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!

20 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.