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... b. Lost Cat - Searching your neighbourhood

You know the nature of your own cat & how much time you should realistically give them to come home. Creating posters & leaflets should have given them at least some hours to return by themselves. If your cat has not come home & you feel you have given them enough time to do so... 
Please note...

The search maps shown are only an example but the same principles apply, wether you live in a high human population density or a low rural one.

 

7. If your cat is chipped Inform your microchip company

Usually Petlog - phone 24hrs - 08706 066 751

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8. Report your cat as lost...

Via organisations such as animal search uk the lost dogs & cats database - Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (0207 627 9245) & the national pet register, and facebook.

Digital appeals accesible on smartphones can provide a picture for identification at peoples fingertips.

Inform local police, vets, animals hospitals & rescue centers such as any local R.S.P.C.A. branch - provide them with the details you collected for the leaflet.

(Council refuse collection departments keep records of companion animals found as a result of road traffic accidents. Some will scan for microchips. It is worth checking, if only for peace of mind.)

Assume Nothing & do not be afraid of publicising, or asking your neighbourhood for help.

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9. Print/copy several maps

Look for areas, such as garden blocks, that your cat could potentially have reached. Encircle a realistic but wide search area, in red pen on a map.

 

Think about areas/directions to search where possible scents on the breeze or carried by the prevailing (usually south westerly) winds, which may have attracted them to food preperation areas - resteraunts, pubs, kitchens etc. 

Call to your cat as you go out in search, in a routine relaxed way. Wait patiently & listen carefully, give your cat a chance to reply & plenty of time to reach you. Pay attention to places your cat could be concealed or trapped - garages, vacant houses etc.

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10. Go door to door in your immediate area & appeal to people in person, personaly hand them a leaflet whenever you can.

  • Digital appeals are good but can be easily forgotten.

A human face adds personality to your appeal that people are more likely to take notice of, than a peice of paper dropped through a letter box. Record addresses of people who weren't in if you want to appeal in person & try them again later. You will also learn 1st hand of those areas where cats are often seen or where they are fed by auxiliary feeders for example, which can provide you with specific places to search.

Leafleting is usually a lost cats best chance of recovery

Digital appeals on facebook etc. can help greatly, but shouldn't be relied upon - not everyone will look, or absorb/remember your post.
Leaflets provide households with a photograph & phone number at hand. After a sighting in a garden, people are less inclined to leave their homes in search of a poster, especially if they are un-sure of the sighting or of the location of a poster they may remember seeing - or in bad weather they are less inclined to leave the comfort of their homes to search for a poster on a hunch. Also give leaflets to traffic wardens, postmen, window cleaners & anyone who spends time on the roads or in gardens.

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11. Raise posters as you go to remind people that your cat is still at large - especially dog walkers

Raise posters as you progress through your search area, bearing in mind many people will only emerge from their houses to get into cars & go to work. Bus stops, post boxes, school collection points & anywhere people gather or stop - are all good spots.

Local establishments such as shops & pubs may attract a hungry animal with food smells, & they will put posters up in windows & on walls

Outline all leafleted blocks, streets & mark the locations of posters on a map as you go.

(This will prevent you from wasting time doubling your efforts & will allow you to re-locate posters for updates. It is surprisingly easy to forget what has been done as time passes & your search will continue for an unknown period of time. It is better to make the effort & take these precautions - rather than to risk being sorry that you didn't at a later date)

 

Still Missing? p>

Print several maps of your area

Print several maps of your area

Draw a search area & mark the locations of posters raised

Draw a search area & mark the locations of posters raised

Mark the areas leafleted so you do not double your efforts

Mark the areas leafleted so you do not double your efforts

Investigate every sighting & plot maps for them until they have been identified

Investigate every sighting & plot maps for them until they have been identified

Plotting every sighting may throw up surprising patterns to investigate

Plotting every sighting may throw up surprising patterns to investigate

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