Our years of experience show that well over 90% of lost cats vanish at night. Many were not spayed or neutered. Most are between 1 and 2 years old, and only 1 in 5 had some form of identification (tag, tattoo, microchip). Less than 4% of cats taken to SPCA shelters are returned to their owners.
The only certain way to protect your cat is to keep him indoors, perhaps with an outdoor enclosure that has access to the house through a cat door or window. Patios and porches can be equipped with screens and balconies must be enclosed as cats can jump or fall. To have free information about cat enclosures sent to you, please contact our office. (If you get the answering machine, just indicate what you would like, and leave your name, phone number, and full address after the tone.)
It is essential that you have your cat spayed or neutered at 5 to 6 months of age. This will reduce his desire to wander and depending on where you live, it may be the law. When you have this done, be sure to have the veterinarian put a tattoo in the cat’s ear. This tattoo can be traced back to the vet clinic where the operation was done, and then through their records back to you. Be certain to notify the vet clinic of any change of address or phone number. Your cat should also wear a collar and tag with your name and phone number. Tags and tattoos are a must even for indoor cats who can and do go missing. Micro-chipping is a possibility, but keep in mind that only SPCA shelters have scanners. If a kind person finds your cat, that person can trace a tattoo or read a name tag. They cannot scan a microchip. Never transport a cat without putting him in a secure carrier. Many are lost after jumping out of car windows or an owner’s arms.