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My Cat is Lost. What do I do?

Oh no! It's happened to many cat lovers and it's always a terrible scenario - your cat got out and is now missing. Before you panic and run around like a chicken with your head cut off, read this blog. In it, we answer the age-old question - My cat is lost. What do I do? - so that Yorktown families will know exactly what to do if this stroke of bad luck hits your home on Halloween or any other frightful night.

Look for Your Cat Inside Your Home

While in most cases pet parents will have seen their cat run out the door or sneak past a security camera, many lost cats are not lost at all. Often, they are napping in an open drawer or cabinet, cuddled up on a closet shelf, or exploring under a bed somewhere.

Before you panic, shake some of your kitties' favorite treats to entice him or her to make an appearance. Gently call their name and try to recall if you've brought anything new into the home recently. Your cat may be intrigued by a new dresser, new suitcase, and even a new purse and could be hiding within it.

Finally, check all cabinets, drawers, closets, and bedrooms while shaking and/or sprinkling treats around. The idea is to lure your cat out of hiding and into your loving arms.

Look for Your Cat Around Your Home

Often, cats that can't be found haven't gone far. Many remain close to home where they can still smell their customary environment.

Initially, walk around your home and yard, calling and shaking a treat bag or jar. At night, walk around using a flashlight and keep an eye out for your cat's eyes in the bushes. Listen carefully for leaves rustling, low meows, etc. Many cats get outside and freeze, meaning that your cat could be nearby and scared, just waiting to make their appearance for fear that you may be a threat.

As indoor cats, many get outside for the first time or in a long time and go into survival mode. Because they are scared, they may not respond to calls from their owner therefore you have to be patient, speak softly, and remain positive during the search. Learn more about the typical behavior of lost indoor cats here.

Look for Your Cat within 7 Miles of Your Home

According to Pet Tracker, Inc., "Lost indoor-only cats will be found hiding within a 5-7 house radius of home. They will attempt to come back into the home from the same exit they left, usually between the early morning hours of 4 to 7 AM. Midnight and other hours of the night are also possible. The KEY is providing access back into the home, and luring with scent items," they added.

Look for Your Cat Online

Knowing that your cat is likely within 7 miles of your home is encouraging but it's hard to sit back and wait for them to come back. After all, they need us and are probably scared out there.

While we get that you're going to want to look for your cat every second of every day until they come home, posting online might be a better use of your time. Following are a few groups in which you should post your cat's information, including their description, age, identifying factors, name, and last seen details.

Look for Your Cat at the Shelter & Animal Control

Local shelters, rescues, and animal control agencies are a huge help when a pet goes missing. Call your local shelters, rescues, and animal control agencies when you notice your cat is missing to check if anyone has turned your pet in. If they do have your pet, you may be charged a stray hold fee, but you'll be grateful to get your baby with their help.

Animal control numbers to report found and missing pets include Animal Control Dispatch for York County and Poquoson at 757-890-3601, Newport News Animal Services at 757-595-7387, and the Hampton non-emergency Animal Control hotline at 757-727-6111.

Have Faith That Your Cat Will Come Home

Cats are amazing survivors therefore we urge you to not get discouraged if you cannot find your cat immediately. The good news, as mentioned above, is that, unlike dogs, cats normally do not roam very far from home.

As reminder, the last quarter of the year is very busy for pet sitting companies. We are already booked for the entirety of Thanksgiving weekend. If you are a registered client of Hearts at Home Pet Sitting and need care for your pets come December, we ask that you please schedule services as soon as you have confirmed your travel dates.

If you are new to Hearts at Home, please submit a new client questionnaire here. For more information, visit our website or contact us by email at or by phone at 757-745-9868.

We hope you enjoyed our blog about what to do if your cat is lost. Stay tuned next week for more practical tips on bringing your lost kitty home!

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