I have found many cats. I have volunteered for pet rescue organizations finding cats. For a while as a hobby I have even read the lost pet adds on
Kijiji and when I've seen that someone in my town is completely desperate, has lost what they consider to be a family member, I have gone and found
their cat for them. I am a professionally trained wildlife tracker and for a time I tracked for the government. As a long term owner of many cats I
understand peoples loss. I find that tracking cats is an intriguing challenge and I have gotten extremely good at it.
I have tried almost everything under the sun to find cats. I have tried psychics, dowsing, thermal imaging, leaving the cat litter box out in the
yard, even radio collaring and placing cameras on other cats in the neighbourhood. None of it has been as effective as what I am about to tell you. It
is still most likely that you will find your cat. First for reference, let me tell you about Jake and Steve.
came into a cat rescue facility that I volunteered for many years ago. Occasionally cats would come in that everybody would take an
extra special interest in helping. Usually it was because it was such a good natured cat that you would feel extra sorry for it because despite doing
everything right it had been abandoned anyway or maybe its owner had died. Jake was very special. Out of the 80 cats a month that would come through
the facility he stood out. Handsome, intelligent, easy going, and a unique sense a humour. There are few cats I remember as vividly as Jake.
Anyway, Jake was adopted out to a new home and the next day his new parents called to say that he was freaked out by his new surroundings, ran out the
door and had not been seen since. Everybody at the facility was frantic. A little known fact about cat rescue facilities is that they are generally
run by a bunch of beautiful, intelligent and well put together kennel techs (veterinary assistants). Its very motivational...so Jake became the most
intensive search effort I have ever put toward finding a lost cat. I put my work projects aside, pulled my bike out of the garage and for the next
several weeks concentrated on getting Jake back home. Every day I rode around, handed out flyers, talked to neighbours, showed pictures, followed up
on leads all over town, etc, etc. I was seen out there so much that a couple of weeks into it one lady asked me if I was homeless. I chatted with her
several times after. Eventually, she said "face it, he's gone".
Six weeks after Jake disappeared we found him a block and a half from where he ran away, living in a tarped over, parted out car. This was may years
ago and I did many things wrong while searching for Jake. But I did learn many things and I have learned much since.
was another very special cat that came into a rescue facility. His cool collectiveness, sense of humour, affection and wild cat looks
won me over instantly. He had been abandoned in a rental property when his owners had moved on. I made a special point of making sure he was going to
be ok and that he was going to end up in the good home that he deserved. He was adopted out fairly quickly and unfortunately I was away at the time
and unable to oversee the process. We called the new owners a few days later as we always do to see how Steve was making out in his new home. His new
owners let us know that Steve had disappeared almost immediately and had not been seen since. I was like "Oh no, not Steve!!" so the founder of the
rescue organization and I hopped into the car and went out to the nearby rural development to see if we could find him.
We found Steve almost immediately. He was crouched down at the end of the new owners driveway, whimpering a bit and not sure what to do with himself.
After looking around a bit we realized that the place was not what the owners had hyped it up to be and Steve didn't have access to the amenities that
they said he would. Steve came home with me that day. He would stay at my place until I could find him a really good, loving home myself. As it turned
out, within days Steven became a permanent member of my family. This bears relevance to something I will tell you about Steve and finding cats a bit
The point of these two stories (and many others I could tell you) is that almost always, cats stick very close to where they were lost. Even Jake who
had only been at his new home for part of a day was found less than two blocks away after six weeks.
So these are the tactics that you should use when looking for your lost cat....
Buy a good LED flashlight -
Twilight is by far the best time to find a cat. Right after the sun goes down and it start to get really dark cats
regain their confidence and start coming out of the woodwork. Sweeping a good LED flashlight around as you walk down streets and alley ways you can
see a cats eye-shine for hundreds of feet. A cat is nearly invisible behind a flower bed day or night but at night there is no hiding those
hyper-reflective eyes. Calling your cats name will cause them to look in your direction - turning their eyes toward you. It will also put your
neighbours at ease and you will get less visits from the police. Be sure to walk slowly and run your flashlight over every square inch of the
neighbourhood. Check under every parked vehicle and trailer. LED flashlights are amazing for this. I suggest at least a one watt flashlight. I just
purchased a beautiful, tiny, 10 watt flashlight on Ebay, delivered to my door for a total of $7 (excluding battery and charger). I can see eye-shine
with it for nearly two kilometres. I find the majority of missing cats this way. Its amazing how many cats turn up. In my own neighbourhood I might
see a cat once a week during the day. I pull out my flashlight in the evening and I can find eight cats in the first half hour. This should be the
very first thing you do to find your cat if walking around the neighbourhood the first day turns up nothing. Invite your friends or family members.
Tell them they can keep the flashlights.
Go to the pounds, rescue organizations, and vets -
Go there, don't just call. Take pictures with you that you can leave with them. Put your
contact information right on the picture. Why the vets? People often take found pets to the nearest vet to get them scanned for an RFID (PIT) tag. Ask
them if they have seen your cat and leave them a picture.
Many pounds will put down animals if they are not claimed in a couple of days. Check the pounds every day. Do not take the chance that they are not
recognizing your cat over the phone. Ask them to take you through the kennels to check each cat yourself.
edit on 26-1-2015 by CraftBuilder because: of typos.