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  • Prevention

    Ray Ray by red maple Oct 2010

    Of course, the time to take preventive measures is BEFORE your cat is missing. But once you are reunited with your cat, or if you have other cats, or ever plan to get another cat, you will want to do everything possible to make sure your cat will be returned to you, should he or she ever get lost in the future.

    Micro-chips

    A micro-chip is a great way to be sure that your cat will not be lost in the animal shelter system, as shelter and rescue workers scan for these chips when a new cat is brought in. Also, many people finding a cat will bring the cat to a vet or shelter to be scanned for a chip.

    Many cats are chipped prior to adoption, but you can also have your cat micro-chipped at your vet’s office. Be sure your cat’s chip is registered and kept up to date. Sometimes, the shelter will register the chip for you. You can check this online. Make sure that the phone number, email address, etc. that you gave the chip company initially is still current, so you can be reached when your cat is found.

    Remember that the information on the micro-chip is just a bar code. Your actual information, i.e. address, email, and phone number, is filed with the company who made your cat’s chip (such as Home Again). Because of this, even if your cat goes missing before you have registered the chip, or if your contact information needs to be updated, you can still do this, as long as you have the original paperwork with your cat’s chip number on it. The micro-chip number may also be on file at your vet’s or at the shelter where you adopted your cat.

    Collars

    Not all cats will tolerate a collar. But if your cat will, make that collar count! Be sure to write your phone number on the collar so that if anyone finds your cat, they can contact you. A lot of cat collars are difficult to write on. But you can get a collar embroidered with your phone number for under $10 at http://www.snazzyfido.com/products/personalised-embroidered-collar-made-from-organic-bamboo-webbing

    If you find a cat’s collar on the ground and it has a phone number on it, please call that number: Knowing where the collar was found may help the family to be reunited with their cat, since it will be an important clue about where the cat has been.

    Tabby watch out bugs

    Photos and Proof of Ownership

    Be sure to keep current photos of your cats. You will need good photos for websites, posters, and flyers. Be sure the photos are crisp, clear, and show your cat’s markings well. It’s good to get the cat’s tail in the picture if you can, as tail size, shape, and color are important identifying details.

    If somebody finds your cat, they may ask for proof that you are really the cat’s person. This is because there are unscrupulous (and very convincing) people who claim “found” cats, and then turn around and sell them, hoard them, or worse. The person who has your cat doesn’t know you, so please don’t take offense when they ask for proof. They are trying to protect you AND your cat. (Because what if they didn’t check for proof of ownership and gave your cat to some liar who stopped by an hour before you did?)

    So make sure to take some selfies of you and your cat together, and be aware of where your cat’s adoption papers are kept. You can also bring some of your flyers as proof, if you have nothing else. Flyers will have your phone number or email so they can verify you as the “owner”. Having some sort of proof is important, since, unlike dogs, cats may not make a convincing leap into our arms, proving they are ours. They may well be too frightened to respond right away, and may even ignore us or hide.

    GPS Devices

    As of now, there are GPS devices for dogs, but those are too large for most cats. If anyone hears of a GPS device that is appropriate for cats, please let us know at cat.finders@comcast.net. There is now a homing device that is nicely sized for cats and fits onto a collar for $99. I don’t know how well it works, but it seems like it might be worth a try if your cat keeps disappearing. See it here: http://www.hammacher.com/Product/78313?promo=Category-NewArrivals&catid=60

     

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    cat.finders@comcast.net
    www.catfinders.org

     

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