Lost Pets and How to Find Them

by | General Pet Care |

Losing your pet can be a terrifying experience, we understand that, and we’d like to make it a little easier for you.

Here are some tips of what to do when you find out you have a lost pet.

Things to consider when searching for …

A Lost Cat

lost pet - cat
Photo by Andrew.

1. Territory

If your cat is normally indoors, it will stay nearby your house, in silence so predators won’t know they’re there. This is also why they may not reply when you call them.

If not found soon enough, they may be scared further away from your home, if they run into wildlife for example.

If you have an outdoor cat, this lost pet is likely they have run into something preventing or interrupting their return home.

2. Personality

If you have a cautious cat they may seek a hiding place and take days to gain the confidence (or hunger) to head home. If you have an outgoing cat they may hide briefly, and then start travelling.

Regardless, act quickly and look thoroughly! Don’t expect your cat to return your calls, they’re protecting themselves from predators.

A Lost Dog

Lost pet - dog
Photo by Ruth de la Rosa.

1. Travel Path

If there’s nice weather, your dog is more likely to travel. If they’re in a highly populated area there’s more chance someone will find them. A lost pet will follow the least resistant path, so heavy brush and cliffs will influence their direction.

If your dog is lost because they ran in panic, they may run several kilometres before stopping to hide, but if escaped from a yard to follow a scent they are more likely to be found close by.

2. Personality

If your dog is afraid of people and will avoid them, they may hide in a forest and only leave out of hunger.

A friendly dog can be found easier closer to home because they’ll want attention from people and will seem less threatening to approach.

3. Approach

When finding your lost pet, don’t yell or run at them, this may cause them to run further away.

To lure them closer, drop to the ground, turn away from him slightly, and call their name encouragingly. Offer them a treat, and if that doesn’t work, approach them in an arc, speaking in a happy tone. Once they come close, stay to the ground and reach for the collar under (not over) his head.

If your dog is trained, you can call out “Come” “Sit” or “Stay” etc., and they may respond.

Read more tips on finding your lost pet on our Lost Recovery 101 post for 6 Effective Search Tactics and Loss Prevention.