How To Track Your Cat? 13 Facts You Should Be Aware Of!


Cats are escape artists! No matter how nurturing a family they are placed in, they won’t miss a chance to flee if there is a way out. Therefore, cat owners always search for the best ways to locate their cats if lost.

There are several ‘pawsome’ ways to track a lost or missing cat. Below are some options available that you can adopt to track your cat.

  • Mobile apps
  • GPS trackers
  • Microchip
  • AirTag

Your biggest nightmare would be if your cat lacked any of these. But calling your cat’s name out is one approach to finding it. You can look anywhere your pet can go to find it. Publically announcing the missing report is another option. To find your cat, you can distribute flyers or put up posters and ask friends and family for help.

We never wish any cat parent to experience the agony of losing their furbabies. Still, there is no harm in armoring yourself with proper knowledge of how to track a lost cat. With this in mind, we are dedicating this post. 

So, without much delay, let’s start our journey! 

How To Track Your Cat
Image Credit: Missing Cat by Paul Sableman (CC BY 2.0) from Wikimedia

How far do cats roam when lost?

“Lost cat” is two words every cat parent is scared of. Yet, some of them come face to face with such situations at some point in their life. Hence, it is worth learning how far lost cats can roam.

A cat is said to stay within a 3- 4-house radius of its original site once they venture outside. However, they stray further from their house if they discover a better hiding spot. Remember that indoor cats who venture outside for the first time are too frightened to travel far. So, for the first few days after they run away, it is best to look for them close to the house.

How far lost cats roam is not something that a set rule can determine. However, your chances of finding them close to your home increase the earlier you begin looking for them. Having said that, remember that if your cat has escaped in the past and knows where a safe spot is, it will move in that way. Also, the longer they are outside, the more confidence they will gain to move farther away from home. 

What to do if my cat gets lost?

Prevention is better than cure! So, knowing the right way to track your cat will be the best step toward finding your lost cat as soon as possible.

Calling out the name of your cat may not work every time. You may need to take a few more steps to find or track down your lost cat. Here are a few steps to find your cat if it goes missing.

  • Search thoroughly around your property.
  • Call out your cat’s name while searching it around in your locality
  • Put up posters in your local area 
  • Ask your neighbors to look into their garage, garden shed, and other places
  • Use social media to inform about your missing cat
  • Use the GPS-enabled, Bluetooth or Radio Frequency cat tracker
  • Contact your local shelter house to check if anyone has dropped your missing cat there
  • Get in touch with the local vet to check if anyone has brought any missing, and injured, cats for the treatment

We want to emphasize the significance of microchipping your cat in this situation. You have the highest chance of finding your lost cat by doing this. Additionally, you can get a collar for your cat with your contact information so that people can get in touch with you.

Is there any proven way to track a lost cat?

Several trackers on the market promise to perform flawlessly to locate a lost cat. But is there really a foolproof way to locate a lost cat?

The answer to the above query is complex and cannot be answered with a simple YES or NO. Finding a lost cat is always a learning process. There isn’t a single, universal approach. But in this situation, tracking devices like GPS trackers, collars with the owner’s name and contact information, hanging posters, etc., can be quite effective.

No one would understand your cat better than you. Understanding your lost cat’s personality and predicting what it will do outside will help you find it. It may not be a guaranteed method, but it can help you find your pet on the proper track.

According to most studies, your cat has a nearly 90% probability of being found if you begin your search within the first 24 hours of it being missing. So, never forget to hold onto hope.

How to track where your cat goes?

The first step in starting your tracking trip is figuring out where your cat can travel. So, the first step in figuring out where your cat can go outside is to keep tabs on its whereabouts. Yet how?

Cat owners can follow their cats’ activities and learn where they are in the outdoors, thanks to the expanding market for pet trackers. Modern cat trackers are equipped to locate your cat even in the most difficult circumstances.

Your cat can be fitted with a tracker or microchipped. The devices can be connected to your smartphone via apps. Online, there are many different cat monitoring apps available. Take advantage of those apps and monitor your pet’s outdoor explorations from the comfort of your couch.

How long can a cat go missing?

The idea of your precious furbaby being out of sight might be extremely upsetting. Furthermore, knowing how long a cat should go missing before you start to worry could annoy you.

Cats frequently disappear for longer than 24 hours. This is especially true if the cat frequently goes outside and does not live entirely indoors. In these situations, lost cats frequently return home within 24 to 48 hours. However, cats that have only been indoors may have a quite low likelihood of returning if they are not found.

Outdoor cats and indoor cats have different needs. If lost from your home or neighborhood, a totally outdoor cat may even come back after a few days. Additionally, owners and cats that had been separated for a long time occasionally get back together.

Keep in mind that indoor cats don’t have any experience exploring and living outdoors because they live in a protected environment. Therefore, if they go missing, begin your search operation as soon as possible.

What are the chances of finding a lost cat?

One of the frequent questions every cat owner has is that if their furbaby goes missing, what are the chances of getting it back? Is there any concrete answer to this question?

Although there is no perfect answer to this question, a study published in 2018 stated that only 61% of 1210 (lost) cats studied were found within one year. Of these, around 34% were recovered alive by the owners within the first 7 days of getting lost. Also, physical searching played a crucial role in tracking most missing cats.

Sometimes, lost cats frequently return home on their own. Cats familiar with their surroundings are more likely to exhibit this propensity. The study mentioned above also reveals that your chances of successfully locating your lost cat increase the sooner you begin your search.

Why would a cat go missing?

Finding a lost cat can be upsetting. Therefore, if we know the causes of cats’ inclination to disappear, we may be able to stop this behavior before it starts.

Below, we have mentioned the top three possible reasons for a cat can go missing.

It is their tendency

You may have seen that cats frequently attempt to flee, seemingly for no reason. This is why it is always recommended to catproof the house if you wish to keep your cat safe indoors. Prey drive, curiosity, or search for a mating partner can be a few primary reasons that might influence indoor cats to run away from home.

Mating needs

When your cat is in heat and is not spayed, it will attempt to flee. They will go outside to look for a mate because they need mating. This implies that your cat may go missing for a day or two or perhaps for a week during its mating season.

Having your cat spayed is one of the best ways to prevent this. In addition, their propensity to wander outside will be significantly reduced by neutering or spaying them.

Changes in the environment 

You may have heard stories about cats that jumped off cars or laps on their way to the veterinarian. Such occurrences serve as a reminder that cats detest routine change. And when they are stressed by shifting circumstances, their desire to flee increases. It is a defense mechanism for most cats, as running away means attempting to get away from whatever is causing the distress.

Can cats find their home after remaining missing for years?

Image Credit: Cat track by Jim Thomas (CC BY-SA 3.0) from Wikimedia

Cats are known to possess the ability to retrace their steps. Therefore, finding out if they can go home after getting lost for a long time is worthwhile.

As per the Lost Pet Research research, cats often find their way home after getting lost for days, months, or even years. Cats have a distinct sense of direction from people. They can successfully go back and follow their route. Felines frequently have homing instincts and will typically find their way back to their natural habitat.

However, different cats may experience various scenarios. For instance, it’s improbable that an indoor cat who has never been outside will make the trip back to its house. Yet everything is subjective. Consequently, we ought to avoid making generalizations.

How can I attract my cat back home?

Cats have incredible senses. Their homing behavior also awakens their senses to find their way home. Do humans have any options for luring our wayward cats back to their homes?

Cat parents have a lot of options for getting their pets to come back to the house. A couple of such items are listed below.

  • By the door, place a bowl of cat snacks.
  • Put your furbaby’s favorite scratch toys, posts, or blankets by the door. If they are close, your cat will be drawn to them by their scents.
  • Put seafood with a strong odor, such as tuna or sardines, by the door.
  • Say your cat’s name aloud. Cats can recognize the voices of their people. However, your voice should be regular, not trembling or frightened.

How to track your cat with a chip?

Image Credit: Cat with microchip implant by
Delusion23
(CC BY-SA 3.0) from Wikimedia

One of the best methods to improve your cat’s chances of being accurately monitored is to microchip them. Unregistered microchips and inaccurate contact information, however, can be a problem.

A microchipped cat must have its chip registered to be tracked. Unlike a GPS tracker, a microchip cannot be traced or send out signals. Only when a microchip scanner scans the chip can the owner’s information be obtained.

But there were some difficulties. First, it must be determined whether the lost cat has been microchipped by taking it to the vet or a shelter. Secondly, after scanning the chip and getting its number, one would need to find out where the microchip is registered and then contact them to get the information of the cat’s owner.

How to track your cat with GPS?

A GPS tracker is simpler than a chip to find a lost cat. These trackers offer the most accurate visual location information about where your cat is.

A GPS cat tracker needs to be connected to your phone via an app to be used. Some GPS trackers can still send signals even when your cat is miles from home. These trackers also allow you to see your cat’s current location on a map.

GPS trackers may sound excellent, which they are. But they heavily rely on satellite transmissions. So, any blockage in the sky will affect their functionalities. Additionally, you cannot use these trackers indoors, in densely forested areas, or in places with weak network connectivity.

How to track your cat without a collar?

Image Credit: Alerted Cat with a collar by 500px (CC BY 3.0) from Wikimedia

GPS-enabled cat collars are very popular among cat parents. Cats can wear these collars and are fitted with a GPS tracker. But what if your cat does not wear a GPS collar?

It would be great in this situation if the cat were at the very least microchipped. Finding a lost cat’s owner would be easier with the aid of a registered and updated chip. Another alternative to utilizing instead of GPS cat collars is Apple AirTags.

In this regard, remember that GPS cat collars operate most effectively in regions with good mobile and GPS network coverage. To keep the collar from going dead, it must also be charged at the appropriate times.

How to track your cat with AirTag?

The AirTag is a Bluetooth tracking device. Although it isn’t designed to be a pet tracker, you can use it if necessary to locate your cat. So how does it function?

Attach the AirTag to your cat’s collar and pair your iPhone’s Bluetooth device. Your cat’s location will be updated as long as it is in Bluetooth range. Your updates will become less frequent if your cats have ventured outside the device’s range.

When you need to locate your cats fast and are looking close to the house, AirTags are fantastic. Open the Find My app, and it will display the last known location of your pet. However, if your cat has strayed further away, it is not the best approach to find it.

Summary

One of every cat parent’s worst nightmares might be losing their kitties. Therefore, it is worthwhile to be aware of how to locate them. We hope this article has aroused your interest and provided you with logical background knowledge on the subject. We always hope that cat parents can keep their pets close by. However, they must arm themselves with the most effective tracking techniques to find their pets as soon as they go missing.

Atrayee

I am Atrayee, I have extreme passion for the Animal Kingdom and I have written a large number of articles for animal behaviors. I am an Animal Lover by nature and own two Cats.
Exploring new things through learning and unlearning is something that intrigues me a lot. I spend my free time with my husband and two cats. I must say I get to learn a lot of wise things from them! You can catch me on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/atrayee-samaddar-06886567/

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