(ARA) - You've seen the posters decorating mailboxes, telephone poles and trees in your neighborhood. The picture of a cat - usually curled up in the sun or giving a curious look to the camera - with "LOST" in bold, capital letters and a contact number underneath. Sadly, less than 5 percent of lost cats make it home.
Many of these lost cats end up in animal shelters, some are adopted by new families and others unfortunately, aren't so lucky. An estimated 70 percent of all animals euthanized each year are cats who enter shelters without identification tags, according to the North Shore Animal League America (NSALA), the world's largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization. Many shelters are full, and can only hold cats for a few days or less, giving grieving owners limited time to locate their lost pet.
Cat owner and author of "Oh My Dog," Beth Ostrosky Stern is passionate about saving the lives of animals and providing them to loving families. "Through my work with North Shore Animal League America, I have seen firsthand how many cats enter the shelters. I'm a firm supporter of cat tagging to help ensure a safe return home. I would be completely devastated if my cat, Apple, were lost. Having her wear an identification tag is a simple step, but gives me peace of mind that if she were to be lost she can be identified and returned home."
Whether your cat stays inside or roams the outdoors, tagging is the best way to keep him safe. Even indoor cats may sometimes slip through an open door or window for some fresh air so it's important to remember they need identification tags as well. Special cat collars are available also, so that your cat won't get caught on any objects when he's playing inside the home or exploring the great outdoors.
Many cat owners may not know how simple it is to get a tag for their cat. The maker of ARM & HAMMER Super Scoop and Multi-Cat litter products is even offering cat owners the opportunity to receive customized identification tags via mail with the purchase of two ARM & HAMMER cat litters. Visit www.pettagoffer.com for more information.
Tagging cats is just one safety tip. Other tips from NSALA to keep cats healthy, especially during the summer months include:
* Never leave a cat in a car - cats can quickly overheat and die from heatstroke.
* Keep cats inside during a thunderstorm - cats are easily frightened by loud noises and are more at risk of being struck by lightning.
* Check cats daily for fleas and ticks, and talk with a veterinarian about prevention products to keep cats safe.
* Change litter regularly to maintain a fresh and healthy litter box for cats.
* Watch for signs of heat stress, including glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, excessive thirst, restlessness, lack of coordination, unconsciousness, deep red or purple tongue and vomiting.