Lost and stray cats
Steps to finding your lost cat
- Carefully search your home and make sure that your pet isn't hiding. Be sure to check any unusual places it has access to.
- If your cat is microchipped and the details are not current, contact the microchip agency and update your details immediately.
- Contact your local council pound. Descriptions of cats can vary greatly, and collars and tags can come off, so try to visit the pound to check for your cat. Repeat visits may be necessary until the cat is found. Take a cat carrier and documentation such proof of your identity, along with your cat's council registration papers, vaccination certificates, pedigree papers or photos. If your cat is not found, leave a description of it, when and where it was lost, and your name and number.
- Call and visit neighbouring pounds, animal shelters and vet clinics (Animal shelters are listed in the Yellow Pages under 'Animal Welfare Organisations'). The RSPCA also has a fact sheet with a list of useful contact numbers.
- Ask neighbours if they have seen your cat. Search the neighbourhood and call your cat, particularly at night.
- Create a 'Lost Pet' flyer and distribute it to houses and shops in your neighbourhood. The flyer should include a photo, your pet's name and what it answers to, a detailed description, when and where your pet went missing, your name and contact number, and mention a reward (if applicable).
- Finally, put a 'Lost and Found' notice in newspapers and notify radio stations that offer free announcements. (See 'Radio Stations' in the Yellow Pages).
If your cat is registered and identified, any council or animal shelter that takes it in will notify you in writing within four days of impoundment. Councils must hold all identified impounded cats for eight days. It is important you begin looking for your lost cat as soon as you realise it is missing. If you do not reclaim your cat within eight days, council may rehouse or euthanase your cat.