Lost and Found Cats

What to Do If You’ve Lost Your Cat

Losing a cat is traumatic for any individual or family. We are here to offer counseling and resources to assist you. Feel free to contact us by email at info@treehouseanimals.org with any questions you may have.  Here are some steps you can take to look for your pet:

  1. Search. Most house cats will not wander far from home. Look under nearby porches, bushes, in parks, etc. If you live in an apartment, check closets, empty boxes, and under furniture. Check hallways, stairwells, the basement, storage closets, laundry rooms, and any vacant apartments that may have had a door ajar. Be sure to check with your neighbors, as well. If you think your pet is outside, look nearby under porches, in basements and garages, in bushes, and even under cars. Once lost, your pet can become wary or frightened of any human voice and may not recognize you or come immediately when you call. Call to your pet with the kind of voice that you normally use to greet him and listen for a reply. 
  2. Call your cat’s microchip company to alert them of your cat’s missing status.   
  3. Post signs in/around your neighborhood and at nearby veterinary clinics. Include a detailed description of color, size, and demeanor, as well as a photo of your pet. Use color copies and include where your pet was lost. Be sure to include your contact information. 
  4. Post announcements online on local/neighborhood social media groups. Include copies of your flier. Try  Lost Cats Illinois or talk with neighbors. Check with Lost Pets USA for additional resources and assistance for finding a lost pet.
  5. Place ads on websites and in newspapers like craigslist.com and petfinder.com. Beware of people answering your ad and asking for reward money before they return the pet – this is almost always a scam. Be sure to also read the Found ads in the same newspapers and websites just in case a caring person found your cat and is trying to find you. 
  6. Set up an outdoor feeding station on your property with your cat’s favorite food or treats as well as some familiar scented items such as a blanket, towels, litter box, or pet bed. If your pet should return while you are asleep or away, food and shelter may save his life. 
  7. Look for your pet when it’s dark and streets are quiet as they may be too fearful to come out during the day. Take a flashlight with you and search under parked cars, in yards, under bushes, and in alleys. Take food and treats to attract your pet. 
  8. Call all the animal shelters and veterinary hospitals in your area, starting with the municipal animal control agency. Check continually and frequently until your pet is found. 

Some shelters that accept strays are:

  • Chicago Animal Care and Control, 2741 S. Western Avenue, 

Chicago, IL, 312-747-1406

  • Animal Welfare League, 6224 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL, 

773-667-0088


Once your pet is home, it would be a good idea to take him to your veterinarian to check for any bite wounds, cuts, or scrapes that may require attention. Keep him separated from other pets in the household until you have determined that he is healthy and reacclimated to his environment. Ask your vet to check for infectious disease and parasites. Be sure to have your vet insert a registered microchip if your pet does not already have one.