Approximately 160 lost cats end up at the shelter every year.  Most are friendly house cats that have been separated from their families.  If your cat goes missing, immediate action should be taken.

Locating lost cats may depend on the personality of your cat.  In general, indoor-only cats that are fearful of the outdoors and of strangers will remain closer to home but will be very reluctant to come out of hiding.  Using a humane trap and doing foot searches are the best way to find this type of cat.  During a foot search look in bushes, under decks, in sheds, anywhere a cat could hide.  Try going out at night with a flashlight when you might see glowing eyes.  A frightened cat will not respond to an owner’s voice, so the search must be very thorough.

If your kitty is an indoor-only cat that is super friendly with people she may roam a little further from home.  Using flyers, talking to neighbors (keep in mind those not necessarily next door by road travel, but easily reachable via woods or fields), and doing foot searches will be most effective.

If the cat is an indoor-outdoor kitty whose normal schedule has been suddenly disrupted, begin your search immediately.  Your cat may be injured or ill or stuck somewhere and can’t get home.  She may have been taken in by someone who thinks she’s lost. A foot search is the best way to find to find a missing indoor-outdoor cat.  Flyers and posters work well, also.

If you did not find your cat on the initial search, call your local shelter and surrounding county shelters to file a lost cat report. Also keep an eye on their social media pages to see if they post a found pet matching your description.

Create a flyer with your cat’s picture on it and your contact information.  Give the flyer to all your neighbors, local businesses, your mail carriers, delivery drivers, school bus drivers, shelters and local veterinary offices. 

Place a large, brightly colored poster with your pet’s picture and your contact information at a major intersection near where your cat went missing. 

Use social media.  Post on your own Facebook page and look for specific Facebook pages for lost pets.  Locally, the Critters of Brown County Indiana is a great place to post a lost cat.

Whatever you do, don’t give up.  Lost cats have been reunited with their owners even after a year of being gone.  Continue checking the local shelters and keep flyers and posters up.