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Lost Pet Resources

While every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this site is accurate, Berkeley's Place shall not be liable for any losses or damage arising in any way from inaccuracies published on the website.

Note: These articles are provided for information only and are not meant to replace veterinary care.

Chuckles, the Official Mascot of Charlee's Angels for the Animals

Help! I Lost My Cat! What do I do?

First things first. I know, from experience, that you are very stressed at this point. This post can help you to keep thinking straight and provide information of things that have to be done ASAP to give you the best chance to find your lost furry friend quickly and safely.

The most important thing to do within the first few hours of your losing a cat is to start getting permission from your neighbors to go into their yards to look for your cat.

When an inside cat gets lost:

1. Determine the escape point: When an inside cat goes missing, the first thing to do is determine how the cat got out ... start your search from that spot.

2. Follow the edge of the house or building: A cat that is panicking will typically follow along the side of the house, rather than risk bolting into the open. Most of the time an indoor cat will either slink left or slink right along the building.

3. Look for the closest hiding spots: Following the edge of the house, look for the first hiding space. It could be a deck, access under a house, shed with opening, open garage etc. Focus on that area. Go back and do the same for the other side of the house.

4. Place humane traps, cameras or food in those spots. If you don't see or find the cat, you can put humane traps there, wildlife cameras, or even a plate of food to see if it vanishes. Set up a warm safe spot, such as a large kennel with a blanket over it ... with food and water and a blanket (with your scent on it) inside.

5. Post your lost pet on Petlynx and other social media sources (Twitter, Facebook) Put an ad in your local newspaper and call your local radio station.

6. Place an ad on the Lost /Found pet section of Kijiji. Add a current or most recent photo of your pet if available.

7. Create and go door-to-door with flyers as soon as possible. Somebody, somewhere, may have seen something. Remember, not everybody has a computer.

8. Contact all of the proper authorities, in person if possible, in the area where your pet first went missing. (police, animal shelters, animal control facilities and veterinarians) File a lost pet report with your local police station and your animal control facility. Inform every vet clinic, animal shelter and rescue in your area. Ask if you may post or leave a flyer with each of these. Creating a paper trail shows that you are actively searching for your pet. This may also be invaluable if there is a question about ownership.

9. Use intersection signs at strategic locations throughout the area. They are an invaluable tool to alert the neighborhood that your cat is missing.

10. Talk to people. You may talk to 99 people that haven’t seen a thing, but you are looking for that one person that has seen something. People walking their pets and kids may have seen something. Has somebody seen your pet in their yard or under their deck?

11. Follow up! Check for postings in "Lost and Found pages such as Alberta Lost Pet Locator and Rescue Society Facebook page, Petlynx, Kijiji, and animal rescues daily.

Things to remember:

Try to remain focused and think. Be aware of scammers, and always think of your safety. The key to getting your pet home is to make people aware and provide contact information in the event of a possible sighting. This is possible by using flyers and signs. You must “convince” people that you are desperately looking for your cat for them to be alert.

Quickly spreading the word is the number one way that a small friendly lost pet will be reunited with the family. If someone has found your pet and decides to keep it your search efforts will make it almost impossible for them to do so. A new pet will draw attention, especially if it resembles a missing pet on a sign or poster.


What could happen to a lost pet? Your pet may get picked up by a Good Samaritan who doesn’t want to see him hit by a car. Depending on the Good Samaritan’s actions: he may be returned to you; taken to a shelter, animal control facility or rescue; re-homed or kept by the finder.

Your pet may be picked up by the police or animal control and taken to a facility. Keep in mind that it may end up far outside the jurisdiction area of the local shelter and may be in the next CITY or the next PROVINCE in a very short time.