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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