Learn how to find your lost cat from the expert “lost cat finder” Kim Freeman.
Allow me to introduce Kim Freeman who is a professional lost cat finder. Kim has a background working with shelters to solve cat behavior issues in-home and combined her knowledge into a very niche specialty: Lost cat search & rescue and written an educational “How to” book about it.
Kim coaches people all over the world on methods to find lost cat and recover cats with extraordinary success.
She trained with Missing Pet Partnership. Then added her own skills in tracking and bird language to find missing cats. She has become a world expert in lost cat recovery.
We will learn from Kim on how to:
• How to go about finding a lost cat
• How she trained her own cat to help her track and find lost cat
• Learn some of her most challenging cases.
You are a certified Missing Animal Response Technician. Please explain what you go through to get the certificate.
I completed my Missing Animal Response training nine years ago. Intense study in lost cat behavior, missing and found case precedents, probability analysis, animal tracking, and feline profiling. Since then, I’ve been a recurring guest speaker for several international training and presentation events.
Pet Detective is not a mainstream career, unique to most. Looking back, was there a passion to be a detective or investigator prior to starting this business?
Although I tested high in aptitude for detective work and clue analysis in school, I was not interested in attending police academy. My passions always lay with animals. When the option for combining the two came together, I knew I found my calling.
Henry was an adopted rescue cat and we began the training immediately. It takes a special cat that already has a bold sense of adventure with a scent-focused personality. I took clicker training, originally developed for dolphins, and adapted it to Henry’s tracking training.
I came from the horse world with an interest in partnership training. In 1999 and I began applying positive reinforcement work with my horse. In 2012, my peers voted me into the “Top 5” in World Clicker training. I then transferred clicker training to Henry to teach him how to track cat scent and identify fur fibers. He has been an excellent lost cat finder!
Here is an exclusive TV interview about Kim and Henry:
I lost my cat. What should I do and what things should I not do to locate my cat. When should I consider hiring a pet detective?
The first thing to do is start looking right away, avoiding the common myths and misconceptions like leaving out food or kitty litter. After an immediate search, I urge lost cat owners to skim my materials to avoid making common and heartbreaking mistakes.
I suggest hiring a pet detective if you do not have a confirmed sighting within 24 hours.
As with missing persons cases, the first 48 hours are the most important, especially in extreme weather. There is no downside to searching for a missing cat immediately.
When a person goes missing, the first thing police do is interview family in order to build a profile of the person that then dictates how to begin the search. I use this same concept for missing cats, building a profile, which guides me in how to search for that particular cat.
Orangie kitty was a case with very low chances of recovery and odds were against us in so many ways. The owner was transporting Orangie home from an Emergency vet clinic late at night. He jumped out of the truck’s rear window going 35 mph on a country road around midnight. To make it worse, his owner was not sure where along the dark country road the cat had exited. She contacted me a week later.
How I find lost cat:
We worried, as Orangie was a sick cat with kidney and liver issues. Our possible search area was a 4-mile stretch of pastures, woods and coyote territory. I used probability theory to determine the most likely zone along those 4 miles. At my first target location, I found a single orange hair caught on a wooden board. From this, I determined where to focus the search. I found Orangie later, still alive but very thin, within 20 feet of that one hair.
Kim keeps a timeline journal on FaceBook about each finding. You can find it at: https://facebook.com/LostCatFindersPetDetective
How have past cases provided insight to improving your process or system of investigation?
I am continually fine-tuning my cat profiling system. By finding new tools and techniques I can utilize in lost cat recovery. I use an amplified listening device for many years. Recently acquired a motion sensitive night-vision camera with an infrared heat sensing scope. The camera will text images to my phone for real time action. When I look back, I realize I have learned something from many cases. I expect that will continue.
I have found I can handle three profiles and distance-coaching cases a week. It is important not to get key details mixed up on the 20-page profile reports for each cat.
I limit my in-person searches to one every three days. Some months I have requests coming in daily. In others, no local request, just long distance coaching. Meanwhile, I also get notes every week from people who found their cat simply from following the advice in my online “Lost Cat Tips” guides offered in video and e-Book formats.
Is there a particular case that would stand out more or perhaps provided immense satisfaction?
Yes! Orangie (mentioned above) and a recent case of my cat Henry tracking and finding a kitten who escaped the owner’s car at a gas station in the night. Thanks to Henry’s tracking, it was a quick successful recovery and very memorable. I was lucky to be able to capture it on video.
In addition, I recently helped recover a cat named Ray who was missing for two weeks during a freezing Chicago snowstorm. The dedicated owners checked in daily and followed my advice to a Tee every step of the way. They found Ray on day 14 with bleeding frostbitten ears. Read more about Ray here.
In summary, find lost cat:
Being able to coach clients long-distance is very gratifying. I have helped people get missing cats found in nearly every state and several other countries. This not only makes many people very happy, it also keeps hundreds of strays out of the shelter system.
The more cats I can reunite with loving owners, the fewer strays are euthanized in shelters. This has certainly proven true here in Austin, which is the highest no-kill city in the country.
My hope is that I can reach and help an ever-widening audience through your blog and word-of-mouth.
Thanks for having me, and best wishes to you and your feline crew!
Kim Freeman / Lost Cat Recovery
“more cats found = fewer in shelters.”
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