Search your own property

When a timid cat first gets out, they will often panic. ‘What on earth have I done?!’

So they will often find the first hiding place they can, and stay there. This could well be on your own property.

First thing to do: search your own property

So, as soon as you realise your timid cat is missing, and you’ve searched really thoroughly inside for them, immediately search the outside of your property, ideally late at night.

Look for every tiny space a cat could get into. And we do mean tiny.


  • under the house (Topaz’s hiding place)
    • if there’s space, crawl on your stomach under it and explore all of the under floor space
    • while you’re under there, look:
      • under the house and in the gap between the outside of the house and the internal walls (crawl to the gap then look up. This is where Amarisa hid)
      • on top of the beams under the house
    • if there’s not enough room, shine a good torch under the house, from different angles
  • on and in the roof
  • in roof gutters
  • under the deck, even if the deck sits right on the ground – Fleur’s hiding space
  • under steps

Out buildings

  • in the shed – close the shed door, block any exit points and slowly move everything
  • in the garage – ditto
  • under cars
  • in the rafters of the garage
  • under, on and behind the hot water heater
  • under the BBQ


  • in shrubs
  • under shrubs
  • in pot plants
  • in wood piles
  • down drains
  • up trees


A torch that has a long, focused beam is the most helpful. Maglite and LED Lenser have some good models.

If you can’t see into some spaces, try filming with your mobile phone – this is how Fleur was found. Borrow a selfie stick if you need to.

Found them? Fantastic!

Now find out how to get them safely back to you.

No luck? Expand your search area

If you’ve searched your own property thoroughly and don’t find them, it’s time to prepare your plan to search neighbours’ properties. You’ll need to prepare some things, like fliers, before you start knocking on doors.