information is specifically for those who are searching for a
missing, lost, or displaced indoor-only cat who is wearing a Cat
Flasher. If your cat is lost while traveling, this information is still
applicable. If your missing cat is not wearing a Cat Flasher, or is an
outdoor-access cat, much of this information will, even still, be very
helpful. The following steps are what we suggest you do in addition to whatever else you think may help find your
Go to craigslist.org for your area
and place an advertisement
(this is probably free in your area) in the "lost and found" category
in the "community" section. To do this, click on your area (all of the
craigslist.org areas are usually listed in the right columns). Then,
click "post to classifieds" (usually the left column). Then, click
"community." Then, click "lost & found." For title, "LOST CAT,
PLEASE HELP." For specific location, put your city. In the body, put a
description of your cat, and be sure to say, "MY CAT IS WEARING A CAT
FLASHER unless his [her] collar has fallen off." Put down your nearest
cross-streets where your cat lives. Should you choose to offer a
reward, you can include that here. (We recommend listing the actual
amount of the award, e.g. "REWARD $100.") Put down your phone number
and, if you have a jpg (or, other image file) of your cat, attach that
with the "browse" and
"add" function on the craigslist.org form that you’re using to make the
advertisement. One other thing, go to this page: catflasher.com/image.html
and right-click on the image and save it on your computer somewhere
that you can find it. Upload that image of the Cat Flasher to your
craigslist.org advertisement, also. After you complete the
craigslist.org procedure, you will then get an e-mail from
craigslist.org containing a link that you must open in order to
activate your advertisement. You will be able to edit your
advertisement as new Info. is discovered by using that same link
contained in that e-mail.
what animal shelters are in your area. Often, these animal shelters
have web sites making it very easy to see what cats have arrived in
their lost and found. Sometimes, they even include photographs. And, be
sure and take a trip to see all of the cats in person as often as you
can (hopefully, you can do that, at least, every other day). Bring a
photograph of your missing cat to show everyone who works there what
your cat looks like. Leave that photograph behind on a bulletin board,
if the shelter has one. Shelters often have a deceased list too and you
will want to check that, also.
WEATHER STATION AND USE A THERMOMETER
Go to this web site: wunderground.com
and you will see a box at the
top of the web page where you can input your zip code [go ahead and do
that]. Click "GO" and if you don’t then see the 5-day forecast, look
for the drop-down menu somewhere on that page that allows you to more
precisely choose the location of your cat’s residence. If your cat was
lost during the previous night, see if the temperature for your area
was at or below 60° F. If it was, then you should presume that the Cat
Flasher has activated and you should update your craigslist.org
advertisement letting everyone know that they are "PROBABLY" looking
for a flashing S-O-S signal. If your cat has not yet been lost long
enough to have been out in the night, you can at least use the forecast
for tonight to predict if the Cat Flasher WILL activate. One more thing: Put a thermometer outside so that you can check the ambient temperature. Since your thermometer is closer than the weather station, it is presumably a better indicator of when the Cat Flasher has activated.
CAT RIGHT NOW
Generally, cats in this situation go into what's known as combat
mode when they get out. They will hide nearby say within a block or
two. (Maybe they'll find a place that doesn't have human or animal
smells such as inside, near, or under empty houses.) Unfortunately,
they probably won't respond even if they hear their owner's voices
calling for them. So, your cat is hunkered down, nearby.
If the weather report indicates that the Cat Flasher has
activated (or, will activate) then you should be looking for the
flashing amber light of the Cat Flasher. You do not have to see this
light directly, as it will bounce off of walls as well as leak through
plants and crevices. Any blinking light that
you see should be investigated. If that blinking light is an S-O-S, it
is almost certainly your cat. If the weather report indicates that the
Cat Flasher has not activated, then you should go out at night and look
for your cat, anyway.
There are many cases where cats in
your situation howl or cry out late at night when everything is very
quiet. If you do happen to hear your cat cry out, DO NOT RESPOND BACK.
Instead, go outside very quietly and try to get a fix on your cat’s
location. Get as close as you can and if you get really close so that
you do know where you cat is, then try to coax him or her out. If you
can actually see your cat, then you should make every effort to get him
or her right then and there.
There is a very high probability
that your cat is not actually lost, hence the term displaced. Your cat
may know where he or she is and may come back late at night. Should
this happen, it is very good to have a humane trap ready to catch your
cat (we recommend baiting the humane trap with a piece of Kentucky
Original Style). CAUTION: If you do happen to catch some kind of wild
animal, you should strongly consider calling a professional to release
it from the trap as all wild animals should be considered dangerous.
GET THE WORD OUT
Paint a lost cat sign on your car’s windshield and
park it in a conspicuous place.
wish to pass out fliers to all of the residences within a three-block
radius around your cat’s residence. The fliers should include a photo,
your cat’s name, your contact Info., nearest cross-streets of
residence, and any reward Info. If you plan to post these fliers on
telephone poles or other similar places, then make them with tear-off's
for people to grab as they walk by.
Consider putting up large
signs made of florescent cardboard at street intersections near you
cat’s residence. A blown-up picture of your cat would be good. Make
sure contact Info. is included.
EIGHT DAYS MISSING
If you don't find your cat in the mean time,
about eight days hunger will force your cat to come out and that's when
you'll have a great chance of finding your cat. So, put up signs,
again, at that time and be looking really late at night for your cat.
The Cat Flasher will still be flashing if the weather has activated it
(hopefully, you have kept the battery good by changing it when the low
battery LED alerted you). After the eight days, your best time to find
your cat is in the wee hours such as around 3am. Your cat will either
be moving or your cat will sit somewhere so that your cat has a good
view such as under a car or at the foot of a driveway. Bring a
flashlight so that you can look for cat eye reflections.
Good luck to you. Feel free to contact us. We
will be happy to look at a satellite map of your location and/or
otherwise advise you in your search. Keep in mind that wherever you
cat is, when the Cat Flasher activates, your cat will be telling
everyone in sight that (s)he needs help. Warm-hearted people are
everywhere and they will help! For information on how a cat specialist detective goes about finding a lost cat, go to the Missing Cat Pet Detective site. Find out why searching for a lost cat is so drastically different than searching for a lost dog. Night searches are usually required.
The video below is the most advanced video ever created documenting the track down of a missing indoor cat. It is my reply to Veje's award winning movie, "If Only Cats Could Talk" with showings in NYC and Ohio and the very latest in Hong Kong!
"If Only Cats Could Talk" captures Daphne and yours truly, as well as all the drama, as we get a runaway cat back home. My video reply to this amazing movie, below, does contain **spoilers** but you'll still want to see filmmaker Signe Veje's touching and emotional movie which followed this case from the very beginning to its nail-biting end.