Council & City

Lost or found cats

What to do if your cat goes wandering, or if you find a stray cat.

Our number one tip is to microchip your cat and ensure you keep your details up-to-date on the microchip register. The vets and the SPCA scan any incoming animals for a microchip so if they pick up your pet, they'll get in touch.

What do I do if my cat goes missing?

Here are some things you can try to bring it home safely:

  • Pets on the Net: Check the 'found' listings or create a 'lost' listing at lostpet.co.nz. This is a national database and the key website we recommend everyone checks the 'found' listings and creates a 'lost' listing of their own.
  • Check Trade Me: Look on the Trade Me Lost and Found section to see if anyone has found and listed your cat.
  • Use social media: Embrace the power of social media to spread the word. There are plenty of lost and found pages on Facebook that can be used. Ask your friends to share your posts as well, this will get them seen by the maximum number of people.
  • Create a flyer: Make a flyer with a clear picture and description. Distribute it locally via notice boards, neighbours, community centres etc.
  • Ask around your neighbourhood: Knock on doors in your street/neighbourhood, describe or show them a photo of your missing cat. Ask them to check their garden sheds and garages or anywhere else that your cat may have decided to hide.
  • Call or visit vets or the SPCA: Or drop in to see them with a flyer – many of them have lost and found boards.
  • Use familiar sounds: Go out outside at night when it's quiet and call your animal. Shaking biscuits or treats can help as well.
  • Don't give up: It's important to keep trying to look for your cat. Cats often go missing for days or even weeks before they show up again out of the blue.

What do I do if I find a cat?

Don't feed it. Just ignore it and do not let it inside. Cats wander long distances and have a very good sense of direction. It might go home!

If the cat is still hanging around after a few days and you're sure it has been there the entire time, then perhaps it is disorientated. Please try the following options:

  • Ask your neighbours if the cat belongs to them of if they know where it may be from.
  • Go door-knocking with a photo as far and wide as possible around your area to ask people if they recognise the cat. Ask your neighbours to help with this if you are short on time or have issues with mobility.
  • Put a notice up in your local vet clinic and shop or supermarket.
  • Call your local SPCA.
  • Advertise the cat online on Facebook, Pets on the net or Trade Me. It is currently free to advertise a found cat under Trade Me's Pets and Animals (lost and found) section.