What to Do When Your Lost Cat Returns Home?

Its the worst cat-owners nightmare: your beloved cat sneaks out of the house one night and doesnt come back. You call her, you walk around the neighborhood banging a tin of her favorite food with a fork, you put up missing cat flyers, you beg your neighbors to keep an eye out for her. Finally, after youve almost given up hope, shes back! Perhaps shes a little the worse for her adventure, perhaps shes a little skinnier than before, but your furry friend is home. Now comes the difficult part: helping her recover and making sure she doesnt elude you again.

This will help get rid of any parasites or other nasties in your cats fur, as well as ensuring that she doesnt carry dirt or disease into your home. Incidentally, this is just one reason why you should spay and neuter as soon as your kittens are old enough: pregnancy is a real risk for any of your girls until you have them desexed.

I would recommend keeping her in a quiet part of the home for a day or two so she can get her bearings before allowing her to reintegrate into space. Its important to be patient and never punish your cat for angry outbursts shes frightened and distressed, not cruel or bad. Making sure your cat feels safe in her home is an important antidote to future attacks of itchy feet.

If this fails to turn up your cat, get her bedding and a favorite toy and place them out on the porch or in some other sheltered but accessible space near your house. dont leave the bedding somewhere it will get wet youre aiming to create a familiar, comfortable nest where your cat will want to stay, one which is imbued with her own smell and pheromones.

What to do after cat comes back home?

Give your cat some food. ….Bring your cat to the vet. ….Give her a quick bath. ….Be sure to spay or neuter your cat. ….It’s about time to microchip your cat. ….Don’t forget to update the lost pet listing. ….Give her a quiet place and some quiet time.

Will a cat try to find its way back home?

Cats seem to have a sort of homing instinct which in some cases have guided cats to travel hundreds of miles back to their home. Most indoor-only cats tend not to travel far. While an adventurous indoor/outdoor cat is more likely to roam, a scared cat may not trust their inner compass, get confused, and get lost.

How far will a cat travel to get back home?

With that in mind, it’s helpful to look at an average of how far cats can travel when they’re lost. According to Dr John Bradshaw of the School of Veterinary Science at Bristol University and author of Cat Sense, most cats roam between 40 and 200 metres (131 and 656 feet) from the home.

Do cats return after running away?

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.

Cats exhibit many behaviors around illness and death that owners struggle to understand. Do cats run away to die, or do they prefer to pass away surrounded by their loving

Neutering and spaying are also recommended, as theyll prevent cats from roaming neighborhoods to find mates. Bengals Domestic Shorthairs Main Coons Ragdolls Russian Blues Siameses Sphinxes Scottish Folds

Their instincts are so strong, they cant think about anything else and wont return home until theyve planted their seed or the hormones die down. Autumn is the worst time for cats to be hit by cars, and young male crossbreeds are most at risk. Similarly, if your cats experienced a broken bone or joint issue while roaming, it wont be able to make its way home.

Theyre naturally curious creatures that like to explore garden sheds and garages, not realizing theres no way for them to get out. Many owners are surprised about how close their cats have been when they finally find them, as they usually tuck themselves in neighbors yards and cant get out until theyre discovered. Your cat could be hiding out somewhere quiet or safe because its been spooked by something, such as a group of people or animals.

The Journal of Wildlife Management learned that coyotes prey on cats, particularly during the pup-rearing season. If your cat feels its lifes in danger, itll lay low until its safe to come out. Similarly, if someone suspects your cat to be a stray, theres a small risk it could get taken away by animal control.

Accidents and injuries Mauling from other animals Abusive humans Extreme weather conditions If your cats gone missing, call the local animal shelters and vets in case its died and been taken in. Not only that, but they bond strongly with their homes, claiming it as their territory through scent marking through urine and glands.

Psi trailing is a term used to describe how cats can locate their owners when theyve moved away. Its a feeling of pure joy and relief when a missing cat returns home. Your cat will hide any pain or injury when it returns, so take it to a vet even if it doesnt display any symptoms.

Cats dont like change, so set up a solitary room with a bed, food, water, its favorite toys, and hiding spots. Allow your cat to sniff the room and get settled back into the home for a few days before letting it have full access to the rest of the house. When your missing cat returns, youll be tempted to spoil it with treats and food.

This isnt a good idea, as your cat probably didnt eat much while it was missing, staying alive on scraps. Start by offering a small amount of your cats regular food within the first 24 hours and monitor its behavior. Even though cats dont like being bathed, its a good idea to remove fleas, bugs, and debris from their fur.

Chances are your cats furs greasy and unkempt , so washing it will make it feel much better. The noise will stress your cat out, making it feel overwhelmed and agitated. If your cat gets lost or stolen, a microchip can help you get your pet back and prove ownership.

If your cat wears a collar, make sure the ID tags up to date with your address and phone number. You can also place a small tracking device on your cats collar so you can locate it the next time it goes missing for a few days. Doing so is one of the most effective ways to prevent cats from roaming neighborhoods looking for a mate and offers numerous health benefits.

Depending on the experience and reason for going missing, your cat will exhibit behavioral changes that may concern you when it comes home. Cats that are happy to be home after days, weeks, or months away become more affectionate, wanting to spend as much time with their owners as possible. Owners provide safety and security, which your cat may need after getting lost, trapping, or facing a predator.

Until your cat gets over the experience and feels calmer, itll display symptoms of nervousness, such as: Rapid breathing Trembling or shaking Toilet accidents Fidgeting Flattened ears Round eyes and dilated pupils Hiding Fleeing Showing aggression (hissing, growling, arching back ) Excessive grooming Lethargy Vomiting and diarrhea Eliminating outside the litter box Clinginess Excessive vocalization Aimless pacing A constant state of skittish vigilance

Similarly, injured or sick cats tuck themselves away to hide issues, protecting themselves against predators looking for an easy kill. Your cats had quite an adventure, so itll sleep more frequently to regain and conserve its energy. Your cat likely didnt sleep much while it was missing because it would have needed to remain alert to protect itself from predators .

Its normal for cats to experience physical changes to their appearance after going missing, especially if theyve been gone for weeks or months.

Realizing that a pet cat is missing is a tragic and traumatic experience for every doting pet parent. Youve already knocked on every door in your neighborhood and searched every nook and cranny but still, no signs of your kitty. Then, out of the blue, you suddenly see her on your front door!

Its been a few days and you still got no luck in finding your cat but then, one morning, your pet kitty suddenly appears in the doorway, looking quite confused and hungry. Your cat may have suffered injuries or wounds while out in the streets or neighborhood but doesnt seem to manifest any sign of it.

Your vet may take laboratory tests of your cat and may deworm her should she be infected with internal parasites. Should your cat appears weak or has no appetite for food, your vet may decide to give injectable vitamins or put her on intravenous therapy. You should also make sure to give your cat a quick bath to freshen her up and to get rid of fleas, ticks, and other unnecessary things that may have been lurking in her fur.

Having your cat microchipped is a good choice as it protects your kitty from getting stolen or becoming lost again. A microchip is a tiny computer chip thats about the size of a rice grain. The pertinent information is stored in the pet registry service database and can be read using readers that most shelters and vets have so that the cats owner can be contacted easily.

Your cat may be a little shaken or disoriented upon her return home so its best to let her have some quiet time away from everyone in your household. If youve been quite lax before when it comes to cat safety then its about time that you should reevaluate and secure your home and surroundings. Treat her with tender loving care and understand that she may have gone through a lot of stress while she was missing.

How to find a lost cat? What to do in a missing cat scenario? First off, take a deep breath, and try to stay calm. Then, take a look at our guide, which is full of tips and helpful information that can help you bring your cat home. And get a GPS cat tracker so you always know where they are, and prevent your cat from going missing again.

Tip: The faster you can get outside and go search for your missing cat, the higher your chances of finding them. If your contact details on the microchip ID are up to date, and if youre lucky enough to get a call about your missing cat, youll be reunited.

While a microchip is a security must-have, it does not actively help you search for a lost cat or guarantee that they will be returned to you. They want to feel safe and cozy : maybe they found a comfortable box in the bottom of your closet and decided to take a nap Theyre scared or anxious : for example, if a two-legged or four-legged stranger is over for a visit at your place Theyre sick or pregnant : cats often go into hiding when they are feeling unwell, or are about to give birth According to pet detective and lost cat expert Kat Albrecht, missingcats tend to hide, in silence, typically staying close to home 1 .

Lost dogs , on the other hand, tend to run and travel great distances quickly. under the deck or porch on the roof in the garage up a tree inside the car in a chimney around the trash and recycling bins Having an indoor cat go missing can be especially heartbreaking, because we arent used to them wandering far from our feet!

This means they only feel comfortable exploring their home territory, so they probably wont travel much further than a small distance from where they live. Start searching your immediate surroundings in order to find a lost indoor cat. Call their name, put out some cat food, and check any potential hiding spots like in the garage or up a tree and your feline friend will likely be back in your arms in no time.

If your cat is missing and nowhere to be found inside or near your home, its key to start an active, physical search for them . The sooner you start looking for your lost cat, the easier it will be to find them. Researchers found that cats can recognize their humans voice as well as their own name, even when strangers call it 3 .

This story shows how one Tractive user discovered their curious cat Kiwi trapped inside a moving van! Heres how one cat mama brought her beloved Kiwi home with the help of Tractive GPS: Our Cat went missing for 1 month and following her return (after a mad social media campaign!

After spending evenings looking for her, crying most nights and constant looking and posting on social media, I couldnt go through this again!! We researched online and Tractive seemed to have some good reviews and a reasonable price to buy plus the subscription. We live on a Golf Course and our cat is a wild little monkey, being born from a Farm.

After spotting on my phone that she had left her virtual fence I noticed that she was moving quickly and along roads. With the Tractive App, I found her in a Shopping Centre Car Park in the back of the fish van. The story was posted in our local newspaper unfortunately it wont let me share the link on this review but if you go to Google and search kiwi Grimsby cat, the first link on the page will take you to the story.

Without Tractive, who knows where Kiwi would be now (probably shipped on a boat to a foreign country! Hit LIVE to follow every step in the Tractive GPS mobile or web app with real-time location updates every 2-3 seconds Track together with friends and family using Family Sharing Use Find Mode once youre nearby to pinpoint their location they might be hidden behind or under something Activate light or sound if its dark out, or hard to see where they are Share current location with the public if your cat is further away, and you need help getting reunited you can do this in the location section under the Tracker tab in your profile Reunite with yout cat , and give them a biiig cuddle You could even put food in additional spots around your home if you have a large outdoor space.

Make sure someone is there to spot your cat in case they come home for a bite to eat . Leave the garage, or another door cracked open cats like to sneak inside Put your cats favorite bed, blanket or scratcher outside the scent will attract them Put some special food out, like tuna or sardines. In addition, youll want to post your cats picture and description on various social networks .

Check the pages of animal shelters in your area; theyll often post their latest finds online. Also check shelter websites people often post missing cats theyve found here. You might find these regional resources useful in your search to being reunited with your lost cat:

According to an article on Japan Today , some lost cat parents have had success by doing the following: It might sound strange, but if it can help you find a lost cat why not give it a try? Tofu (the cat) didnt come home after being let outside to play.

Before I let her go outside I picked her up and held her face up to mine and made eye contact with her and asked her to go and find Tofu. I gave her a small kiss on the nose and I opened the back door for her and let her go play. About twenty minutes later my mom called out to me Fifi and Tofu were both sitting on the steps outside my back door.

But of course, this may not work, as the companion cats may not be willing to explore unfamiliar places in search of the lost one, in favor of their familiar territory. To finish, we thought wed share some extra quick tips on how to find a lost cat: Look when its dark and quiet outside Dont bring other animals with you when youre on your search they may scare your cat away Use a flashlight to search in the dark Bring your cats favorite toy and treats Continue calmly calling their name Walk slowly and take frequent breaks from calling out, so that your cat has a chance to call back Scan the surrounding area for movement or sounds.

Check places where your cat could get stuck Set up a humane baited trap (available at a feed or hardware store). Search places where a lost cat could find warmth Ask anyone who visited your property (such as a delivery person) to check their van or truck Leave a piece of clothing or towel that smells like you outside your door Sprinkle flour around and check for paw prints, if you suspect your cat is hanging around but not coming home Publish a missing cat notice in the local newspaper Spay or neuter your cats, to prevent them from running away due to their strong mating instinct .

Finding a lost cat might feel challenging, but chances are, you will be reunited in no time. The good news is that studies have shown that about 74% of lost cats are eventually united with their family again 5 .

Lost cat behavior

This may persist even after you get your cat home.If there was something specific that triggered the vanishing act, it’s important that you address the issue. Making sure your cat feels safe in her home is an important antidote to future attacks of itchy feet.

How to find a lost outdoor cat

If this fails to turn up your cat, get her bedding and a favorite toy and place them out on the porch or in some other sheltered but accessible space near your house. don’t leave the bedding somewhere it will get wet — you’re aiming to create a familiar, comfortable nest where your cat will want to stay, one which is imbued with her own smell and pheromones. Set her litter-box outside too. Cats are highly territorial and use waste to mark their territory; the smell will make it easier for her to get back where she belongs.If your missing cat is skittish and tends to be shy of people, you may struggle to retrieve her if she decides to run off. In this sort of situation, I would recommend asking your vet for a humane trap. This is a type of cage trap that holds kitties securely and safely without causing them any pain. You can bait it with her bedding, toys and preferred type of treat.

Why Do Cats Go Missing?

It’s common for cats to go missing. Most cats roam at night and come back every morning. They sometimes go out for days, but it’s rare for them to go out for weeks at a time. If they do, something more complicated is going on.According to the journal Animals, at least 15% of owners lose their cats in 5 years. Some of them are never found, although approximately 1/3 studied were recovered within a week. 75% of cats were found within a 500-meter radius.Unfortunately, there are several reasons for this to happen, making it tricky to locate your pet. When a cat with access to the outdoors suddenly disappears, something’s prevented it from coming home. If you’re wondering, “why do cats go missing for weeks at a time?” these are the most likely reasons:

Injury

Cat theft is common, especially of expensive pedigree breeds. The most commonly stolen cat breeds include:Frustratingly, there are few laws in the U.S. regarding cat theft, making it difficult to get stolen cats back. Thieves steal pets predominantly for financial reasons, as cats can be:Sometimes, however, cats are stolen by neighbors who’ve enticed your cat with food, treats, and affection. Using a collar, keeping your cat indoors, or using a location tracker can help you locate your pet.

Trapped

It’s common for cats to get trapped while they roam outside. They’re naturally curious creatures that like to explore garden sheds and garages, not realizing there’s no way for them to get out.Similarly, cold or rainy weather drives cats to look for shelter. Cats can go a couple of weeks without food. They can only go 3 days without water, but this is easier for them to find, particularly if cats have access to condensation.Many owners are surprised about how close their cats have been when they finally find them, as they usually tuck themselves in neighbors’ yards and can’t get out until they’re discovered.

Hiding

Not all cats are outdoor cats. Most expensive pedigree cats are kept indoors because of the theft risk. However, if they escape the house and go for a wander, it’s highly unlikely they’ll know how to get home.If your cat’s never been out before, it’s only natural to worry. You may have to go and look for your cat to help it find its way home. You can help your lost cat home by:

Accidental Transport

Most cats go missing because they’ve been accidentally transported somewhere unfamiliar. This happens when they get into cars or other vehicles that unexpectedly move. Unfortunately, the cat could end up thousands of miles away from home if it gets into the wrong one.In this instance, your cat hasn’t willingly run away – it’s disappeared because of reasons beyond its control. Getting cats back when they’ve been transported elsewhere is tricky but not impossible.Similarly, if someone suspects your cat to be a stray, there’s a small risk it could get taken away by animal control. Luckily, if your cat’s microchipped, it’ll make its way back to you.

Returning To An Old Home

Your cat may be attempting to go back to its old home if you’ve recently moved. Cats are territorial, and if you were in your previous home for a long time, your pet likely has a strong urge to go back and reclaim its territory.Sometimes, cats prefer to remain in their old home and don’t return. Other times, they get lost attempting to get back, particularly if it’s a significant distance from where you currently live.To prevent this, make your cat feel as at home as possible. Also, keep your cat inside for at least 2-3 weeks so that it can get used to the scent.

Homing Instinct

Sadly, cats sometimes go missing because they’ve died while roaming outdoors. This could be due to several reasons, including:Similarly, some cats go away from home to die. This is part of their instincts, but it can make owners feel as if they haven’t done enough to care for their pets. Cats isolate themselves to die because they are:If your cat’s gone missing, call the local animal shelters and vets in case it’s died and been taken in.

Psi Trailing

Psi trailing is a term used to describe how cats can locate their owners when they’ve moved away. It’s believed that cats and humans have material connections that run on a deep level. This is based on the idea that when one electron’s separated from another, the paired electron changes direction.Both humans and cats are made of atoms, so we sync together at an atomic level, allowing cats to find their way home. Of course, this theory only works with cats that are bonded with humans.

How To Reintroduce a Lost Cat

It’s a feeling of pure joy and relief when a missing cat returns home. However, proceed with caution for the first 24-48 hours, as your pet will feel stressed and fragile. When your cat comes home, reintroduce it with these steps:

Visit a Vet

It’s impossible to know what happened to your cat when it was missing. It could have gotten into a fight, been attacked, or hurt itself in a fall. Your cat will hide any pain or injury when it returns, so take it to a vet even if it doesn’t display any symptoms. You can never be too careful in this situation.

Help It Settle In

Give your cat time and space to adjust when it comes home. Cats don’t like change, so set up a solitary room with a bed, food, water, its favorite toys, and hiding spots. Allow your cat to sniff the room and get settled back into the home for a few days before letting it have full access to the rest of the house.

Feed Your Cat Moderately

When your missing cat returns, you’ll be tempted to spoil it with treats and food. This isn’t a good idea, as your cat probably didn’t eat much while it was missing, staying alive on scraps. If you offer too much food too quickly, health conditions can occur, such as liver damage.Start by offering a small amount of your cat’s regular food within the first 24 hours and monitor its behavior. Be careful with how much water you give your cat, too.

Give It a Bath

Even though cats don’t like being bathed, it’s a good idea to remove fleas, bugs, and debris from their fur. Chances are your cat’s fur’s greasy and unkempt, so washing it will make it feel much better.

Secure Your Home

To prevent cats from sneaking out and getting lost, secure your home by keeping the windows and doors closed and installing a cat flap that you can lock when you want your pet to stay in.It’s not feasible to keep all cats indoors, so consider installing a catio or cat sanctuary in your yard, allowing your cat access to the outdoors without the risk of it running off.

Limit Visitors

Give your cat a chance to settle in before you invite visitors into your home. The noise will stress your cat out, making it feel overwhelmed and agitated. Reintroduce your cat to people slowly once it’s ready to emerge from hiding.

Microchip

If your cat’s not already microchipped, you must rectify this. A microchip is a computer that sits under your cat’s skin, containing your phone number and address. If your cat gets lost or stolen, a microchip can help you get your pet back and prove ownership.

Update ID Tag

If your cat wears a collar, make sure the ID tag’s up to date with your address and phone number. Even if your cat doesn’t wear one, it might be a wise idea to consider. You can also place a small tracking device on your cat’s collar so you can locate it the next time it goes missing for a few days. Just make sure you choose a quick-release collar to prevent accidents.

De-sex

We’ve already mentioned how unspayed and unneutered cats are more likely to go for a wander than those that are de-sexed. Doing so is one of the most effective ways to prevent cats from roaming neighborhoods looking for a mate and offers numerous health benefits.

Cat Behavior After Returning Home

Depending on the experience and reason for going missing, your cat will exhibit behavioral changes that may concern you when it comes home. Your cat’s behavior should return to normal after a few days once your cat’s had a chance to process what it went through.In the meantime, give your cat as much space as it needs and be patient. Never scold or shout at your cat, as you’ll enhance its trauma. These are the behaviors you’re likely to experience once your cat returns home:

More Affectionate

Cats that are happy to be home after days, weeks, or months away become more affectionate, wanting to spend as much time with their owners as possible. Owners provide safety and security, which your cat may need after getting lost, trapping, or facing a predator.

Stressed

Your cat likely experienced some kind of trauma while missing. If it’s unusual for your cat to disappear for too long, something might have happened to scare or spook your cat, putting it on edge. Until your cat gets over the experience and feels calmer, it’ll display symptoms of nervousness, such as:Give your cat some space and leave it to come around in its own time.

Hiding More Frequently

Don’t be alarmed if your cat hides under the bed or other furniture as soon as it arrives home. This is a normal reaction to being frightened or wary of something.Similarly, injured or sick cats tuck themselves away to hide issues, protecting themselves against predators looking for an easy kill. This is an instinct that’s hard-wired into them. You should take your cat to the vet for a check over to make sure nothing’s wrong.According to VCA Hospitals, whether it hides or not depends on your cat’s personality.

Frequent Sleeping

Your cat’s had quite an adventure, so it’ll sleep more frequently to regain and conserve its energy. Your cat likely didn’t sleep much while it was missing because it would have needed to remain alert to protect itself from predators.Similar to hiding, frequent sleeping can be a sign of a health issue. Monitor whether your cat has an appetite. If it stops eating, it needs veterinary attention.

Give your cat some food.

In many cases your cat has experienced starvation while she was lost and wandering in the streets. Once she returns home, try to give her some food but not in large quantities. Feeding your cat with a large amount of cat food may cause more harm than good. and could result in liver damage. Give her food in small amounts in the first 24 hours after her return. You should also give her water in moderate amounts so as not to overwhelm her system.

Bring your cat to the vet.

After making sure that your cat gets settled back in and eating normally again after getting lost, make sure to bring her to the vet. Your cat may have suffered injuries or wounds while out in the streets or neighborhood but doesn’t seem to manifest any sign of it. Also, your kitty may have become infested with fleas and other parasites.Your vet may take laboratory tests of your cat and may deworm her should she be infected with internal parasites. Should your cat appears weak or has no appetite for food, your vet may decide to give injectable vitamins or put her on intravenous therapy. Your vet may also do a pregnancy test to your cat especially if your cat was unspayed when she got lost as it may be likely that she was in heat when she went missing.

Give her a quick bath.

You should also make sure to give your cat a quick bath to freshen her up and to get rid of fleas, ticks, and other unnecessary things that may have been lurking in her fur. Aside from that, it’s also a good way to wash away traces of dirt and grime from your cat’s coat.

It’s about time to microchip your cat.

Cats that are unspayed or unneutered are more likely to roam and get lost because they’re searching for a mate. To prevent this, make sure to have your pet kitty spayed or neutered. Doing so also has benefits.Here are the common advantages of spaying or neutering your cat: