Here are six things not to do when your cat goes missing. In a prior article I listed several things that I recommend people doing when their cat goes missing.
Implementing each of the suggestions on that “to do” list will increase your chances, substantially, of being reunited with your lost cat. However, there are also things that you shouldn’t do when searching for your lost cat. Here are my top 6 things not to do when your cat goes missing.
1. Do not enter private property without permission – You should always seek permission from the owner or resident of the property you wish to search when looking for your lost cat. Searching the yards, fields, pastures and outer buildings (garages, sheds, barns, etc.) is always a good idea, especially when the resident or neighbor believes they have seen your cat. However, not everyone is comfortable with strangers trespassing on their property even if you are innocently searching for your lost cat.
2. Do not believe everything you hear – Don’t assume that someone has stolen your cat or your cat has transitioned just because someone tells you that they believe this is true. Unless you actually see your cat in someone’s home or have located your cat’s body, you can’t really be sure. Many cats look alike, especially from a distance.
3. Do not assume all tips you receive are legitimate – It’s hard to believe but, not everyone loves cats. Unfortunately, people may contact you with a prank call once they have seen your posters and fliers. It is important to follow up on tips you receive if they seem credible. Ask plenty of questions before turning your focus in the direction they have provided. This is especially true if that’s nowhere near where you last saw your cat.
4. Do not give the reward dollars to someone prematurely – Never mention or negotiate a dollar amount associated with a reward with someone unless they provide you with proof that they have located your cat. There have been cases that I have worked on where someone has stolen or has kept a cat until the reward dollars are more substantial. I’ve also had clients hand over the reward dollars before acquiring their cat. The desperation to have your cat returned sometimes can lead to poor judgment.
5. Do not call out loud for your cat verbally while you’re still moving from place to place during your search – Unless you see your cat while searching an area by foot or car, do not verbally call them. By the time they hear your voice, you may be long gone from the location and you will miss them. This may cause them to not pursue your vocal calls the next time, feeling that you will not be at the location when they arrive.
6. Do not ever lose hope – There are many reasons that you may not immediately be reunited with your cat. Always maintain your hope and focus on being reunited with them. Cats have been located, or have returned home, days, weeks, months and years later. I had one case where a cat I helped locate was lost for 14 months. Always stay positive and visualize their return to you.