According to the experts, one in three pets will become lost at some point in their lifetime and the number of lost pets reunited with their owners is extremely low.
One of the key components in helping you find your cat should it get lost is a good photograph of them.
The need for photos
Microchip registry organizations like Home Again and Pet Key send out alerts when a cat is reported missing to them by its human. In these reports, approximately 60% of their owners did not have a photo of their cat to post.
It makes it nearly impossible for people to help find your cat if you do not have a picture to share. Generic descriptions such has Orange Tabby, are usually just not enough – people need visual aids.
One of the tips to finding a lost cat is to hang posters and hand out flyers – to be successful these also need a photos of your cat.
Make sure you have a current photo of your cat that will help people recognize them. The higher quality the photo the better.
If your cat gets lost, do you have a good photograph to use to help find him or her?
Taking a good cat photo
Follow these tips from Purina One to get great photos of your cat.
Lighting: natural lighting works best, so find a sunny, light-colored area. Even in a well lit area, use a flash. Good lighting enhances your cat’s coloring and creates a crisper image.
Background: Make sure the background is not cluttered. If you want to go the extra yard, set your cat up against a solid color background, even a clean wall. A clean background enhances the photo.
Fill the Frame: Come in close with the camera and let your cat fill the frame. Make sure the picture is in focus as a blurry picture will not best serve your cat.
Eye Contact: Try to get your cat to look at you while you take the photograph. You can catch your cat’s attention with a toy, treat or by making a sound that attracts your cat.
Good Angle: Take the photo at eye level – shooting at the cat’s eye level will make it easier to get them to make eye contact and will allow you to get a photo of your cat that truly represents them.
Is your cat microchipped?
Did you know that the return rate to owners of cats that are microchipped is 2000 percent higher than for cats that are not microchipped? Put another way, 38% of microchipped cats found as strays and brought to shelters were reunited with their owners versus only 2% of cats not microchipped.
So, you should make sure your cat is microchipped to give you a better chance of being reunited with them if they do get lost. Remember to keep the microchip contact information updated. Sadly only 58% of cat owners keep their information current. A microchip does no good if there isn’t information to contact the cat owner.
Many of the organizations that issue lost cat alerts are microchipped based.
If your cat is microchipped, check to see if the registrar of their microchip has a lost pet alert system.
Microchip Alert Systems include:
Home Again - allows you to register any brand of microchip, not just Home Again microchips.
Additionally, Get My Cat offers an Amber Alert type system to help find your cat.
No one intends to lose their cat, but sadly even indoor only cats escape the home and are lost. Hopefully this will never happen to you. But just in case it does, be prepared with a good photo to help you get others to help you find your cat.