The cat that came home after 12 years – here’s what to do if your moggy ever goes missing

Updated: July 10, 2020

HERE’S a story that will delight anybody who’s ever contemplated the heartache of a beloved pet going missing.

When a delightful black and white cat called Gucci vanished after a house move in 2008, his owner Vicky Swainson of Leeds feared the worst.

Vicky put up wanted posters and searched the streets near her old home for her three-year-old pet.  Sadly, it seemed to be all in vein … until she got a phone call 12 years later.


Vicky, 21, was overjoyed when a veterinary surgeon rang to say that Gucci had been identified from a microchip under his fur – and he was alive and well, making headlines in the UK.

A local cat-lover had been feeding the missing moggy, as a stray for years but had taken him into the vet when he noticed the animal losing weight.

Vicky told news reporters: “When I got the call I was in total shock, I couldn’t even process what was happening.

“I went to get him and as soon as I picked him up he purred. It was such a crazy and surreal phone call – I was pinching myself. It really was a one in a million chance.

“I don’t think I’ll ever believe I have him back, even if I’m holding him.”

Gucci looks very similar to our stock photo of a cat above, but you can see actual pictures of him and Vicky together by clicking here.

What to do if your pet goes missing?

The story shows there’s always hope when an animal goes missing – and in fact there are plenty of things you can do to increase your chances of being reunited with your pet.

In Gucci’s case it was a microchip that made all the difference. These are affordable and safe, and take just a few minutes to be injected under the fur of a cat or dog by a vet.

If you animal goes missing and is taken to a vet, the chip can later be scanned and checked against a database to trace the owner.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) says: “Microchipping is a safe, effective, and permanent way to make sure that lost pets can be reunited with their owners. Since 2016, it has been compulsory for all dogs in the UK to be microchipped and registered on an authorised database by the time they are 8 weeks old.”

You can register a pet on the UK National Pet Register. The site enables you to report missing animals and search for them via its lost and found service for free. For more details click here.

It’s also a good idea to alert local vets and catteries / kennels if your animal goes missing, plus don’t be afraid to put up posters and send out alerts on social media.

Meanwhile, cat food manufacturer Purina has published a series of tips about what to do if your cat goes missing, which you can read by clicking here.

Finally, if your are unlucky enough not to be reunited with your pet, then it may be comforting to know that your animal may be being cared for a kindly stranger, just like Gucci was…

PHOTO CREDIT: Main image courtesy of Birgl / Pixabay

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