|HOW TO AVOID LOSING YOUR CAT|
If you decide to let your cat go outside, it is better to follow a few safety rules in order not to lose him:
- First of all, make sure your neighbourhood is safe for a cat (no big avenues, no neighbour who will hate to see your cat in his garden or on his balcony). If it is not the case, buy him a cat harness and keep your cat attached.
- Always tether him when outside and never leave him alone: he could choke himself with the harness's leash.
- Always make him wear a cat collar with a vaccination medal. You can inscribe your phone number and your address, it will allow people who would find him to know if he is really lost (far from your home) or just out for a walk. It will also avoid him to be taken by someone who thinks he is a street cat.
- Do not let your cat go outside if he is very young.
- Never let a non vaccinated cat go outside because he could easily get a lethal illness.
- Go with him on his first outings on the balcony, then in the yard. Do not leave him for too long the first times.
- Never let a non neutered cat outside. He could run off several miles away, get in a fight and risk several diseases among them the FIV (feline aids) which cannot be prevented nor cured. And do not forget that cats breed very quickly and end dead from sickness, hunger and cold. It is a citizen's duty to have your cat neutered--in the single exception of registered breeder.
- Do not let your cat go outside shortly after a house moving. He must get used to his new home during a few weeks. Otherwise, he may not find his way back. Even if he loves it, do not let him go outside during the night. Lost cats have very often been left outside at night. Cats will go farther at night because there are fewer cars, and when morning comes, they are not able to get back home. If you want to make sure your cat is going to come back when you decide it (early evening is the best time), always give him food at this same time (a bit of moist food for dry food eaters or a cat delicacy). A cat is as regular as a clockwork and he will quickly get used to the eating habits you will set.
- If your cat's claws have been removed, it is better not to let him go outside. He will not be able to climb to avoid a danger. He will not be on an equal footing (pawing) with another cat in case of a clash: he will simply not be able to protect himself and will bite (which explains the high sickness risk). Do not forget that cats are very territorial animals, your cat will meet other cats and will probably get in a fight with them in order to be entitled to share the backstreet.
- If you take your cat with you when you travel, always put him his identification cat collar.
- When summers ends, be careful with swimming pools! Unfortunately, swimming pools kill cats every year: they try to drink in it and slip. They are not able to climb back afterwards or to swim for a long time and they drown. If your cat goes outside, make sure your swimming pool and your neighbour's are well covered with tarpaulin.
What can you do if your cat is lost?
- Do not wait for days before reacting. You know your cat and if he is not used to do that it means something happened to him.
- Always have a recent photo from your cat so that you can print it and post it up in your neighbourhood: posts, backstreets, veterinaries, stores, pet shops, Web sites, newspapers (classified adverts). Leave his description to the veterinaries in your vicinity.
- About cats that have been lost or found within the borough of Verdun, contact the Bureau Accès Verdun at 311. You can also report it to Petluck.ca (Lost and Found Pets - Montreal Area).
- Get in touch with us! If you have lost your cat or found one, and you can provide a quick description accompanied by a picture (max. 2 pictures), just send it by e-mail and we will put a search notice on our webpage: Lost & found cats.
- Get in touch with the SPCA and all the organizations in your area. Call every day. You must know that if your cat is found, he will be put to death in the next three to five days. If he is a kitten, they may keep him a bit longer but it depends on the time of the year.
- It very often happens that cats, who are naturally curious, venture in neighbour's basements or garages, holes, etc. They may be locked in or trapped in their hiding place. They may also follow another cat and walk far away. Look for him in your neighbourhood with his favourite treat early in the morning, you then will be able to hear him if he is trapped somewhere.