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What to Do if Your Cat Runs Away

Theres nothing worse than bringing home the newest member of your family, only to have her bolt for the door and run away. Even cats that have been in your home for years may find the excitement of the outdoor world too much to resist. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent your cat from running away in the first place, and to help find her quickly if the worst happens.

First, when you adopt or buy your cat, buy a collar with tags that list your contact information and her vaccination status. Many rescue shelters will submit cats to painful tests if they cant determine whether or not theyre up to date on their rabies vaccinations, so make sure to have your tags updated every year. As an alternative, consider micro-chipping. For a small fee, a small computer chip is inserted above your cats shoulder blade that contains your contact information. Most shelters will scan cats they pick up for micro-chips, ensuring that Fluffy will be returned to you as quickly as possible.

However, if your cat runs away without a collar or micro-chip, consider the following tips on how to bring her home:

The very first thing you should do is to contact shelter or buyer where you adopted your cat. Its possible that the reason why your cat ran away is because she misses the environment of her former home.

If your cat isnt found at its former home, check with the other rescue shelters in your area. Visit these shelters and provide pictures of your cat, and dont forget to leave your contact information so that once your cat is found, youll be informed immediately.

You should also carefully search your home and yard, as your cat may be trapped out of sight in a hidden nook or cranny. If you suspect shes stuck out of sight, leave her favorite food or treats nearby to lure her out.

Once youve searched your house thoroughly, ask your neighbors if theyve seen your cat. If not, describe your cat to them and give them your contact number so that they can contact you if your cat appears. Its also a good idea to do advertisements and post notices about your lost pet. Print a picture of your pet and post it on bulletin boards or phone poles near your home. Include a description of your pet and your contact number as well.

Using these methods will help you find your pet more quickly; however, when someone responds to your advertisement and claims to have found your cat, ask for a description of your cat especially if youre offering reward money. Ask callers to describe one distinct characteristic of your pet to confirm that it truly is your cat.

Once your cat has made it home safe and sound, consider investing in a pet collar or micro-chip in the event of any future runaways. You should also do a thorough investigation of your home to find out where your cat escaped. Patch any holes in the fence and install better latches on all doors to prevent this situation from happening again in the future.

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