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Search Methods Used to Locate Missing Cats and Locations Where Missing Cats Are Found

By Liyan Huang, Marcia Coradini, Jacquie Rand, John Morton, Kat Albrecht, Brigid Wasson

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A least 15% of cat owners lose their pet in a five-year period and some are never found. This paper reports on data gathered from an online questionnaire that asked questions regarding search methods used to locate missing cats and locations where missing cats were found. The most important finding from this retrospective case series was that approximately one third of cats were recovered within 7 days. Secondly, a physical search increased the chances of finding cats alive and 75% of cats were found within a 500 m radius of their point of escape. Thirdly, those cats that were indoor-outdoor and allowed outside unsupervised traveled longer distances compared with indoor cats that were never allowed outside. Lastly, cats considered to be highly curious in nature were more likely to be found inside someone else’s house compared to other personality types. These findings suggest that a physical search within the first week of a cat going missing could be a useful strategy. In light of these findings, further research into this field may show whether programs such as shelter, neuter and return would improve the chances of owners searching and finding their missing cats as well as decreasing euthanasia rates in shelters.


Katie Osborn

Date 2018
Publication Title Animals
Volume 9
Issue 1
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Location of Publication Basel, Switzerland
DOI 10.3390/ani8010005
Language English
Additional Language English
  1. Cats
  2. lost pet
  3. Mammals
  4. Pet ownership
  5. SNR programs