What can you do when your cat escapes?

Many cats that go missing often return home after some time. However, it's also possible that your outdoor cat hasn't returned after a day, or your indoor cat has managed to escape. Here are our tips on how to best find your cat.

First, thoroughly search your home

It's common for a cat to suddenly disappear, and you may not know where it is. This doesn't necessarily mean it has run away; it might have hidden somewhere. Before searching the surroundings, intensively search the entire apartment. Your cat may have found a new hiding spot, been trapped in a closet or drawer, fled to a shelf, or accidentally ended up on the balcony. Carefully inspect every corner, call your cat, and entice it with treats. Only when you are sure it's not in the apartment should you expand your search.

Search the surroundings for your cat

For an outdoor cat, it's not unusual for it to stay away for an extended period. However, if you have an indoor cat that has escaped and gone missing, it's better to search the surroundings immediately. It could be frightened and unable to find its way back easily. Take a bag of treats or the food bowl to make noise and possibly attract it. Focus on the immediate vicinity of your home. Check the basement, garden, inspect trees, bushes, garages, or storage rooms. The cat might have accidentally been locked somewhere. Inform your neighbors and others in the area, look under every car, and keep your eyes and ears open. If your search is unsuccessful, consider who could assist you in searching the broader area. Plan who will search which area to proceed systematically.

Tip: Many indoor cats not accustomed to going outside often stay near the place where they disappeared. Place water and food bowls where the cat went missing, and use items like its favorite blanket or bed, something that reminds it of home and carries its scent. A cat can even smell it from a distance. If you see your cat, don't run towards it; instead, lay out food and approach slowly.

Report your cat as missing

If an extended search yields no results, report your cat as missing. You can inform the police, fire department, local authorities, road maintenance, animal shelters, and veterinarians. Perhaps you'll be lucky, and your cat has already been reported as found there. Otherwise, provide brief information about where the cat disappeared, its appearance, and the best way to contact you. It's crucial to report your cat as missing in the pet registries Tasso and FINDEFIX. Hopefully, you registered your cat with its ID number in one of them. This is only possible if your cat has a microchip. If found and submitted, this chip, along with the cat's registration, allows immediate identification and notification to you.

Post flyers and seek help on social media

You can find templates for a flyer on the internet. Fill it out, ensuring you use a recognizable photo of your cat. Print several copies and post them in your area. Someone may have seen your cat and can provide information.

Additionally, search for local Facebook groups online. There, you can also leave information about your missing cat and request assistance.

If your cat reappears, don't forget to remove the flyers and inform the authorities of its return. If your runaway is an indoor cat, you'll likely be more cautious to prevent this from happening again. If you have an outdoor cat that frequently causes concern about its whereabouts, consider getting a GPS tracker. It can be attached to a collar, and through an app on your phone, you can always see where it is.

If your cat is not yet marked with a chip, you might consider doing so after finding it. Simply schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Chipping is completely safe and quickly done. Afterward, don't forget to register your cat with a pet registry.

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