Living with cats

What to do if my Cat is Lost

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
What to do if my Cat is Lost

Have you lost your cat? First of all, don't panic. We know this is a very stressful situation for you, but the truth is that there are some cats that tend to escape from the house for a walk on the wild side in the surrounding area - it's just their instinct. There are just so many factors that can make a cat leave the home, but being a pet, the safest is for the cat to return when they are hungry or sleepy, so don't freak out and try to keep calm. We will tell you what to do if a cat is lost, and give you some tips that may be helpful to find your furry best friend. Good luck!

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Steps to follow:


The first advice we can give you if your cat is lost is to stay calm. It is the only way to think clearly and so you can follow the steps to help you find the animal and bring it back home. If you're too nervous, you will just have a harder time and it?s quite simply pointless so, be quiet, breathe and remember that cats can escape because they are in heat and want to play or because something from the outside has drawn their attention (a fly, an insect, a little lizard or another animal, etc.).

Don't blame yourself! The cat is simply following its ancient feline instincts but, being an animal that is used to living at home, sooner or later it will want to return to eat, drink and sleep.


The first thing you must do if your cat is lost is look around the home. It would not be the first time anyone believed that the animal has escaped and, indeed, is sleeping peacefully in a closet or in the laundry full of dirty clothes so look for it well around your home to check that it is not hidden in some obscure nook or cranny. On OneHowTo we tell you why a cat tends to hide in the smallest corners of your home.

What to do if my Cat is Lost - Step 2

If you have verified that it is not in your house, then it is time to start looking out. The best is that you leave home with some wet canned food or some ham or a bit of a treat which you give occasionally to the cat. Call your cat's name and move the food around so it can smell better. This is a good trick to make the animal come running back home.

While you're on the street take a moment to look up (trees, lampposts, windowsills, etc.) and down (under cars, in the bushes, etc.) because cats hide in times of fear or stress. Calling the cat and using their favourite food should get them out of their hiding place.

What to do if my Cat is Lost - Step 3

If your cat is still lost, yell your cat's name around the neighbourhood. Call your vet as it may be the case that someone has found the cat down the street and they've taken the animal to the vet. So make contact with all your local area so they are aware of this situation.

You can use social networks to explain to your friends and family that the cat is lost. Share an image with the animal's name and your phone number. Ask people to share this information and it will expand like wildfire. Call your neighbours to see if they have seen them, or ask them to keep an eye out. It is also a good idea and get in contact with animal shelters. Everyone who is familiar with your pussy cat will be happy to help, so you can find it as soon as possible.

What to do if my Cat is Lost - Step 4

Cats are animals with a very powerful sense of smell so a great idea to set the cat's sandpit at the door of your house (especially ensures if the sandbox is not clean as well, will have the cat's trail). Thus you will summon it if the animal is lost, the cat can find the trail and go home. If it is night time or if you you have just moved into the house, it's likely that the animal will be a little confused and will not know how to return home so draw your cat's attention with a smell. This is highly recommended so you can safely see your furry friend once again.


The next thing you have to do if your cat is lost is to hang posters in your neighbourhood and they should specify important information so that people can help you find the animal. What should you include on this poster?

  • A recent cat image
  • The name of the animal so that people can call
  • Your contact: Name and phone number (the address is not entirely compulsory)
  • Reward (optional)

Try to distribute these posters on the streets closest to your home and leave them in nearby establishments that will make all the neighbours be alert of what happened.

What to do if my Cat is Lost - Step 6

If it gets dark and the animal has still not returned, you may need to go out and look again. By natural instinct, cats hunt at night and so it's the best time to find it. Go out again with a can of food that smells and walk down the street calling for your pussy. If there's no response, leave the can in your doorway, window or balcony so the cat can smell their way home.


Another aspect that you have to consider is that if you've recently moved, it is likely that the animal is disoriented and has gone to your old home or the cat is hanging around that area. So go out there, fill the streets with posters and ask the neighbours. Perhaps the animal is there waiting for you to come back to your old home and you need to go fetch the little troublemaker.


To prevent your cat from escaping your home and to avoid this situation, it is important to follow some guidelines with which you will be much quieter. First, we highlight the importance of putting a chip for identification deep inside your cat with your personal data so that, in the event of the pussy going missing, someone can get in contact with you. It is also important that your cat wears a collar so people who see it on the street and know immediately whose cat it is. They will it is domestic and not a stray cat and, thus, they will give help your cat.

Afterwards, you will have to follow other guidelines that can help you avoid this situation:

  • Don't you leave the house: put grates on the windows or mosquito nets that will prevent the cat from leaving. Keep all windows closed. Changing the habit of going out is essential so that the cat is not lost ever again.
  • Neuter that cat: sterilised cats do not have so many temptations in sneaking outside to seek a partner for rough intercourse so it is a good way to avoid this situation.
  • Take good care at home: If the animal is well looked after, with food and water, with affection and attention, the cat will have no desire to leave home so take care of it, plays with it and give it the attention it needs to be at ease with you.
What to do if my Cat is Lost - Step 9

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