I wrote this post this morning after our cat had been missing for 15 days. An hour later she miaowed and walked back through the door as if nothing had happened. She was hungry and a bit perturbed, but apparently unharmed. We are so relieved. But I will leave the post here, because it might help others whose animals have gone missing.
Our cat, Bella, has been missing for a fortnight without trace. This is why I haven’t been posting recently – I simply haven’t had the heart. It’s a long shot posting here, but since this blog reaches quite a number of people in SW France, it may be worth it.
Bella is two years old, of slim and small build and dark grey with black markings. She is sterilised and has a recognition microchip fitted.
We last saw her on Sunday 4th August in the La Lune/Testas/Salayrac area of the commune of Caylus, 82160. So far our searches have not come up with anything.
I was surprised to see from websites just how many cats go missing. The trouble is that they are independent-spirited and curious, which can lead them into all sorts of trouble. It is reassuring, though, that some 75% of missing cats are found – usually not very far from home.
What can you do if you lose a pet in France?
For those of you who live in France and lose your cat or other pet, there are various things you can do. At least you then feel you are doing something positive and not sitting at home moping about it.
The obvious things are to ask your neighbours (be as specific as possible in your questions); put up posters in your area and at your village newsagent or noticeboard; hand out flyers to neighbours and at fêtes and other events; investigate empty properties and outbuildings in your neighbourhood; post on your timeline and local groups on Facebook and other social media.
If you live in a deeply rural area, as we do, walking around the fields, woods and footpaths will make you feel you are doing something, but it is looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Some people advise not calling the cat’s name loudly when out searching for it, since it might be hiding from a predator or enemy and could be afraid that you will signal its location.
Other things you can do:
- Pets that are carnivores are required to be tattooed or micro-chipped in France. They are then on a national database. You should signal the animal’s disappearance on the relevant website. Whenever a stray animal is taken to a vet, the vet will check for a tattoo or chip.
- Pet Alert has a Facebook page for each département in France. You can complete their form and it will be posted on the Facebook page. There is a fee, but it is reasonable. People are very good about sharing your post. People also post there about animals they have found.
- You can also post on the website Chat Perdu. There is a listing of animals found, too.
You will, of course, want to provide some way of contacting you. On Pet Alert, a phone number is obligatory. You can also give an email address. However, you need to be careful of scams. Unscrupulous people prey on those who are emotionally vulnerable by claiming that they have your cat and have had to spend x euros getting it treated at the vet. This is blackmail and it’s despicable. If that happens to you, ask them to email you a photo of your cat and to give you their phone number so that you can call them back. You are unlikely to hear from them again.
This article about missing cats, although long, contains a lot of useful information. It is based on American experiences, but that shouldn’t make much difference.
We are still hopeful of finding Bella. She has done this before, although not for so long. If you think you might have any information, please contact me via the form below. Also, if there are other means of finding a cat not mentioned here, please feel free to leave a comment below the post. It could make all the difference. Thank you.
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