Please follow the information below.
*The information above has been reposted with permission from the Ottawa Valley Lost Pet Network
Things to consider
Even the friendliest and most social pets may quickly become terrified and wild. Your own friendly cat, when lost, may hide from people and run away. He may even run away from you. Don't chase after a lost cat - they are much faster and you will only scare them more. Instead, sit on the ground, talk in normal tones, repeat his name and familiar phrases over and over again. Even a frightened, hungry animal will usually stick around, and after a few minutes or hours, come closer and closer.
You may need to rent or purchase a humane live trap to capture a terrified lost pet. Local animal shelters often rent or loan these.
Don't Give Up!
Most importantly, DON'T GIVE UP! Be proactive and persistent in your search, get lots of help, get the word out right away - don't wait a few hours to see if he'll come home on his own. You will need those first few hours to inform as many people as possible.
Lost my Indoor-Only Cat
If your indoor-only cat has escaped outside there is good news - your cat is probably not lost at all! That is because it is likely that your cat is hiding and depending upon the terrain, may be closer than you think! When an indoor-only cat escapes, it is common that the cat is hiding (usually near the escape point) in fear. This is because cats are territorial and your cat's territory is the inside of your home. Once a cat is transplanted into unfamiliar territory, it seeks shelter because it is afraid.
A cat that is afraid (and cats that are injured) will seek areas of concealment such as under a deck, house, porch, or in heavy brush and they will usually not meow. Meowing would give up their location to a predator. It has nothing to do with whether the cat loves you, whether it recognizes your voice, or whether it can smell you--it has everything to do with the fact that a frightened cat will hide and be silent.
Displaced Outdoor-Access Cat
If you’ve lost a cat that is allowed outdoors, then it is possible that he/she is not missing but is hiding in fear. That’s because even outdoor-access cats can become displaced.
Here’s how it works. A cat can become “displaced” into unfamiliar territory when he/she is chased off by another animal and he/she ends up in a yard or area that is foreign to him/her. Some times, they may only be five houses away or a block away, hiding inside a neighbor’s yard in fear because they were disoriented or to afraid to return home. It is imperative that you first obtain permission from your neighbor to enter their yard so that you can look for your cat.
In cases of displacement, even though the cat is technically an “outdoor-access cat,” it is a DISPLACED CAT when it ends up in an area that is unfamiliar. Recovery techniques should be geared around a missing cat’s unique, individual temperament. If he or she is skittish, he/she will more likely be nearby hiding in fear and you’ll need to use a humane trap to recover him/her. If he or she is gregarious, he/she could easily travel several blocks (even a mile or two) and you’ll need to knock on doors and post fluorescent posters at major intersections in the area.
Be sure to visit the Mission Reunite site for more information on the topic of displaced cat behaviours.
If you go to the Ottawa Humane Society website, you can also now browse through *most* of the stray cats that have been admitted to the Ottawa Humane Society.
Here is the link:
The pictures are usually posted within 24 hours of admission, and the site is updated frequently. Please note that NOT ALL cats are posted, and you should still visit the shelter every 2-3 days.