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Planning is Key: How To Prepare For A Lost Cat Scenario | Vet Organics

Planning is Key: How To Prepare For A Lost Cat Scenario


The worst may never happen. At least, we hope it won’t. Sometimes, a lot cat is just plain unavoidable. There are natural disasters, emergencies, and accidents that can end up with us frantically looking for our cat. A lost cat can be one of those scenarios that throws us into a panic and forces us to react with flyers, litter boxes on our front doorstep, and pleas for help on social media. Luckily, there’s so much more we can do if we just take a little time to prepare.

We love our cats, but 15% are reported missing every year. Of those, 59% of cat guardians found their cat because it returned home on its own. For the 30% of us who understand how to actually look for a missing cat, we are able to find them with a skilled search in our neighborhood. For those who missed the “How To Find A Lost Cat” article, please be sure to take a look, should the worst happen. For those who want to make sure the statistics are in their favor, this is the go-to guide. Follow these instructions, and then save this URL as a bookmark to send along to new pet guardians as a helpful link.  

Planning is Key: How To Prepare For A Lost Cat Scenario | Vet Organics

It’s All About The Microchip

First, we need to ensure kitty has a way to tell people where she’s from. Even though a cat’s brain has 1,000 times more “data storage” than an iPad, operates a million times faster, and can hold up to the intellectual challenges many toddlers can’t solve, a cat can’t provide a helpful human with her guardian’s phone number or address. For those who missed it, check out our guide, “How Smart Is Your Cat?” Collars can snap off, get stuck on something and get pulled off, or be taken off by well-meaning humans who think they should give our cats a good home instead of us. The microchip, however, is small, non-invasive, and can be injected under the skin of any cat, at any age. It will have a number on it that corresponds with our name and contact info, so kitty can be returned to us. This works whether Ms. Kitty Fantastico is left at a shelter, taken in by a rescue, or brought to a vet. There are even some feral cat colony caretakers who carry a microchip scanner with them just in case a new, domesticated-looking cat shows up in a colony and is trying to survive. Only 2% of cat guardians find their lost cats at shelters, but we can increase out odds of being reunited, whether at a shelter, rescue, vet, or cat colony, when get our cats microchipped.


Planning is Key: How To Prepare For A Lost Cat Scenario | Vet Organics

Use The Orange Collar

They may not be as cute as the cat collar with the little fish skeletons on it, or the ones with rhinestones, but the orange collar is part of a movement to help get indoor cats reunited to their guardians. The Kitty Convict Project was founded by Matthew Inman, who also invented the wildly popular game, Exploding Kittens, and who writes for the comic, The Oatmeal. The movement is meant to have our indoor cats wear an orange collar so that when they are seen outside, people know this is an indoor cat who has escaped. The hope being that people will step in sooner, rather than letting the cat hide and roam, thinking it’s probably an outdoor cat. The movement is already seeing great success at reuniting cat families.




Planning is Key: How To Prepare For A Lost Cat Scenario | Vet Organics

Training Works!

Yup, that’s right. Cats can indeed be trained. We just have to know how to train them, because it is different than training a dog. We often begin by teaching kitty her name. But many guardians also often end there. A scared indoor kitty, who is too frightened to come our of her hiding place, even though she hears our voice, probably won’t be moved by hearing her name. She will, however, be more compelled if she hears a command she is familiar with. Habit and reflex are funny things that way. Check out this series on Cat Training, Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. We talk about how to train a cat, and why it’s different from training other animals, especially dogs. Then we get into a few specifics like building trust, and being consistent. Finally, we cover some basic commands we should all teach our feline friends. It not only increases our chances of being reunited, but it also gives us a better understanding of how our cat-companion’s minds work and gives us something to bond over.



Planning is Key: How To Prepare For A Lost Cat Scenario | Vet Organics

Assemble The Lost Kitty Kit

It may sound a little silly, but we will thank our lucky stars when we need to recover a lost cat and we have this kit ready to go. When we’ve lost a cat, or a dog for that matter, every minute matters. So, pull together a kit, and update it every year. It should be a binder with the pages in page protectors to keep them from getting wet. Have a few recent pics of Sergeant Fuzzy Boots to hand out and to put on the flyer. Also, we should keep a recent, flyer-ready photo in a separate album on our phones. Not only does that mean we have a photo ready-to-go, it also means we don’t spend precious time looking for a photo that shows our cat’s face, full body, and interesting markings. We also need to have a list of all the online sites where we plan to list our lost cat. Aside from Facebook and Nextdoor, there are plenty of sites who will allow us to list our lost cat so they can help spread the word. The last thing we want is to have to pull that list together at the last minute. And we need to have a copy of our cat’s microchip number as well as login and password. That way we can report our lost cat, and we can double check all the contact info someone will see when they scan the microchip to make sure it’s correct. And because many cats go missing during times of disasters, check out “The Essential Dog & Cat Preparedness Guide for Guardians.


Planning is Key: How To Prepare For A Lost Cat Scenario | Vet OrganicsLast, but certainly not least, here’s a final word of advice to give our cats the best possible chance of survival while we work on getting reunited. Ensuring our cat-companions are in great health will help ensure they don’t get sick while under the stress of being lost, and perhaps under the care of others. Anyone who takes our cats in won’t necessarily have the same food or snacks our cats are used to, which causes digestive upset and lowers immune systems, among other things. Most lost pets won’t feel like eating, but when they do, it will help to know their digestive system was already balanced and healthy. EcoDigestive provides important probiotic and enzyme support for cats and dogs. By adding this all-natural formula to their daily meals, we help to ensure their digestion and overall health is optimized.


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