Lost Cat Behavior
The silence factor. A lost indoor-only cat WILL NOT come when called, will not answer an owner's call, and will not meow until the 7th to 10th day. They will not show themselves, will not emerge during daylight hours, and will not allow themselves to be seen or found during this time. In the few instances where owners or neighbors have gotten a glimpse of their lost cats, the majority of cats immediately fled. This behavior in some cases will continue up to seven weeks, possibly longer.
They're closer than you think. Research indicates that most lost indoor-only cats are hiding much more closely than most people realize, generally within a 2-3 house radius from their home. They hide in sewers, under storage buildings, between fences and under decks - in the smallest and most unlikely places you can imagine. These cats are frightened and revert to feral cat like behaviors - hide, stay quiet, and don't move.
What To Do If It Happens To You
The single most effective way of getting your cat back is through the use of humane traps. It is imperative that you begin the trapping process as soon as possible after losing your cat. At Feral Friends, we recommend the use of two traps strategically placed, baited and set nightly for at least four weeks. In the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, we have humane traps available for your use for a fully refundable deposit of $50.00 for one trap or $100.00 for two traps. Please e-mail us for more information.
Whenever possible, talk with each and every one of your neighbors as soon as possible and ask them to be on the lookout for your cat. Distribute flyers to each and every house within a 3-block radius. Post larger flyers in each block. Get everyone involved. Talk to the postman, the paperboy, and all the kids in the neighborhood, too. Search thoroughly day and night in your own yard and that of your neighbors. Be sure to bring along a flashlight to look under decks and in dark, cramped spaces. Look in, over, around, and behind everything. Drop off flyers at every veterinary office nearby. Contact all the local rescue groups, and deliver flyers to every shelter and animal control facility in your town. Post your cat's information at pets911.com, petfinder.org, and any local lost pet clearinghouses.
More information and resources can be found at: http://www.lostapet.org/