This link was posted on our group yesterday by cat lover and expert Sarah Mowers. It has been copied in its entirety with permission from the original author.
I’m sharing with you here my method to find your missing companion cat. If he is still alive, thanks to this method, you will have a maximum of chance to find him quickly.
I have been experimenting with this method for over 20 years of field experience. Currently being a volunteer animal welfare officer, I have decided to share it with you. I hope this explanation will stay online as long as possible as it will be of great help to people who have lost their cat or kitten.
Whether you have lost your cat near you or elsewhere, his reaction will be to hide immediately, especially if he does not know the environment where he has just gone astray, if he knows the area he may be like this due to shock, pain, fright, the beginning of an illness disturbing him, giving him a fever, disturbing his hearing, his sight, etc…
The method is simple: at nightfall call in a very high and intelligible voice, every quarter of an hour or twenty minutes, for a full 5 minutes, and do this every half hour minimum, for a minimum of 3 hours in total, and at minimum call your cat 6 times a night, more if you wish. Personally, I call every twenty minutes for five minutes. Do it calmly, strongly (too bad for the neighbours, until 10 pm there is no worry), from dusk to a few hours later. Call “relentlessly” every half hour minimum, every 5 minutes and you will start again each evening for ten days if necessary. In general, your cat will hear you from the “first night”, but will not move, will identify you the “second night”, and identify where your voice comes from and will then try to get substantially closer as soon as he understands that he can rely on your voice to reorient himself and return.
So he will start his long trek, if he is injured, weakened, it will be difficult but he will even come back on 3 legs !!!! You will have to insist that he gains confidence, he may have lost several pounds, be voiceless, in general, he is within a radius of 250 meters or 300 meters around the area where he ran away, and he will hear from even further, because at night the sound carries. You must not be afraid to call him strongly by his name. You can also whistle from time to time with an ultrasonic whistle.
Do not go away from the starting point or if you do, he should be called exclusively from outside the search perimeter inwards, otherwise you will move your cat away and this is not at all the goal.
Why does it work?
Simply because a cat lives in a world of smells, and known sounds, so if he is lost or he it doesn’t see well after a shock, or other reason, he doesn’t find his smells, his trace and gets lost, sometimes even 50 meters from home or closer and he can panic and burrow into a corner, a cellar, a pile of wood, under a car.
It works as well after a month of absence, as after several months or a year if the cat recognizes your voice, the whole idea is that it is repetitive, at fixed hours, at night, and lasts long enough that your cat hears you and understands that the sounds will be repeated every night. Why evening? Because the night carries the sounds further because of the calm surroundings, a voice carries several hundred meters, during the day the other noises will stifle the sound of your voice and it will be to no avail… A gentleman in my village found his cat after 5 months of disappearance, this is currently our record, he returned very weakened but he returned.
I want to finish on a hopeful note because you have to have the belief, out in the night, that your cat is waiting for you, it is probably not too late, even six months later, a year later, he could be being fed by a neighbour, who does not know that he is yours, and a cat doesn’t see well and quite blurry beyond 6 meters, he does not distinguish the same colors as us and strolls in a world of relatively gray tones, odors and this is why he can be easily lost and often not far from home.
If you have a little patience, a lot of love, a good voice that carries a bit, are not afraid to call and throw your voice into the night, and with a bit of luck, you will find your cat…
This technique is very reliable and works very, very well, it will cost you 5 minutes of your life every twenty minutes, a few evenings in your life, and you will find your gentle companion, lost in the night that must be so afraid, if you do, at least you will have tried, many people have benefited in my village, it works very well. Do not expect him necessarily on the first or second night, persevere, for a minimum of ten days.
I also want to say to people who move that a cat needs “several months” to take in his new surroundings, and that we do not “let out a cat” in his new garden as soon as he arrives, you must wait for a month and a half to 3 months, more if you can before letting out a cat. Do not forget to vaccinate, sterilize or tattoo before letting him out.
I gain nothing from helping you find your cat except happiness!
I authorize the free publication (sharing) provided you respect the entirety of its title, text and signature. Thank you for our lost cat friends! Always keep hope!
Mlle Patricia Franckhauser Responsable de PA dans le Var, creator of the “Simple method to find your lost cat”