Lost My Cat

Q: I lost my cat. What should I do?

Email hydeparkcats@gmail.com so we can put the word out on our listserve, blog, and Facebook page. Include a picture AND a description. Include contact information for the public.

While we have many local keen-eyed cat lovers, and we have a great track record of putting a “loser” of a cat with the “finder” of the cat (and vice versa!) we at HPC won’t organize any search parties – you need to do that. The good news is most “lost” cats stick around very closely to their home.


1. Make sure the cat is not in a closet, hallway, neighbor’s apartment, etc. We have had many lost-cat reports where the cat was in the closet/foyer/neighbor’s apartment.

2. Quickly check all around your block. Bring food with you.

3. Post fliers  at 6-10 blocks. Include a picture and phone number tags. Do NOT put Hyde Park Cats contact info on your poster. 

A good description is very concise, and includes the following: color(s), pattern type, long-hair/short-hair, approximate age, male/female, where the cat was lost and when, microchip/collar, favorite food.

4. Hyde Park Herald: they post notices only once a week. Deadline: Monday at 2pm. If your cat disappears on Tuesday, a lost notice won’t appear until the following Wednesday (8 days later).

5. Post on craigslist, marketplace.uchicago.edu, the Chicago Reader (online and free)

6. Don’t give up after two weeks, or two months. It may take someone several months to win your cat’s trust. Keep checking the paper

7. Visit shelters. Some have online photos of adoptable cats—check them out.

8. Keep checking found notices everywhere. Don’t post lost notices and just wait to hear.

9. Start locally, but remember—cats can jump into moving vans and ride cross country. Microchips are helpful here, but pets911.com is a national website for lost pets.

10. BEWARE OF SCAMS. Do not wire/send money to anyone. If you offer a reward, make sure you get your pet back first.

11. Don’t assume any vet or shelter will call you if they find your cat. They see too many cats. You must go to them to check.

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