Five things to do if your cat goes missing

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What are the top five things you should do when your cat hasn't come home?

1. Search closer to home

Spend at least 45 minutes circling the area he was last seen, calling his name. Shake a box of dry food or his favourite noisy toy to entice him if he's hiding. Look under bushes and listen outside garages, sheds and outbuildings in case your cat has been accidentally locked in. While you're out, ensure your cat flap is left open should your calling encourage him to return home.

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2. Make your neighbours aware

Notify your neighbours, asking them to keep an eye out for him and ask permission to check inside their shed, garage or outbuilding (or ask them to look). You could also knock on doors around your neighbourhood with a photo and description of your cat, asking everyone to look out for him and contact you immediately if they see him.

3. Inform the microchip company or seek help from insurers

Call the microchip company (if your cat has been 'chipped) to inform them that your cat is missing and ensure your details are up to date. Also, contact your pet insurance company - they may be able to provide financial assistance for flyers and advice on advertising for your cat's return.

4. Check local vets & charities for lost cats

Call all the local veterinary surgeries and animal charities to see if he has been brought in. Again, if he has a microchip and your contact details are current, they will contact you if he is found.

5. Make a flyer about your missing cat

Prepare a flyer with photos, a description of your cat, his name and your contact details. Print or photocopy as many as you can afford and put them up around your local area (check with your council that this is ok), in shop windows and in local veterinary surgeries. You could also take out a 'lost cat' advert in your local paper, post details on lost and found websites and ask your local radio station to put out an appeal.