If you have lost a cat or dog, you can attest to how devastating it can be. Having a way to identify your cat or dog is essential, even if your furry friend spends most of their time indoors. The best way to do this is to equip them with a collar and an ID tag.
When Your Cat Finds an Open Door or Window
Your curious cat is likely to take full advantage of a suddenly open door or window to take a quick peek outside. The problem is not her exploratory nature, but what she will do if she is spooked while outside. Instead of running back inside, cats are more likely to sprint to the nearest hiding place and go into full scaredy cat mode. In other words, she will be a quiet as possible and pay you little attention when you call her. Equipping your feline friend with a collar and ID tag increases the chances that she will be safely returned. The ASPCA reports that 3.4 million cats make it to shelters, but less than 5% of these cats make it back to their families. These are the cats with no collars and no way to connect them with their owner.
How to Get Your Cat Back Home
So, how do you get your cat back home if he slips out? This Petfinder.com blog is a terrific resource for finding your lost cat. Here are the top suggestions.
- Search close to home. It’s likely that your cat is hiding within a 3-house radius.
- Put a bowl of his favorite food in front of your house to make sure he continues to see your home as his home.
- Talk to your neighbors and give them pictures of your lost cat.
- Put pictures of your lost cat on poles around your house.
- Once he is home again, get him a collar with an ID tag
But Your Cat Won’t Wear a Collar…
OK… OK… this is a fair complaint. However, Dr. Linda Lord of Ohio State University published a 2010 study in the American Veterinary Medical Association, about the effectiveness of collars for identification purposes. Dr. Lord found that 3 out of 4 cats easily tolerated a cat collar for the duration of her six month study. After the study period, 90% of cat owners reported that they planned to keep the collars on their cats. Sure, cats are fussy creatures, so putting a collar on one can be challenging. Dr. Lord’s participants that had the best success getting their temperamental felines to wear the collars were those that kept putting the collar back on until the cat got used to wearing it. In other words, patience and persistence are vital.
Find Your Cat the Perfect Collar
- Find a cat collar with a breakaway clasp. A breakaway clasp will spring open if the cat snags it while leaping up to high places or hiding under things. There are several types of breakaway collars on the market. Be sure to test it out before you buy to ensure you can open it with a moderate amount of effort.
- Put an ID tag on the collar. There are all sorts of tags you can add to a collar. The easiest is the dangling engraved aluminum tag. Be sure to put your cat’s name and your phone number on the tag.
- Fit the collar correctly. You should be able to just slide two fingers under the collar. You don’t want it to be too tight as it could choke her. If it is too loose, she could get her mouth hung up on it.
- Consider a collar that is reflective. Many cat collars have reflective designs on them, making it easier to see the collar at night.
- Look into a smart cat collar. New cat and dog collars are coming to market that do so much more than simply identify your pet. There are collars with LED lights so you can see your cat at night or under a bush. There are collars with GPS so you can quickly and easily find your kitty. There are also collars with reminders for things like feeding and flea/tick application.
Be ready before that “Oh No” moment happens and your cat gets lost. Do the research and equip her with a collar and an ID tag.