What Should I Do if My Cat Runs Away?

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As a cat person, you would be the first to admit that cats are their own people. So depending on your cat's personality and tendencies, you may eventually find your cat hiding or lost. Like any devoted pet parent, your cat is your best feline friend, and this isn't just a game of hide and seek. It can be terrifying if you can't find a missing pet in their usual hiding spots.


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So what should cat owners do about a lost pet? What should you do if your cat runs away? Finding your missing cat can be a stressful activity, but hopefully, this article proves helpful should you have a lost cat.


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Why do cats run away?

It's not uncommon for cats to run away. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, cats are very territorial. They can be reluctant to accept new homes or move to a new environment. If a previous home is nearby, a cat could attempt to wander back to their old home. Or they could get lost in an attempt to return home if their old home is further away. A cat's curiosity to roam or explore can also lead an indoor cat to stray from their home and eventually get lost.


How to find a lost cat

If your cat is lost, you may not know where to begin, but you do know you will do everything in your power to reunite with your cat and get them home where they belong. According to ASPCA, if you have a missing pet you should do the following:


  • Search your home and your pet's favorite hiding places carefully
    • your pet may or may not be hiding in their favorite spots. Be sure to search your home thoroughly before proceeding with an outward search.
  • Alert your neighbors
    • bring a recent photo with you and talk to your neighbors about the situation.
  • Call the local vet and local shelters
    • A veterinarian or certain animal shelters may already have your pet in custody. If you've moved or changed your number since registering your pet's chip, be sure to change your info as soon as you can!
  • Tell your social network
    • let your friends and colleagues know to pass on any information they can.
  • Create a lost pet flyer with your contact information
    • a flyer with recent photo and some contact numbers can be posted around the neighborhood in an effort to reunite you with your pet!


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Common hiding places for a missing cat

There are many different places that cats like to hang out, but according to Hill's, cats love to hide in small, dark places, especially when they don't feel well. More often than not, lost cats do not stray far from home and are usually discovered close to their homes. According to Best Friends Animal Society, cats that are lost outside are consistently found under porches on their own property or on properties nearby (within three to five houses of their escape point).



Can I microchip my cat?

Yes, certainly, and according to VCA Animal Hospitals, even if your cat has a collar or never goes outside, the more types of identification your pet has, the better! According to VCA, if your cat does wear a collar, it should be a breakaway so as not to cause injury. In this case, getting your cat microchipped is ideal as their collar is not a permanent form of identification. If you do microchip your cat, be sure to keep the microchip information updated with your current number and address. If you have any other concerns about a microchip for your cat or microchipping in general, you can ask your vet for more information.


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In summary

It is not uncommon for cats to run away, and when they do, the majority of the time they are not found too far from home. In the event that you lose your cat, be sure to search your home thoroughly, and then proceed with a broader search that includes notifying your neighbors, calling your local vet and shelters, alerting your social network, and doing a broad neighborhood sweep with flyers. Consider microchipping your cat as an additional form of identification to increase your cat's chances of returning home.



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