As cat owners, we always worry about taking care of them and providing them with enough affection. However, losing our beloved kitties is one of the most stressful and troublesome events that can happen. We treat our pets as family members and it can be truly devastating when they go missing.
Even if you feel that your cat doesn’t wander or would never go missing, there is always a chance that they might get lost unusually. Cats are tiny creatures and can fit in many spaces, so sometimes something like a box or even a small hole in the wall can give our furry friends a chance to get stuck or go missing.
Here are some tips for cat owners to help prepare and ensure that your cat stays safe at home.
Table of Contents
1. Keep Good Records
If anything happens, you must be as prepared as possible. Having all vaccination records and documentation of ownership should be nearby and easy to find. If, for any reason, you have to prove yourself, you can. Sometimes people turn missing pets into animal shelters or hospitals and the staff may require you to provide them with proper documentation before returning your cat.
It also helps if you keep a recent photo of your cat to use if you have to create flyers. You should also keep a list of phone numbers of local shelters or animal hospitals to reach out to if you find that your cat has gone missing.
2. Secure Your Home To Keep Your Cat Safe
Whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, you should ensure that whatever area your cat occupies is secure. For example, indoor cats can easily slip outside if doors and windows do not stay shut. It is also helpful to place things like screens or gates in front of doors and windows that are frequently open to prevent your cat from escaping.
For cats who like to spend time outside, there are options like gates, fences, playpens, or tent enclosures to keep them securely in your yard. Keep in mind that you should secure any holes or open areas where cats could slide through as soon as possible. Cats can also jump quite high in the air, so height or lining at the top of the fenced-in area can help prevent your cat from getting out.
3. Make Sure Your Cat Has Collars & ID Tags
All cats should have a collar and identification tags. Even indoor cats should have a collar and ID tag since you never know when the possibility might arise where your cat accidentally gets out. In addition, having a collar and tag helps to notify whoever finds your cat where it belongs. Cat collars also help prevent the person who finds your cat from thinking it’s a stray. Many people assume that when a pet has no collar, it must not belong to anyone.
- Your Cat’s Name
- Your Name
- Address and/or Telephone Number
4. Microchip Your Cat
Microchipping is not as scary as it sounds. There are actually many benefits that come along with microchipping besides the ability to find your cat easily if it does happen to get lost. In addition, the chips can be detected by animal shelters or hospitals since they will have scanning devices that detect the chip. Thus they can immediately find your information when they scan your cat if it gets brought in.
You can have the chip put in at the same time that you spay or neuter your cat. It is not all that expensive, either; the coast can be anywhere from around $25.00 to up to $50.00.
Many animal rescue shelters have access to a scanner, and some volunteers who find lost pets will have them too. Once your cat is found, it doesn’t take long for you to be reunited since paperwork or identification won’t be necessary with a chip.
5. Get The Right Gear For Your Cat
Leashes and harnesses are other excellent options that you can use to keep your cat from getting lost. You may even want to keep one for when you travel, so that you can easily attach them to a leash when in a new area and prevent them from bolting away.
You can even take your cat for a walk or just to get some time outside with a leash or harness. That way your cat will be able to explore its world without you worrying about them becoming lost. Allowing them to roam around while being secure to a leash can also be helpful when moving so they can get used to its new surroundings.
Cat carriers are also helpful for traveling with cats. When you travel with a pet, they tend to feel more anxious, scared, or nervous, and it would increase the likelihood that they would attempt an escape. Having a cat carrier can help keep your cat safe during travels and prevent them from running away or jumping out of a vehicle.
6. Spay & Neutering Your Cat
Did you know that the chances of your cat getting out and lost are prevented if you spay and neuter? The vets at Bond Vet Clinic in Chelsea share from their experience that because male cats have high sex drives, neutering makes them less likely to want to wander off in search of female partners.
Likewise, female cats who are not spayed want to put their scent around the neighborhood and beyond so that males can find them. Spaying and neutering your cats at the appropriate age helps keep them relaxed and keeps them from having that desire to leave and get lost.
7. Keep Tabs On Your Cat
The most crucial tip for lost pet prevention is to simply pay attention. Be aware of where your cat is at all times because it can be too easy to forget with a busy life at home.
Ensue your cat is getting adequate attention and know where their favorite spots are in your home or outside. Think about training your cat so it recognizes and comes to you at the sound of its name, or will come running to you when it hears its food being shuffled in the bag. Simple training techniques such as these will ensure that you have a way to call your cat back to you if it was to wander off.
It is not necessary to know where your cat is every second, but it is helpful to know where your cat is most of the time. No cat owner wants to go through an emergency where their cat is missing, so be sure to take these steps to help prevent them from getting lost. And if, by chance, your cat does get lost, have an action plan ready so that you can reunite with your cat as quickly as possible.