Friday, October 26, 2007

Cat - What To Do When Your Indoor Cat is Lost

OUR CAT GOT OUT

One night our "indoor only" cat, Julian, got out through an open second-story window and wandered off. We quickly learned the next morning how little we really knew about what he would do and how to get him back. Julian is the sweetest, most adorable cat, but he's dumb as a box of rocks, and we knew he would have no idea how to get home. We hadn't thought he needed a collar, being an indoor cat, nor did he have a microchip implant with our information should he be found and taken to the local humane association or vet's office.

For two days my husband and I walked our neighborhood for five blocks in each direction, asking everyone on the street if they had seen him. We put up fliers with his picture and enlisted the eager help of young neighbor children. We called his name over and over as we walked with a bag of food that we would shake. One of our friends brought a dog to sniff him out. Julian never answered and was nowhere to be found. It was like he has simply vanished.

Finally we found him about fifty feet from his point of escape, hiding in a neighbor's garage. The garage door had been open most of the time he was missing and we had walked right by him numerous times, calling his name. In spite of that he didn't meow and he didn't come home. We figured it was because the home had two large dogs and he was frozen with fear. Don't overlook a home or yard just because it has dogs that live there! Our cat was right under the nose of two so-called retrievers who never noticed him. We went back around the neighborhood and told everyone that we had found him. By that point they cared too!

DON'T FREEZE UP

Don't fall into the trap of GRIEF AVOIDANCE where you tell yourself the cat is already gone for good; you won't be able to avoid the pain of loss by saying it's just a cat. Your cat is probably within a five block radius and can most likely be found!

We learned from the shelters and vets that any cat can become "displaced" when moved, chased or otherwise dislocated from its territory, like jumping out a window. For indoor cats, the inside of its home is its territory, so it will quickly feel displaced once outside.

WHAT DO CATS DO?

Disoriented and afraid, most "indoor only" cats will NOT come to you even if they know your voice, recognize you or your scent, or hear the sound of food being shaken. Their instinct is to hunker down in a concealed place, USUALLY NEAR THE POINT OF ESCAPE. They will NOT MEOW because that would tell predators where they are. This is not because the cat does not love you; rather, silence is a scared cat's survival instinct.

SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Your best technique for finding the cat is to GO HOUSE TO HOUSE in your neighborhood, checking every area in which a cat could conceal itself, such as under porches, in bushes, under decks, up trees, anywhere small enough for a cat to fit. Ask your neighbors if you can search their property. All of ours said yes and most got out and helped. Call a few friends to help you. More people can cover a wider area and the moral support will help you. If it is nighttime, use flashlights as they will reflect the cat's eyes. Remember: cats do not run away; they are waiting to be found.

You can also rent a HUMANE TRAP from most humane associations for about ten dollars. These are also sold at home stores like Fleet Farm or Home Depot. The traps look like long cages. Set one up near your home by a door and put kitty's food inside. Once the cat gets inside to chow down, the back of the trap drops and he's safely inside.

You should also contact the police and let them know your cat is missing. They are the ones who pick up injured and dead animals from roadways and can let you know if a cat matching yours has been found. Also contact the local humane association and give them a description of your cat so they can identify him if someone brings him in. Call them daily and make friends with the people who answer the phone. Write their numbers down in one place so if you need to call the next day you won't have to look it up each time.

Of course, putting up fliers and placing an ad in the newspaper might help as well, but these methods are far less immediate than GOING THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOOD WITH A FIND TOOTH COMB, ESPECIALLY NEAR THE POINT OF ESCAPE, AS SOON AS YOU FIND THE CAT IS MISSING.

Finally, don't lose heart! While it's hard to stay focused when you are emotionally distraught, remember that most cats get lost during their lives and most are found and return home. Unfortunately, lost cats need YOU to find THEM, not the reverse. You have to be persistent and determined. A methodical strategy is your best chance of getting him back. Our vet heard of a cat that was missing for 54 days, and due to the owner's persistence returned home safely. Don't give up!

Diana Rivers lives in Appleton, Wisconsin with her husband Michael and three cats: Marcus, Julian, and Ella. As soon as GPS locators get small enough, each family member will have one.

Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Diana_Rivers

Cat - What To Do When Your Indoor Cat is Lost

OUR CAT GOT OUT

One night our "indoor only" cat, Julian, got out through an open second-story window and wandered off. We quickly learned the next morning how little we really knew about what he would do and how to get him back. Julian is the sweetest, most adorable cat, but he's dumb as a box of rocks, and we knew he would have no idea how to get home. We hadn't thought he needed a collar, being an indoor cat, nor did he have a microchip implant with our information should he be found and taken to the local humane association or vet's office.

For two days my husband and I walked our neighborhood for five blocks in each direction, asking everyone on the street if they had seen him. We put up fliers with his picture and enlisted the eager help of young neighbor children. We called his name over and over as we walked with a bag of food that we would shake. One of our friends brought a dog to sniff him out. Julian never answered and was nowhere to be found. It was like he has simply vanished.

Finally we found him about fifty feet from his point of escape, hiding in a neighbor's garage. The garage door had been open most of the time he was missing and we had walked right by him numerous times, calling his name. In spite of that he didn't meow and he didn't come home. We figured it was because the home had two large dogs and he was frozen with fear. Don't overlook a home or yard just because it has dogs that live there! Our cat was right under the nose of two so-called retrievers who never noticed him. We went back around the neighborhood and told everyone that we had found him. By that point they cared too!

DON'T FREEZE UP

Don't fall into the trap of GRIEF AVOIDANCE where you tell yourself the cat is already gone for good; you won't be able to avoid the pain of loss by saying it's just a cat. Your cat is probably within a five block radius and can most likely be found!

We learned from the shelters and vets that any cat can become "displaced" when moved, chased or otherwise dislocated from its territory, like jumping out a window. For indoor cats, the inside of its home is its territory, so it will quickly feel displaced once outside.

WHAT DO CATS DO?

Disoriented and afraid, most "indoor only" cats will NOT come to you even if they know your voice, recognize you or your scent, or hear the sound of food being shaken. Their instinct is to hunker down in a concealed place, USUALLY NEAR THE POINT OF ESCAPE. They will NOT MEOW because that would tell predators where they are. This is not because the cat does not love you; rather, silence is a scared cat's survival instinct.

SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Your best technique for finding the cat is to GO HOUSE TO HOUSE in your neighborhood, checking every area in which a cat could conceal itself, such as under porches, in bushes, under decks, up trees, anywhere small enough for a cat to fit. Ask your neighbors if you can search their property. All of ours said yes and most got out and helped. Call a few friends to help you. More people can cover a wider area and the moral support will help you. If it is nighttime, use flashlights as they will reflect the cat's eyes. Remember: cats do not run away; they are waiting to be found.

You can also rent a HUMANE TRAP from most humane associations for about ten dollars. These are also sold at home stores like Fleet Farm or Home Depot. The traps look like long cages. Set one up near your home by a door and put kitty's food inside. Once the cat gets inside to chow down, the back of the trap drops and he's safely inside.

You should also contact the police and let them know your cat is missing. They are the ones who pick up injured and dead animals from roadways and can let you know if a cat matching yours has been found. Also contact the local humane association and give them a description of your cat so they can identify him if someone brings him in. Call them daily and make friends with the people who answer the phone. Write their numbers down in one place so if you need to call the next day you won't have to look it up each time.

Of course, putting up fliers and placing an ad in the newspaper might help as well, but these methods are far less immediate than GOING THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOOD WITH A FIND TOOTH COMB, ESPECIALLY NEAR THE POINT OF ESCAPE, AS SOON AS YOU FIND THE CAT IS MISSING.

Finally, don't lose heart! While it's hard to stay focused when you are emotionally distraught, remember that most cats get lost during their lives and most are found and return home. Unfortunately, lost cats need YOU to find THEM, not the reverse. You have to be persistent and determined. A methodical strategy is your best chance of getting him back. Our vet heard of a cat that was missing for 54 days, and due to the owner's persistence returned home safely. Don't give up!

25 comments:

Robyn Hickson said...

Honestly, thank you for your article, it made me get out the flashlight and have one more look, and sure enough, I found her, at the back of my yard hiding behind some old boards. I feel so much better, thank you thank you!!

Raj said...

Hi me and my wife are in the same predicament as yourself. Our indoor kitty slipped out our 1st floor apartment window two days ago and hasn't been spotted since.

Unfortunately for us we have a woods at the back of our house making it harder for us to find him.

Your story has given us motivation to not lose hope. Any tips would be welcome

SHELLDURR ZUCKERMAN said...

So glad I also stumbled on this informational post. Our indoor cat got out the other evening and we had
looked all over for her several times for 24 hours but last night after reading this I looked under our deck, and although my husband said he had checked it thoroughly- there she was curled up. Thank you!

Shannon Wright said...

I have been crying since Sunday night. It's now Monday. On Friday my girl Bella went out as usual while me and by boyfriend took a drive. I had to go to work but I guess when he got home he didn't bother looking to see if you she wanted in or not. With her being gone Friday and Saturday, my other cat Noir decided to go outside as well and he too has disappeared. I am so sad. I see all the other strays in the neighborhood that we actually feed but my two cats are still MIA. My neighborhood is very woodsy. There are rabbits, foxes, racoons, possums, as well as huge birds like vultures and owls. I can't get the visions of some large animal scooping them up and making them dinner out of my head. Or some evil kid shooting bees bees at them or putting them in the trash with burning newspapers. All the things I saw happen to cats when I was growing up. We walked around this morning calling out for them but nothing. Unfortunately we don't know any of our neighbors and some of them seem a bit unfriendly. I am afraid that asking for help may just back fire. Most Black people hate cats and that is who we live around. We're Black too btw...anyway Im going to keep trying and try not to let negative thoughts get the best of me but this is just so unlike them. They usually go out and come back home. We've got lots of rain in the forecast. Im so sad. :(

Sewwandi said...

Thanks. Just found my lost cat.

Sewwandi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sewwandi said...

Than2

Bhargav Savaliya said...

My cat was un heat and run away before 6 days....
So we thought she will come after 4 days that was common time of her every heat cycle.
But she did not return after 7 days....
We are trying to find her everywhere in society...
But couldn't found her....
Will she come back???
I cry a lot and missing her a lot

Cat Saver said...

Friends of mine have indoor cats and are cat people. An escaped cat showed up on their patio but could not be approached. Couple of days later a picture with flyer of the cat placed in their mailbox. The next night they saw the cat again, called the owners who came over a few times but it would be gone. My friend tried catfood in his have a heart trap with no luck as he has other wild critters around. I suggested he bait it with catnip. Caught and returned cat the next day. Turns out most animals don't like the odor of catnip. Buy really good catnip, full strength and spread the word to others.

Terry

Karen Ferguson said...

I just lost contact with my white and black long hair. Shes curious and a hunter but she mean to most people. Im just trying to find her and make us both feel better. I dont want her out during the heat of the day. We liveinn florida and she possibly chased another cat or she was chased iv left her food out and im hoping to do a search but i fear she will runnfrom me even if shes injured or sick

Karen Ferguson said...

I just lost contact with my white and black long hair. Shes curious and a hunter but she mean to most people. Im just trying to find her and make us both feel better. I dont want her out during the heat of the day. We liveinn florida and she possibly chased another cat or she was chased iv left her food out and im hoping to do a search but i fear she will runnfrom me even if shes injured or sick

lolathebluerussianissaved said...

SERIOUSLY THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!
i thought about how your cat was so near to the place of the escape so it gave me the hought to instead of checking in the shed i'll check behind it and sure enough there she was!!! honestly i'd given up hope but it was this blog that gave me the push i needed. i love my cat and I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUU thank you , you have really saved 6 people's happiness today.
again thank you.

Janet Canedo said...

Thank you for this article I just found my cat because of what you said to do thank you so much!

Mia said...

Thank you for giving me hope again. My girl has been missing for 2 days. I'd just about given up. I going to look for her again with your tips.

Mia said...

Thank you for giving me hope again. My girl has been missing for 2 days. I'd just about given up. I going to look for her again with your tips.

CatsForLife said...

My cat has been missing since 26.12.16 at a new neighbourhood (he's not familiar with it).Me and my family search for him every hour.He's an indoor cat* I already looked the bushes ,driving around the neighbourhood and he's not around :( I'm afraid someone took him and this neighbourhood has so many dogs.I also put up flyers.I dont know where to get the humane trap.Reading this made me not to lose hope and have faith that my cat will be back before new year.I ain't giving up searching for my cat who has been living with me for 6 years

Diane Arpac said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!! My indoor ragdoll cat got out 24 hours ago. We frantically searched calling his name and shaking treating. I was really concerned because it snowed overnight and the temp dropped to 18 degrees. My husband and I were outside with flashlights until 3am. Then out again early the next morning. We were so excited to find paw prints on the deck in the morning but searched for 7 hours with no luck. Then I read this article and immediately grabbed a hammer, ran outside, removed the lattice from our deck and crawled under. I found our baby curled up against the house:) I am so incredibly thankful to you!!!!!

Nickey Wonder said...

My indoor baby went missing 2 nights ago. We frantically searched the neighborhood and every place we could think of. I also searched 2 adjoining neighbors decks with no luck. We live in a new development so there aren't many wild animals, especially this time of year. I just worry so much that she can't find her way home. We left treats and food out, her bed and boxes since she likes them. I'm just afraid she is under our noses and we can't see her....please pray.

Brandon Gallant said...

Thank you so much for your article. I found my cat three days after he went missing. I looked throughout the neighborhood and found him under the neighbor's porch - a place I'd already looked a few times already. The entire family is so relieved to have him back. I had to pull him out with a broom - even after he saw me. He's back to his old self now, but it was a terrifying three days for everyone involved.

20starbuck08 said...

I have two rescue kitties that the no-kill shelter thought no one would take because they were a) difficult and b) pair bonded. One of them ran out while I was grilling tonight. I've had them for around 4 years and they have become more normal (although still kind of strange) and loving cats. I was completely distraught when I couldn't find one of them. If not for this article I wouldn't have found her within and hour of her running out. I didn't see her running out, but this helped me find her. Thanks so much! I would have never forgiven myself otherwise.

KILL LI said...

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Max Sommers said...

My indoor cat has been missing for more than two weeks. I am going to take your advice and search close to home, but my worry is that the neighbourhood is full of feral cats, and he HATES other cats, so might have gone further away in a vain attempt to get away from them. Anyway, I will search as recommended.Thanks for suggesting this.

Unknown said...

Thank you for this! My sweet Stanley escaped early a.m. June 10th thru a door that blew open in the wind. Stanley has always hated loud noises that come from outside(loud exhausts, emergency sirens, banging etc) causing him to run and take cover under our bed or sofa. It's now June 14, and still no Stanley :( we have been looking vigorously since we discovered him gone. On our way out with more laminated posters today, so we will be asking even more neighbors if we can look in their yards etc. We are desperate! Thank you for encouraging hope!

Porfidia moon Caputto said...

I live on top of a mountain. We have Bears foxes birds of prey coyotes owls skunks mountainlion bobcats . My cat Butterbean got out last night because raccoons took off my screen and opened the window I left cracked 1 inch. Both my Siamese indoor cats were gone. There were 2. Raccoons in my pad a mama and her baby eating the cat food. I was wiggin out! I found my runt about an hour and a half later scared across the street. However I have 110 stairs going to my pad. So he was far. It's all wilderness after my house there's no houses on my side of the street I read your cat is with in a 5 block radius. So I diligently kept calling him and looking. At night he was MIA still. I wentabd left a small trail of cat food leading back to my pad from like 1/2 mile down the mountain . I woke up at 2 am and went out while it was quiet and called him. He didn't come. I called him from all the windiws he didn't come I shooka cup with cat food for for hours looking for him .this morning crows were on my top deck squawking I went up and Butterbean was freaked out doing laps around the pad wouldn't let me approach him. So I sat down and sweet talked him and I sang to him. ( he likes singing especially if I put his name in the song ) I got him and now he's back inside and he and his little bro keep trying to fight . So don't give up stay calm. It's hard not to think the worst but keep calling your cats because they hear you. Let your voice lead them home and maybe a trail of kibble might help

Marcus Nilsson said...

Where i live is close to a highway and a village 1km or something away from. we have a big front yard but a much huger backyard, we have a garage built into our house. the back yard stretches long enough into the woods and there is really high grass in a pretty huge area on the yard becuse we don't cut it.

Hi, decided to read this thread, i was thinking about checking behind the planks first but because its such a easy spot i didn't believe she would hide there. she have been missing for like 7-10 hours (by this morning its 5:23 pm right now. (17:23) And she have been freezing since and she was shaking by fear, just like the first time we moved her as a young baby to our new home. she hid behind planks right next to the garage, just a few feet away from the window, it was the first spot she felt safe in. (DO NOT WAIT UNTIL NIGHT FALL) to search for your cat because most likely they will start moving by then.

So to build up chances of finding your cat if they were to disappear is to put planks by walls where they can get in to and hide incase they were to get out where they feel safe, its also a good spot for you to look in if they ever were to get out by accident.

This cat is a house hold cat and not an outside cat.

WHERE WAS SHE HIDING?

She fell out of my window i'm 100% sure, or got scared, something at least. and after jumping down from the window just 4 feet to the right side of the window where she fell she was hiding behind small planks.

HOW TO INCREASE CHANCES OF FINDING YOUR CAT.
So to build up chances of finding your cat if they were to disappear is to put planks by walls where they can get in to and hide incase they were to get out where they feel safe, its also a good spot for you to look in if they ever were to get out by accident.