Losing your cat is truly a horrible experience.  What should you do?  Speaking from experience – when a cat of mine got out, a trap with yummy food got her back (after first trapping two feral cats!)

Okay, …here’s what to do:

  • Make a flyer with a clear photo – put the date lost and where your cat was last seen, plus any markings on your cat. Put several phone numbers on the flyer – your cell, work number, and home phone if you have a landline.
  • Contact vets, shelters and police – make sure they all have flyers. Call to check if they have heard anything.  Be pleasant and persistent.
  • Offer a Reward – A reward is very motivating, so make it a good amount.
  • Post your flyers – post flyers everywhere – pet stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, busy intersections, anywhere people go.
  • Ask kids to help – you can ask your neighborhood kids to be on the lookout. Give them flyers.  Let them know if one of them finds your kitty they’ll be paid a nice reward.



It’s very important to find a great and reliable cat sitter for those times you’ll be away.  Tasks a cat sitter does include coming to your home at least twice a day, or in some cases stays at your house, feeds your kitty, cleans the litterbox, socializes with the cats, and grooms them.

Other tasks could include taking in the mail, watering your plants, turning lights on and off, setting your alarm, etc.  A good sitter is priceless.

There are several ways to find a good cat sitter.  Personal recommendations are one way to start.  You can also Google “cat sitter services” or “Pet Sitter Services.”  Before contacting them check them out with the Better Business Bureau.  Contact your vet and other vets in your area – often there are good vet technicians who do pet sitting for extra income.

When interviewing cat sitters, note if the cat likes the sitter or not.  Ask questions – Experience – how long have you been pet sitting?  Ask for references (from a vet or other pet professional service, plus previous customers.)  Are they bonded?

Have a list of specific instructions of what you need done – number of feedings per day, how many litterbox cleanings a day you want, any plants that need watering, mail to pick up, etc.

NOTE:  I cannot in good conscience recommend boarding cats unless you absolutely have no other choice.  I am not saying there aren’t any good boarding places, because I am sure they are.  When we are away we board our dog, but we know they are a good one, and our dog loves to play with the other dogs.  However, this is not the case for most cats.  It is extremely stressful for cats.

Another reason I say this comes from personal experience.  Years ago, I was going on vacation.  I wanted a cat sitter for my two cats, but my then-boyfriend refused to let someone into the apartment while we were away.  Since it was his apartment, I had no choice.  I boarded the cats at a brand new vet clinic near the apartment.  I toured the place and found it to be very clean with spacious cages.  What could possibly go wrong?

Upon my return home a week later I noticed my male cat, Sam, didn’t seem right.  He was sneezing and sniffling, as was my other cat, Pinky.  While Pinky was better in a day, it was very different for Sam.  He stopped eating and drinking, stopped using the litterbox.  He was lying on his back, mouth open and tongue hanging out.  I rushed him to the vet’s office where I boarded him.  They apologized and told me that all treatment would be free, the least they could do!  They also told me that unbeknownst to them, a woman had brought in her four cats for boarding at the same time I did.  One of her cats had an upper respiratory infection that spread like wildfire to the other cats.

For a while, it was touch and go.  I had to take Sam to the vet every night and force-feed him diluted baby food and water plus medications.  Thankfully, Sam recovered.

Bottom line:  my personal belief is if you keep your healthy cats at home,  they won’t be exposed to sick ones.  After that, we had a good vet tech catsit.