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What to Do If Your Companion Gets Lost

Written by PETA | May 13, 2010
Mvalentine / CC by 2.0

The following post originally appeared on PETA Prime.

Recently, I ran across some really sad cases of guardians who lost their feline companions and did not know what steps to take to recover them. Here are some basic guidelines that were originally published in my book 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You. These steps should also work for most other types of animal companions.

The following are the basic rules:

  1. No matter what your commitments may be at work, they can wait. The material world isn’t as important as your cat’s life. Recruit relatives to look after the kids. Tear up your dance card, postpone your wedding. Take emergency leave. Do whatever it takes to free yourself up.
  2. Beg, borrow, steal, or charge an answering machine so that the number you are about to plaster up everywhere is always answered.

    No matter who else you are expecting to hear from, no one is more important than the person who has found your cat or has a lead to his whereabouts. Record a new phone message along these lines: “Please, don’t hang up if you have information about my missing cat. I must speak to you. If you can leave your name and number, please do so, twice, speaking very clearly, at the sound of the tone. If you do not have a number, this phone should be answered by a live person between x and y today, or you can reach (someone else you absolutely trust) at (another number you are absolutely sure of). Your call is vital to me. If I do not call you back, it means your number didn’t record clearly. Please let me talk to you. Thank you.”

  3. Find out which humane societies and animal control agencies exist in your area. Don’t assume there are only one or two. Ask each place you call, “Where else should I check?” then ask again and ask every time you call. Different people give you different leads. Check yellow pages; ask veterinary hospital receptionists; call pet shops; and ask the sheriff’s office dispatch clerk.


Commenting is closed.
  • Melinda says:

    Once my indoor cat jumped outside through the window 1st floor when I was taking out the screen and putting in the storm window. It was dark and my cat is black. I freaked out. To make it worse it was an apartment. I was sure I’d never see him again. I thought for a second and opened the windows all over the apartment so that he could jump in if he wanted. Then I sat down with the task of creating a flier. Just as soon as I found a good pic of my cat I heard that precious meow from the bathroom! My cat had indeed jumped back in through the open window! Needless to say I was so happy and thankful. I’m ultra careful now not to give him an opportunity to jump out a window or run out a door.

  • Brandon J says:

    Bribe children. Great advice but I had to laugh at that one.

  • Lisa says:

    Every responsible owner should have their pet microchipped collors and ID tags are all very well but nine times out of ten they come off I have 10 cats all microchipped if your cat is microchipped make sure if you move home to inform them i recetly read a great story from the RSPCA as im from the UK about a lady that lost her cat she looked and looked for months for him posted posters placed an advert in the paper etc etc. 8 years later she was reunited with her cat

  • Mary says:

    Microchip your pet put up signs everywhere and if your pet has a favorite treat bring the container and shake it around as you look outside. The sound of their food may lure them back if they’re nearby.

  • Jennifer says:

    I lost my cat while 1 hour into a trip. I plastered the area with flyers and after 2 months someone called me and said my cat was living under their house. Ironically they saw the flyer that I thought would be the first to be removed on a gas station ice machine. If you lose your pet never give up hope!

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Get to know your neighbors. They are an invaluable resource when child or an animal is missing. When I see my neighbor’s cat in a place he should not be I pick him up and take him home. If mom’s not home he stays with me until she is. I do the same with my other neighbor’s very young children.

  • T says:

    Microchip you pet