1. You must control your panic.
The first thing that hits you is a horrible dread. It starts in your gut and then chokes you. Your hands start shaking as you start to panic. You look everywhere – under the guest bed, in all the cabinets. You call your cat’s name, over and over. Nothing.
Your cat is gone.
You might not even know what happened. You don’t know what to do. You’re terrified. The world seems like it just grew 1000% times bigger, and your cat is somewhere, out there, without you.
But you must control your own panic. Take deep breaths! Get your head in the game! Your cat needs you!
2. Every cat behaves differently under stress.
Cat people pride themselves on their pets’ unique behavior – their “catitude,” their ability to make humans feel like they were created solely to pay homage and worship at the Temple of the Cat.
However, when a cat goes missing, suddenly their owners seem to expect their pets to behave and think like humans, specifically, human children. This is because our emotions are overriding the logical thinking parts of our brains.
Remember: cats never stop being cats. They behave like cats, they think like cats. And they have the skills that will keep them alive out there in the big world.
3. To find your lost cat, get inside your cat’s head.
If you understand the way your cat thinks, you will find them.
Every cat is completely unique. Every cat behaves differently than other cats. Behavior is a reflection of your cat’s distinctive personality. Cat owners recognize and marvel at their floof’s one-of-a-kind behavior.
Once you can figure out what your cat is thinking, then you can anticipate their next move.
4. Every cat is born with an innate instinct for survival.
Hey, I get it! There are so many dangers out there, and you feel as if your cat is facing them alone, completely naked without you. This isn’t true. Your cat is not a helpless victim. Your cat is quite capable of taking care of herself! Even the princess cats who sleep on velvet throw pillows!
What do you think happened to your cat? Did they get out by mistake? Did you see them go? Did they escape from your car on the way to the vet? Or do you have an indoor-outdoor cat who simply didn’t come home one night?
Each particular cat behaves differently in each particular situation. But remember this: you know your cat. Your cat will behave within the confines of his personality. Your cat won’t change that, no matter what happens.
5. Cats don’t wander. They find shelter and stay there until danger has passed.
Did you get that? I can’t stress this enough. Your cat will find a great place to hide, and then find a few others. There’ll be food and water close by.
Once your cat has found food and shelter, they’re extremely unlikely to leave these resources. Cats can spend days, weeks, even months hiding from strangers and stealing food. They live like ghosts on the fringes of society.
Most cats are recovered within a few houses or on the same street where they were last seen. Some are recovered weeks or months later.
What about lost outdoor cats?
Same principle! Remember, cats behave according to WHO THEY ARE, not HOW THEY LIVE. Check the boundaries of your cat’s old territory!
Get searching! And remember, doing anything is better than doing nothing. You never know what might work!
AND DON’T GIVE UP!!!