefully they are hungry and come running at the tempting aromas of their favorite food!
Put Your Scent Outside — Hopefully This Will Help To Bring Them Home
Cats have a strong sense of smell. Take an article of clothing you’ve worn, or perhaps a blanket that you’ve used recently and set it outside. This scent may trigger him/her to come back home should they catch a whiff of it. Another good idea is to set their litter box outside near the door. An indoor cat that is not familiar with the outdoors might be hesitant on doing her business outside without her usual privacy. It might seem like a longshot, but nothing is too out of the ordinary when it comes to getting your indoor cat back inside safely.
Let Others Know Your Indoor Cat is Lost
In the event that your indoor cat that has gotten out is not nearby, you’ll need to alert others in your area that your cat is lost. You can do this by posting signs around your area with a photo and detailed information about your cat. The next step would be to tell your neighbors who live on your street.
Visit Your Local Shelters
If your cat is microchipped, there is a much greater chance of them getting their happy ending with you. Any time a shelter receives a lost cat, they will scan for a microchip. (Vet offices also do this for animals that come into their care that are brought in.) Should your cat be chipped, you will be alerted via the contact info listed on their records. It’s always important to make sure that your cat has the correct and current information on their microchip record. If your cat is not microchipped, it’s still important to go in and check your shelters for your last cat. Most cats turned in have a short waiting period before they are deemed adoptable; you don’t want to miss your opportunity to reunite with your lost cat.
Also, if your cat is microchipped, you can set an alert on their profile, allowing shelters and rescues to know that they are missing. This key step might help them to get home sooner should your indoor cat go missing.
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!