No place like home - Keep your cat from getting lost

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If your cat gets lost, call your neighbors and local shelters and veterinarians.

For cat parents, feline companions are a major part of the family. While outdoor cats are susceptible to wandering far from home, even indoor cats may find the outdoors alluring and can quickly sneak right past their owners via an open door or window.

In fact, according to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, 2.5 to 3.5 million lost cats end up in shelters annually. Losing your cat can be very stressful, but there are simple cat care tips to help ensure your cat returns home safely if lost:

Play the protective pet parent

Take these steps to ensure your cat can be properly identified if away from home:

* Tag your cat - Make sure your cat wears an I.D. tag containing your contact information, such as your address and the best telephone number at which to reach you. Because keeping your cat safe is a priority Church & Dwight Co, Inc. is offering free personalized I.D. tags via mail to cat owners with two proofs of purchase from any ARM & HAMMER cat litters, including Ultra Last Clumping Cat Litter, Double Duty Clumping Litter, Multi-Cat Extra Strength Clumping Litter and more. For information on how you can receive a free personalized I.D. tag to keep your kitty safe, visit www.PetTagOffer.com.

* Buy a comfortable collar - Many cats don't like wearing a collar, but if you purchase a comfortable, flexible collar made specifically for cats, they'll feel less restricted and will be more likely to acclimate. Collars for cats are also safe because if it gets caught on an object, it will stretch without causing any harm to the cat. Find cat-specific collars at www.PetStore.com.

* Take photos - Keep on file photos of your cat from several angles, including close-ups of their faces or any markings, such as spots or stripes.

What to do if your cat gets lost

Cats have minds of their own, and their curiosity can lead them astray. Start with the following actions to help find your lost pet:

* Set your cat's food bowl or favorite toy outside the door; some indoor cats don't recognize their home from the outside but will recognize their bowl.

* Call your neighbors - Especially for indoor cats, the backyard itself can offer a wide-range of interesting and new items to explore, so there's a good chance your cat hasn't gotten very far. Make sure you have the phone numbers of neighbors on your block so you can contact them to help keep a look out.

* Call your local shelters and veterinarians - If someone in your neighborhood finds your cat, they may take your pet directly to the nearest shelter or veterinarian. Call ahead to give local pet care providers a heads-up that your cat is missing and consider giving them a flyer with photos and your contact information so they can alert you immediately. In addition, you can hang up flyers throughout the community.

To learn more about the I.D. tags available from the maker of ARM & HAMMER products, visit www.PetTagOffer.com.

Courtesy of Family Features content