Increasing your odds
I’ve been wanting to get up some tips that will help in getting your pets home. I first wanted to check if there was other information already available that I thought might be useful and found this site, catsinthebag.org which goes into great detail about how to find your cat based on type; indoor, outdoor, personality type etc. I’ve also added a new link category for websites that I think offer great tips. Feel free to send me any you know of and like. Below is a short checklist. Many of you would know these but maybe there are some you haven’t thought of yet.
- Don’t delay in letting people know your pet is missing. Usually, the first thing people will do is check for any signs that someone’s missing the animal they’ve found. Make sure they find you, as people often assume the animal is abandoned.
- Put your cat’s litterbox outside and if possible scatter a small amount around the area close to home. Also try some pungent food or something your cat likes. Put out some of their possessions like beds or blankets that smell like them. You can also use the dust from your vacuum cleaner!
- Search around your area, in alleys and hiding places when it’s quiet.
- Flashlights will illuminate their eyes at night.
- Be aware of any new construction or like activity in the area that might have got your cat curious.
- Rattle their bag of food or treats or other sound that they associate with getting food. Call them but don’t assume they’re not there if they don’t come. They might be in hiding if they’re scared. (I once had to coax my cat out from under a floorboard, when I moved. She was so scared she wasn’t coming out, but she was two feet away from me and I could see her! She stayed there for over a week.)
- Let immediate neighbours know that your pet’s missing, and make sure they haven’t gotten stuck in their sheds, garages, or basements.
- Put up posters around the neighbourhood of course. Colour is much better as it’ll stand out from the 20 other posters on the same pole. Put them in all the pet stores you can think of, all the vets offices, groomers, at the dog park. Give as much details as will help identify your pet. Put the date so people will know it’s current. If it’s been awhile say that you’re still looking. Go a little farther afield as a lot of people might go farther to get a particular brand of food, or go to their own vet, and not the closest.
- List them on all the websites you can find, and also monitor for any ads for sales or adoptions. Some people will try to rehome or sell your pet, and very quickly sometimes!
- Offer a reward. anything, even modest. It really helps, but not too large in my opinion, as it can encourage con artists. I recommend actually not putting the amount on your poster.
- Contact all the rescues and let them know. Preferably before they’ve spent a lot of money on examining, feeding and/or treating your pet for injury.
- Physically go to the city shelters and go often.
- I hate to say it but check with your municipality to make sure road crews didn’t pick them up.
- Place ads in the local papers.
- If you’ve just moved don’t underestimate your pet’s ability to return to it’s old stomping ground, even if it’s quite a distance. And try to cover the areas in between old and new residence.
- They might show up far from home, so don’t limit your search to your immediate area.
- Try a flyer mailing (thanks Taralyn: see comments). The campaign could be tailored according to your budget.
- This technique, called “the simple method” was found on another site, and is reportedly very effective, I’ve translated and shared it here.
- Check this site regularly, found cats are posted and unclaimed all the time!
- Try not to give up too easily!
Please do contact me if I’ve left anything out. I’m not an expert but hope this will help. And if you do hopefully find your pet, please take all the posters and listings down and/or update them!
Lost Pet Resources
To be clear, the links on this site are not necessarily endorsements. My aim is to give as much information as possible, and therefore, the express exclusion of certain organizations based on their practices to my mind would be short sighted, if it could possibly lead someone to locate their missing pet. I prefer not to assume that everyone is aware of them. Animals can get separated from visitors and newcomers, and on the offchance they should find this site I choose to include as much information as possible.
Contrôle Animal Vaudreuil-Soulanges (also a boarding facility)
***It was impossible to keep the territories served up to date so double check with your municipality, and check neighbouring shelters too.
** Also have lost and found listings