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... c. Lost cat - Still Missing

Don't give up on your cat if weeks or even months pass - no news may well be good news

Extend your search area, many cats have gone just a little further than you might expect - probably why they lost themselves! Think about what may have attracted your cat... scents on the breeze or carried by the prevailing (usually south westerly) winds, coming from locations where food is prepared for people, or where animals are fed or waste is left which might attract rodents or other stray/feral cats (a cats sense of smell is far better than ours, they may smell food on the breeze from a long distance).

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12. Within the wider search area - leaflet streets enclosing garden bolcks where your cat could be lost & raise posters strategically. (keeping records on a map)

• It is always a good idea to update existing posters. This will keep people aware that a cat is still at large, & demonstrate that someone hasn't just forgotten or hasn't bothered to take their posters down.
After some time fending for themselves, cats can become a little feral. The personality that you knew may be hiding behind survival instincts, as may well have been necessary. This often means that re-locating them becomes more tricky, but it could also mean that they are surviving out there. They may no longer recognise you or your call, you may - temporarilly - be a stranger to them. Cats have been known, after being stray for some months, to return to or even enter their old home without truly recognising it. They have been scared away by, or have even attacked, other familly pets - who were no longer recognised. In the prodigal pet's eyes, old friends were either a threat, or competition for food.

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13. In case of this & to try & lure your pet home follow these steps...

• Create weather proof shelters, in locations which will feel secure to them (outside front & back doors - if your street is terraced with little access for them to swap between those areas).
• Leave fresh water near each shelter & change it regularly
• If you have a cat flap lock it on IN ONLY, place food just inside it, prevent any other household pets entering that room at night, dusk or dawn & leave old familiar objects (a bed, blanket & or toys?) nearby.

If you do not have a cat flap, leaving food outside may only serve to attract foxes or neighbourhood cats, both of which might deter your pet. Water is more important, the food is only to encourage them inside, to try to spark familiar sensory information.

Cats can survive for weeks with no food, but only a few days without water

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14. Unexplained sightings that you have plotted on maps can become very important now. Look for patterns & Investigate the areas around any. Consider further leafleting & raising more posters around the sightings with "Last seen in your area".

(This is where the search for shy Kato failed. All hope had miserably dwindled, the search area was not extended & un-identified sightings through the months were dis-regarded. In hindsight, all the clues & marks on the maps led to his location. Even extending his search area by just 10 meters, would have brought him home)

Investigate every sighting, & search for suspects quietly at dusk & dawn.

If cats are hard to identify, or are positively identified but disappear when called, try to establish a feeding routine. They may need to be recovered another way - see Trapping

*Don't let your imagination take over or lose hope of seeing them at home again, it will only reduce their chances. Repeat the process on this page - drawing a larger search circle than the previous search area & continue methodically to leaflet, they have often gone just that little bit further than we may think* 

Somebody out there will have noticed your cat, you are trying to reach them so they can contact you.

Remember - No news, may be good news, don't give up on them!

Stay positive & find them

Once your cat has been found, please consider raising "Found" posters to thank people for their help. This will encourage others if their cat goes missing & give them hope. It will also provide a sense of achievement, encouraging spectators to pay more attention to missing posters & cats that they notice on the streets & in gardens.
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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