Layne is an animal lover and grew up in a household full of rescued critters. She is a registered veterinary technician.
Why Do Cats Disappear and Go Missing?
Cats sometimes run away and go missing, and sometimes they return home. They can be gone for several days or disappear entirely. For a cat guardian, this is an emotional and upsetting experience. We often trust our cats to return home, but what happens when they don't?
Do Cats Come Back When They Run Away?
The answer to this question is not so simple as there are many factors that may have influenced your cat's disappearance. Cats are naturally driven by three things primarily:
If your cat has disappeared or perhaps your cat frequently disappears and returns 2–3 days later, one of the above-mentioned topics might be the reason your cat is missing.
Cats Are Curious
Oftentimes, cats follow their curiosity. So if your cat is naturally indoor-outdoor, there's a good possibility that he or she has found something that has caught his or her attention or got caught up in the following:
- Reproduction: spaying, neutering, and sterilizing will prevent wandering, especially with male cats seeking out a female in heat.
- Hunting: a nice supply of mice or other prey may have lured your cat to act on its natural instincts.
- Territory: fending off another cat that has entered their territory; neighborhood cat drama is real.
- Food: your neighbor may be feeding your cat.
- Predation: your cat may have been attacked or killed by a coyote, hawk, etc.
- Disease: some cats run away to die or acquire disease (parasites) making it difficult to return.
- Injury or death: your cat may have been hit by a car or may have been injured in some way (some cats ingest rodents that have been poisoned with rodenticide).
- Collection: your cat may have been picked up by animal control or an animal service agency.
- Disruption: new animal or person in the household, remodeling, big changes, unstable environment (abuse, aggressive dogs, lack of care).
Why Cats Disappear but How They Come Back Home
Many do and many don't. It depends on why they ran away to begin with, but the good news is that many cats are equipped with two impressive abilities:
An experiment in 1954 by German researchers revealed some interesting findings. They placed cats in a large maze. The majority of the cats exited the maze closest to their home location. Some theories suggest that cats use magnetic geolocation (sensitivity to the earth's geomagnetic fields which informs them of distance and direction) and others suggest that they use olfactory cues. When magnets were attached to the cats, their homing abilities were disrupted—thus reinforcing the study's findings.
Coined by Dr. Joseph Rhine of Duke University, this phenomenon refers to an animal's ability to locate their owner when they have moved away. Veterinarian Dr. Myrna Milani introduced the concept of Bell's Theorem, which suggests that owners and their pets have a connection on the material level. Bell's Theorem studies the spin and pairing of electrons—when one electron is separated from another, the paired electron alters its direction. Being that mammals (cats and humans) are composed of atoms, this suggests that we sync up in a natural rhythm at the atomic level—so the animal-human bond, indeed, may run much deeper.
Why Do Cats Disappear?
The Lostpetresearch.com project also revealed that most lost cat homing incidents occur when a pet was accidentally transported away from its environment, e.g. crawled into a car at 22%; 19% disappeared while away from home (vacation, vet's office), 8% were lost due to intention (dumping), 5% were last in transit (during travel or moving).
A noticeable 29% of homing incidences occurred when an owner moved and a cat returned to their old home (this includes cats that were adopted).
How to Prevent Your Cat From Running Away
- Indoor Only: Some owners keep their cats as indoor-only cats (this prolongs their life expectancy greatly). Indoor cats are protected from viruses and disease that can be spread from cat fights, and interactions (as can vaccinating!) Don't let your cat outside if you live in a dangerous area (cars—hit by car, aggressive dogs—chasing them off).
- Spay and Neuter: Spaying and neutering (or sterilizing) is the number one way to prevent roaming! You also help prevent issues like overpopulation.
- Microchip: If you insist on having an indoor-outdoor cat, microchip your cat and use a safe quick-release collar. Be sure to register your microchip so that shelters and the providing company can easily contact you should your animal get picked up.
- Be Smart When Moving: If you have to move, make sure to keep your cat indoors for several weeks. Scope out the neighborhood. Only let them out supervised. Be sure to feed them at regular intervals so they will return home.
- Help Them Adjust: New animals or new baby? Give your cat time to adjust. Make sure they feel safe, appreciated, and have a place to retreat to.
- Train Them to Return: My neighbor has their cat trained by bell and treat. Every day at dusk (which is a safe time to welcome your cat in), they ring a bell and feed a stinky treat. This does the job like clockwork!
- Keep Windows and Doors Closed: If you have visitors in your home, consider putting your cat in a safe room until they are gone (people are prone to leaving doors and windows open). If you have an escape-artist, train everyone in your house to be especially aware of leaving doors open (even for a fraction of a second). Put a bell on your cat if they are stealthy.
- Get a GPS Tracker/App: There are many products on the market. These consist of little tracking devices (often weigh only a few grams) that can be attached to your cat's collar or reside on a collar. A great investment if you worry for your furry friend.
- Get a Catio Space: Yes, there is a company called Catio Spaces. You can find a nice outdoor enclosure for your indoor cat. This gives them the freedom of outdoor time without facing the risks of cars, dogs, and cat fights. Remember to provide them with shade, warmth, and water.
- Provide the Necessities: Give them adequate food, water, toys, love, and play time! Consider training them to walk on a leash.
Most cats (90%) were lost for an average of 5 (median) to 7.5 (mean) days. This average jumped to 12.2 (mean) days if you looked at cats missing up to four months.
— Cat Homing Behavior Survey Results
The Missing Cat Profile
Outdoor or Indoor-Outdoor Cats Are Likely to Find Their Way Home
According to Lostpetresearch.com, 67% of outdoor-access cats and 25% of outdoor-only cats demonstrated homing behavior. The percent was much lower for indoor cats at 7%.
Age Plays a Factor
Other factors reveal that age plays a huge role in disappearances: 58% adults and 34% young adults make up the missing. This day suggests that kittens and seniors may not have strong homing abilities.
Shy Cats or Bold Cats?
Recent data suggests that personality plays no role in homing ability; however, it is likely that if your shy cat gets outside, it may be hiding close by but fear to reveal itself, making it harder to find. On the other hand, a bold cat is more likely to approach you when called.
What to Do If Your Cat Is Missing
Indoor-only cats that escape often go into defense mode, especially if they are timid. This means they will hide even when called. They may not want to show themselves. If your cat recently bolted, know that it is likely they are nearby, so don't go heading off in your car for a ground search, instead:
- Be patient.
- Put out food.
- Sit quietly, and call them calmly.
- Leave a door to your house open.
When It's Normal
Some cats (indoor-outdoor) come and go as they please. This is normal behavior. If your cat is fully vaccinated, microchipped, and has a decent collar, you can allow for a day or so before ramping up your search. Otherwise, call your cat every 5 minutes. Space this out to every half hour and every 2–3 hours. Do your best to retrieve them.
Have a Lost Cat Plan
Know what to do. Have your cat's microchip information available. Let local shelters and animal control know that your cat is missing (give them physical and personality descriptions). Talk to your neighbors (3–5 houses down). Consider posting flyers in your neighborhood (make sure to collect them after the search), and use apps like NextDoor, Craigslist, etc.
Don't Beat Yourself Up
If you have done your best to keep your indoor cat safe (always keeping doors closed) or have provided your outdoor cat with its creature comforts (spayed or neutered, tagged, vaccinated), but your cat has still gone missing, show yourself some compassion. Losing a pet is an extremely emotional event. Sometimes, we never get the answers we are looking for, and our cat doesn't come back. Know that you gave them a great life, perhaps they are off living up their wild instincts, and always hope that they will return—because one day they just might!
- Psychology and the Missing Cat
- Lost Pet Research
© 2019 Laynie H
William L. Johnson on September 06, 2020:
I was looking after a friends cat tonight and it was not around their house. I called for it and never came. What should I do?
Vieanne on August 25, 2020:
My Two kittens Went Missing it has been two in a half month! the name of my female kitten is named Oreo and My Male kitten is named Ginger, They have been gone for Two months in a half and they missed my birthday. My Family and I have been Searching for them but we still haven't found them. I MISS YOU GINGER AND OREO! PLEASE COME BACK
BENJAMIN on August 25, 2020:
My cat is missing from a week he is in an another house and not coming back
jcee on August 21, 2020:
i miss my cat :( ,last night he was sleeping beside me then when i woke up hes gone ...i was literally crying whole day ,pls be safe and come home i miss you :(
Kate_nicky on August 17, 2020:
My cat has been missing when i was in holiday i Just NEEDED a vacation but i dont know where my cat is Last time i saw her she was realy sick and felt dead in the inside it May of heard me when i was talking to my maid that she gave me a Persia cat her name is chloe she is 1 year old and has a husband named snoopy
Ysabel on August 09, 2020:
My cat has been missing for 3 days. I really missed him. I hope that he is alright and nothing happened. I wish he could be back sooner. I've been crying for 3 days. Please come home.
Khaing on August 02, 2020:
I have a strong connection with a stray female cat for almost a year. I have known her since she was young. Now, she is 9 month old and she has three kittens. She loves me and I love her but I am a teenager so I do not have enough money to take care of her and her three kittens. So, I asked for help in fb gp and found a young couple who are willing to take care and adopt the cat family. But she kept running away from the couples when they got home. She ran away twice. In the first time, they found her within a day near their house but this time, they said they couldn't find her anywhere even near their house. It's been three days she doesn't come home. The couples take care of three kittens really well. The couple's house is 14 miles away from my home. I am so worry abt her. I really want her to come to her kittens. Pls help me.
Divya on August 01, 2020:
My cat is back ...I had been in search of her for all 4 days...I used to call her names...keep her favourite food everywhere. Asked a lot of people...and wherever they would say they saw , I used to out food there. I threw a whole bunch of cat food around my home...and her litter too ,so that one day she will smell and come back. And one night I heard her meowing....there she was...I found her. So don't give up...just keep searching and they will b back to u soon....thanks guys.
Divya on August 01, 2020:
Helo everyon... good news...my cat is back
Ochi on July 30, 2020:
my cat has been missing for a few days now, about 4 days since last seen, he is 1½ years old and usually comes back at night or hungry, but I havent seen him come home AT ALL, I even stayed up 24h just to see him! No signs that he came home, no urine, no cat food ate, no nothing, but he has his brother that is always at home and rarely comes out of the house, but he doesnt know where he is, even searching for him, im afraid i might lose him too
Divya on July 24, 2020:
My cat ran away in the night. I have just shifted to a new place and it's been only 4 days. She seemed to be adjusted to a new place since 1-2 days. She is 6 yrs old and is spayed and she is a very intelligent cat. She used to run away and come back everyday in my old house. This place is new so I'm worried if she will.b ok.and if she would return. I went in search of her and found her sitting on the roof of a building. Called her several times but she ran away from.there....and the place is not accessible. Called her many times....and I've made her litter trails around my house and placed food outside. I just hope she comes back soon.
Rea on July 23, 2020:
Here is an ironic confusing story. We rescued a kitten of the street and was Iiving with us in our apartment for 8 years and grew up with our 7 years old daughter and she is so attached to him. Now we moved country and brought him with us and staying with parents in law (who already owns 2 cats and 2 dogs) after few weeks he was feeling confident and happy to be able to be outdoors... He got missing for few days and we finally found him in a neighbors garden but he won't come back. We try to speak with the owner, apparently its a lady who feeds all street cats and she was not very helpful and said she doesn't have him and if a cat was treated well he doesn't leave the house. Which broke my heart and my daughter is missing him so. But I don't know what else to do (ps he is microshiped and we have all documents)
Bebo on July 23, 2020:
My cat is missing from today..she went outside the window..as she had the habit of going to next building..we have stopped her many times..but then she used to go and come back.. yesterday night she went out..I thought she would come back as usual..but she is missing ..she didn't return back..we used to love and pamper her like a kid..I don't understand where she has gone..m crying for her..God please send her back home..I care for her..I love her more than anything
sarah on June 28, 2020:
My cat haven't been home for 4 weeks and that's my only hope
Unknown on June 24, 2020:
My cat ran away and I have tried everything, I have not found any dead bodies, hair, or anything that would be a sine of my cat dyeing. What should I do?
Genie on June 17, 2020:
Last my cat went missing for three months, discontinued his insurance to stop buying his food and gave it away and then all of a sudden there he was back in my garage and he still here. ☺️
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on June 13, 2020:
An enlightening article. Cats are very special beings, and I like having them around. We have a neighborhood cat who comes around and patrols our yard with our dogs. When I was a young boy, we had a cat that managed to travel 20 miles in two weeks, somehow finding my uncle's house. Thanks for the great information.
Sp Greaney from Ireland on June 13, 2020:
Years ago one of our cats went missing for few days. It was so stressful because you always think of the worse case scenarios. Then when they return, they act like they only being gone a few hours.
Marsha Hanson on June 06, 2020:
Don’t beat yourself up. You’ll be too busy ducking judgements of people who weren’t around when you needed them.
Catlover223 on May 17, 2020:
Ohh yeah sounds cool
Louise Elcross from Preston on May 11, 2020:
One of my cats went missing years ago. I had recently moved home and thought he might have gone back there so I backtracked every day and searched for him, I left messages with missing and found cat agencies and the council who remove cats that have been run over and I put notices with promises of a reward. On the ninth day of him missing, I was crying because I was scared for him and desperate to get him home. As I opened my back door I started to cry tears of joy because there he was, skinny, dirty and meowing.
Villy Fernandes I hope you find your cat soon. Thank you Layne for writing this.
Vanessa on May 06, 2020:
This was helpful. Thank you!
Villy fernandes on April 29, 2020:
Hi,my 7 month old cat is missing...he always used to come back even if he goes out.
.one day he left n never came back .itz been 14 days now..that day v cudnt gv him much attention cz relatives hd come to our plc...that day wen he woke up he was meowing ...i guess for food..but den he left.........n nvr cm bck.....i hope he comes back..m missing him so much ..i ve 7 more cats bt this one i missed more...if i think of that day i feel sad...
catlover223 on April 23, 2020:
hi we want to move away from where my cat grew up is it ok to do that?
Hayley on April 23, 2020:
My 7 year old cat has run away and he's been gone or a year. It can't be from old age as his brother is two years older and is still alive.
Fatimah on April 12, 2020:
My 7 months. Old male cat is missing from three months.some people from outside and some of our neighbors have seen him.why is he not coming backing home.and he is also wearing a collar will he be safe or not? Please advice?we love him soooo much
Laynie H (author) from Bend, Oregon on January 15, 2020:
Hi Catrina, sorry to hear that. 5 months is pretty young for them to be going solo. Was he neutered?
Catrina on January 15, 2020:
Our mail cat has been lost from 1 months he is 5 months
Laynie H (author) from Bend, Oregon on November 06, 2019:
Hi Lora, thanks for reading and I really appreciate you sharing your story!!! I'm glad that your cat ended up being okay, but that must have been terrifying and I know the procedure was certainly expensive. It's such a hard decision to make! My current cat would be so happy outdoors, but I live in an area with lots of dogs and car traffic (also—she gets along really well with my dog but I would worry she could approach an unfamiliar dog and get into trouble). It simply is too risky. I'm realllllly hoping to invest in or buy a nice outdoor cat patio for her to spend time on (like a chicken coop). I also have taken her out on her leash here and there but it's been very hot and there's been lots of construction, etc. I worry that she could startle. (She also is difficult sometimes to get a leash on!) I feel guilty not getting her out because I found her outdoors as a kitten. Anyhow, I'm glad you think this can be helpful to others! And a big YES on spaying/neutering!!!
Lora Hollings on November 05, 2019:
Great article, Layne, with a lot of good information about why cats run away or get lost. Spaying and neutering is one of the primary reasons for cats to go wandering particularly males, and this can lead to cats getting into dangerous situations and of course, we certainly don't need to add to the surplus pet population that puts even more of a burden on already crowded shelters.
I had a beautiful little Calico about 30 yrs. ago who was an outdoor/indoor cat. She was spayed, microchipped, had a tag on her and vaccinated, of course, and I had a very tall fence around my property and she never left my yard before. But one day she went off and I looked for hours all over the neighborhood for her and then I received a call late in the evening from some teenagers telling me they found her on the side of the road and she was unconscious and had blood leaking from her mouth! You can imagine my reaction! They told me where she was. I don't know how I got there as I was in such a state of panic. But anyway, when I arrived there, they had gone but Lottie was there. I immediately wrapped her up in warm blankets and took her to the emergency vet. It turned out, thank God, that only her jaw had been broken as a result of being hit by a car and they had to wire her jaw back together. It was a very expensive procedure, but I was so glad that she was still alive and it wasn't more serious. Anyway, she ended up living to 19 years of age and had no problems with eating. After that, she became an indoor cat only and all my cats after that have been kept indoors! There's just too many bad things that can happen to them outdoors. The catio space is a great idea where they can have the freedom of outdoor time without the danger. I think leash training your cat is also a good idea so they can get some exercise and experience the outdoors on walks. You did an excellent job on this well researched article that offers owners great advice and products to help them locate their pets!
Laynie H (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 08, 2019:
Hi Desislava. I'm really sad to hear that your sweet boy is missing. At least know that cats generally are good at surviving. Sometimes they just go off and do cat things. I've heard stories of cats returning years later. Wishing you the best.
Desislava Trendafilova on October 08, 2019:
My cat missed from 4-th September.He is a boy 3 years old.I did castration when he was 1 year old.No matter of what i did I don’t find him.I will explode from sadness...
Laynie H (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 07, 2019:
Hi P. So sorry to hear. Our neighbor is going through the same thing right now. We are searching for an orange tabby in the neighborhood—we miss him so much.
P on October 07, 2019:
Our indoor cat was just on our porch with us and a neighbourhood cat came who was friendly. However, it later ended up chasing off our caT yesterday and we’re just hoping he comes back.
Laynie H (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 05, 2019:
Hi "LilyisLost" I'm so sorry to hear that your Siberian cat took off. I hope he or she turns up. Stay hopeful and certainly don't be hard on yourself as mentioned . cats have to do cat things!
LilyisLost9/18/19 on September 30, 2019:
This article was very comforting, especially the last paragraph. Our beautiful Siberian outdoor cat has been missing since 9/18 :-(
Cats are territorial creatures of habit. This is why we can let them roam outdoors and trust that they will return. So, when an outdoor-access cat suddenly vanishes, it means that something has happened to interrupt his customary behavior of coming home. If you own an outdoor-access cat, then knowing the five most common ways that they become lost will help you know how and where to search should your cat ever fail to show up for his kibble.
They become sick or injured and they hide.
Outdoor-access cats are at risk of being injured by dogs, other cats (a cat fight), predators, and by moving vehicles. They can also ingest poison and can become ill due to organic reasons (infected abscess, urinary tract disorder, kidney failure, etc.). When a cat is sick or injured, his natural instinct is to hide in silence—his primary defense mechanism from predators. Many cats crawl into a familiar location, such as under a house, deck, or porch, and may even die there. That's why it's critical to search hiding areas thoroughly when your cat goes missing.
They become trapped and can't come home.
Cats are curious. They wander through open doors or windows and crawl inside sheds, basements, inside parked RV's, and other structures where doors are open. When the owner secures the doors and windows, the cat is trapped. They also climb or are chased up trees and telephone poles, or even onto the roofs of houses, where they become too afraid to descend. Unless they figure out how to back down a tree or pole or they can jump down, these cats will need to be rescued.
They become displaced after being chased.
A chased cat will typically not run for miles. Instead, it will look for a place to escape, such as a high spot, or beneath something, like a neighbor's deck. Sometimes they are forced to flee into an unfamiliar area—the first response then is to hide in silence. Some cats will break cover once their chaser is gone and will return home. Others will not. This is how some cats are found living in a neighborhood just a block or two from the area where they were lost.
They become victims of unintentional transport.
Cats that develop the habit of climbing inside open vehicles, into boxes, or other containers are at risk of being transported out of their area. These are the cats that end up climbing into open construction vehicles, service vehicles, moving vans, or convertibles. Curious cats also climb into boxes that are carried and transported out of their territory. Some of these cats end up being driven across town and, in some cases, clear across the country.
They become victims of intentional displacement.
In some cases, neighbors, apartment managers, or even ex-lovers will intentionally displace a cat—someone removes a cat from its territory and releases it into another area. Often, cat-hating neighbors, who are tired of free roaming cats entering their yards, will bait a humane trap to remove the neighborhood cats. Some people will take the cat straight to the animal shelter (one reason why it is imperative that cat owners immediately search their shelter for their missing cat), and others will simply release the cat into another area of town. Many pest control companies that are hired to humanely trap free-roaming "feral" cats inadvertently capture and remove pet cats as well.
Comments and Replies
Some Facts re Why Cat Hides and What to Do etc.
Finding a missing cat is difficult because, if the cat is frightened, it will "go to ground" (i.e., hide). It is probably hiding quite close to your home, but this doesn't mean it will feel safe enough to return promptly. Strangely, even if you happen to be standing right next to the cat, it may not come if you call it. But typically a cat won't flee very far.
Cats that haven't been outside will easily panic, lose awareness of where home is, and get lost, even close by.
Cats that are injured will stay hidden until they feel capable of coming out.
What you need to do then is
(a) Search hiding places in the neighborhood. Call for the cat but also actually look in all the possible spots, since the cat likely won't come if you call. Neighbors uncomfortable with having you poke around in their garage/yard may be willing to look for you, and/or keep an eye out for your cat.
(b) Local animal shelters should be checked daily someone may have dropped your cat off there, or it might have been picked up as a stray. Some shelters only keep pets a couple of days before euthanizing them, so don't delay. Also call local vets and pet stores, and post flyers on their bulletin boards, and around the neighborhood. Someone may have found your cat and think it was abandoned etc. and have been keeping it.
(c) place objects outdoors to give the cat scent clues as to where home is (litter box, bed, your unwashed clothes, whatever).
(d) sit outside and chat with friends/family the sound of your voice and your scent will also help the cat hone in on where home is.
(e) if you had any visitors or service people when the cat went missing, it's possible the cat got into a vehicle, such as a truck, and ended up being driven somewhere by accident. So check with any such people. Cats are notorious for climbing into trucks etc.
It's true that a tragedy could have occurred however cats are smart, resilient creatures and in many cases, it's still close to home but simply hiding out for some reason so the best thing is the careful search and alerting everyone to keep their eyes open.
My in door cat goes out in yard . But today he jumped the fence to other yard . He was missing for 9 hrs I was worried because he deaf . But he did come back I'm so happy !! There are also a few stray cats in yard that I feed . Maybe that's what brought him back . He ate use litter box now he's sleeping like a baby.
Missing my older cat with sky blue eyes -b y: Anonymous
I have an outside cat which sleeps in our garage and I came home last and was gone. I have had her for about 11 years she is all white with blue eyes and starting to have hearing problems but this whole time I have had her she has never left my property unless its while I'm away. But she is always here to eat. 2 night in a row I can not find her I have walked all over calling her name I am very worried for her. I don't know why after all this would she leave unless she was sick. Her name is sky just like her blues. I have been praying for her safe return and soon.
Runaway Cats - by: Leon Foonman
I have a youngish Manx cat, that loves to escape in to the maze of backyards around our house. She's gotten out 3 times since we adopted her, but were able to retrieve her all 3 times.
I think cats are supposed to be territorial, but they do seem to disappear a lot. They are built to be escape artists, too. They climb, can crawl through small spaces and some, like ours, can almost fly.
We used to have an old male tabby who didn't like being outdoors since he grew up in an apartment. When we bought a house with a backyard we had to coax him out explore. He would come out for a few minutes but usually ran back in if anything moved. So if it was windy or rainy or if there was any activity in the yard , he would would run in the house like a big fraidy cat.
Sammy - by: Elizabithmh
My indoor male cat (neutered)ran outside last night and has been missing 15 hours. He is smart, can sit for treats and is so loving. I pray to GOD that my lil sam sam returns like some of your kitties did.
Cat Returned After 5 Months - by: Naya
My outside cat Natasha was away from our home for over 5 months. Then 1 day before my baby shower she returned, like nothing happened and has never left again - that was 29 months ago. So keep hope alive. Cat's are also so versatile, they often 'adopt' new families. And they often return after long periods of time has elapsed.
Cat ran away - by: Donna
My cat Jasper went out and didn't come back for two weeks. Like you i trawled the neighbourhood calling for him but nothing. Then one day he just walked through the cat flap, had a feed then went to sleep as though nothing had happened leaving me skipping around the room with joy
missing cat - by: layla
my husband tried to sneak the cat to a Thanksgiving party and ween he opened the trunk she ran out it has been 2 days since we've seen her i hope she comes back.
I pray for all of the people's whose cats went missing
by: nawang tsetan
I just know how it feels to lose anything you love, except for the extra body weight, that we love to lose, but here i'm going to share a real life thrilled story of mine, my sister went missing since, may 2012 and haven't heard anything from her and from anybody,so, i am wondering is she alive or not? If she's alive, why she didn't call us! not even once. It is killing all of my family, my parents they are still in pain, waiting for her to come home, but she is the one who has not feeling for her parents, if i were her i should have called my parent once, well i don't want to go too deep, my
prays are with each one of you and I hope your cats come back to you and as for sister, i hope she comes back home too " god bless you all" let the "karma " do his job.
My calico cat went missing - by: Jennifer
My calico cat went missing on Sunday 11/11/12. She has been missing for 3 days now and we are all worried sick. We have looked everywhere and can't find her. I pray my Squak comes back home to us.
Chuckie - by: Anonymous
My 15 yr old cat got sneaked outside and has not came back its been over 12 hrs im worried something has happened to him.. I miss him so much
Sadie babes - by: Terry
My Cat Sadie ran away three days ago! She got outside through the garage window screen. that we didn't realize was ripped open..We are devastated and hoping she will return soon.Our Daughter has special needs and never liked being around animals until I brought Sadie home one day..Her Mama got ran over by a car and the kittens were left alone and orphaned,so Thats why we took her into our home.I have been praying every night for her safe return home:(
I'm so worried and sad :( - by: PAM
My female cat left 3 days ago and hasn't come home, she would always leave but come back the same day, she got out at night does that have to do with anything? Since is dark. I really hope she comes back cause i miss her, its so crazy how we get attached to this little Animals.
Bella - by: Anonymous
Bella - by: Anonymous
My cat Bella suddenly disappeared in November last year. It was very sudden. She still hasn't come back. It's so upsetting. I always pray that she returns. Do any of you know where cats would go? And how would I know if she died?
She was a desexed female, around 2 years of age. She was healthy and well fed. I'm scared somebody may have taken her. If so, how do I get her back. Please help.
Benny, The Prankster - by: Cricket
My cat Ben (a 20 lb Maine Coon) has been an indoor cat for 4 years now after being abandoned and living outside before I adopted him. Many sites say how "friendly indoor cats will not come to you when called when they run off." How wrong they are. Ben is a gentle giant, and loves everyone. Last night when ordering pizza, Sir Benny decided he was going to bolt out the front door, past my legs and the pizza girl, down the stairs. The pizza girl dropped the food and joined in running down the stairs to help me catch him. Ben had run into the bushes, happy as a clam and prancing (his old territory) with that crazed wild kitty look in his eyes. Afraid of the pizza girl for some reason, every time he'd start to come to me and see her, he'd run away. Luckily, we were able to catch him a few minutes later. It really depends on the personality of the cat. If they are scared and introverted, it is best that you do not chase after them and try to scare them. With cats like Ben, very friendly and extroverted, I knew I could get away with it. Don't give up on your kitties, it is scary even if they are away for a few minutes.
Missing family member - by: Anonymous
My beloved cat has always been a bit of an escape artist. He is in an indoor cat but managed to sneak out while I was walking the dog. He has been gone 12 hours and I am a nervous wreck. In the past he has just stayed around the house but this time he has disappeared. I have combed the neighborhood shaking treats and calling his name with no luck. Please keep my kitty in your thoughts.
My cat DID return - by: Heather
My indoor cat got out 3 1/2 days ago. Today, I stayed home from work because I was so worried about her. I wanted to be here if she came home. I left the garage door a little bit open and put food and water out. This morning, at 10 a.m., I went to the garage and she was there, completely casual, just strutting around. Try not to worry too much if your indoor cat got out. It's most likely that s/he will return. Even indoor cats are very drawn to the adventures of the outdoors.
Missing Intelligent Friends - by: Anonymous
To all you cat lovers out there, I must say that are dear little feline friends are more intelligent than we give them credit for. Everytime I leave home for work maybe a week or more or less my purrfectly house happy cat leaves. I don't know how she knows the difference between me going to the stores or going away for a length of time. She just takes off. But till date I have always found her in the neighborhood after much searching.
Take care and remember that they can look after themselves and love their freedom.
My Miracle - by: Danielle
My kitten, Miracle, got out Friday morning (July 1st) came back, and took off again. I made flyers, and every morning I check the live trap-no sign of her.
Miracle Magdalene Rose, if you are reading this, please come home. You have toes to lick, furniture to sleep on and people that love you!
MY CAT RAN OFF, WILL SHE COME BACK?
My cat Mizi got out through the kitchen window, and has been missing almost 19 hours. She has never been outside and I live near the expressway which is makes me very worried. My two boys have been up and down my apartment complex calling her. We are planning on going out of town the next day and now I dont want to leave until I find her. She is fixed and has a microchip, but her id tag has our old phone number that we kept forgetting to get changed. Please pray my little Mizi comes home, I know she's scared and doesn't know what's going on.
My Cece - by: Ayana
My brothers cat Cece had gotten out at least 3 days ago, We have tried ever thing calling her and putting food outside and everything. She did come back but she ran away when i tried to get her.I feel bad for my little brother he only 11 years old. I pray that she comes back because my little brother is heart broken. (
Palin our cat - by: Julie and Scott
I Know how you feel my tom has gone missing this morning he is a indoor cat and we are so worried his brother and sister miss him as well. But from what i have read he will return when he is hungry so we keep looking for him and hope he come back soon xx
Missing Kitty - by: Anonymous
My cat just got out through the bathroom window last night, she has not come back, i hear that there is a cat party every night in the next section of the complex, its sunday, its work tomorrow, and i will be half dead at work, but i will be up tonight snooping like aace ventura looking for my dear lil Maya. wish me luck!
Cats going missing - by: Anonymous
most cats do come back, i heard they hv a 20 km radius that they can find you, it can be weeks. but just have to keep waiting.
Cats always come home - by: Marianela
Hi, I have a cat and she ran away about a month an a half ago. Then she came back after two weeks crying, hungry and looking for attention. Believe me, I was upset and worry that she might get hurt but she was fine. Two days later she ran away again. Now she comes to eat and leaves again. I say 99 percent of times, cats will always come home.
Hope u find your cat! Best wishes!
My Cat Came Back! - by: Anonymous
My cat, Gigi, went missing while I was on vacation. My brother came to Texas (where I live) to house sit and let my precious kitty out by accident. I have 1 other cat and a dog so he didn't realize Gigi was missing. When I arrived back from my vacation, I knew something was wrong because she didn't come out to greet me. I totally freaked out. Called neighbors, posted signs, etc. no luck. It was the first week of August and the hottest days on record. Gigi was an indoor cat never been outdoors on her own. I live in a wooded area with lots of wild life so I imagined the worst. I cried for days just thinking of how scared she must be. Over a month later, we find her sitting by the mailbox. She was frail and obviously frightened but she survived. So never give up on your little,furry friend.
You could be surprised! - by: Jaimie
My cat, Cedar, got out of the house on December 3rd, 2008. we had just moved into a new house in an unfamiliar area over 100 miles away from our old home. We put up signs, posted missing cat ads on craigslist. went door to door. looking for our beloved cat! We went to the local pound on a daily basis for weeks! To make a really long and heartbreaking story short. I received a phone call today from a little girl, asking me if I was looking for my cat. today is 2/12/09 (tomorrow is my birthday) and i am holding my beloved kitty, who is just barely alive..skin and bones, frostbite on her ears - who just had a bit of food, some water and a nice warm bath. after a little blow dry..and ear cleaning..she's purring on my lap..bundled up..having the best sleep of her last 3 months! Don't give up hope. you just may be surprised! My cat was found over 10 miles away! the weather has been below zero at times and over 70 degrees on other days! she traveled thru farmland that is frequented by coyotes and gigantic hawks! i am so grateful!! keep up your hope.
I found Snoopy - by: connie
I found my Snoopy dead frozen under a pile of snow he was so close to home.He went missing
jan 6 and I just foound him yesterday i saw his little ear sticking out of the snow I walked by there every day calling his name but at the coldtemps im sure he died right away.Im just sick over this we so all loved him so much.What a horible accident.I want toturn back the hands of time. he dug hiself unfer an evergreen tree about 12 inchs maybe to try towarm up?At least i found him now I can stop looking for him day and night
in loving memory of
snoopy it will take me forever to get over him being gone and the guilt I feel for his freezing to death.God help me.
Answer by Kate
I am so sorry. What can i say. But you must not blame yourself. you did everything you could by going out and looking for him as often as you did. i think you must be right though, he probably died soon after getting out otherwise there would be no reason for him to try and return home. cats are smart and if they are cold and can get in the warm they will. he must have passed away fairly quickly.
My thoughts are with you, but you must not blame yourself. Any cat would be lucky to have such a caring owner as you. It was just a terrible accident. look after yourself.
My Snoopy got afraid and ran away - by: Connie
His name is Snoopy silver gray 9 years old neutered and front declaw, he never goes out side I just had come home from having stomach sergury and couldnt get the door shut after letting outr dog out, Snoopy went out but wanted back in but I was to weak to get it open again so I put on my boots and coat and went arount the back to the porch to get him and I scared him off into the night and it was -25 below o He went missing Jan 6th 2009 so cold Im afraid he may have froze to death ,alltho we also have an outside cat and he lives ok in the winter, but Snoopy has never seen winter.Could he still be alive and find his way home? /I call him all the time and leave food smelly fish food too and he hasnt returned yet, if cats get lost are they good at finding there way home why doesnt he come when i call him?thanks for hearing me out. i miss him so mudh and his indoor wife Ruby crys for him just like i do he was so special.
Cats do return home - by: Laurie
My 2 year old Calico cat Bella got outside and was gone for 3 months before returning home. I had decided she was not going to return, and had gotten another cat. She seems happy to be home, but not happy to have to share me. hope your cat returns to you.
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Strategies to Deter Stray Cats from Your House
There are many natural ways to deter cats from your property, and most are quite simple and cost-effective. Repel cats from your plants, house, and yard with these easy home solutions.
Keep Stray Cats Away from Your House with Repellent
One of the easiest ways to turn your property into a feline-free space is to make a homemade cat repellent spray to keep cats away. This spray has ingredients that repel cats and is easy to make with just a few supplies.
DIY Cat Repellent Spray
Combine the vinegar and water in a spray bottle and swirl it. Squirt in some dish soap, place the cap on the bottle and shake to ensure mixing.
Spray around your property in areas where the cats go. This includes gardens, bird feeders or other food sources, or a sandbox, which is basically a big outdoor litter box.
Lay Down Chicken Wire to Keep Strays Away
Outdoor cats will look for anything that they can use as their litter box, and that includes your garden. To stop cats from peeing in your flower beds, lay down chicken wire flat in your soil before planting. You can use wire cutters to make spaces for your plants to grow through.
Chicken wire is excellent at keeping stray cats away because they don’t like the feel of the fence on their paws. They’ll steer clear of any space where you place the chicken wire on the ground.
How to Repel Stray Cats with Water
Another thing that most cats dislike is water. If you’re looking for one of the best ways for keeping stray cats away from your porch, then squirt them with a little bit of water. Keep a full spray bottle nearby so you can do it yourself, or set up a motion-sensor sprinkler to do the job for you.
This is such an effective method of how to repel stray cats that there are animal-specific sprinklers you can purchase. These devices sense the presence of the critters and spray right at the unwanted visitors.
As a bonus, it can be quite entertaining to sit on the porch and watch the cats approach. You get to see how fast they run away when they hit the area covered by the sprinkler.
Plant Coleus canina
If you want to know how to keep feral cats out of the yard, look no further than the Coleus canina plant. Otherwise known as the Scaredy Cat plant, this herb emits a smell that repels cats and other small mammals.
Though it will add a nice splash of color to your yard, you should be careful where you plant it. The Coleus canina plant gives off a skunk-like smell when someone or something brushes up against it, so keep it far from areas with heavy foot traffic.
If you can’t find Coleus canina at your local garden center, there are several other plants that repel cats and dogs, as well. Plant a few of these around your yard, and your neighbors’ cats will stay away once they realize you have them.
Plants that Keep Cats Away
- Lemon balm
- Curry herb
Use Texture as Cat Deterrent
Cats’ paws are sensitive, and there are many textures that they cannot stand. Lay down rough materials like sandpaper on surfaces that strays jump up onto often. Other substances that deter cats are aluminum foil, double-sided tape, and the underside of a carpet runner.
While these materials all work for outdoor areas, they are also ideally suited for indoor cats, as well. If you have a pet cat that keeps strolling around a forbidden space, lay down one of these textured surfaces to keep them away.
Lay Down Ground Cover
If you keep seeing strays urinating in your gardens, laying down ground cover is a quick way to get rid of that problem. Sprinkle gravel around your garden, or spread out mulch, or even place pine cones around to prevent cats from walking where they shouldn’t.
These ground cover tricks work for the same reason as sandpaper and aluminum foil cats can’t stand the feeling on their paws. Any substance that has a bristly texture works as ground cover to keep feral cats away.
How to Keep Feral Cats Out of the Yard with Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds can also work as an excellent ground cover in your garden, and not just because it’s a top-notch fertilizer. Just as cats’ paws are sensitive, so is their sense of smell. One scent they don’t like is coffee.
Coffee grounds work best if they’re used, as they have a stronger scent. So, the next time you make coffee, re-use your grounds by tossing them in your garden or any other area where curious cats have been hanging around.
Find the Right Scents
In addition to coffee grounds, there are many different scents that cats detest. One of the most effective scents for scaring off cats (and dogs) is moth balls.
However, they are toxic to small animals, so place them in a glass container. Poke holes in the lid, so the bottle emits a smell, and put them around your yard.
Cats also can’t stand any citrusy smells. That means you can recycle your citrus peels by throwing them in your back yard to keep the strays at bay. Throw out orange or lemon peels, or sprinkle some citronella oil around popular areas.
You can also use cayenne pepper, though the furry critters have a much harsher reaction to the capsaicin chemical found in it, so we recommend one of the less potent options.
You can also make simple cat repellent sprays by mixing any citrus-based essential oil with water. Mix one part oil with three parts water and spray wherever needed.
Install Ultrasound Devices
Ultrasound technology is a common technique for keeping away unwanted pests like mice, and it is also useful for cats. Ultrasound devices use high-frequency sounds to annoy the creatures, making this a low-effort method of cat repellent. Plug it in near the area where the cats like to roam.
While the high-frequency sound these devices emit is unbearable to strays, it is undetectable to the human ear. When setting them up, make sure the instrument is facing whichever direction the cats like to hang out.
Lure Stray Cats Elsewhere
One of the best ways to keep strays away from some regions of your property is to entice them to hang out somewhere else. If you want to keep cats away from your garden or other spaces, set up a little hideaway in an area far away from where you don’t want them.
Create an outdoor litter box by building a sandbox, or plant catnip in the corner of your property. The cats will gladly hang out there instead of pooping and peeing in your beautiful flower beds or getting into other kinds of trouble. Though this obviously won’t get rid of the strays, it is a nice compromise to keep them away from the human-only areas.
Keep Your Yard Clean to Prevent Visits from Strays
As always, preventative measures are some of the most effective tactics for keeping unwanted visitors away. Clean up your yard so there isn’t anything there to attract strays in the first place.
The main thing to look for when cleaning is anything that may be a food source. This means no feeding any of your own pets outside, and keeping bird feeders in areas where cats can’t get to them. It also means cleaning up after yourself whenever you are grilling food or having an outdoor barbeque.
Make sure your trash cans are inaccessible and that you clear away any spots that attract small prey like mice. Seal up any entrances or holes in garages or sheds where strays might seek shelter.
Additionally, monitor your property for any areas with cat urine and wash it away with an enzyme cleaner. Cats return to spaces that are marked with urine.
If skunks are a problem in your yard, in addition to cats, you can employ some of the same remedies listed here. However, a skunk deterrent can also be made from ammonia or dog urine to repel these cute but frightening creatures and ensure that they go elsewhere.
Now that you know what keeps cats away, you can use these techniques to cat-proof your property. It is easy to prevent these furry felines from visiting without causing them any harm.
Our humane methods are low-cost and easy to set up using items you likely already have in your home. Follow any of our natural ways of keeping strays away and your home will be free of these unwanted guests in no time!
If this article helped teach you how to keep stray cats away from your house, then share our animal control tips with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest!
Why do Cats go Missing for Days at a Time?
Cats are known for being very independent pets so many cat owners are quite happy to allow them to freely roam their neighbourhood.
For most owners they will find that their cat comes back every night and does this quite happily all it’s life without ever going missing or disappearing for more than a few hours.
It features real time location tracking and no distance limit. plus load of other incredible features!
However it is unfortunately not true that cats will always come back home.
If your cat doesn’t come home for a few days this can be particularly concerning for any cat owner, particularly as most domestic cats have lost their ability to successfully fend for themselves for any considerable length of time as their feral ancestors would have.
Tens of thousands of cats go missing every year, in fact there are 6.5 million lost cats in Europe at any one time and it is calculated that 25% of them will never be reunited with their owners.
That’s more than 1.6 million lost cats who will not be seen again by their human families!
There are plenty of reasons why your cat may go missing, obviously cats are incredibly curious creatures and at times their curiosity can cause all sorts of problems which may result in them going missing for days at a time!
If you have recently lost your cat and are looking for tips on how to find him or her then read our article here on how to find a lost cat.