What’s the best way to find my cat when she disappears in the house?
Very often when cats have gone missing in the home, they are closer than you think. I had a funny experience with my tabby cat Bananas, who I adopted from my former boss Cleveland Amory, founder of Fund for Animal and author of the classic book “The Cat Who Came for Christmas.”
At that time I had a garden apartment and I was gardening outside one day with the door to the apartment closed. When I came back inside, Bananas was nowhere to be found. To my horror I thought somehow she had gotten in the garden so I raced out again calling “Bananas, Bananas,” and my neighbors probably thought I was bananas. With no luck, I went back inside to continue the search and there she was sitting on the coffee table, probably having a laugh. I never did find her hiding place — but it was good one!
Cats seem to like to hide and squeeze into tight places. If one of yours is AWOL, check all of the out-of-sight places — under the bed, crawl spaces, on top of tall entertainment units, in and behind desk and dresser drawers, and behind furniture. Also, check inside washing machines and dryers. I had a client whose kitty jumped into a warm dryer after the clothes were taken out – fortunately her owner found her before another load was put in!
If the furniture has been checked, try using food to lure her out. Run the electric can opener or open the refrigerator door or shake a bag of treats — anything that she associates with mealtime. On the odd chance that she has gotten out, ask your neighbors to help look for her. If they spot her and you are available, it is best if you approach her so she’s not scared. In the worst-case scenario, contact your vet and local animal shelters. I always say that the best way to have a lost kitty returned to you is to make sure they have either an ID tag or microchip. As always I invite readers to comment and share their stories.