1. First… CALM THE EFF DOWN.
Cats are masters of stealth. You’ll need all of your wits to succeed in this mission. But seriously, getting too upset can cause you to delay, and you really will need to act fast in this situation.
2. Second – Call your Local Animal Authorities!
- Call your local shelters and report that your cat has gone missing, and give them all of the relevant details. You know, A/S/L.
- Call your local pounds as well. We all know a few days is more than most pounds will give them. Time is crucial!
- Call your local police department. People report found animals all the time. It wouldn’t hurt to mention donuts.
3. LOOK FOR YOUR CAT.
- Get your tail-less arse outside and get dirty – get down on your cat’s level. Yes, pretend you are a cat. Meow for me. Yeah, that’s good.
- CALL for your cat! Look, and LISTEN. The smallest sound could be your pet, but they might be too scared to let you know they’re there or to run into your arms like the old pals you think you are.
- If you do find your cat, approach him slowly! Remember – he’s probably anxious, and you don’t want to give him reason to lose himself again.
- Typically your cat is going to stay nearby. You know, because he’s scared. If your cat is both indoor AND outdoor, you might want to expand your search zone.
- Look in places such as under the porch, drains, inside of a garage, pots, boxes, inside of a windsock – you name it. If they can fit in it, they’ll try to hide in it.
- Unless they get hungry, they typically stay in the same place for safety reasons.
- Don’t limit your search to daytime only! Also search at night when kitty might mistake that quiet = more safe to explore. Plus cats like to think they are ninjas. I guess they kind of are.
4. Notify your Neighbors!
- Go door to door (maybe wear a “not a Jehovah Witness” sign) and ask if people have seen your most beloved pet. Bring photos with you, and leave your number just in case they notice your pet later. Maybe suggest that if they see your cat, to call and find out if you are nearby first so you get to be the one to approach it. Your pet will be less likely to run that way. Depending on the cat’s relationship with you. Hmm. Maybe let the neighbor attempt it’s capture in that case.
- Hang up LOST PET signs. Make sure it is a color photo (a good one, so your pet doesn’t resent you), and by all means, offer a reward!
5. Set up a safety house for your pet to find.
Some secure, box-like structure that you can place food and bedding inside. If you’re lucky, your pet’s wildlife pals or your local friendly neighborhood hobo won’t find it first.
6. After your cat has (hopefully) been found, treat him like the Majestic Meow he is so he’ll never, EVER think of escaping again.