Sheffield cat lost in snow reunited with owners three years later

Oscar: Finally home after three years Credit: Petlog

A cat who went missing in a snowstorm has been reunited with his owners three years later.

Oscar disappeared from his home in Sheffield in January 2020, when he was caught in heavy snow.

Owner Katie Salt, 39, said she assumed he had died.

But she had a phone call from a vet saying Oscar, who was microchipped, had been found living in a garden about six miles away.

"I couldn’t believe it," she said.

"The vet said Oscar had been fed and provided with an outside shelter, but had never been fully taken in by the person that was feeding him. They had never thought to get him checked for a microchip.

“It became apparent that Oscar required medical care and so they surrendered him at a vets. The vet, after hearing their story, checked him for a chip and low and, behold, it was our Oscar!"

She added: "He remembered us, his name and his home. He's not stopped purring since he came home and wants cuddles all the time."

After Oscar disappeared Katie contacted neighbours and put posters up in the area and on social media.

"I had more phone calls and messages than I could count from strangers wondering if a cat they had seen was him – but none were," she added. “I walked the streets at night for miles and hours shouting his name, rattling his food, for weeks on end. All to no avail.

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“We eventually concluded he must have died during the snowstorm, but we still scanned our eyes everywhere, whenever we were out driving, and to be honest this never stopped. Even after two years.

“It was very upsetting. It was unlike him to go missing and we were so concerned for his wellbeing, particularly due to his age – he was 12. Years later we would still stop and check over cats that initially looked like him wherever we were. It was the not knowing that was the hardest part.”

Pet database Petlog says the story demonstrates the importance of microchipping.

Spokesperson Bill Lambert said: "We’re so pleased that Oscar and Katie have been reunited. Their story shows just how important it is for owners to chip their pets, keep their contact details up-to-date with their microchip database, and to hold out hope no matter how much time has passed."

The Government have announced that microchipping will become a legal requirement for cats in England from June 2024.

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