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
- Take good photos from all angles and upload to www.animalsearchuk.co.uk. Pre-register your pet free of charge, just in case.
- 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 Petlog.org.uk.
- 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.
- Consider enclosing your back garden and making it escape proof with quality fencing.
- 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.
- 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.