Put a box outside with a blanket or sweatshirt that you have worn. Cats have a very strong sense of smell and it will help them find their way home. Look for the cat at dusk and dawn (any time at night when it’s quiet) using a flashlight. Look under bushes, decks in sheds or garages – especially when it’s cold. The light reflects off the cats eyes and you will be able to see them a few blocks away. Shake their bag of treats. (This usually makes them come running home.)
Post flyers around the neighborhood. Not everyone has facebook. Also post them at pet stores and other places that have bulletin boards like WAWA. Give flyers to the mailmen and bus drivers in the area and ask your neighbors to check their sheds and garages. Call the vets, shelters and police in the area.
Getting your cat microchipped will help in the future if they should escape again.
FINDING INDOOR ONLY CATS WHO ARE LOST
Indoor only cats rarely travel far – they seek an immediate hiding place (under a deck or porch, under brush, in a garage or shed) and hunker down out of fear. Immediately start searching around your house as well as your neighbor’s houses with a flashlight (get on your hands and knees and shine the light under decks etc) – shake a treat bag and call it’s name and listen for a possible soft meow. (they are too scared to come out) ASK YOUR NEIGHBORS TO OPEN GARAGES AND SHEDS TO SEE IF THE CAT GOT LOCKED INSIDE.
They can stay in this spot for weeks! Indoor only cats RARELY come out during the day – they only come out after dark and into the wee hours of the morning. Be sure to check the surrounding trees as cats are often chased up trees and will sit up there for days and days….
Cats have an amazing sense of smell – put their bedding, your dirty clothes/shoes, and a tiny bit of strong smelling wet cat food outside to attract your cat.
Set a Humane trap (like a Hav-A-Heart wire trap) bait it with smelly cat food….this is sometimes the ONLY way to catch a scared indoor only cat AND IT WORKS!
Hang LOST posters immediately and give one to every neighbor as too many people just assume when they see a cat that it is a stray – if they know you are looking for your cat they will be extra vigilant and want to help. Ask them to take a photo of any cats they see in your area –sometimes people think it is your cat but it is not.
Immediately contact your Animal Control Officer and provide photos/description. Also contact local shelters, rescue groups and Vet offices. Post on Facebook on both local, county, & state pages (i.e. “Lost & Found Pets NY, NJ, PA, etc.)
Whatever you do, don’t give up and stay calm.