finding and capturing your lost cat

How to Find and Secure Your Lost Cat or Kitten

Losing your cat can be heartbreaking. Read here to learn how to safely bring your cat or kitten home. Do not lose hope, Find your kitten!

Finding a Lost Kitten

Dear Simba,My 10-month-old neutered male kitty, Bif, has been missing for a week. I miss him terribly.
He had a routine of going outside for the day, and then coming in before sunset. Last Thursday he never came home. I have not seen him since and it seems like an eternity. His absence has left an enormous void in the house. He is loved and missed very much.

I have called my neighbors, put up posters, put an ad in the newspaper and on the radio; and called the local veterinarians and shelters, and will go to them tomorrow in case someone has a different idea of what might have happened other than I do. The animal control officer who told me of no recent cat disappearances in my neighborhood. I live in a rural area, and there are periodic fox and coyote attacks on cats
Do kitties ever come home after disappearing like this? For those that do, were they so invisible despite their owner's diligent efforts to find out if they were still alive? I wish you could tell me if he would ever come home again…although I know that no one can. For all of you who still do have your kitty, I hope my loss brings perspective to your challenges and how fortunate you are to still have them. Andrea

Dear Andrea,
So sorry to hear of your loss. I certainly hope you can find your little friend. The capture information in Humane Trapping of Cats may contain some helpful tips for finding Bif.

It is difficult to tell how many kitties make it back after so long an absence. Very often, these little guys wind up in the care of a friendly neighbor. do not give up hope just yet! Simba

Hi Simba,
I wrote 4 weeks ago looking for solace in Bif disappearing. He is still not home. Apparently, 7 kitties gone missing in my area since he disappeared. There have been reports of coyotes, so I am assuming the worst. I only hope is was quick and painless for little Bif, if that was indeed his fate. -Maybe there will still be a happy ending, as I have heard of cats coming home as much as a year later.

He was a wonderful cat, and although I miss him very much still, I am glad to have had in my life for a little while. I did go to shelters to try to find him, and continue to call them periodically in case he should show up. While I was at one of them I fell for 2 little girl kittens that came home with me. They are adorable. Chloe and Luna have tipped the scale to mostly female in our cat populous. George-The-Cat is happy with this arrangement. He is now king of the pride! The kittens will be indoor kitties, and will never know the difference. It is a fair arrangement for us all. George-The-Cat still goes out during the day. Given that he has been doing this for 10 years and is adamant about adhering to the arrangement. He has been quite savvy with the great outdoors so far, and will tear the house apart if I try to change the rules. -That king of the pride thing includes me as part of the pride.

Thanks for maintaining such a comprehensive site. The new kitten sections are of great help to us these days! -And thanks for your thoughts on Bif, He will always have a place in my heart. -Andrea

Dear Andrea,
So sorry to hear that Bif has not turned up. My heart goes out to you. It might not be a bad idea to create a 'closed garden' for George. This might satisfy both George's need for the outdoors along with your concerns for his safety. Congratulations also on your new friends, Chloe and Luna. It sounds like you have a happy home. Simba

Dear Simba,
My heart went out to Andrea when I read her letter to you regarding her missing cat, Bif. I recently lost my cat Scamp that I raised from birth on an eyedropper. He opened our aluminum sliding screen door one night about four weeks ago and has not been seen since. I go to our local humane society shelter on practically a daily basis, I have put flyers out, ads in the "Lost" section of our local paper, post card mailers by Sherlock Bones, and followed every lead which I have received to no avail.

I cried when I read the anguish she has gone through because I can associate with the pain of not knowing what has happened to your pet. I find myself crying myself to sleep every night hoping that he will still come home. I have talked to several people trying to reason with his loss and in wanting to keep the faith that Scamp may return.

Scamp was a 1-year-old neutered male that had the most unique personality of any cat I have ever owned and loved. One of his favorite play things was a sock tied in a knot and after tossing it in the air and over his head, he would pick it up and drop it at your feet to toss it for him again. This game would continue until one of us tired. I would let him out in the yard under supervision, but when I went into the house, I would make sure I brought him with me. He was totally intrigued with going outside almost to the point of an obsession. We would play musical doors at home to ensure he would not get out. Little did I know cats could open sliding screen doors because something enticed him to the point he could not stand being in anymore.

Unfortunately Scamp did not take to strangers so if we had friends over that he did not know, he would run and hide. People have said that someone may have taken him in, and coyotes in my immediate area have pretty much been ruled out. I keep my hope alive when I have talked to people and they have said they or someone they knew had a cat that disappeared and returned 30-60 days later.

Please tell Andrea, if you can, that my thoughts and sympathy are truly with her. She has a reader of your web site that truly knows what she is going through. I am trying to keep the faith, but the hurt and despair are starting to take over. I have left everything in his room totally untouched, and when I come home from work every night I just pray I will see him there. How long before you get over the broken heart and give up hope? Lady in Despair

So sorry to hear about Scamp. As to your question, I do not know that you ever get over a loss like that, you just learn to live with it alongside the memories of the good times. Be well. Simba

Cat Traping Tips

Hi Readers,
If your kitty has gone missing, one of the best things to do after putting up flyers and going to your local shelter is to use a humane trap baited with a tuna. Your local SPCA or animal shelter will likely have some type of trap lending arrangement to help you out.

About the traps, they have a door on one end, which is lifted and set with a small catch. The door is connected to a flat trip-plate at the base of the trap. These trip- plates are set at the back of the trap so that the kittens do not get their tails caught when the door shuts. The humane traps work well and should help you out. So here is how to do it:

  • Set a small plate of tuna-flavored kitten food in the trap.
  • Line the trap with newspaper (so that the kittens are not exposed to the cold cage floor).
  • Have a large towel handy (cover the traps after you catch the kittens to calm them down).
You are then set. The door will shut as soon as a paw hits the trip plate. - Simba

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