Advice

Have you lost your cat?
First don’t panic. Cats often go ‘missing’ and then return home later that day, or even the next morning, and wonder what all the fuss was about! So do give them a few hours before you take action.

Step-by-step actions
  1. Check every room in your house and all cupboards, behind curtains and settees, under duvets and beds, chimneys, rubbish and compost bins, water butts, sheds, garages, green houses, outside toilets and vehicles - the list is endless! Don't forget your garden and that of your neighbours and ask their help in checking their sheds, garages etc.
  2. Make a list including the following information: the cats name, age and colouring; when and where your cat was last seen; short or long hair; any distinguishing features such as white paws, striped tail, unusual eyes etc; male or female; neutered/spayed; were they wearing a collar and if so what colour; is he/she microchipped. Distribute the above information to:
    • Petlog (if your pet was microchipped). Call Petlog on 0870 6066 751 so they can flag your cat as missing. Petlog is open 24 hours a day, and they also give advice. Every vet and rescue centre knows their number and they are nearly always the first port of call when they find a lost animal. And if your pet wears a collar, make it a reflective one with a tag to say 'Scan Me'. Don't forget to keep the microchipping company up to date with changes of your address/phone numbers etc.
    • Local vets including all practices in your area, not just your own vet. For details of vets in your area visit www.any-uk-vet.co.uk All rescue organisations and veterinary clinics have a scanner to trace a microchipped animal and will scan cats free of charge.
    • Your local Safer Neighbourhoods Police Team
    • Local schools
    • Your local animal rescue organisations and don't forget Greenwich Cats Protection!
    • Local catteries
    • Your postman, milkman, window cleaner
    • Your local newspaper (lost and found sections)
    • Local radio (they often broadcast lost and found appeals)
    • The RSPCA helpline - they match up lost and found cats across the UK : 0300 1234 999
      Remember - the earlier you report your cat missing, the more likely that he/she will be found
  3. Get a recent photograph of your missing cat. People remember photos better than descriptions.
  4. Make up a leaflet including a contact telephone number and your cat's photo if possible. Don’t put a full description of your cat. That way if someone contacts you saying they have found your cat, you can check those additional details with them to know if they are genuine. Get plenty of copies made and:
    • post them through every door in your immediate area
    • display at post offices, supermarkets, pet shops, vets, libraries, launderettes, hairdressers, pubs, newsagents, corner shops, garages, doctors, dentists, police station, on notice boards, scouts halls, brownies, playgroups, youth clubs and social clubs. Tie or tape leaflets to telegraph poles, lamp posts, phone boxes, bus shelters and letter boxes. Also don't forget to display one in your home. Please note: if you are under 18 years of age do NOT distribute leaflets alone after dark. Take a friend with you and go in daylight hours. Don't forget to check local shop windows for a 'Cat Found' notice, just in case!
  5. Offer a reward if you can. Even if it is a small amount to you, it might be a large sum to another person or child
  6. Walk around your local area paying particular attention to any garages, lock-ups or empty houses. Call for your pet by name - you may feel daft at first, but this often works. Shake a box of their favourite biscuits. Stop regularly and listen - give your cat a chance to answer your call. Stay in one area long enough for your pet to reach you if they are in the vicinity.
  7. You can also:
    • Show the photo to dog walkers, lollipop persons, traffic wardens, road sweepers
    • Check the Lost and Found section in local newspapers
    • Contact Greenwich Council's Environmental Health Department. This can be a difficult call to make, but they will be able to tell you if a cat matching your description has been found killed on the road. Unfortunately the council currently has no facility for checking collars and microchips so they will not contact you if your pet has been found dead.
    • Watch Animal Search UK who has produced a video offering advice on what to do next in the event that your cat should go missing.
  8. And if you find your companion, don't forget to let Cats Protection Greenwich know so we can update our Lost and Found information. We will put any 'found' cat on our waiting list and if the owner is not found and no one in the area is prepared to adopt it after a reasonable period, we will endeavour to take them in to one of our pens and rehome after the usual veterinary checks and treatment.

Have you found a cat?

If you’ve found a cat there are a number of things that you can do to help reunite the cat with its owner::

  • Feed the cat/kitten if it is hungry.
  • Give a cat water, not milk.  Cats are lactose intolerant and milk can make them very ill.
  • Check the cat for any injuries, and if they are injured take them to a vet.
  • If you are able, take the cat to a vet to see if the cat has a microchip - this is one of the best ways to reunite a cat with its owner.
  • Put a collar on the cat, asking the owner to contact you.
  • Take a photo to help create a poster.  Include where and when the cat/kitten was found, the breed, colour, sex, approximate age, any distinguishing features such as patterns and if the cat has a collar.
  • Put posters up near where the cat was found
  • Contact your local vet, Cats Protection Greenwich, the RSPCA, Celia Hammond and the PDSA.

For all lost and found cats please telephone the Cats Protection Greenwich Helpline on 0208 853 8666, option 4, or email kathy@catsgn.org.uk