If your Savannah cat becomes lost, act fast and don’t give up looking! How quickly and carefully you search, and how persistent and resourceful you are, can determine whether or not your cat will be found. Don’t give up after only a day or two. It’s recommended that you keep looking for as long as six months or more and not give up hope your cat will be safely back home! Missing cats of all breeds have been found months and years later. Be sure to post a lost ad in the Lost and Found classified section of all local newspapers and on websites such as nextdoor.com; tabbytracker.com, findtoto.com, craigslist.com, petfinder.com, pets911.com, lost-pet.org, and lostpetsos.org. and on local Lost and Found Facebook pages, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites.
Share your information about your missing Savannah to every Savannah cat-based FB page, too! Beware of people answering your ad but asking for reward money before they return the cat—this almost always is a scam. You also should read the Found ads or entries in all the local papers or the aforementioned websites and FB pages, just in case a caring person found your cat and is trying to find his or her home, and is unsure of or does not recognize the Savannah breed…”found” Savannah cats are often posted as Bengals, tabbies or other breeds and colors. If you did not actually see your cat slip outside, be sure to thoroughly search your home. Check closets, empty boxes, inside mattresses, cupboards, and under furniture. If you live in an apartment, be sure to check the hallways, stairwells, basement, storage closets, laundry rooms, and any vacant apartments that may have had a door ajar. Check with neighbors as they may have either seen or taken in your cat. Most lost cats who have always lived indoors will not go far from home. Start by looking under nearby porches, in basements and garages, under decks, in bushes, and underneath vehicles and up in trees or roofs they may have climbed. Once outside, your cat will likely be wary or frightened of any human voice and may not recognize you or come immediately when you call. Call to your cat as if you’ve just seen him, using an upbeat voice, the kind of voice that you normally use to greet him. Call your cat’s name often and listen for a reply. As you search for your cat, ask everyone you meet if they’ve seen him. Children are good sources of information as they are usually outdoors more often than adults. Ask people walking dogs, the mail carrier, owners of nearby businesses, and people coming to and from work.
The more people you include in your search, the more likely you are to find your cat. As soon as possible after losing a cat, make flyers and post signs to alert the neighborhood. Put a good description and current and clear photo of your cat on your signs, and make sure to offer a reward. Color copies are generally preferable to properly distinguish your cat’s features. Include where and when the cat was lost and a phone number and email address, and if your cat has been microchipped or not. Alert the microchip company that your cat is lost. Blanket your area with these lost signs, beginning within a one or two block radius and gradually expanding the area. Ask friends to help you slide signs under the doors of neighbors’ houses and apartments, and to post them at local businesses and veterinary hospitals. Place the flyers in visible areas, even on the windshields of parked cars. Offer what you can afford as a reward. Children are especially likely to help when they hear about a reward…no matter how small the amount. Leave fresh food and water outside on a porch or in a sheltered area close to your home. Set up a large, sturdy box lined with an old towel, your cat’s bed, or other items that smell familiar to your cat. Leave your cat’s used litter box outside your home, and if possible, leave an entrance or garage door or window open at night and during the day. Borrow or purchase live humane traps, cover them and set with your cat’s favorite food or a fish-based one; tuna and mackerel work well and check the traps often. The best time to look for a lost cat is when it’s dark and streets are quiet as the cat may be too fearful to come out during the day. Take a flashlight with you and search under parked cars, in yards, under bushes, and in alleys. It’s a good idea to take a friend along at night for safety and to bring some canned cat food or tuna or salmon to attract your cat. Check any local feral cat colony sites and ask anyone who feeds them if they have seen your cat. Call all animal shelters and veterinary hospitals in your area. Be sure to provide a good description of your lost cat and ask them to post your sign or take down specific information on your cat, should he be brought there later. Consider delivering a photo of your cat or sending a picture via email—so many cats look alike, it’s hard to provide a comprehensive description over the phone.
Be sure to continually and frequently check with shelters as unclaimed animals often are at risk of being euthanized. Do notify the breeder of your missing Savannah, too. They will want to know and will most likely help keep an eye and ear out for any cats found resembling your missing kitty. When you find your cat, check him for possible bite wounds or cuts or scrapes which may require immediate veterinary attention. Initially, keep him separated from other pets in the household until you have determined that he is healthy and reacclimatized to his environment. A visit to your veterinarian is necessary to check for infectious disease and parasites. Be sure to have your veterinarian insert a microchip if the cat does not already have one. A microchip will not “track” a missing kitty, but is proof you are the legal owner of the cat if they are found and scanned for a chip by a vet or shelter. We all hope and pray our Savannah cats never go missing! It’s important to take frequent pictures as they age and to be sure they are microchipped just in case this ever happens!
~ written by Pam Flachs