How to search for your lost cat

Here are some steps to take if your cat has gone missing.

1) Start your search in their favourite hiding places:

  • Behind closed doors  
  • Under beds 
  • In cupboards and wardrobes 
  • In sheds and garages

2) Walk around the local area, ask your immediate neighbours, and check local gardens or places where your cat likes to go. Once you’ve confirmed they’re missing, act quickly.

3) Contact the microchip company. Tell them that your cat is missing, so they’re on the alert and can check your contact details are up to date.

4) Call your local vets. Ask if any cats have been handed in. You can also contact local pet rescue centres, however please note that the police no longer deal with stray pets.

5) Hand out posters and leaflets. Adverts featuring a good colour photograph can be helpful to jog people’s memories and encourage them to keep their eyes open for your cat.

6) Get help online and from the media. The internet features numerous companies, charities, sites, Facebook pages and blogs showing pictures of lost pets and advice on how to find them. Look for those who are active locally. You could also advertise your search with local newspapers, radio stations and local shops.

More often than not, your cat will reappear within a couple of days, unaware of the fuss they’ve caused.

While you’ll probably never know whether they were trapped in a neighbour’s shed or hiding at the bottom of your garden, it’ll feel wonderful to have them back at home again.

Just make sure you update everyone who’s been helping in the search and remove any ‘missing’ posters that you’ve distributed locally.

Be prepared

Although none of us want to imagine the worst happening, it’s a good idea to be prepared.


Put together a 'lost cat kit'

One way to prepare for a future search is to put together and regularly update your very own ‘lost pet kit’, which should contain:

  • Details of the microchip number 
  • The Petlog database telephone number 
  • A list of local vets and animal shelters 
  • Some recent colour photographs of your cat

If they ever go missing, you will have everything you need to start your search straight away.


Get your cat microchipped

One simple but important step is to get your cat microchipped. This won’t prevent them from disappearing, but it greatly increases the chances of you being reunited during a search.

Facts about microchips:

1. About the size of a rice grain, a microchip is injected just under the skin by a vet.

2. Each microchip has a unique number that’s linked to its owner and their contact details.

3. When your pet is found and scanned by an organisation with a microchip scanner, you can then be contacted. That’s why it’s important you keep your contact details up to date, especially if you move house or change telephone numbers.

4. Microchips can also help you prove ownership should a dispute ever occur.

As well as installing a microchip, many owners also use a traditional collar identification tag with a name and number. But because it’s so easy for collar tags to be removed and lost, they should be used alongside a microchip, and never on their own.

Recommended guides

Vaccinating & microchipping your cat

How to bond with
your cat

Choosing the best food for your cat

John Lewis Finance and John Lewis Insurance are trading names of John Lewis plc. The John Lewis Registered office address is: 171 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NN. Registered in England and Wales no. 233462. John Lewis plc is an appointed representative (Financial Conduct Authority number 416011) of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd. John Lewis Pet Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323).

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