Cat Finders New Hampshire's Lost Cat Network


  • FAQs

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Please scroll down to find the answers to the following questions:

    1. If I have lost or found a cat, what contact information will Cat Finders need?
    2. Is there any cost to post my lost/found cat information with Cat Finders?
    3. How do I know if a cat I’ve found is lost, stray, abandoned, or feral?
    4. Why hasn’t my cat come home?
    5. What about lost dogs?
    6. What if I live in MA, ME, VT or another state?
    7. When is it time to give up the search?


    1. If I have lost or found a cat, what contact information will Cat Finders need?
    Your first name, email address or phone number, and the town & neighborhood the cat was lost or found in. (e.g. Packers Falls Road area in Durham, downtown Newmarket, Wadleigh’s Falls area of Lee, etc.)  We will not post your address or full name, unless you request it.

    If your phone number or email address changes, and your cat has not come home yet, please email: to update your information. Sometimes cats are found after a year or longer, and wouldn’t it be a shame if your cat were found and nobody knew how to reach you? It happens. Please keep us updated so that it won’t happen to you and your cat.

    2. Is there any cost to post my lost/found cat information with Cat Finders?
    No. It’s free to everyone in NH.

    3. How do I know if a cat I’ve found is lost, stray, abandoned, or feral?
    It is hard to know for sure. It is usually best to assume the cat is lost, and to try to find the cat’s people. Please, please don’t keep a stray cat or bring the cat to a shelter  without making a true effort to find the cat’s family. The family is  likely to be heartbroken, unable to find the cat they love so dearly. And the cat may be silently grieving for his/her people and home territory.

    If you rehome the cat, or bring him or her to a shelter or rescue, the family will never get closure. Not knowing what became of a beloved pet is usually far worse for the family than  losing a pet through death, and the healing process can take much longer, if true healing can ever take place.

    If the weather is warm enough,  it is often better to let the cat alone, giving him or her some food and water, and letting kitty find his/her own way home, rather than bringing the cat to a shelter, where he might be lost forever to his family, or euthanized. If the cat does not go home after a few hours, and seems hungry, then he or she may need your help.

    Of course, if you live in a busy area near a busy road, this may not be safe. Use your best judgment, and leave your “found cat” posters up in the neighborhood, and your online ads current as long as you continue to see the cat. Sometimes it takes weeks, months, or even a year or more for the person who has found the cat and the person who has lost the cat to find each other.

    If you bring the cat to a veterinarian, the vet can check to see if the cat has an i.d. micro-chip. Another clue that a cat is lost, and not stray, are signs of having been to a vet in the past, for example, the cat has been neutered, or shows evidence of other past surgeries. A friendly and trustful cat is likely to be somebody’s lost pet, although many pet cats are very fearful and skittish when in unfamiliar situations.

    Of course, a cat who knows how to use a cat door (catflap), who meows for food, who uses a litterbox, etc. has likely lived with people in the past, and may well be a lost pet. For more information, see Think Lost not Stray

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    Why hasn’t my cat come home?


    4. Why hasn’t my cat come home?
    Under normal circumstances, most cats can usually find their way home on their own, but there are certain circumstances that would prevent this, such as:

    A fellow cat-lover has found your cat and is keeping him/her indoors while trying to find you. Or has decided to keep your cat.

    Maybe your cat was frightened by something (e.g. fireworks, thunderstorm, other animals) and may be too scared to return home. Your cat may be hiding in silence in your yard, under a porch, or in your next door neighbor’s yard.

    While being chased by another animal, the cat may have switched directions several times, thereby becoming disoriented, i.e. not sure which direction is home, so may wander even farther away.

    Or perhaps something has changed since your cat left. For example, he or she might have crossed a river by hopping stones, but a heavy rainstorm has made it impossible for him/her to return that way. Or maybe a new construction project is started and your cat is on one side of the big machines and scary noises, and home is on the other.

    Possibly the cat is sick, trapped, injured or worse. I know this is very sad to think about, but please remember that there are many other possibilities.

    A lot of people believe (and are quick to tell you so) that if a cat doesn’t come home, it must mean he’s run into predators such as coyotes or fishers. Sadly, sometimes this does happen. But not  as often as people think. After all, there are plenty of wild turkeys, squirrels, mice, voles, woodchucks and other animals  in our fields and woods that make far easier prey than cats do, since cats shriek, bite, scratch, and can climb trees. Besides, if all lost cats were killed by predators, then how could so many “stray” cats survive?

    For information about what fishers really eat, see this study done by Eric Orff and reported on the NH Fish and game website.

    For helpful information about the varying behaviors of missing indoor vs. outdoor cats, read about Lost Cats  and Displaced Cats at the Missing Pet Partnership. This website has a wealth of information to help you find  your cat!

    5. What about lost dogs?
    Dogs get lost too! But dogs are registered and licensed, and usually have a collar with i.d. tags. According to the NHSPCA, 75% of lost dogs are returned home, while only 1% of lost cats are found. Hopefully, we can all help change this statistic in our area.

     If you’ve lost or found a dog, we suggest visiting

    6.  What if I live in another state?
    Cat Finders is for cats who are lost or found in New Hampshire. However, if you live within a mile or two of the New Hampshire border and feel that it is possible that your cat may be in NH, then you may post your lost cat on the site. Also, if you have found a cat who you think might have come from NH, you can post that cat. If you live more than five miles from NH, please post on craigslist instead of Cat Finders, unless you have a special reason to believe that your cat might have been brought to NH. Thank you.

    7. When is it time to give up the search?
    It will be different for each of us. Trust your intuition. However, make sure it truly is your intuition and not just your fears. I think we all feel that we “know” our missing cat has been eaten or killed, at least, that is often our first reaction. It is our worst fear . . . but is it truly what we believe to have happened? All I can say is that many people using this site who did eventually get their cats back, did, at some point, feel that they “knew” that their cat was dead. In other words, we all think this . . . and we’re often wrong.

    Searching for a lost cat can be an emotional roller-coaster.  Do what you can to find your cat, then give yourself permission to move on when you’re ready. At least you will have the satisfaction of  knowing that you did everything possible to find him or her.

    Even if you are unable find your cat after an extensive search, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she came to a tragic end. Unfortunately, lots of people never notice “Lost Cat” signs,*** and sometimes cats accidentally hitch a  ride on a vehicle that takes them out of the area. It is quite possible that your cat is living a safe and contented life  with a new family, and continues to love you from afar.






    ***To make effective lost/found cat signs that people will notice, visit:  

    Cat Finders’ site is updated daily. All information is believed to be current. If a cat you have listed on this site is reunited with the family or has any change in status, such as being brought to a shelter, please let us know immediately. Thank you.

    Cat Finders



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