What to Do If Your Indoor Cat Gets Outside
It can be a scary experience when your indoor cat escapes and gets outside. However, it’s important to stay calm and start your search as soon as possible. With the right approach, you can bring your kitty back to safety. In this blog, we’ll be going over some tips for finding indoor cats after they’ve escaped outside. Read on to learn more and make sure to make a free PawBoost listing to get more eyes looking out for your cat.
Stay Calm and Act Quickly to Search
As mentioned, the first step is to stay calm. When a pet escapes, it’s easy to panic, and you might accidentally scare them off. First, take a deep breath and get yourself ready to search for your kitty.
While it’s important to stay calm, it’s also important to act quickly. The first few hours can be crucial when it comes to finding your furry friend. The very first thing you should do is check the immediate vicinity of your home. Indoor cats are usually skittish when they venture outdoors, and they likely won’t stray very far from their immediate surroundings. Keep in mind that they’re likely scared, too, so call for them in a gentle and reassuring voice while making sure to move slowly without making any sudden movements. You’ll want to check any places that look like a good place to hide, as your cat would have likely gone into hiding if they got overwhelmed or frightened. Check under porches, in bushes, in sheds and anywhere else your cat might fit.
Use Tempting Scents and Familiar Sounds
Along with gently calling your cat’s name, you should be using other scents and sounds to lure them out of hiding. You can start by placing some treats near your door to guide them back home in case you miss them. You can also shake your treat jar or treat bag to coax them out. If they have a favorite toy that makes noise, you could also use that to help lure them out. Cats have excellent hearing and an incredible sense of smell. Appealing to these two senses with their favorite things may be enough to help you find them. Keep trying different scents and sounds that they like, and remember to be patient. It may take some time for your cat to calm down enough to come to you.
Spread the Word and Involve Neighbors
You want people to keep their eyes out for your cat if it gets outside. One of the most effective ways you can expand your search area is by spreading the word and involving your neighbors along with local friends and family members. Describe your cat and have a recent photo. Make sure they also have your contact information so they can get in touch with you if they find your cat.
Also, if they have sheds or open garages, ask if they mind if you can check them for your cat or if they mind checking them. It’s possible that your cat could be hiding somewhere in nearby neighbors’ yards, so being able to search these areas will be crucial. Also, don’t underestimate the power of lost pet flyers. Make a lost cat flyer to post around your local community and hand it out to people. Make sure it includes a picture of your pet, their name and description and the contact information people need to reach out to you. If you have access to a neighborhood app or local Facebook page, posting on these can be extremely helpful, too.
Contact Local Shelters
If your indoor cat has escaped outside, you will want to inform your local shelters and animal control. Shelters are often the first place people bring a lost cat, so there’s a chance your cat has already been turned in. If not, the shelter will know exactly who to contact if someone does bring your cat to them.
Make sure to provide the shelters with a description of your cat and your contact information so they can let you know if they find out anything. Make sure to check back regularly to see if anyone has brought your cat in or reported an appearance.
Create a Passive Way for Your Cat to Return
One of the best ways to get your cat back home is by using passive methods to lure them back. Remember, your indoor cat isn’t used to being outside, and they may be scared or overwhelmed. They may not come to you even if they hear your voice because they would rather stay in hiding where they think they’re safest.
Instead, you can lure them back home by ensuring they can return in a way that feels safe to them. Ways to do this might include leaving your garage door open just wide enough for them to walk in, leaving your backyard gate open for them to get home or leaving the door to your shed open. Placing a food dish or a familiar bed or blanket outside can also help them find their way back home through scents.
It May Be Easier to Search During Quiet Hours
It may be easier to search for your cat during quieter hours, as they will be less likely to get spooked by their surroundings. The foot traffic and car traffic during the peak hours of the day may cause them to run and hide, making them more difficult to find. The increased noise levels may also make it more difficult for them to hear you when you’re searching for them.
Early mornings and late evenings can be safe and quiet times to search for your kitty. While it’s quieter, keep in mind your cat may still be scared and hiding. Remember to stay calm and be patient while searching for them.
Tip: Bring a flashlight! Cats’ eyes are naturally reflective, making them easy to spot in the darkness when a light is shined.
Be Persistent and Follow Up Often
While looking for a missing pet can be a difficult and emotionally taxing process, it’s important to stay persistent. While you may not find your cat right away, there is always a chance that you’ll be able to find them through your search efforts. Regularly check your neighborhood and nearby areas, continue to follow up with local shelters and remember to get your local community involved in the search as much as possible.
Make sure to follow up on social media as well, regularly posting to let people know your cat is still missing. By being persistent, you may just be able to find your missing kitty and get them back to the safety of your home.
Can Lost Cats Find Their Way Home?
While many indoor cat owners may assume that their kitty will be helpless in the outdoor world, keep in mind that they still have their innate instincts. The good news is that cats have a very good sense of direction and strong homing instinct that can help them find their way back home on their own. These instincts and their strong sense of smell can help guide them back home, or at least to nearby, familiar territory.
Cats are also resourceful and adaptive, meaning that they will likely be able to find a way to survive in the outdoor environment, even if it’s not something they’re typically used to. In short, there may be some cases where your cat will make your search easy and come home on their own. However, keep in mind that this isn’t always the case and that you should still make efforts to search for them to increase your chances of a reunion as much as possible.
Learn How PawBoost Can Help
If your cat has gone missing, make sure to post them on PawBoost. PawBoost is a free platform and the biggest online lost & found pet database in the world. Along with posting your cat on our database, we will also push your post to our mobile app, local Facebook pages and alert our Rescue Squad. You can even use PawBoost to make flyers with a free template. Post your pet on PawBoost today to raise local awareness and find your kitty as soon as possible.