Lost your cat? How long has it been since you saw him? Is this unusual? Did you take a good look around the house or the garden? If you think that this time, unfortunately, your feline is lost, we tell you everything you need to do to maximize the chances of finding it, but also, to limit the opportunities of losing it.
How did your cat get lost?
A cat leaves scent traces on the paths it takes, allowing it to find its way back. But a special event, such as a particularly frightening noise, capable of causing a stress intense, or even a particularly interesting prey, could have led the cat to deviate from its usual routes and that without depositing its precious olfactory cues. The same goes for a cat seeking mates to breed.
Sometimes a cat still manages to find its way, even without these landmarks. If your cat doesn’t come back, that’s a pretty bad sign. He could have been the victim of a traffic accident or find himself injured to the point of not being able to return home. Keep in mind, however, that an outdoor cat, which is often used to roaming outside, especially on sunny days, can stay away for a day or two without causing any concern.
Find your cat
Here’s how to organize the steps of your search:
1- Take a complete tour of the neighborhood by calling it by name, as you are used to doing on a daily basis. Shake its bowl with croquettes inside or ring an open can of mash. As you pass people, ask them if they haven’t seen your cat. Consider going slowly and look carefully under cars or behind garbage cans.
2- If you respect the law, your cat is tattooed or microchipped. If the tour of the neighborhood turns out to be unsuccessful, call ICAD without delay, which manages the file of carnivorous domestic animals in France. You must be in possession of his ID number. Without it, no such action can be taken. You also need a password that appears on the new identification cards. If you have lost the identification number, the vet who tattooed or chipped it can tell you. If you do not know the password (because it did not appear on the old identification cards), you must call 09 77 40 30 77 or send an email, specifying in the subject “Urgent – lost animal”. If you have all the information, then you can make the declaration online on the site www.i-cad.fr, in the “holder” area.
3- There is also the Filalapat service, dedicated to animals seen, lost and found (www.filalapat.fr). You can consult it to declare the loss of your animal but also to check if someone has found it.
4- You can also print posters with the photo of your cat and hang them in the street (bus shelters, shops, schools). However, this approach carries the risk of being contacted by scammers who will ask you for money in return for your cat, even though they don’t have it. To avoid these inconveniences, you can simply distribute the posters to the nearby vets, your town hall, the nearest gendarmerie, the local police station, the postman and the garbage collectors.
Understanding the notion of territory in cats
There is a lot of talk about the importance of territory for cats, but more than a well-defined space that it would be a question of defending, it is more a space divided by activities, the three main ones being: rest, hunt and defecate. When the cat moves from one zone to another or when it marks the spaces it occupies, it emits pheromones of several kinds: those secreted in the cheeks and flanks, those secreted by the pads and anal sacs. Urinary marking is also used.
The territory in which the cat will thrive the most is a space close to the one it frequented during the first two or three months of life. Thus, a kitten who lived his first months in nature will have difficulty adapting to apartment life, and conversely, a cat who grew up in an apartment, with a calm and cozy atmosphere, may become anxious and develop troubles if he suddenly finds himself in a house with a garden, in the presence of other animals, including cats. However, nature requires adaptation and cats retain natural instincts: luckily many of them are able to get used to a new environment.
How to prevent your cat from getting lost
A cat seeking to breed can easily stray from its usual territory. From 6 months, you can sterilize your cat. Its behavior will then be greatly modified: your animal will be calmer and less adventurous, which will limit the chances of losing it.
A stressed cat will be more likely to run away and therefore get lost. If each cat owner builds the relationship with his animal according to his lifestyles, he must also do it according to the temperament of his animal. It is important to understand what his character is and what his needs are and to do everything to make him feel safe, to respect his rhythms but also not to neglect him in certain particular circumstances such as bereavement, moving or leaving. arrival of a baby. Stay alert, observe your cat closely and note any changes in behavior to seek the advice of your veterinarian if it becomes problematic or takes on worrying proportions.
If you’ve moved, your cat may instinctively seek to return to its old territory. Be careful to multiply the impregnated objects its smell and try not to change the meal times. It is best to leave windows and doors closed first. Do the same if you are taking your four-legged friend with you on vacation.