Most of the cats that were located had not gone far from their homes. Indoor-only cats were found 128 feet from home, on average, and indoor-outdoor cats 985 feet from home (although this distinction was not significant).
For all the cats (indoors, indoor-outdoor, outdoors), the house’s median distance was 164 feet, and 75% of cats were located within 1600 feet.
This means that if your cat is missing, you should search very precisely close to home. Being cats, you will not be astonished to discover that some of those found turned up waiting by the door to be let in.
Cats were often found in nearby hiding places such as hiding in a yard, in bushes, under decks, or inside sheds. Cats that were considered prying were the most likely to be found in a neighbor’s house. Most lost cars are near you.
A physical search for the cat was most likely to be successful, and this included searching the yard and surrounding area, calling the cat while looking for it, asking neighbors if they had seen the cat and would keep an eye out for it or help search, and walking around during the day looking for the cat.
The most triumphant advertising tactics were putting up posters and distributing flyers about the cat.
Although many people called their local shelter about their missing cat in this study, it was not a common way for them to be reunited (fewer than 2%).
It’s also worth considering the strategies people use if they find a lost pet.
It seems many people will not take the animal to a local shelter/animal control because of fears of euthanasia. Instead, the tactics they use to find owners include advertisements in the newspaper, walking around the neighborhood, and putting up signs.
Social media has grown considerably since this survey was done and is likely a much more significant factor these days. Still, it is essential to remember that some owners may not be reached by this method as not everyone uses social media.
Remember to think about what it feels like for your cat and the kinds of places where they might hide.
Cats have flexible spines, and their collar bone is not connected to other bones so that they can squeeze into narrow gaps.
If they are timid and shy, be quiet when searching so that you won’t startle them. Also, think about what happened before them disappearing if it gives any clues as to where they might be.
If your cat has just run out of the door, don’t chase them.
Keep them insight and try to persuade them to come to you; this may involve getting low down, calling them, not looking directly at them (which can be scary to a cat), and reaching your hand or a finger out to see if they will come up to you.
Shaking the treat packet may also help.
An indoors-only cat will want to get home again, so make sure they have a clear path back indoors and don’t get in their way.
Many lost cats come home by themselves.
If you are not sure where your cat is, search carefully inside the house if they are under furniture, in a wardrobe, in the basement, or some other hiding place. Cats can get into some surprising places, especially if they are fearful and new to your home.
A friend had a cat hide inside a box-spring mattress. Similarly, they may be able to get inside your settee, open cupboard doors or drawers (which may shut behind them), hide in small gaps behind furniture, get in behind the washing machine or fridge, hide behind books on shelves, or curl up underneath your clean linen.
The most successful strategy is searching on foot. Most cats are found close to home and search very (very) carefully in the immediate area.
Look in places where a scared cat might hide, such as in bushes, in sheds, under decks. Remember to look up too, since cats like high places and might be hiding in the branches of a tree or on the roof of a shop or shed.
It’s a good idea to search at a quiet time of day.
After dark, you can search with a flashlight. You might see the light reflect from their eyes. When searching, take a treat packet with you and shake it from time to time, but remember a scared cat may not dare to come out to you.
If your kit is indoor-only, you could put their litter box out close to the point where they left. The idea is that cats have excellent noses and will be able to smell it. They may find it reassuring, come back to use it, or wait nearby. However,
if your cat has outdoor access, there seems little point in doing this as they will be used to toileting outside anyway, and the smell may only bring other cats into the area to investigate.
Make a hiding place right by the door. A cardboard box turned upside down, and with a hole cut out to make an entrance will do. Put some of your cat’s bedding inside it.
You’re providing somewhere for your cat to hide if they come back when you aren’t there to let them in. You can put food and water nearby too (but be aware that this may attract rodents and other animals).
Remember to listen in case you hear your cat meowing. If you have a baby monitor, you could leave it outside the front door in case you hear a meow. If you have a trail cam, set it up so that you will see if your cat is in your yard (or your neighbor’s yard, with permission).
Speak to neighbors and ask if they have seen your cat. Ask them to check hiding places on their property carefully, or if they will let you search their yard for your cat.
If you find your cat in a tree and believe them to be stuck, call local arborists to find one who will go up to get your cat. Sometimes shelters or community cat organizations keep a list of arborists willing to rescue cats from trees.
Make ‘lost cat’ flyers with your cat’s photo on them and put them up in the neighborhood where people will see them, such as near community mailboxes or on utility poles. Include your phone number so that people can contact you if they see your cat, but don’t put your name and address for security reasons.
Post your ‘lost cat’ flyer to social media too. Make the post public so that it is shareable and share it with any missing pets and neighborhood groups in your area. Again, don’t post your address.
Call your vet and tell them your cat is missing. You might be able to put up a flyer at their office too.
Visit your local animal shelter and animal control in case someone has taken your cat there. Some will take details of missing cats to keep on file.
If you have recently moved house, you should also search back at your old address, as there have been cases of cats going back to where they used to live.
If you want to put out a trap for your cat, your local shelter, community cat rescue, or animal control may be able to assist.
Above all, keep searching close to home (very close to home for an indoors-only cat). This is the most important thing to do. When you find your cat, remember to update social media postings and take down the flyers you put up in the neighborhood.
Tips to Help Find a Lost Cat
Start Looking Early
Start Looking Close By
Talk to Your Neighbours
Think Like Your Cat
Put Up Posters
Look When It’s Dark and Quiet
Set Up a Baby Monitor
Use Facebook and Other Social Media
Don’t Give Up
If you think your cat is hiding nearby, you can try putting out some strong-smelling fish when it gets dark.
Do it concurrently every night, then try to keep watch from a distance to see if your cat will venture out to eat it.
When he is starving enough, he will venture out when he feels secure, generally under night cover.
Indoor cats that have escaped are very likely to be hiding near your house.
They have panicked and gone into survival mode, so they are probably hiding within a three-house radius.
They are too frightened to move and will likely not respond to your calls. They are hiding in silence not to attract any predators; they are following their survival instinct.
When any cat is hurt or scared, they are likely to go into hiding and not respond to your calls. You have to remember that cats don’t think like humans.
Even though they may recognize your voice, they may not respond to it because their ancestor instincts tell them its safer to remain quiet so as not to attract any attention.
Look When It’s Dark and Calm
If your cat is lost or sneaking, it may be waiting until it’s dark to come out and search for food.
Therefore, it is best to try and wait until late at night when the roads are quiet to look for your cat.
At this time, your cat is more likely to hear your calls and to respond. Remember to stop from time to time and listen to your cat.
Summer is just around the corner, and we are already being rewarded with warm temperatures and bright sunshine. When the temperatures reach the 80° mark, our furry friends have a lot to do with managing the warm weather. Logically, the summer conditions are extremely hard for senior, ill, or chubby dogs. Their organism is hardly damaged, and it is much more challenging for them to keep their body temperature low.
Always reflect: Dogs only have a few sweat glands and have a more challenging time cooling their bodies down. We should rather romp and play less on warm days, especially at lunchtime. When it has already cooled down, it is best to use the early morning hours and evenings to do our walks.
A dog can only control its body temperature via the sweat glands on its paws and nose and panting. Therefore, heatstroke increases many times if the dog cannot stay in a cool room. The worst example is still a car parked in the sun.
One of the most life-threatening errors people can make is to leave a dog in an auto during hot weather. Dogs can’t sweat, as humans do, to cool themselves off via evaporation, so they have to pant to cool themselves. If the air they are taking in is too hot (as it is in a parked car in hot weather), panting has a little cooling effect, and the dog quickly overheats.
After temperatures have soared into the triple, we urge dog owners to ensure their pet is properly cared for in the scorching sun.
Temperatures had soared coming into the hotter months, resulting in a dog reportedly dying from the extreme heat. Animal Rights workers have previously found a dog’s body after the dog had been killed from being chained up, unable to escape the hot sun.
Reports of dog deaths in high heat are continuously rolling from all over the United States. Recently a patrol officer mistakenly left his dog in the patrol car on a hot day. The K-9 trapped in the vehicle had sadly succumbed to heat prostration and passed away.
In 2020, 45 canines were reported dead due to extreme heat exposure or heart-related complication, with their suspicion that the figure is likely much higher, seeing as most of these deaths go unreported under the assumption that the cause of death was something entirely different.
We have urged that down owners be more vigilant in the future. With a list of things to be mindful of as the weather heats up:
Always put your hand on the pavement before leaving the house with your dog to ensure it is not hot enough to burn your dog’s footpads.
Try and keep to the shaded and grassy area when out on a walk.
Never leave your dog in a vehicle – even during the winter.
If your dog is outside in high temperatures, ensure they have adequate shade, water, and food.
Keep an eye out for heavy panting and curled tongues; this indicates that your dog is overheating as dogs do not sweat like humans to cool down.
We have also warned that leaving any animal outside when the weather is hot, knowing they will be subjected to extreme temperatures, is a form of animal cruelty. As such, any owners found abusing their pet in this fashion are liable to prosecution.
INFANTS EXPOSED TO DOGS LESS LIKELY TO DEVELOP ALLERGIC DISEASES
Research at the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has shown that babies exposed to dogs are less likely to develop allergic diseases.
A beloved cat or dog is as much a part of the family as many kids as Mom, Dad, brother, or sister.
But for others, a furry pet means wheezing, eczema, rhinitis, or other allergic reactions.
At first, it would seem logical to keep children at risk for allergies away from household pets.
But an investigation conducted at the UW Department of Pediatrics found the opposite true.
Exposure to dogs in infancy—especially around birth—can influence children’s immune development and reduce the likelihood of certain allergic diseases.
NEWBORN EXPOSURE IS THE KEY
The research study, led by Department of Pediatrics Professors Robert Lemanske, MD, and James Gern, MD, evaluated 275 children who had at least one parent with respiratory allergies or asthma.
Each year for three years, investigators asked whether the family had a dog at home, whether the children had symptoms of atopic dermatitis (AD; a type of eczema) and wheezing, and checked for immune responses in the children’s blood.
Children who had a dog at home as newborns were much less likely to have AD (12% versus 27%) and wheezing (19% versus 36%) by their third birthday.
Early exposure, it seems, is the key—children who got a dog after birth did not seem to have the same health benefits.
INFLUENCING IMMUNE DEVELOPMENT
The reasons for this further merit exploration.
Investigators think that exposure to dogs may contribute to a critical step in a child’s rapidly developing immune system—an action that may occur shortly after birth.
Will future research shed light, so to speak, on this immunologic mechanism? UW researchers hope so.
A better understanding of the process could lead to better allergy prevention strategies for children.
And that would help parents breathe more easily, too.
You may have learned of people microchipping their pets, but have you microchipped your own? According to recent studies, over 12 million pets in the U.S. are reported lost or stolen every year, and more than 8.5 million animals end up in shelters around the United States.
Many of these are pets that have lost their way from home. They are scared. It is a national crisis; on average, only two to three percent of dogs that enter sanctuaries are microchipped. The statistic is even worse for our beloved felines, as less than one percent of those entering shelters are microchipped. This raises the likelihood that once a pet is lost, it might never be rejoined with its family, which is why microchipping is indispensable.
We can’t tell you how many tragic stories we have heard over the years from people who wished they had microchipped their precious animals while they had the chance.
One in three pets will get lost during their lifetime, and 9 out of 10 don’t return home. Should your pet become lost, he must have proper identification to increase the chances of being returned to you.
Though collars and ID tags can be helpful, they aren’t always a reliable form of identification since they can easily fall off or become hard to read over time, leaving your beloved pet among the other unidentified lost strays at shelters. The use of microchips can easily prevent this.
COMMON MOTIVES PETS GET LOST
Many pets become lost because they escape from the backyard or run outside when a gate opens. This is notably true during celebrations were crashing noises, social gatherings, and unfamiliar faces are familiar. Even during storms, many pets can become scared and run away during these circumstances in an attempt to flee the commotion.
Other everyday situations where pets go missing include contingencies such as house fires and vehicle accidents. A pet with a microchip is more likely to make it back home than one without this identification.
WHAT IS A MICROCHIP?
A microchip is a very advanced piece of technology. Microchips are radio-frequency identification transponders encased in a small amount of bioglass and injected under the skin. These microchips are incredibly tiny, no larger than a grain of rice, and are encoded with identification numbers that can help you reunite with your pet should he become lost.
Animal shelters and veterinary hospitals usually carry various scanners that will read most microchips. It is standard practice to scan every new animal to see if the pet has a microchip at many veterinary and shelter facilities. This helps ensure a lost pet is returned to its owner. It is important to note that this is standard practice for most facilities in the United States, but if you travel to another country, you should be aware that their scanners might not be able to read your microchip. Talk with your veterinarian if you plan to be traveling to discuss alternative ways to equip your pet with the proper identification.
REGISTER AND UPDATE
It is important to note that a microchip will only be effective if it is registered and contains up-to-date contact information. When you microchip your pet, the vet will give you information to register the microchip with a nationwide registry. You will then be asked to record the microchip and include your most up-to-date contact information. Suppose you do not register and input your information. In that case, the microchip is essentially useless as the microchip will not be connected with information to help your pet be returned to you. If your information changes, be sure to update your pet’s profile immediately.
WHAT IF I LOSE THE INFORMATION ABOUT MY PET’S MICROCHIP?
It is important to note that we do not recommend putting in another microchip as the frequencies could interfere. If you lose the information associated with your pet’s microchip, let us know. We can scan your pet’s microchip and assist you with getting the information you need to update your pet’s records.
CAN A MICROCHIP HELP TO TRACK MY PET IF THEY BECOME LOST?
No. A microchip is not a GPS device that can track your pet if they become lost. It is only used to provide an identification number encoded with your contact information. Pet parents should not be concerned about their privacy as the scanner is only used if your pet is found without you and will only contain the contact information you choose to provide.
Though equally important, a microchip does not replace a collar and ID tag. Instead, a microchip provides your pet with permanent identification should he become separated from you. Microchips help to return thousands of pets home. To learn more about microchipping or schedule an appointment, please get in touch with your local shelter.
WHAT IF I FIND A LOST PET?
Think, you had taken the care of microchipping your pet only to have them disappear from your home and be found by somebody who decided to keep them! Animal control, veterinarians, and even some pet supply stores can scan to check for a chip. Still, any found pet should always be reported to your local shelter in an attempt to reunite with the animal’s owner. There are many local missing pet Facebook groups, and you can always utilize sites like Next Door to notify your neighborhood that you have found a stray animal. As much as you might fall in love with a cat who showed up at your door or a puppy who appeared in your yard, you must follow all the steps to try to get them back to their family first.
THE COSTS OF MICROCHIPPING A PET
Microchipping is a moderately inexpensive procedure, particularly considering the benefits associated.
If you have the procedure performed by your veterinarian, it will most likely cost you between $40 and $50. However, some of that will probably be due to the cost of an office visit, so you might be able to save money if you have the chip inserted while you’re there for another reason, such as a regular checkup.
Also, if you adopt from an animal shelter, your pet may already be chipped. That will save you some cash. Still, you must switch the registration information with the microchipping company, so you are contacted instead of the previous guardian.
Talk to your neighbors, friends, co-workers, friends of the gym, and family. Find out whom they use and are willing to recommend. Talk to animal rights lovers who likely know of veterinarians knowledgeable about your breed and the types of problems they experience.
Visit a local veterinary clinic without your pets.
Take a tour and examine whether the office is spotless and well organized. Ask about services they provide, find out what hours they are open, and ask what provisions are made for emergency coverage (after-hours and weekends). Many veterinary practices offer in-house digital x-rays, dental x-rays, pet dental care, ultrasounds, and radiology, as well as veterinary surgical services such as general surgery and neutering, orthopedic procedures, and assistance with chemotherapy. Find out what arrangements are available for specialty referrals. What is the average wait time for making a non-emergency appointment? Can you request an appointment with a specific veterinarian?
Find out whether the practice’s treatment philosophies match yours.
Ask the veterinarians for their beliefs about treating cancer, spaying and neutering, supporting senior dogs, and euthanasia. Do they believe in prescribing holistic or alternative treatments when appropriate? Do they emphasize preventative care? If you have children, would they be welcome to accompany you for a routine office visit? It’s great to be able to teach your children what’s involved in responsible pet care. Is the vet patient when answering your questions?
A close and convenient location is beneficial when you’re taking your dog to the vet. And should your pet need emergency care, you’ll want to know exactly where to go. If your new veterinarian does not provide 24-hour care, they should give precise directions to the nearest 24-hour emergency facility.
Ask about fees
Compare charges and avoid deals that look too good to be true. As with most products or services, you get what you pay for. Your best course of action is to ask ahead of time about fees, costs of procedures and what methods of payments are available and expected. Find out if the veterinarian provides written estimates for services. Are payment plans or financial assistance options available if you need them? If your pet is insured, does the clinic accept your insurance plan? Are you provided with a detailed explanation of services for every visit?
Check on professional accreditations and experience.
How many veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians are on staff? Please find out how long they have been in practice and about their education and training background.
Visit the veterinarian’s office with your pets.
Stop in with your pets and observe the “bedside manner” of the veterinary and office staff. How do they try to make your pets feel at ease? Have they set up the waiting area and examination rooms to make your pets feel as comfortable as possible? Today’s pets live longer, healthier lives thanks to the availability of high-quality veterinary care, preventive care, and pet owners’ careful monitoring of their animals for early signs of illness. When choosing your family’s veterinarian, use the same care and criteria for selecting a physician or dentist. Your intent should be to find the veterinarian who you think can best meet your pet’s medical needs and with whom you feel comfortable in establishing a long-term veterinarian-client-patient relationship.