Lost and found

Losing a pet can be extremely distressing. We highly advise getting your cat microchipped, in case he or she ever goes missing. Microchipping is a harmless and permanent measure which makes reuniting a lost cat with their owner so much easier. Cats Protection recommends that all cats are neutered which will also help to prevent wandering.

My cat is missing. What should I do?

Cats are very curious animals and they sometimes sleep in the most unusual places. If your cat goes missing, check all rooms in your house, including wardrobes, boxes and any cubby holes. Outside, be sure to look in bushes, sheds, garages and vehicles.

If you cannot find your cat, tell me people they are missing. Notify as many people as possible, ask neighbours to check their gardens and sheds. Speak to local vet practices and rescue centres to check that your cat has not been handed to them. You can also use the free lost and found website, Animal Search. Distribute posters in the local area and make use of local notice boards. Contact local radio stations and newspapers.

I have found a cat. What should I do?

If the cat appears to be suffering or injured in some way, please take the cat straight to the nearest veterinary practice.

If the cat appears to be well, and has only been around for three days or fewer, try not to encourage it to stay by feeding it. If the cat gets hungry it may be encouraged to go home again. Cats can wander quite long distances but will usually go back to their own home to sleep or eat. Older cats may look thin and underfed but could be due to a medical condition, thus taking it into your own home and feeding it could mean it is missing doses of medication it may be receiving at home.

Make local enquiries to see if anyone has lost a cat: ask neighbours, local vets and pet shops if they know of any missing pets. You can also put posters up around the neighbourhood telling people a cat has been found.

After three days of seeing the cat around, notify rescue centres - you can find a list here - and place the cat on a lost and found register. You could also contact Animal Search. If you are able to get the cat into a cat carrier, please take the cat to a local vet to be scanned for a microchip, which will help identify its owner, and to check it is healthy.

If you have made several enquiries, and there is still no sign of an owner, contact your nearest rescue centre for advice and assistance.