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Do cats come back after they run away

Will my runaway cat come back?

How often runaway cats come back? Pretty often, but that depends on the situation, whether there are coyotes in the area, whether the cat is friendly and trusting, getting too close to the wrong person who might hurt her, or simply following someone home and being kept as a pet in the new house. Whether there are dangerous roads close by, and whether or not the cat is daring and reckless enough to cross them.

Cats usually know the way home, so lost cats will come back home in most situations. My cat ran away and had returned after two and a half months. I’ve heard a taxi driver tell me his cat disappeared for a week and came back. This story I’ve heard on my way to the vet, because I don’t have a car and don’t drive, and taking a cat to the vet on the bus is a nightmare.

When my cat had gone missing, I had called many vets in the city and asked if they saw her. They didn’t, but one vet told me her cat had run away too, and had come back after two or three weeks.

Even if your indoor cat had never been outside, she can still find her way home in most situations, even if she wanders into an unknown territory that she’d never seen before.

Runaway cats usually return home because they know where their food bowl is, and they miss their owners. But there are exceptions.

A new home

When you move into a new home, or when you get a cat and put her in your home, which is new to the cat, the cat may run away because they don’t understand this is their new home. If the cat hasn’t been in the house for at least two weeks, Your lost cat may not come back. There are ways to prevent your cat from running away.

Why do cats run away

Cats run away out of curiosity, or because there’s a new pet in the house.

Kittens who haven’t been neutered are especially prone to running away before they reach puberty. Spaying your kitten can lower the chances of it going missing.

A cat can take a walk through the neighborhood and get into a situation where she can’t get out. The vet I had talked to when my cat had run away had told me about a cat who fell into the sewer and was stuck in there for weeks. The gardener heard her mewing and called for help. The cat was saved and returned to her owner. Good ending.

I’ve heard that sometimes sick cats run away to die. My cat was very sick when she’d run away, and she had died two and a half months after she’d returned. Bitter ending.

How to make a lost cat come back

Look for your cat in the yard and outside, and wiggle a box of its favorite treats. Teach your cat that the sound of treats rattling means a treat is on its way. Teach them that by rattling the box every time you dispose treats, but the treats must be given immediately afterward, or the cat wouldn’t associate the sound with the treats.

You can put your cat’s pictures on all social media, including youtube, with your phone number and a request to call if found. You can put pictures and hang them on bulletin boards. Call all vets and shelters in the area.

A woman at the vet had once told me her cat went missing, and she took the elevator to the top floor of a tall building and looked around, and she’d found her cat.

If you know someone who has a trained bloodhound, try giving the dog your pet’s favorite toy, one that they’d touched recently. If you don’t know anyone, ask on social media, ask your friends, ask the vet. But it has to be done early, before the scent disappears.

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3 thoughts on “Do cats come back after they run away

  1. My cat was with us at our summer campground near Winnipeg during the five years we lived full time in a travel trailer going south for the winter. He vanished one beautiful moonlit night when the moon was so bright it was almost like daytime. After six weeks, with winter coming, we gave up on him (its many tears) and headed south. Two weeks into our trip south I got a telephone call to say my cat had been found by Winnipeg Lost Cat Rescue. he was thin as a rail and pretty much recovered from terrible wounds in his side and back. My son went and got him and put him on a plane south and we met him in Florida. Was he ever relieved and happy to be back with us! Turns out it was golden eagle migration season and some eagle carried him off. (We guess that by the scars on his body.) He was dropped and then we don’t know what happened. We assume he was injured so he crawled off somewhere to heal. He was too far from home to get back or he did get back but we were already gone. He befriended a school girl whose mother searched social media and then the woman who runs the rescue found us. He recovered completely except for two things. If he is outside he stays close to building and bushes and if anything moves above him he flattens to the ground and cringes. He’s an agoraphobic cat. He used to be a very fussy eater. After his misadventure, he eats just about anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow!

      I’m so happy for the happy ending. It must’ve been a horrible even that I know all too well.

      Had no idea eagles can carry a cat, but then they’re strong. Don’t see too many of them around. Maybe your cat had tried to hunt the eagle first, who knows? That poor cat was traumatized and is lucky to be alive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Golden’s are the biggest of all eagles and can easily carry off a cat or a small dog and do often. They weigh 4-6 kilos and have a wingspan of 2 metres or more. They drop from high above their prey so the prey is one moment perfectly fine and the next being carried off. One of their favourite things to eat in our area is the local jackrabbit which is typically 4-6kilos so a cat is perfectly fine sized for a meal. I doubt Klinger was hunting the eagle. The eagle probably mistook him for a rabbit. I suspect the eagle dropped him on discovering it wasn’t the prey he expected by then again, Klinger is one foul tempered bad cat so maybe he convinced the eagle there was easier stuff to eat.

        Liked by 1 person

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