Cat or dog gone missing?

Where to look

  • Start at home. Your cat could be tucked up in a dark corner under a bed or trapped in a cupboard.
  • An empty house. Some cats access a house through a cat flap set to open inwards only (normally to capture the owner’s cat at night) then become trapped when the owners are away.
  • The top of a tree. Look up! You may need to stand right next to the tree to spot your cat and for him to respond to your calls.
  • A building project. Scaffolding can be tempting for a cat, as can gaps in walls and floorboards.
  • Garden furniture and swimming pools. the waterproof covering can offer a great den.
  • Parcel delivery vans. Have you or a neighbour taken a delivery recently?

How to search

  • Use social media: put an appeal on Facebook, including the local Lost & Found page, as well as the Nextdoor site, Twitter and Instagram. Ask people to Share.
  • Knock on doors. Cats wander further than you imagine, so spread your search wide. Ask to look in sheds, garages, outbuildings.
  • Print of mini ‘Lost’ notices, with your pet’s photo and description, plus your phone number, and put through letterboxes.
  • Create a mini poster for local shops, pubs and village noticeboards. Put an appeal on the village website. If your home gets passing vehicles or walkers, put a poster in the window.

Tips for keeping your pet safe

  1. Take good photos from all angles and upload to Pre-register your pet free of charge, just in case.
  2. By law, dogs must be microchipped – but you can have your cat microchipped too. A vet or rescue organisation can scan your pet and identify you as the owner. Update your address if you move home or change your phone number, by visiting
  3. Some dog breeds are at risk of being stolen, so don’t leave them on view unattended, anywhere that you wouldn’t leave a wallet or cash – eg outside a shop or pub.
  4. Consider enclosing your back garden and making it escape proof with quality fencing.
  5. Before you share your cute pup’s photos on Facebook or Instagram, check your privacy settings. Thieves are currently targeting dogs in burglaries so don’t advertise yours to the world.
  6. Consider a tracking collar for your dog. they can work with GPS to locate your dog, if he runs off or becomes lost on a walk. Especially useful if you’re enjoying a holiday away with him in an unfamiliar area.