LOST CATS: A GROWING PROBLEM

Each week we receive several frantic calls at St. Francis Animal Rescue from cat owners who have lost their beloved pet. In the year I have been here full-time, we have had only one case where a lost kitty brought to us was actually reunited with his owner. When we take reports, we find most were house cats that had no microchip or collar. It is often a simple mistake of visitors or workers leaving a door open giving the cat a chance to explore unknown territory. The cat can become disoriented or scared and often hides in nearby bushes or actually under the house. We advise owners to look for the cat day and night, including dusk and dawn. They can walk the property and need to call it in a moderate and calm voice. At night a flashlight can pick up a reflection of kitty’s eyes if it does not respond to your calls. You can also leave food out near our door or scents that remind kitty of home such as her blanket or scattering used litter in the yard. In Florida we have coyotes, bob cats and other predators that are dangerous to lost cats so the best solution is to be aware of changes in routine that may promote an escape. Even better is to chip the cat or make sure there is a collar with an ID tag.

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