Lost Cat

Frequently Asked Questions

Helpie FAQ

  • Should I make fliers?

    Quick Response

    Yes.

    Explanation

    Engaging your neighbors is crucial. Fliers are more effective than posters.
  • Does my cat know where s/he is?

    Quick Response

    Yes.

    Explanation

    Cats don't get "lost". They know where they are. They don't wander. They have highly evolved senses of direction.
  • Will my cat know the way home?

    Quick Response

    Yes.

    Explanation

    Scents and sounds help cats identify familiar locations and identify paths. But even though your cat might know the way home, s/he might not be able to come home without your help!
  • Should I offer a reward?

    Quick Response

    I would.

    Explanation

    Offering money lets people know how serious you are about getting your cat back. Is your cat friendly? Friendly cats approach humans to ask for help. You have to provide an incentive for that person to get in touch with you. If you're concerned about scammers, you can make the reward for a photo of your cat instead.
  • Should I offer a dollar amount for a reward?

    Quick Response

    I would.

    Explanation

    It's up to you, but I believe that being highly specific is better. "$150 reward for photos or information, no questions asked" is highly effective in getting people's attention.
  • How much of a reward should I offer?

    Quick Response

    Up to you.

    Explanation

    There's no wrong answer. I've had clients offer anywhere between $50 and $15,000. There's no right dollar amount for your companion.
  • What should I put on my flier?

    Quick Response

    At least one good color photo and your contact information.

    Explanation

    Be brief! Most people skim long blocks of text. Lost cat headline, good photos, easy-to-read bold text, and any reward information. Give your phone number and the general are where your cat was last seen.
  • Do I have to talk to my neighbors?

    Quick Response

    Essential.

    Explanation

    I get it, believe me! I don’t want to talk to my neighbors either! But there's no way around this. You have to talk to people, and the more people, the better. Neighbors might not see posters. They might have thrown away your flier by mistake. Not everyone feels comfortable reaching out on social media. But it's impossible to ignore the grieving human being standing in front of you.
  • What should I ask my neighbors?

    Quick Response

    Be brief, kind, and non-confrontational.

    Explanation

    You need to know three things: 1. Will they call/text you if they see your cat, 2. Will they crack open their garage/outbuilding doors just in case your cat is stuck, and 3. Do they know of anyone who leaves food out for an outdoor cat. Your cat has to eat somewhere. Engaging your neighbors is your first step to narrowing that down.
  • Should I put out litter?

    Quick Response

    No.

    Explanation

    Putting out litter, clean or used, attracts other cats as well as critters, but it doesn't attract YOUR cat. Non-target animals will be curious about the scent of someone else's poop. Best not to encourage that.
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