Lost & found help


Lost a cat
In all cases of stray or missing pets, the first place to check is your local county animal services agency. When you visit or contact those agencies, provide a color photo and description of your lost cat. Visit their websites and/or shelters regularly to check for your cat. You can also check online lost/found classified listings.
In Maricopa County, go to: https://www.maricopa.gov/162/Lost-Found-Pet

 Other tips to find a lost cat

  1. Ask family, friends, and neighbors to help search for your pet as soon as you realize your pet is missing. Be sure to check around your yard and under your deck.
  2. Place clothing, toys, litter box, and other items familiar to your pet outside in your yard where she/he might sense it. Cats can smell their own litter box up to a mile away.
  3. Walk through your neighborhood every day and more than once to look for your missing pet.
  4. For a lost indoor-only or timid cat, think like a cat and look at every hiding spot possible in your yard and your close neighbors’ yards. Lost cats will remain hidden and quiet, so check under bushes, in garages and tool sheds, under porches, and any other tucked away place.
  5. Post information on your social media pages to let your friends know that you are looking for your lost cat.
  6. If your pet is microchipped, contact the microchip company to make sure your contact information is current. You also can put a “lost or stolen” alert on the pet’s microchip so that if it is scanned by a shelter or veterinarian, they will know that a concerned owner is looking for that pet.
  7. Check the “found pet” ads posted on Craigslist, Petfinder.com, your local NextDoor site and your local paper.
  8. Place a “lost pet” ad in online lost/found forums, your local NextDoor site and in your local paper.
  9. Put signs around the area where your pet was last seen. Include a photo and description of your pet, your phone number, and when your pet disappeared. Offer a reward if possible.
  10. Ask to post your flyers at businesses in your area such as gas stations, restaurants/fast food places, convenience and grocery stores, veterinary clinics, pet salons, pet supply stores, emergency veterinary clinics, laundromats, churches, and community centers.

Get more information about lost cat behavior, search tips, tools you can use, and ways you can find your cat on https://www.petfinder.com/cats/lost-and-found-cats/.
Found a cat with kittens?

If you find a cat and kittens, there are several things you can do to help find the cat’s owner or provide the cat with the opportunity for a new home.

  1. If you found a lactating female cat, please do not remove her or confine her to a cage or trap. Try to find her kittens and reunite them; separating them can be harmful to both kittens and the mother cat.
  2. If you find very young kittens with no mom, please do not remove them or confine them to a cage or trap. Leave the kittens and watch for mom to come back as she may be out looking for food. If after 12-24 hours mom does not come back, then try to find a place to take the kittens.

What to do with a stray cat

Take the cat to your nearest veterinarian to scan for a microchip. You may be able to get the cat back to their owner right away! If there is no microchip, all stray or found cats must first go to local county animal services in order to give the cat the best chance of being reunited with its owner. You can find the animal services agency closest to you by searching online for “animal services” in your area.
In Maricopa County: http://www.maricopa.gov/3560/Animal-Care-and-Control
We offer the following tips and resources to help you with found cats:

  1. Before you attempt to bring a cat to a shelter, determine whether the cat is a feral cat. https://www.alleycat.org/resources/feral-and-stray-cats-an-important-difference/
  2. Feral cats should not be taken to shelters—visit the https://www.adlaz.org/spay-neuter-hotline/outdoor-cats/ website for more information about how to handle a feral cat(s).
  3. File a found pet report with your local county control agency (see above).
  4. Put up signs in your neighborhood—if you live in/near apartment complexes, leave a flyer with the manager.
  5. Check and post lost/found pet ads in newspapers, your local NextDoor site and on https://phoenix.craigslist.org/.
  6. Walk around your neighborhood and talk to neighbors who might know and/or be looking for the cat.
  7. Post information on your personal social media pages to spread the word about a found cat.

The contents of external websites are beyond Sun Cities 4 Paws control. Sun Cities 4 Paws accepts listings to these web pages complementary to its mission statement and reserves the right to refuse or remove any listings that are not in line with Sun Cities 4 Paws mission.

Sun Cities 4 Paws has many permanent shelter residents. We have a ‘Sponsor a Shelter Resident’ program to help offset costs. Read more here or donate here and choose Sponsor a Shelter Cat from the drop down menu.

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