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, 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.

City Services

SPCA Montreal

Berger Blanc

Lasalle Veterinary Hospital

Contrôle Animal Vaudreuil-Soulanges (also a boarding facility)

RSPCA Roussillon (formerly Refuge AMR)

Les Services Animaliers de la Rive-Sud

Controleur Canin de Lanaudière

SPCA Lanaudière Basses-Laurentides

SPCA de l’Ouest de l’Île

Services Animaliers de Salaberry-de-Valleyfield

Inspecteur Canin

La Pension du Jardin Secret


SPA de L’Estrie

SPA des Cantons

SPA Drummondville

Centre Canin International

Services Animaliers de la Vallée de Richelieu

SPA Mauricie

Société Protectrice des Animaux d’Arthabaska


***It was impossible to keep the territories served up to date  so double check with your municipality, and check neighbouring shelters too.

Online Listings

Kijiji Montreal

les Pacs

Pet Forums


Animal Rescue Network


Auberge Zen


Boxer Rescue Quebec



Gerdy’s Rescues and Adoptions

Kiko Dog Rescue and Adoptions

Le Refuge

Petit Pawz

Refuge des Chats Verdun **

Refuge Kitty-Kat Rescue

Refuge Mère ThéréChat

Rosie Animal Adoption

Sophie’s Dog Adoption

SPCA Laurentides-Labelle

SPCA Monteregie

Sphinx Project


Moustache Adoptions

** Also have lost and found listings


Cats in the Bag

Missing Pet Partnership

Animal News and Welfare

Montreal Dog Blog

Spay and Neuter

Vanier Clinic

Montreal SPCA – Mittens Clinic

Outdoor Cat shelters

Neighbourhood Cats

Urban Cat League


  1. This is the Montreal SPCA link to stray’s,
    They work hard to update the website as fast as they can. Sadly any unclaimed/ untagged animal will be put up for adoption after 5 days, there are just to many cats and dogs coming in on a daily basis to keep strays for much longer and I believe stray animals are considered abandoned and property of the SPCA after a 5 day period. However I can say with certainty the adoptions counselors work extremely hard to place these lost animals in loving homes. Please microchip and tag your pets, if they end up at a shelter they will without doubt find there way back home.

    1. Author

      Thanks Jenn,

      I do have a link to their lost and found section, below, and I hope that people continue to check for their lost pets there. All shelters should be publishing their strays too, as it can take a long time for them to show up! I appreciate the SPCA’s efforts to make the information more easily available.

  2. I’d like to share some tips to avoid losing your cat. The warm weather is coming and this is when most of the cats get lost because they begin going out. So please remember if you decide to let out your cat please put them a collar with your name and number so if they get lost you will have a very good chance of getting them back, it is a very simply act that can save a lot of grief. Also it is best to not begin letting cats out until they are old enough to be wise about their surroundings, that is, not before 8 months and they should be supervised in the beginning. Also if you move to a new area don’t forget that your cat does not know this new area well and should also be supervised while going out in the start. All these simple precautions can help prevent the loss of your beloved friend. I used to volunteer at the SPCA and it is very difficult to find the owners of stray cats, so many are the same and there are a lot of them who are brought in. Hope this can help and hope all these lost guys get home. Marlene

    1. Author

      Thanks for the tips Marlene. I do intend to add more tips very soon! (I even think under a year is too young to let them out.)

  3. Hello I’m so glad many people have used this website and have found their little missing babies and I hope you all do. I have never found my family memmber Neutron the Cat, but I never give up hope that he is somewhere out there.
    I’d like to take just a moment to stress how important it is to visit all the area Lost Pet Resources that are posted here (especially going to the SPCA). The SPCA does not have the time or volunteers to screen for every missing pet out there.. so going there will increase the likelyhood that you may find your pets.. has gone to great lengths to provide this valuable information to you all to help you in your search. And if you can volunteer your time with one of the refuges or the SPCA, you are greatly needed….
    There is always hope with kindness and help from others. Many thanks to for keeping Neutron’s picture on the site for so long. The information you provide saves lives.
    Best Wishes,

  4. I should let you know about the biggest reason behind our success with Eno…we mailed 5000 flyers to all of the households in the area, which is why so many people knew about him. The calls we had that eventually led us to him were all from the flyers. If money isn’t too much of an issue, for about 1,200 dollars you can have b and w flyers printed, and then mailed through Canada Post. To save money, we printed in black and white but included a blog address that people could check out to see better photos of him….

    I don’t think people realize how easy it can be to reach thousands of people – we were laughed at for our idea initially, but it worked in the end!

    Thanks again!

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