What to do if you lose your Cat
Grab a flashlight and immediately, canvas the area, knock on neighbors doors and let them know your cat is missing and what he/she looks like. Be sure and look up high (trees, roofs etc.) and in good hiding places (under decks, crawl spaces, garages etc.) anywhere they could have fled if they were scared. Call their names and say “here kitty kitty kitty” see if you can get them to respond. Enlist other to help if possible. The Center for Lost Pets adds “If your cat normally comes running when he hears the sound of a favorite treat being offered, shake the can or packaging to get his attention.” *Sounds silly but make sure you also do this at night when it’s more quiet and you can hear your pet more easily without the busy traffic and daytime activity around. *If the cat has a microchip, contact the company who provided it.
2. Make Posters
Make big bright bold (easily readable from far away) signs. Post them at major intersections right by your home up to a few miles away. Include a picture if possible! Consider putting a big sign in your yard so if someone finds your pet nearby they know where to go.
3. Make Flyers
Smaller flyers can be used and disseminated to nearby establishments (vet clinics, pet establishments, area locales with bulletin boards etc.) Also seen people put them on their mailbox.
4. Post on Websites
Post your pets information on our bulletin board and other local and national websites. *Remember to leave out some bit of key information (name, collar, distinguishing mark, tattoo etc.) to avoid scams. Be sure and check all the found sections regularly. *We will also send out email alerts in the appropriate county. Please consider signing up to receive lost and found pet alerts.
Local Websites that offer lost and found boards:
Stray Magnet: (bulletin board, posted on social media websites and email alerts)
Happy Tales Humane:
Nashville Humane Association: (lost pet report, no website database),
For a list of more websites across the country click here.
5. Contact area agencies and businesses
Call to inquire/notify animal agencies of missing pet (animal control), local police, veterinary clinics in case been dropped off with injuries.
Metro Nashville Animal Control Services
5125 Harding Place
Nashville, TN 37211
For other Tennessee Animal Control agencies, click HERE.
6. Recovery Assistance Programs
If interested research recovery services (pet detective agencies, telephone messaging services etc.) Click here for a list of available services.*We will also send out email alerts in the appropriate county. Please consider signing up to receive lost and found pet alerts.
7. Place an Ad in the Paper
Place an add in the lost section of the newspaper if interested. *Remember to leave out some bit of key information (name, collar, distinguishing mark, tattoo etc.) to avoid scams. Be sure and read the found section.
8. Visit the Local Shelter Regularly
The Center for Lost Pets also recommends visiting the shelter that services your area at least every other day. They add “It is important that you physically go to the shelter at least every other day. New pets come in daily. Simply calling is not enough. Your dog may not be listed with the front desk when you call or the person may not recognize your dog from your description. Even if your dog was wearing identification when he was lost or he is microchipped, it is highly recommended that you physically go to the shelter. Your dog’s I.D. tag may have come off and microchips can fail to be detected by scanners.” “Leave a copy of your Lost Pet sign with the shelter staff.” In addition they recommend visiting “shelters within a 50-mile radius. Your dog may have traveled beyond the area that your local shelter services and been picked up by a neighboring shelter. Ask your local shelter for a list of these additional shelters.”
9. Don’t give up!
Don’t give up! Your best chance for rescue is the sooner the better so mobilize your efforts as fast as you can but don’t give up hope and keep spreading the word. There are reunification stories of lost pets up to 10 years later.
10. Cat is in a Tree
If you find your cat or a cat up in a tree what should you do? We all think to call the local fire department. While I have heard stories of them rescuing animals from trees I am not sure they would all respond to the call as they have much more important work to do. They may be able to offer some other resources though. You could call an arborist or tree company if the animal is really high, far away from home, or been up there a really long time. If not, I hate to say it but the advice I was given by the fire department once was to just wait and the cat would eventually come down.
“Why Should I Tag My Car” from Missing Pet Partnership
Center for Lost Pets “Advice” page
“Finding Your Lost Dog” by Kathy “Kat” Albrecht, on Best Friends Animal Society
“How To Find Your Lost Pet” on Best Friends Animal Society
“What to Do If You Lose Your Pet” on The Humane Society of the United States website
“Finding a Lost Pet” from the ASPCA
“Dog Detectives: Sniffing out Lost Pets!” July 26, 2011, on Cesar’s Way
“How to Improve Your Chances of Finding Your Lost Pet” by A.V.M.A on Petplace.com
“Lost Pets: A Guide To Prevention & Rescue” by PurringPal