Updated: Feb 22, 2022
"Help! I can't find her anywhere! I've torn the house apart, but the last time I saw her was when she went outside." This year started with some heart-wrenching situations of missing animals. Locating lost animals is very challenging for animal communicators, although some specialize in this area. (Ask me for a referral if you or someone you know is searching for a lost animal.)
There's a strange phenomenon that happens when a cat is lost versus a dog. Most people assume that a lost dog without a collar is LOST. But when they see a cat without a collar, they assume the cat is a stray or feral cat. I don't understand this, except to say that most cats act very frightened and resort to fleeing or hissing when approached, appearing very "wild." Even if a dog flees, people still assume he's lost. Go figure.
Happily, the lost cat I mentioned above was found three days later safe under a heated shed a few blocks away from home. The owner of the shed was able to identify her as a pet cat because she had a collar and a tag with her person's phone number on it. This beloved family cat did NOT find her way home on her own, even though she was hungry, knew where her home was and her family was searching, putting up fliers. working with two animal communicators, etc. It was a grueling three days for all involved.
I can't emphasize enough that cats are not safe roaming the neighborhood on their own. Many of us have been lucky that our indoor/outdoor cats have survived, but statistics prove that this shortens their lives by leading to injury, disease or death by cars. Not only that, cats kill millions of birds and small animals annually. This is unfair to the birds, small animals and the predators who depend on them for survival.
Protecting Your Cat
Here are the best ways to keep your cats (and dogs) safe.
1) Keep them indoors or and give them outdoor exposure via an outdoor enclosure or "catio." There are all sorts of great designs for DIY or pre-fab ones for purchase. Google "cat enclosures" to peruse options.
Keep dogs in the yard as well and be sure they can't dig out. Keep gates locked.
2) Always keep a collar with a tag and your phone number on cats and dogs if they go outside. If they are indoor animals, still have a collar with a tag available in case you need to evacuate or you have a petsitter visiting while you're away.
3) Provide a stimulating indoor environment for your animals. Play with them, give them ways to "hunt" for their treats or food like putting food dishes in different places. Start with plates/bowls in just a slightly different spot, say behind the kitchen chair, so you don't stress your companion. Make it a game by asking in a happy, playful voice, "Where's your treat/food? Go find it!" Help them find it at first and praise them. This will teach them that this is a fun game to play with you.
For more great info about keeping cats and birds safe, including the results of a Canadian study that showed that cats with brightly colored collar covers scared away many more birds, check out Dr. Karen Becker's detailed article here.
Remember, our beloved animals depend on us to keep them safe. If you wish to discuss ways to do this, and include them in the discussion so you can collaborate on the best plan, please set up a session with me. Click here or here.
With Love, Your Voice of Animals,