Lost or Found
I found a cat! Can PAW take it?
Accepting a cat into the PAW rescue system is based on foster home availability. Our foster homes operate continuously at full capacity. Spaces in foster homes become available only when cats get adopted.
Make every attempt to find the cat’s owner. Place a free Found ad in the Lethbridge Herald 403-328-4418 and on lethbridge.kijiji.ca Check both for listings of lost cats.
- Post the details and picture of the cat you have found and look through postings of lost cats on: https://www.facebook.com/LethbridgeAndAreaLostAndFoundPets
- Post on your own facebook page too.
- Report details to PAW at 403-328-6700 or email a picture and details to all local rescue groups including PAW: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Put up flyers on light posts and in local businesses such as Homes Alive Pet Centre You can easily make a poster of the cat you have found (need a picture) by using the Create a Flyer link on www.petbond.com.
Because openings in rescue groups are limited, please consider keeping the cat if you cannot find its owner. Be sure to have it spayed/neutered and health-checked as soon as possible. You may qualify for a spay/neuter subsidy through a Lethbridge organization, NOKA, 403-327-6652.
If you would considering being a foster caregiver for the cat you have found, there is a possibility that PAW can accept the cat into its adoption program. Read more about fostering a PAW cat here.
My cat is missing! What should I do?
- Spring in to action! Do not wait for a day or two to see if your cat will come home on its own. Cats not familiar with the outdoors are often too terrified to respond to their owner’s voice even though they may be able to hear you or see you.
- Put food and water outside in several areas of the yard to encourage the cat to stay close to home (if it’s winter, purchase a plug-in water bowl and make a shelter). Lost cats start to wander when hunger and thirst set in. Don’t worry about attracting other cats. A little extra food will be worth it to get your cat back. If you share your area with skunks, it is best to elevate the food to table height.
- Post on Facebook - your own page and that of Lethbridge and Area Lost and Found Pets.
- Make a flyer, photocopy lots, deliver in a two to three block radius of where the cat went missing (expand the area as needed). Making a flyer is fast and simple by using the “Create a Flyer” link on right hand side of the very useful website: www.petbond.com. Always have a photo of your cat on hand (digital is best).
- Put up flyers on light posts and in local businesses such as Homes Alive Pet Centre.
- Talk to your neighbours - we cannot stress this enough! Cats initially don’t go very far. Ask people to keep their eyes open and to check their garages and garden sheds. Give them a poster with a picture. All it takes is for one person to look in your cat's direction at the right time -- but they have to know the cat is a lost one.
- Ask for permission to search your neighbours' yards. TAKE A FLASHLIGHT - check under decks, steps, bushes, inside and under sheds and garages. Frightened cats can squeeze in to very small areas.
- Make use of free internet sites to advertise the loss of your pet (e.g. lethbridge.kijiji.ca). On kijiji, there is a lost and found section and also a pet section with "other" as a posting option. Keep the ads bumped up to the top.
- Search your back allies. Shake a treat can if your cat is familiar with that sound.
- Go out at night and repeat your search area. Frightened, hiding cats feel a little bolder at night and hunger drives them out of their hiding spots.
- Place a free ad in the Lethbridge Herald, 403-328-4418. After several days, your ad may be deleted, however you can ask them to place it again (and again).
- If you (or your neighbour) have sighted your cat but he/she is too scared to let anyone approach him, you may have to use a cat trap. There are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to trapping a cat. Call PAW for advice.
- Carry flyers with you at all times. Talk to people who regularly walk or run in your neighbourhood. Usually, people want to help.
- Physically go to the City Animal Shelter a minimum of every three days (every day is better): 2405 – 41 Street North, to see if your cat is there (check all rooms that cats are kept in). Take a poster with you. Remember, unclaimed cats can be destroyed or sold. Citizens are ALLOWED to trap cats in this city and that's how many cats end up at the shelter.
- Call PAW and leave a detailed message, 403-328-6700 or email your cat's picture and all the details to email@example.com.
- Report the details of your missing cat to other rescue groups, shelters and veterinary clinics (take a poster).
- DON’T GIVE UP! Over the years, PAW has heard many amazing stories from people who kept on searching and eventually found their cat. When you find your cat, be sure to notify PAW and all the other places you were in contact with.
The safest place for your cat is indoors.
You do not want to learn this the hard way!
The PAW Society is a firm believer in keeping cats indoors with outdoor access only allowed if the cat is strictly supervised (harness is best) or you have an enclosed cat-run. Even if your cat never goes outside (the best), it is a good idea for it to have some form of identification. A break-away collar with a name tag is the easiest way for your cat to be identified by someone who finds him/her. We receive calls every week about cats who got out of their homes by accident!
Tethering your cat outside on a harness and leash and leaving it unattended is not safe. Your cat could get strangled if it gets caught up on something or it could be attacked by another animal that comes in your yard. Some cats are escape artists and can get out of a harness - and it's not that hard to do.
Do not become complacent about your cat’s safety. Keep reminding your family about open doorways. Visitors to your home should always be accompanied to the door when they leave.
If you are moving, be very careful on moving day. Put your cat in a carrier until you can safely take him to his new home. When you arrive at your new home, put your cat in a room with the door closed and labelled (until the commotion is over). Always use a cat carrier for transporting your cat.
If you are having a large gathering at your home (e.g. holiday season), safely confine your cat in a bedroom.
There are too many dangers lurking outdoors! Cats are often lured in to baited cat traps (trapping is allowed in this city). Mean-spirited people have been known to grab or trap cats then dump them in unfamiliar areas (river bottom, rural areas). Cats regularly get killed on roadways and can be preyed upon by coyotes and owls. You only need to look at the size of the PAW Society’s Lost and Found binders to realize just how many cats go missing every day.
With plenty of stimulation and items to play with (e.g., toys, cardboard boxes, paper bags, vertical space for climbing, cat scratcher, window perch, laser pointers), strictly indoor cats are happy and contented little creatures and have the best chance of living long, healthy lives.