Tips for Bringing Home a Missing Cat

  • Keep your cat as indoors only! This is for their safety, and the safety of wildlife. Yes, indoor only cats can escape too – this doesn’t make you a bad cat parent. Not trying to find them does.
  • As soon as you realize your indoor only cat has escaped: search the surrounding area – look under decks, under cars and in bushes. Most cats won’t stray to far from home. Call their name calmly – they are likely already on edge.
  • If you cannot immediately locate your cat – alert your neighbors. Create flyers and hang them in your neighborhood and surrounding areas. Post on local Facebook pages, groups and missing pet pages – spread the word!
  • Post your missing cat in online directories (Pawboost is popular)
  • Does your pet have a microchip? Immediately alert the database where the information is stored that the cat is missing.
  • Contact local vets, shelters and animal control – share your flyer with them so they can alert you if the cat is brought in.
  • Set a humane trap. A shelter or animal control can likely loan one out to you. They will explain how to use it, but you will put stinky smelly cat food in the trap, in hopes your cat will walk in, releasing a “trigger” that will close the trap behind them. This is safe and does not injure them.
  • Sleep on the ground floor the night your cat goes missing, they usually return between dusk and dawn and you don’t want to miss any meows or scratches at the door.
  • If a couple days have passed, consider setting a “trail cam” or outdoor camera near your home to see if there is any activity from your cat during evening hours. You can also set this near colonies you are aware of in case your cat has migrated there.
  • Post in local newspapers and newsletters – print and digital.
  • Don’t Give Up! We have heard stories of cats returning home weeks and months later.
  • So your kitty returned? Yay! Make sure they are not injured – then celebrate with hugs and treats. Lastly – find out how this happened, and how you can prevent future escapes.
Resources: To create flyers and post missing pet listing: and also has paid services including sending “Amber Alerts” to all phones in your area –