Losing a pet is an awful and overwhelming experience and it can be hard to know exactly what to do when your feline friend goes missing. So we’ve created a little step by step guide to ensure that you have all the tools you need to find some calm in the chaos and give you a better chance of reconnecting with your fur baby.
Firstly, it’s important to establish if your cat is, in fact, lost. It’s time to find your magnifying glass and make like Sherlock Holmes. They might be somewhere in the house, hiding under a bed or soaking up some sunshine by a window. It may be helpful to walk around with their favourite treat and call their name. Be sure not to call too loudly as this might scare your cat or make them think they’ve done something wrong, in which case they won’t come to you.
When you have established that your cat isn’t hiding in the home it’s time to take the hunt outside.
Check your yard. If you can’t find your cat hanging around your home, you may need to check with your neighbours. Ask if you can search their backyard and the area surrounding the house. Some cats can roam up to a kilometre from home, but most of the time they will be in the immediate neighbourhood. Check up to 4 gardens/yards in any direction from your house.
From 1 March 2022, all cats over the age of four months must be microchipped. If your cat goes missing and ends up at a vet, cat management facility or shelter, they will be scanned for a microchip. The microchip contains a unique identification number that is linked to you, the owner, through an online microchip registry. Once your cat has been scanned and identified, you will be contacted and you can be reunited with your cat. Your cat’s microchip can really be their ticket home. Even indoor-only cats should be microchipped as they can sometimes sneak out through an open window or dart out of an open door, especially if they are scared.
If your cat has disappeared and you can’t find them in the surrounding neighbourhood you should make sure your contact details are up to date on the microchipping registry in case your cat is taken to a vet or cat management facility and scanned. Go to www.petaddress.com.au to find out where your cat’s microchip is registered.
Contact various cat management facilities, shelters and vet clinics. Be sure you don’t just contact the local cat management facility and shelters. Cats can get into some very strange situations. While most cats stay on foot and will roam your local area, a cat could very easily jump into the back of a van and be moved halfway across the state. Don’t laugh! We’ve heard far more outlandish stories before. If you’ve contacted the cat management facilities, shelters and vets and they don’t have any record of your cat, it’s important to follow up with them every few days.
Search and post on Tasmanian lost pets websites and social media sites. Also, use your local community Facebook page. Check out the pages below:
Tasmanian Lost Pet Register Facebook page
Get crafty and make and distribute ‘Lost Cat’ posters through your neighbourhood. Include a photo, any unique features, their name and your phone number. Check with your council on by-laws related to displaying community posters.
And most importantly, don’t give up! Some cats are found weeks or even months after they first go missing.
When you have found your cat, say a big thank you to the person that found them! Remove all posters and social media posts and grab your tool belt, it’s time to help them stay safe at home by building a cat enclosure.