Help! My Cat is Lost/Missing

The following is a list of immediate steps to follow when a cat gets out. If you’ve found a cat, click here.

If you’re present when the cat gets out

  • CatImmediately, quickly and quietly follow the cat outdoors. If possible, bring a phone with you as you might need assistance.
  • Speak softly to the cat and approach slowly and cautiously. Running and/or shouting will scare the cat and cause it to run.
  • If the cat is bonded to you, it might stop and wait. Or the cat might stop to figure out which way to go next. Either way, the cat will most likely stop a short distance from your home. When it does, you might be able to pick it up. Hold the cat firmly while walking back to the house.

If you’re not present when the cat gets out

  • Place food, water and a cat bed by the door or window from which the cat escaped. The bedding should have the missing cat’s scent on it. Place additional food and water in other locations where the cat can find it.
  • If possible, leave the window or door open from which the cat left. If cats get frightened, they may turn around and try to come back in from the place where they went out.
  • Cat under structureThe cat is likely within hearing or seeing distance of you. Look for him/her in your yard – under decks, behind bushes, etc. Check the yards of your immediate neighbors as well. Be sure to search calmly and quietly so you don’t scare the cat. Repeat the process several times during the day(s).
  • If possible, sit in the yard off and on for periods of time and talk quietly to the cat. It may be very close to home and listening to you.
  • Go door to door and talk to all your immediate neighbours.
  • Put up Lost/Missing Posters in the area surrounding your home (in all directions). Be sure to include a photo whenever possible. You can also deliver notices to your immediate neighbours. Download our Lost Cat Flyer Template available in Microsoft Word format so you can quickly and easily customize. Please be sure to take down your flyers once the cat is found.
  • If possible, consider offering a reward.
  • If your cat is tattooed, notify the veterinary clinic where the cat was tattooed and make sure your owner information on file is up-to-date.
  • If your cat is microchipped, notify the veterinary clinic that implanted the microchip as well as the microchip company. Verify your contact information with both is up-to-date.
  • If you own a MEOW cat, please note that all MEOW cats are microchipped with PETIDCO (formerly AVID Canada) Microchips. To notify PETIDCO, call 1-800-338-1397. They will fax a lost cat report to all clinics in the city. If you are still within the first 30 days of the adoption process or your adoption is not yet finalized, please contact your Adoption Specialist.
  • If your cat does not have a form of permanent ID (microchip or tattoo), call your local veterinary and 24-hour emergency clinics to notify them of your lost pet.

Where to submit lost/missing reports

But whatever you do, please don’t give up. You cat needs you!

Please note: If you are going out of town, make sure your cat sitter has a copy of these instructions.

Help! I’ve Found a Cat

CatHave you noticed a cat hanging around your yard or neighbourhood? If the cat is around at all hours of the day and night, if it looks to be in poor condition or its condition is changing for the worse, or if it appears to be very hungry, thirsty, or in distress, it could be lost, abandoned or stray.

MEOW recommends the following:

  • If the cat is injured, please take it to a veterinary clinic during business hours or to one of the 24-hour Emergency Veterinary Clinics in Calgary. You can also call MEOW at 403-230-6033 (Ext. 8) to see if we are able to help.
  • Provide food, water and shelter for the cat. Do not assume the cat will find its way home if you don’t feed it. Your kindness may save its life.
  • Check for identification: a collar and tag, a tattoo in the ear or a microchip implant.
  • Speak with your neighbours to see if they know of the cat.
  • Put up Found Posters around your neighbourhood at bus stops, mail boxes, area veterinary clinics and convenience stores. Download our customizable Found Cat Flyer Template.
  • If the cat is friendly and can be petted, try putting a collar on the cat with a note (or make a collar out of paper) with your name, phone number and a request for the owner to call if this is their cat. This will help you determine if the cat is lost/abandoned.
  • Consider placing a “found” ad online via free classified services such as Kijiji, Craigslist, the Calgary Herald or the Calgary Sun. You can also register a Found Cat Report with PetLynx at
  • Contact Calgary Animal & Bylaw Services by calling 311 or online at to check Lost Reports.

If you are unable to find the cat’s home/owner, e-mail and we will do our best to assist you. Because our Adoption Centre is almost always at full capacity, we may not be able to take the found cat immediately. Our ability to admit found cats depends on available space at the Adoption Centre or in foster homes

In the event that MEOW Foundation is not able to help you with your found cat, please read our Finding a New Home for Your Cat sheet or call The City of Calgary Animal & Bylaw Services by dialing 311.