Hey everybuddy. July is National Lost Pet Prevention Month. It was started by PetHub in 2014 to help pet parents with advice and strategies to prevent their pets from getting lost and to find them quickly if they do go missing. According to the National Council of Pet Population Study & Policy and the National Humane Society, a pet is lost every 2 seconds in North America. More than 10 million dogs and cats are lost each year, and 1 out of 3 pets will be lost during its lifetime. Sadly, only 1 in 10 pets is ever found.
Wow. Those are some pretty grim statistics. Lucky for us Island Cats, none of us have ever gone missing. But that wasn’t true for one of the cats that came before us.
This is Scooter, the original Island Cat. Even though Scooter was an inside cat like us, he loved to go outside. When he got to be a senior catizen, the mom would let him go out in the yard by himself, thinking he wouldn’t go far. It was a fenced yard…though we know that won’t stop a cat…but the mom checked on him about every 5 minutes or so. Most of the time Scooter stayed in the yard, wandering around the bushes and plants…and laying in the grass.
Except for one time. It was a nice summer evening, still light outside, and the mom let Scooter out in the yard. Well, I guess that was the day Scooter planned to make his escape. In that short 5 minutes, he jumped the fence and took off. When the mom went to check on him, he was gone. She looked in the neighbors’ yards but she didn’t see him. It was getting dark and the mom began to freak out knowing how hard it would be to find him in the dark. But she knew that he couldn’t have gone far. She and the dad-guy grabbed flashlights and began walking the neighborhood, looking in bushes and under porches and anywhere else they thought a cat might hide. The mom’s surprised none of the neighbors called the police on them, slinking around people’s houses like they were.
After searching frantically for about an hour or so, the mom finally found Scooter. He was under a neighbor’s car…a bit freaked out himself…and he wouldn’t come out. The mom sent the dad-guy home for cat food and a carrier. It took a little time and some serious coaxing with food and treats, but Scooter finally came out far enough so the mom could grab him and put him in the carrier.
This story has a happy ending…well, maybe not for Scooter because he wasn’t allowed outside unsupervised again. Unfortunately, there are many unhappy stories of pets that have gone missing and are never found.
Here are some ways to keep your cat from becoming a lost pet statistic:
- Keep your cat inside. There’re a lot of dangers outside…cars, predators, disease, even pet thieves. Keeping your cat inside keeps him safe from these dangers and gives him a better chance that he’ll never go missing.
- Make sure doors and windows are secure to prevent your cat from escaping. Tell anyone who comes to your home that your cat is not allowed outside. This is especially important for anyone doing repairs or working in your home.
- Make sure your cat has proper identification…either by wearing a name tag, microchipped, or better yet…both. We wear collars with tags that have our names, phone number and address on them. You can see me wearing my tag in that picture of me above. PetHub offers a digital tag that links to your pet’s online profile that includes contact info, microchip data and even medical issues your cat may suffer from. It can be scanned with a smartphone.
If by some unlucky chance your cat does go missing:
- Search your neighborhood. Cats rarely leave their neighborhood. Search under porches, in garages and other places where a cat might hide. Our neighbor’s cat went missing and was found about a week later. He had gotten locked in another neighbor’s garage when that neighbor had gone on vacation.
- Ask your neighbors to be on the look-out for your missing cat. Put up posters around your neighborhood that includes a recent photo of your cat along with your contact information.
- Check with your local shelter. Someone may have found your cat and turned it in as a stray.
- Post on your local shelter’s FaceBook page. Include a photo of your cat and the location where the cat was last seen. Ask people to share your post.
- Put your cat’s favorite bed or even his litterbox on your porch or other place near your house. The scent may draw your cat back home.
- Never give up hope. We’ve heard stories of cats that have gone missing for days, weeks, even months and have returned home or have been found.
To learn more about Lost Pet Prevention and ways to keep your pet from becoming a lost pet statistic, visit PetHub by clicking HERE.
Disclosure: We’re working with PetHub to help spread the word about National Pet Lost Prevention Month. However, that does not affect our opinion, and the Island Cats will only share information that we feel is relevant to our readers. PetHub is not responsible for the content of this article.
57 Responses to “Don’t Let Your Cat Become a Lost Pet Statistic”
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glad the scooter story had a happy ending. so sad to read those statistics.
Great information gang! Being lost is one of the most scary things ever!
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh what most impawtant info!! Wally!!
I know your mom was frantic until she found Scooter.
Oh dear I was once lost inside the house. You see I’m kind of a closet freak…so many nooks and crannies and fun stuff. I followed mom in one upstairs once…she didn’t know. Then she went off for about 4 hours. When she came home she could not find me. She was bellowing and bellowing and I kept jumpin up against the closet door until she heard me. It was a joyful reunion.
Hugs madi your bfff
good info….mom says she has to get our tags updated….and maybe get us to wear our collars again MOL
Those are all good tips. We have microchips, but not collars. We tried collars but they only irritated our skin. We’ve never managed to escape outside, and only have ever gone our on a harness or in a stroller, so hopefully if we ever did manage to escape, our microchips would be picked up.
Very scary at the thought of a lost pet. Emma scared mom and dad one time when they thought she got out of the house (she was hiding inside the house) and so they drove up and down the street screaming her name. Also no police were called.
We’re glad your mom and the dad-guy found Scooter! Us getting out is our mommy’s biggest fear so she makes our house a fortress. Thanks for giving her even more tips to keep us safe!
I’m so glad your pawrents found Scooter after he took off! Kitties are unpredictable. Even though you are very careful, they find the way to get into trouble. Thank you for those great tips!
Good tips! My last dog loved to escape. Henry doesn’t get the chance!
Grim stats fur sure:(
Dog-guy was an expert escaper until we got our whole yard fenced in…then he just stopped…though once the silly petcretary furgot what she was doing and opened the sally-port gates the wrong way and there he went…see ya later Mom!! Oopsie…It was a hot day, and he got hot and tired so he hid under an old abandonned truck…which turned a mostly white dog into a dirty greasy black one…aka Harry the dirty dog:)
We would love to get outside…but we are not allowed. Petcretary does see a lot of poor dead kitties along the roadside here, including the cats of the neighbors…3 over the years…sigh…and three of their dogs. Those peeps should not be allowed to have any furs at all.
We recently got our kitty back after 8 weeks of her being out. Autumn is an indoor only cat who is very very shy and skittish and we’d only had her for 3 months and she slipped out the front door when it was accidentally left open. We thought we’d never see her again but then I found a woman who was trained through http://www.missingpetpartnership.org/ to help people find their lost pets. All of her tips and tricks worked! So please please please never give up! Our extremely shy and skittish kitty was brought home after 8 weeks. It was very stressful but we stayed strong by having a strong network of people who kept encouraging us and my husband and I actually made a pact that we wouldn’t give up on our little Autumn.
Wow! We’re so glad that Autumn was found and is now back home. You’re right…you should never give up! Thanks for sharing your story with us.
My human is sometimes overprotective of me when I go outside on my harness and leash – at least I think so! – but maybe it’s a good thing.
Great post! We loved being a part of this campaign too and love reading everyone’s tips and stories.
We’re glad Scooter’s story has a happy end. Great post ! We are lucky to have a fenced garden, but trust us, Claire inspected every single centimeter the first day before letting us out in the garden. We both are microchipped. Purrs
Oh I’ve told the tale of when I was a tiny baby cat and ran off into the woods getting away from my Mom and FINALLY coming back but I’ve NEVER done that since and can’t imagine being LOST away from home like Scooter. Keeping pets inside or like me – outside on a harness/leash is the BEST way to be sure we’re SAFE, secure and happy.
guys…thiz izza grate post with lotz oh grate info…manee thanx for sharin…..we iz buzzed happee yur older brother in law waz found……we hada pal frum R catster dayz that went on a walk a bout & him waz gone for months bee for hiz mum final lee finded him….high paws two her, she never gave up either ♥♥♥
heerz two a righteye flounder kinda week oh end ! ♥♥♥
Wally, this is an awesome post! Number one in cat care to the lady is keeping cats indoors. That being said, we don’t wear collars and we are not chipped. We will check out Pet Hub next. You provide so much great info here, especially on what to do if a pet does become lost.
Shoot! We wanted to also mention how happy we are that your mom found Scooter!
An excellent post, Walls!
I’m glad you found Scooter! I think it’s trickier with cats too because if people see dogs wandering, they assume it’s lost but with cats, they think it’s feral.
Our cat Tasha went missing many years ago and we never found her. It is heartbreaking to never be able to know what happened to her, she was such a great cat. We started keeping our cats indoors more and more after that and then when Sam and her sister Katie joined our family we made everyone completely indoor cats. But that is still never a guarantee so other precautions as you mentioned are necessary. Sam doesn’t try to escape anymore now that she’s older but when she was younger she liked to make a game of it, which we did not appreciate!
We so happy you found Scooter, my biggest fear is Layla getting lost
I don’t know what I would’ve done in the same situation … but the information you shared is invaluable!
Your peeps must have been petrified! So glad the story had a happy ending.
Yikes, your family must have been so terrified! We see so many missing animals on Facebook, this is great information! Thanks for sharing!
I also heard another tip that makes sense–vacuum your floors and then sprinkle the contents in your yard to also leave familiar indoor scents to coax them home!
I’ve taken in many stray cats and made them part of my family. One cat Sweet Pea, I adopted from the streets in fall 2001. And made him indoor only in 2002. I went away for a long weekend in 2006 and my neighbor called on Sunday before I was getting ready to drive home to tell me Sweet Pea had gotten out Friday night and they haven’t seen him since! I rushed home by early afternoon. Unfortunately other neighbor’s were having an open house and the street was filled with cars and people. I waited until everything died down and started calling for him around 8:00 pm. I was just about to give up for the night but went out and started calling for him around 10:30 pm. He just appeared from the bushes and sauntered up the steps and into the house!! I still have Sweet Pea, and at 16 years old he is still going strong!!
Pawsum posty. Raena will be microchipped as soon as a clinic comes round. (We can’t afford da VET charge) Fanks fur sharin’.
Dezi and Raena
Excellent post. Losing a pet is scary. I am glad Scooter was found.
Every time mama sees a lost pet sign wherever she is she takes the number, just in case….even in big cities where the chance of finding the pet is about one in a gazillion. But you never know, she says….I am really glad I got lost (read dumped) in our little ville because then I WAS FOUND.
We are all microchipped, which is a legal requirement in France. As you know, we have our HOUBIBI who is always trying to escape. So we have a double door system at our front door to try and avoid that. Occasionally, some idiot visitor will come to the door of the house without closing the door of the porch, even thought there is a big sign asking them to, and #1 gets mad!
We lost one of our cats once – she was staying at my Dad’s house while I moved house and she ran away. I did all the right things trying to find her, and there were sightings of her in the neighbourhood but it wasn’t until she was taken in by a shelter that we were finally reunited – 3 months later. She’d clearly been living rough, but thankfully I got her back.
Our mom’s very first cat also made an escape, only she was gone for a whole month! While our mom had looked and looked and posted lost posters and offered rewards, zip. She had pretty much given up hope. Then, exactly 30 days later, Mom was returning from the grocery store and there the cat was, really yelling at my mom as if to say Where have you been??
So very important! All my pups are micro chipped and never leave home with out there collar and license. Great post!
This is your elected Purrime Ministerettes.
It against Purrime Ministerette law for cats to walking outside da house.
I’ve always thought that it would be so hard to find a lost kitty because they can so easily hide in so many places, and when they’re scared….they stay hidden!! So glad you had a happy resolution when Scooter got lost!! Great tips for cat owners!
Okay I have to whisper so listen closely…they won’t let me out of the house!
They say it’s cause they love me.
I guess I’m just a prisoner of love…
Noodle and crew
Several years ago, one of my cats opened a sliding screen door and disappeared for weeks. He is the reason I got into fostering. Identification is so important for our pets.
Wally, this is furry good information for all cat (and woofie) pawrents. A couple of years ago, our neighbour’s cat got out when the house sitter was there. They told all the beans on the street to watch out for the kitty and left a telephone number. Two days later our mom bean went out onto our deck, and there was the kitty. She brought her inside, put in her in the spare room cuz we were all a little hissy, and called the sitter. We were all furry happy when she went home – she was probably even happier.
These are some sad numbers 🙁 ! All my babies in microchipped, just in case! I hope I never have to go through that 🙁 !
Mom lost a kitty once. She knows the pain of loss. That’s why we are indoor cats!!!
Terrible statistics and great tips. My rescue Nala loved sunning and roaming outside – she did get lost for 2 weeks once. We put up posters and went door to door. No luck. Suddenly she wandered back in. We never knew what happened. She was microchipped and Kilo the pug is too.
Only one in ten lost pets is found, that’s SO AWFUL! My childhood cat, Pepsi, was an escape artist and once got out and was missing for more than a month. We searched and searched, but couldn’t find him. We thought he was gone forever, but then late one night we heard a scratch on the window and in he walked as if nothing had happened.
Losing a pet is so traumatic. I lost a German Shepherd pup for a whole weekend once. I don’t think I slept the whole time. Thank you for sharing this with us.
I didn’t realize that cats tend to stay nearby, that’s really good to know in case my cat ever gets out. Thanks for the helpful suggestions like leaving litter box and bed out, I wouldn’t have thought of that.
I have helped at least a dozen lost pets find their frantic parents over the past few years. I am so glad you are calling attention to this topic. Great post.
its quite easy to keep you pet out of that statistic, just be a responsible owner and keep your cats indoors only! there is absolutely no reason and so no excuse for to let a cat roam free. its proven fact cats dont need to roam free to stay health and happy! you may do think you do something good to your cat when you do allow her to roam free but at least you just put your beloved pet into serious but unnesseary danger for life and health. there are so many dangers like countless infections, parasites, diseases, poision, native predators, cars, evil people… to a cat outside a responsible owner never ever would allow his cat to raom free! if you are responsible and do want give your beloved pet some outdoor exercise then you have to do this in a secured fenced enviroment only. all other is just gambling by bet your pets life! i always feel sorry for the animals that get lost but i dont give a sh!t agout their owners that are fully responsible for everything that happened to their pets when they do allow them to roam free!
We are all indoor/outdoor cats here in New Zealand BUT we do have collars, tags AND microchips.
It is such a frightening experience is to have a pet get lose. When our Huskies were puppies, two escaped at once by squeezing through an opening in the fence (it’s Fort FiveSibes now!) and luckily one found herself cornered inside our neighbor’s garden while her brother was running around their yard. But we didn’t know that’s where they were at first, so it was quite a heart-pounding experience. So, so glad Scooter’s story had a happy ending, too! I’ve added PetHub to my listing for lost & found Siberian Huskies & Pets on my FiveSibes Facebook page.
Thank you for sharing this incredibly important information. Having a pet wander off or bolt is not fun. People need to know everything they can to prevent it.
I’m so glad that Scooter was found! Sometimes curiosity causes good kitties to do things that really scare their humans. Manna has darted out the door on me a couple of times too. Luckily, she did it for attention and had no desire of leaving my sight. She really enjoyed being chased as a kitten. Those tags look pawsome! I like that they link to a website online where you can keep information updated easily.
This is one of Mom Paula’s worst fears. We’re indoor only kitties and most of the people who come in our house know to look for us. When strangers come inside, Mom Paula puts us behind a closed door. We’re so glad Scooter was found.
Great info and your pictures are fantastic!
Oh my goodness, you must have had your heart in your mouth the whole time looking for Scooter! I’m so glad you found your beautiful senior boy that day, it could have been tragic. I like your tip about placing the litterbox or other item with the pet’s strong scent on it, that is a great idea! All the other tips are great too. I love the photo of Scooter laying in the grass near the flowers, what a pretty yard you have!
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
As you know, we have experience with this. We recommend talking to your neighbors in person and walking on foot to look for your kitty. It is stressful and we hope no one needs this information.
Well ritten bloggie there Wally Kat!!
LadyMum iss so care full with mee as me has no tattoo or chippy fing an mee will not wear a collar!
Mee iss aloud out inn mee Condo an mee walks wearin mee vet an lead which has mee rabiess tag which all so has mee info inn it like yur tag….
LadyMum will not let mee een walk on to patio to go inn Condo because mee runs a bit an shee iss scared mee wood run off……
Mee gotted a good fing here so mee not goin anywhere, mew mew mew…..butt LadyMum iss rite to bee care full…….just inn case rite Wally???
**nose bumpsss** Siddhartha Henry xXx
If he tries to make a break for it when you open the door, rattle a jar of pennies or give him a squirt with a water gun. Never hit, kick, or yell at him; he’ll become afraid of you. You can also train him to run away when the door is open by throwing a piece of kibble or cat treat to the opposite side of the room. Don’t let allergies or pregnancy make you consider putting your cat outside or even giving her up. Work with your doctor to manage these conditions instead.