Lost and found
We advise getting your cat microchipped - just in case he or she ever goes missing. This is harmless and permanent, and makes reuniting a lost cat with their owner so much easier.Losing a pet can be extremely distressing. As a charity, we also recommend that all cats are neutered which will help to prevent wandering.
My cat is missing. What should I do?
Look - Cats are very curious and can sleep in the most unusual places. Check all rooms in the house including wardrobes, boxes and any cubby holes. When checking outside, be sure to look in bushes, sheds, garages and vehicles and ask your neighbours to do the same.
We recommend you go out late at night and early in the morning, which is when cats are most active, shaking dried food or banging a tin and calling your cat’s name. If s/he’s neutered the chances are s/he hasn’t gone far and may be very close by, possibly in back gardens, a shed or garage.
Tell people - As well as your neighbours, speak to local vet practices and rescue centres- even your postman. Streetlife.com, which people use to post about local issues, is a good site for publicising information about lost cats. You can also use the free lost and found website www.animalsearch.co.uk as well as contacting:
- Battersea Dogs and Cats Home: 020 7622 3626
- Missing Pets Bureau (24 hour) 08701 999 000 / www.missingpetsbureau.com
- All local and emergency vets and charity clinics/rehoming organisations
Advertise - Distribute posters in the local area and make use of local notice boards. Contact local radio stations and newspapers. Blitz your local area with posters, including in vet practices, pet shops & animal charity shops, as well as outside schools, post offices, libraries, community centres, churches, on supermarket noticeboards, anywhere that people are likely to gather. Also put posters up at bus stops and outside tube and train stations. Put leaflets through all the houses around your block or estate, and keep extending further out as far as possible Also knock on doors of houses around your block where it is safe to do so.
When cats first go missing, they often hide for a couple of weeks before they start appearing. The important thing is not to give up hope. Keep putting food out and keep on putting posters up and extend the area you leaflet. Also include on your poster a request for people to look in sheds, outhouses, gardens, under bushes, basement areas and adjacent empty buildings, as well as in shops. Cats sometimes pal up with other cats to find food & maybe even feline companionship, so it’s always an idea to have a good look where cats congregate together.
Please note it is not a good idea to advertise a reward as this can attract hoax and distressing phone calls from people pretending to have found your cat.
I have found a cat. What should I do?
If the cat is genuinely suffering or injured in some way, please take him or her to the nearest veterinary practice. They will be able to scan the cat for a chip.
Feeding - If the cat has been around less than three days and appears healthy, try not to encourage it by feeding straight away, give the cat a chance to go home. Cats can wander quite far but will go back to their own home to sleep or eat. Older cats may look thin and underfed but this may be due to a medical condition so removing the cat could mean it misses several doses of important medication.
Ask people - Make local enquiries: ask neighbours, local vets and pet shops if they know of any missing pets. You can also put posters up around the neighbourhood.
Inform – After three days, notify rescue centres and place the cat on a lost and found register. You could use the free lost and found website www.animalsearchuk.co.uk. If you are able to get the cat into a cat carrier, please take the cat to a vet to be scanned for a microchip and to check it is ok.
Feral cats that are breeding can be humanely trapped and we can return them neutered. There are other charities that may also be able to assist you with this in London too and we can advise you of contacts with resources to help.
For sick or injured stray animals, please call the Scottish SPCA’s 24-hour line on 0300 999 999 and explain the exact location of the animal and the nature of the injury or illness so that an animal collection officer knows how urgent it is.
This helpline cannot arrange collection of a healthy or uninjured stray.