So many people every year end up with a cat gone missing. Knowing what to do when it happens is important. If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, this poses many threats to their life such as being hit by a car, fighting with other animals, or being abused by a person who is not fond of a cat being in their yard. However, if you have an indoor cat that has gone missing, there are steps you can take to keep them close by and away from danger.
My Cat Ran Away Far from Home!
The first step is to understand that a cat in an unfamiliar area will try to hide as soon as possible. They likely won’t travel too far from where they got loose. Knowing this, you want to keep them close by. Most cats will attempt to find their way home which can be dangerous. Now, this may sound gross but you will want to “mark” the area with your scent. Yes, I am saying pee somewhere nearby. This will keep other animals away as well. The next thing you want to do is place out some very strong scented cat food if they have a favorite use that. This will offer them a food source and encourage them to stay. You will want to check the area at least once a day. Hang missing signs all around that area, from where you lost them to your house. If your cat doesn’t turn up the next day and you notice the can is empty repeat the process, pee and leave another can. You can even leave an old shirt with your scent on it out in the area. Cats have the amazing ability to smell certain scents from up to a few miles away. After 4 days to a week, if you have not found your cat in the area you lost it, begin to check local cat shelters.
My Cat Got out the House!
Usually, nothing is needed to be done as they are close to their home and will easily smell you and be able to find its way back home. To encourage the process to be done quicker, just as you would anywhere else, place some food out and put your pee somewhere near it to keep other animals away. Most house cats won’t stay away longer than 48 hours if they have never been outside. You can alert your neighbors that your cat has gotten out so they can tell you if they spot the little furball on an adventure in their backyard.
Some cats may actually run away on purpose just as children do. This can be due to stress from a new baby, a new pet, or a new person that has been introduced into the household. It is very important to monitor your cat’s behavior when making major changes to prevent depression and they wanted to escape from stress. Moving is also an issue. You have to be very cautious with cats that have lived somewhere in the same place for several years. They may try to escape and actually find their way “home”. It has happened several times, some accounts have been recorded with cats traveling through states to get back to their first home.
To keep your pet safe and notify others that it has a home, your cat should always have a name tag with a number on it. NEVER use your address as some shady people can use this against you. If someone calls saying they have your cat, have them meet you somewhere public near your house and bring a cage to prevent it from escaping again.
There is also the option to have them microchipped. Although this is the law in some other countries, in the US it is optional. There are no known side effects to using these chips but as with anything else, do your own research and determine what is best for you and your cat.