How to Find a Lost Cat

As cat owners, we never want to feel the angst of having to do an internet search on ‘how to find a lost cat’! However, regardless of how vigilant we are when trying to keep our Kitty Cats safe, sometimes there’s no stopping a determined cat from escaping your home.

In this article, we will explore how to find a missing cat and some precautions you can take to help keep your feline safe.

What Do You Do When Your Cat Goes Missing?

How to find a lost indoor cat:

If your cat slips past you when you open the door, the first thing you need to do is go after him. However, don’t run or chase after your little escapee, as this will most likely result in the cat running further away. Try not to make any loud noises and always keep an eye on where he goes. If your feline stops and looks at you, you will want to drop to your knees and stretch out your hand. Don’t make eye contact with your feline but rather use a calm voice and call your cat’s name. If there are no distractions, sometimes your cat will come to you without fuss.

The most important thing is to remain calm and composed. Yelling or panicking will reflect in your voice which could keep your cat from wanting to approach you. Most cats like to stick close to home, so remain composed and do your best to keep Kitty in sight because you don’t want to end up with a lost cat.

Do cats come back if they run away?

Cat stuck in a tree, Lost Cat, Missing CatIf you have an outdoor cat, they like to go for a wander around the neighborhood sometimes to investigate any hidey-holes they come across or possibly check to see if a neighbor might give them food, even if they are well fed at home!

Don’t stress about this though because cats tend to resemble homing pigeons in nature, they like to come home after their adventures, so if your cat doesn’t, there is probably a reason.

Missing cat under a house, Missing Cat, Lost Cat

Maybe they’ve been accidentally shut into a garage while exploring, or they’ve climbed up a tree and can’t get back down. Maybe they got a fright and ran under a nearby house to hide – there are a myriad of reasons a cat can go missing. So, if you are really getting worried, check with your neighbors, and while walking around remember to look up, underneath houses and objects as well as around.

Have you and your cat moved house recently?

If you’ve moved house recently, your cat might have “gone home” to your old house, so drop by there and check it out periodically over 2 or 3 days, if necessary.

When I was young and we moved house, one of our pet cats went missing for 3 days, we couldn’t find our precious tabby cat anywhere and had almost given up hope when my dad said we would have one last check at our old home (about 1,000 yards away), and there she was sitting on the fence post waiting for us! We were all so relieved, including our cat.

Tips on How to Find a Lost Cat

What are the chances of finding a lost cat? Statistically speaking, 75% of all lost cats make it back home to their rightful owners. To help increase your odds of finding your missing cat, follow these helpful tips.

  1. Make Missing Cat Posters

The more people that know about your missing cat, the better your chances are of getting her back. To help “alert” the neighborhood, make lost cat flyers and post them at eye level on poles. Include your cat’s name, a recent picture, your telephone number, and any other important information. You may also want to offer a reward as a further incentive.

How to find your lost cat, Lost and Found Shelter, Lost catAs you canvas the area, be sure to ask the neighborhood kids, mail carrier, or delivery person if they have seen your pet cat. Ask your local veterinarian if you can put up a missing cat poster in their reception area, and check your local Lost and Found cat shelters in case they have a missing cat brought into their facilities.

  1. Use Social Media to find your Lost Cat

Social media can be used for more than just posting “selfies” or what you ate for lunch! Using Facebook to alert your friends that your precious pet cat has gone missing, can be an excellent way to spread the word. Also, check to see if your area has a Facebook page for local lost pets so people can share your cat’s picture and information.

  1. Design a Make-Shift Shelter for your Missing Cat

Take a cardboard box, tape the flaps down then cut a cat-sized hole in it. Place a dry towel inside and place it close to your home. This will serve as a make-shift shelter for your lost cat. Place your cat’s food and water near the box to help entice her to stick around until you see her.

  1. Search for your Lost Cat at Night

Cats are more active at night and a missing cat will be less wary of its surroundings when people are tucked in for the night. Take a flashlight, your cat’s favorite treats or canned food, and begin your search – 2 a.m. is the best time. Stand near your home and shake the treats or open the canned food while calling your cat’s name. Sound travels very well in the stillness of the night, so you may be surprised to see Kitty pop up eager and willing to get a meal and see your friendly face.

  1. Keep Active Outdoors while your Cat is Missing

Another way to find a lost indoor cat is to keep yourself busy outdoors where your cat can hear you. Working in the garden or sitting outside talking or singing softly will encourage your missing cat to come near.

If you have a dog, take him for a walk around the neighborhood or the places your cat may have wandered off to – sometimes one pet can draw another one out of hiding.

Precautions to Keeping Your Cat Safe

Before your feline friend makes “a break for it” enlist the help of these precautions. 

Microchip – a rice-sized ID chip that is inexpensive and easily inserted (by a vet) under your cat’s skin. It contains a unique ID code that can then be used to retrieve your information. Be sure to have the chip implanted in your local area, as then you have ensured your vet has the technology (scanner) needed to read the chip. 

Current photograph – keep a current photo of your cat (not just a cute head shot, but a full-body image). This will come in handy when you are making flyers or posting on social media.

Be vigilant – if you know your cat tends to dash for an open door, then be vigilant in ensuring he won’t escape. Ask visitors to not stand with the door open, or put your cat away in another room, when company is coming, so there is no chance he or she can escape.

Indoor cat, Lost Cat, Missing CatKeep cats indoors – exclusively indoor cats are less likely to run away. I have had both indoor cats and those that were let outside, and from my experience, those that were not allowed outside, rarely tried to get outside. The sights, sounds, and “big scary world” beyond their home-base usually kept them wary of venturing past the door frame.


Do cats come back if they run away? The answer to this question will depend on several variables like how far your feline ventures, where it ends up, and how much time and attention you pay to get Kitty back. If your pet cat goes missing, follow our tips on the best way to get him or her back home safely, then follow our precautions to lessen the chances of it happening again.

No one wants to learn how to find a lost cat, but it’s best to have this information on hand just in case you need it.

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