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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

The horror of every pet owner, his darling is nowhere to be found. Cat lost, what to do? How to prevent it? Read up on how you can prepare for this case and how you react when the scenario has occurred.

Why did my cat run away?

This can have many reasons.

  • Often the cats are frightened and run away out of panic. In shock they get lost or are injured and therefore can no longer find their way home.
  • Cats can fit through the smallest openings and often get into cellars, garages, attics, etc. unnoticed. When doors close, they are trapped there.
  • Cats often travel long distances in search of a mate. To get closer to the scent of the willing partner.
  • After a move, the cat often do not know their surroundings well enough and get lost or into fights with other animals in the area.
  • Curiosity makes them run outside.
  • Due to injuries, the cat does not make it back.
  • Some cats are also stolen. Free-roaming (pedigree) cats are often taken away and sold on.
  • It also happens that cats are fed by neighbours and they find a new home there.
  • If there is a (new) second cat at home, maybe your cat didn’t fell comfortable anymore and run away.

Cat lost, what to do?

  • Set your pet profile to missing! All nearby service providers, animal shelters, etc. will be notified automatically.
  • Share the profile on social media channels.
  • Let your neighbours know.
  • Tell your neighbours to let doors open and go away. Some cats came out, when tey feel save.
  • Notify the police and hunters.
  • Actively search for your cat. Call for him and listen carefully, he may be trapped somewhere and call back. Most animals stay in familiar surroundings.
  • If you have recently moved to the area, search the old surroundings.
  • Another way to show your cat the way home is to make a home-trail.
  • Search dogs can also help you find the missing animal.
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You found a lost animal, what to do?

  • Do not put yourself in danger. If the animal seems panicky or aggressive, keep an eye on it and contact the police.
  • If it is trusting, try to catch it carefully and bring it to safety. For example, into your car or your home.
  • Avoid loud or hectic movements so as not to drive the animal away.
  • Make a note of where and when you found the animal.
  • Have the microchip read by a vet or the police so that the owner can be found.
  • Notify neighbours and local animal shelters.
  • Search for “missing” reports on the map, at animal shelters, social media sites, etc. and inform them.

Important: If a supposed owner comes forward, check whether this is really the case before returning the animal. Especially pedigree animals are often stolen in order to sell them afterwards. You could ask about external characteristics, ask to see photos on your mobile phone or ask about the vet who treated the animal.

Measures to prevent your pet from escaping

  • Mark your pet with a microchip and have it registered in your name. The data must always be up to date so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
  • Train your pet to make luring noises that it will respond to in an emergency.
  • Let fearful cats just under savety circumstances outside.
  • Create an odour sample so that pet trainers can search for your animal if necessary. To do this, put hair and a cotton bud with which you have rubbed your pet’s ears and mouth into an unused jam jar. Then close the jar, date it and store it in a dark place not above room temperature. Packed like this, the sample should last 1-2 years. In an emergency, blankets, chest harnesses, toys, chewed bones, etc. can also serve as odour carriers. It is important that no one else touches the scent article so as not to lure the cat onto a false scent later.
  • Make sure that your cat feels comfortable with you, that its needs are met and that it is not scared or stressed at home.


It can happen that your cat gets lost. Usually the animals are found again quite soon. Keep calm and follow the search tips.