Magenta the tabby cat: how to find a lost cat

How to Find A Lost Cat

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

How to Find A Lost Cat

Using a Trail Camera

What Does the Data Say?

Median distances at which missing cats were found from where they went missing by outdoor experience in the 6 months prior to the cat going missing (indoor only n = 164; indoor-outdoor n = 150; outdoor only n = 15); error bars indicate 25th and 75th percentiles.

Lost Cat: What To Do

Lost your cat? What To Do:

  1. Where to look for a lost cat?

    Where to look for your lost cat? Focus around the area where your cat went missing. Bring smelly treats, call your cat name, but don’t make too much commotion as it might scare your cat. At night, use a flashlight, as cat’s eyes glare in the dark.

  2. Scent trails

    Lost cats can sometimes find their way home. If your cat escaped from home or another familiar place, leave their litter box, food, and toys outside. The scent might draw them back home.

  3. Ask for help

    Inform vets and animal shelters in your area. Let the neighbors know. Your lost cat might be hiding in someone else’s basement, attic, or garage. Publish missing ads wherever you can and try to think about different demographics. Use different social media platforms for different age groups, local Facebook groups (Tinder?!), physical posters in neighborhood and near shopping centers, ads in the printed media for the older demographic. Publish in online databases. Offering a prize might motivate people to look for your cat.

  4. A trail camera

    This might be handy, as described above, to find your cat when you’re not actively searching at the location. Plan on what to do if you see your cat and how you’re going to trap them.

  5. Trail dogs

    Some people contacted me and suggested using trail dogs, but after discussing the details of the case with said experts, I found out it would probably not work in our case. It’s still worth mentioning, though, because it might work in yours.

  6. Don’t lose hope

    Keep trying using the tips above. Remember that lost cats can find their way home.

My Lost Kitty is Found!

After one month of pixel hunting in the dark, walking in parks, accidentally feeding rats, even of finding someone else’s lost cat, after all that, Magenta the lost kitty was found. Apparently, she got tired of starving outside in the cold German winter. She showed up—thin but otherwise healthy—in a basement of a neighbor, 40 meters from where she was lost.

How to find a lost cat

Share Your Stories!

If you have a story about a lost kitty or another pet, and would like to share it with us, please share it in the comments below.

You might also be interested in reading this post about what’s inside the mind of a cat, or checking out my cats’ favorite toys.

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