How to Find a Lost Cat


A missing cat is enough to send any pet parent into panic. How to find my lost cat? If you’re cat ran away or got chased off, the first thing you need to understand about missing cats is that they may behave differently according to personality type. Is your cat an indoor or outdoor cat? Is he the shy or is he a bold and friendly fellow? Understanding cat behavior would give you an idea how far he might have gone and how to find lost cat fast.

Common Cat Personality Types

When cats find themselves in unfamiliar territory, their primary instinct would be to find a safe place to hide. How long your lost cat stays in hiding would depend on his temperament. Here are some tips on how to find a lost cat based on his personality type.

  • Curious (Clown) cat – If your lost cat has always been friendly even to strangers, your safe bet would be to do a thorough search within a five-mile radius from where he was last seen. After a period of hiding, he would be likely to cover some distance.

  • Careless cat – A cat who is mostly indifferent to people, a cat with a careless personality will attempt to find his way back home after hiding for some time. It’s however, also possible that he will travel quite far.

  • Cautious cat – Cautious cats are friendly, but shy. He is likely to stay in hiding for the longest time after being displaced. In time, he will have to break cover and you’re likely to find him in a place where there is something to eat.

  • Xenophobic cat – Xenophobic cats are extremely anxious and fearful. They’re usually averse to being petted or handled. A xenophobic cat will run and hide in silence out of fear. When found, they’re likely to hiss at the founder out of fright. 


Best Way to Find Lost Cat

If you want to know how to find lost cat as soon as possible, you need to spread the word to as many people as possible, be thorough and persistent in searching the neighborhood, and take every step possible to help your lost cat find his way back home.

1. Spread the word.

  • Call your neighbors and your family in case any of them have seen your lost cat recently. If you can, ask neighbors in advance for permission to search their yards, sheds, and porches when you do a physical search.
  • Find a clear photo of your cat and create a flyer with your contact details. Put up the flyers where more people can see them and show them to every people you meet as you search the neighborhood.
  • Report your lost pet to and every lost & found website you can find online. You’d also want to check these websites regularly to see if anyone has reported having found your pet.
  • Run ads in the local newspaper and radio station.
  • Report your lost pet to all shelters and vet hospitals in your area as well as nearby towns. Make follow up calls daily and provide your contact details. If your pet has been microchipped, it would be easier for them to identify your pet as soon as someone brings him in. Notify animal rescue as well.

2. Know how and where to search.

  • Be absolutely sure that your cat isn’t inside the house somewhere you rarely visit, such as the basement or attic.
  • How to find lost cat outside? First, enlist the help of friends, neighbors, and family members to help with the search.
  • Narrow down your search radius and go door to door. Your cat may be hiding in the bushes, under porches, sheds, garages, and crawlspaces. Check trees to see if your cat has climbed up and is unable to go down.
  • Cats also like to hide where it’s warm. Check heating vents, under cars, or behind heating appliances.
  • It’s also possible that your cat may be trapped in places such as construction sites, your neighbor’s garage, or a vehicle that have driven away. Ask neighbors if they’ve noticed unfamiliar sounds like scratching or hissing lately.
  • You may call out to your cat, but don’t expect an answer right away. If you’re unable to find your pet in the first day, try again over the next few days.
  • Searching for the cat after sundown isn’t a bad idea at all. During dusk and the early hours of dawn, cats in hiding are more likely to break cover in search of food. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight when you search at night.

3. Try to lure your cat home.

  • A basic step on how to find an indoor cat is to bring a container of his favorite treat or foods and try shaking it. Call out his name as you do so.   
  • The familiar sound of dry kibbles against its container or a can of cat food being opened may encourage your hiding cat to come to you. Try this method at night when everything is quieter.
  • Leave one of your used shirts near the door or window. Your cat may detect your scent if he is within range and follow it back home.
  • You can leave cat food out, but put in in a closed container as you don’t want to attract strays or wild animals. Punch a few holes on the lid just so the scent could fill the air and hopefully reach your missing pet
  • If you can, set up CCTVs or a baby monitor near the backdoor in case your cat comes back.
  • Set up a harm-fee trap. If your cat is in survival mode, capturing him would be a lot harder. You want to lure him with catnip and be able to capture him without hurting him using the trap.

Follow This Infographic More About How to Find Your Missing Cats



You now know everything you should know about how to find a lost cat. Even if you’re unable to find your cat on the first day or week, remember that some lost cats have been able to return home safely even weeks or months after they were reported lost. There’s a very huge chance that your missing cat is just hiding. He may even have heard your calls already, but is too afraid to come out. Remember, about 75% of missing cats are found. The key is to never give up and to keep on trying. 


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