Much like human beings, felines come in all different shapes, sizes, and personalities. As a result, not every cat is bound to react to a situation in the same way, which is why it’s important to keep in mind both lifestyle choices and temperament when searching for a lost cat. Knowing as much as possible about how your cat thinks, feels, and behaves is likely to make the job of figuring out where they are much easier.
Of course, technology is making things even more simple, and investing in a few inexpensive, pain-free ways to keep your cat safe and sound is the first thing on every cat owner’s to-do list. When you’re making sure your feline friend is up-to-date on shots at the veterinarian, look into the idea of microchipping. Your cat should be over 6 months of age and in good health, but there are rarely any side effects from microchipping, and a multitude of benefits. If your cat should end up at a shelter or vet’s office, because someone has turned them in as a stray or feral feline, checking for a microchip is one of the first orders of business.
Since a chip won’t help much if your cat is at the neighbor’s house across the street, it’s also necessary to have tags identifying your cat, and providing your contact information. An extra layer of protection through technology is a service like the one PetHub offers, where a QR Code (a Quick Response barcode) is printed onto a pet tag, which can be attached to your cat’s collar. A simple visit to PetHub’s website will allow a cat’s rescuer to type in or scan the code with a computer or mobile device, and will pull up the pet’s profile page. If you’ve reported them as missing, the rescuer can then see how to contact you, and get in touch quickly and easily.
If you’re relying upon your old-fashioned intuitive sense to find your cat, knowing what type of personality your cat has will help you locate them. Cats that are clownish, gregarious, and curious are unafraid to travel larger distances than others. If you have a cat with this sort of devilish temperament, investing in a GPS tracking device with a radius of 3-5 miles is a good idea, because they are willing to wander from door to door to see what’s going on. The good news is that these types of cats like people, and aren’t afraid to show up meowing at a stranger’s back door. As a result, they are often rescued, either by being taken in by a stranger, or by being taken to a shelter or local vet, where the cat can be scanned for a microchip. The bad news is, your cat may be so likeable that a new family will be tempted to adopt them. If this kind of cat goes missing, your first stop should be the houses of your neighbors.
The old saying is that “Curiosity killed the cat”, but in reality, it’s the careless and unobservant cat that’s the most likely to get into danger. A cat of this disposition may not notice a threat coming toward them, such as a predator, or may unknowingly run across the street during rush hour. They do not have the finely tuned survival skills that tell them when to hide, or when to seek out help. They will initially hide in order to avoid people, but then start wandering. If you have this sort of cat, the sooner you find them, the better. Search common hiding places, set a humane trap, or leave a trail to lure them home.
The overly cautious, aloof cat is perhaps the most well equipped for survival outdoors, and the easiest for you to locate, should they disappear. This type of cat, even when domesticated, has kept many feline instincts when it comes to running, hunting, hiding, and avoiding predators. They are experts at keeping quiet, still, and hiding from danger. As a result, they are highly self-sufficient and unlikely to travel far. If you own this type of cat, make sure they aren’t hiding on your own property, or within a 5-house radius either way of your home. The good news is that if you can’t find your cat, nobody else can, either. The bad news is, these cats are the most likely to live life as stray outdoor cats if they can’t find their way home.
The xenophobic cat personality is one that hates anything new and foreign, and is the most likely to view being away from home as a sign of impending doom, rather than an adventure. If someone tries to rescue them, they are likely to fight tooth and nail, and if it comes time to travel, they’re going to move at a snail’s pace. Unfortunately, many of these cats are captured and euthanized as feral cats, so if you have a feline of this temperament, it is incredibly important to tag and microchip them. Most xenophobic cats are indoor cats that don’t really want to live in the great outdoors, and so the good news is, even though your cat may not win any congeniality awards, but they’ll want to come home.
One of the best ways to locate a missing cat is to try to think in a similar way as your furry friend. Doing so will hopefully unearth a solution and bring your loveable companion home.