Use Social Media To Tell Everyone You Know That Your Cat Got Lost
Craigslist is a great 21st-century version of lost pet signs and has led to many reunions between stressed out owners and their newly found pets. Adding a post to the Lost & Found and Pets sections is easy, and could lead to an email notifying you of your pets whereabouts.
Other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can be important, too, allowing your friends and neighbors to see a visual reminder of what kind of cat they should keep an eye out for. Websites that issue an alert to your friends, like Lost My Doggie , can help aid your search.
Dont Count On Cats To Find Their Own Way Home
Because of that, itâs very important for cat owners to realize their beloved pets arenât safe just because the species on the whole seems to have a good sense of direction.
In fact, the research that proves cats have homing abilities also shows that we canât always depend on them. In the 1954 study, for example, researchers found that young cats who had been raised in a lab had no homing abilities at all. If your cat is young or used to living indoors, it may not be able to find its way home if it gets lost. And if being outside makes your cat scared, confused, or overwhelmed, that could also negatively impact its sense of direction.
Research also shows that the average outdoor housecat only travels within around 500 feet of its home on any given day. Though cats in scientific experiments have found their way home from far greater distances than that, any cat more than about a third of a mile from its home will likely be in unfamiliar territory, which may affect its ability to determine which way to go to get home.
But in addition to all the things that can throw off your catâs sense of direction, there are also just a lot of dangers it can encounter if itâs outside â whether your cat is used to being outdoors, or itâs lost.
Helping Your Cat Find Its Way Home
Not all cats are built the same. And if youve raised a strictly indoor cat, their homing senses might not be as sharp as indoor/outdoor or outdoor-only cats. Thats why you should take preventative action just in case.
Ensure that your cat wears a collar with a set of sturdy identification tags. You dont want to choose a set of long dangling tags or tags with weak linkages. If these were to snag on something, they may fall off of the collar and completely defeat the point.
Next, make sure you have your loved one microchipped. This requires a small procedure at the vet. Your vet will insert a microchip just below the skin of your cat in case they ever get picked up by animal control or a concerned citizen. And this isnt super painful either. Its just the same as your cat having its blood drawn for routine tests.
But microchipping is only one part of this tracking system. Youll need to actually register your information on the chip. There are so many stories of people getting their cat microchipped and losing them because they never actually registered their info.
You May Like: How Old Is A 12 Year Old Cat
Distance For Feral Cats
Wild kitties who dont have human families travel even farther than your beloved pal would. Feral felines wander from place to place, but still tend to stay within the same range. These fuzzballs cover an average of 1,351 acres while theyre out and about. Thats a dramatic increase over your purring pals comfort zone.
Recommended Reading: What Was Gargamels Cats Name
The Cat Is Inquisitive
Some cats see an unattended vehicle with a door left open as an invitation to come on in and explore they just cant resist it.
When the driver reappears, the cat hides and finds itself on an unplanned journey to who knows where with a blissfully unaware person at the wheel.
At the next stop, one of two things usually happens: either the cat darts out and runs away or the driver is able to contain the cat .
The driver is then faced with the problem of what to do for the best, especially if they have made several stops that day and have no idea where their furry stowaway embarked on their journey.
Hopefully, they are kind enough to take the cat to a local vet, tell them all the locations the cat could have come from .
Hopefully, the vet finds the cat is microchipped and the owner is traced.
However, if the kitty is not micro-chipped, what can the vet do? In situations like this, vets often turn to social media and lost pet sites to advertise the details of the cat.
Recommended Reading: Developing Allergies To Cats
The Threshold Factor In Cats
An interesting behavioral pattern that MARN has observed with displaced cats is that many cats will simply not respond to food or break cover for several days, sometimes even weeks.
Cats with confident temperaments initially hide in silence, but within hours break cover and meow, return to the front door, or finally enter a humane trap.
Cats with more skittish, fearful temperaments may take several days before they finally reach a threshold point and before they will finally break cover. In one case, an extremely timid cat hiding inside the attic of a veterinarian’s office did not enter a baited humane trap for twenty-two days, most likely due to barking dog noises that kept the cat in a constant state of fear. Cat owners should be encouraged to continue with trapping efforts even if their cat does not immediately enter the baited trap.
Risk Of Attracting Other Cats
The most likely risk of putting out cat litter is inadvertently attracting other cats. If you have an escaped indoor-only cat, then your yard may be within the territory of one or more outdoor-access or stray cats. If you put out your cats litter, other cats may see this as a threat to their territory. They may be attracted to the litter box and possibly use it or spray objects around the box. If your cat smells the scent-marks of the resident cats, they may feel too threatened to return home. Worst case, you might attract an aggressive territorial cat into your yard, which might chase your cat away.
Don’t Miss: Cat Ages To Human Ages
Risk Of Attracting Predators
Many wild predators like foxes and bobcats use their feces to mark their territory. To do this, they place their scat on prominent locations such as on top of rocks or logs. Domestic cats on the other hand tend to bury their feces. This may be an instinctive behavior to protect them from detection by other larger predators like coyotes and bobcats. By putting your cats dirty litter outside, you risk attracting area predators around your home. Depending on where you live, the risk of attracting predators may be relatively low, but do you want to take that risk?
Owner Behaviors That Create Problems
Cat owners often behave in ways that actually inhibit their chances of finding their lost cat. They develop tunnel vision and fail to find their cat because they focus on wrong theories. They experience grief avoidance and quickly give up their search effort. They feel helpless and alone, often discouraged by others who rebuke them and tell them it was just a cat and youll never find your cat. But one of the biggest problems is that cat owners typically focus their search efforts by posting lost cat flyers and by searching the cages at the local shelter. Although these techniques are important and should not be overlooked, the primary technique to recover a missing cat should be to obtain permission from all neighbors to enter their yards and conduct an aggressive, physical search for the missing cat . Simply asking a neighbor to look for the lost cat is not sufficient! Neighbors are not going to crawl around on their bellies under their decks or houses to search for someone elses lost cat!
Read Also: How Old Is A 12 Year Old Cat
Why Do Cats Leave
Cats go for ambles because of their adventurous nature. It has nothing to do with your pet not liking you or feeling unwell in your home. Cats are independent animals and only became social when in contact with humans. But they have kept their instincts.
Even though a cat can be domesticated, its instinct, like predation, hunting, mating, and defending its territory, is still very much present. A cat likes to go out and leave its territory whenever it can. It is even more likely when your cat has not been neutered.
Limitations In Finding The Way
You may be reading this having lost a cat in the past, or even recently. Anecdotally, I also know of various occasions when cats have become lost and have not returned home, and a trip to any cat shelter will also confirm that this is extremely common. So why does this happen so often, if cats possess such excellent homing abilities? The answer is complicated, but it boils down to homing abilities having certain limitations as well.
Perhaps the most obvious limitation of a cats homing abilities is that it cannot compensate for various external factors. If a cat becomes lost, it may initially set off to go in the right direction, but run into obstacles. For instance, somebody could see the cat and let it into their home, the cat could become distracted or enticed in another direction, or the cat could be hit by a car, or attacked by another animal.
As previously stated, the most famous studies on the subject established that cats were good at returning home from distances of up to a few miles from home. However, this ability declines the further the cat roams. Therefore, if a cat is having to contend with longer distances, its ability will usually be significantly impaired. Of course, long distances increase the chances of the cat running into other obstacles along the way too.
Don’t Miss: Is Egg Yolk Good For Cats
What Should I Do If My Cat Got Lost In My House
1. Make your scent known Even if you have only owned your cat for a short time, chances are that she will be able to remember and even identify your scent. Placing items a short distance from home that retain your scent or that of your home might alert your kittys memory and help her find her way back.
We Dont Know What Gives Cats Their Sense Of Direction
At the end of the day, we donât know exactly why cats are so good at finding their way home.
Theories vary. One of the most popular and widely supported theories is that it has to do with smell markers, because cats have an extremely well-developed sense of smell. With more than 19 million scent receptors, cats use smells to mark their territory, so itâs possible thatâs also how they orient themselves toward their homes.
Another theory is based on research that includes homing pigeons. Scientists think these birds are so good at finding their way home because of an âunusual sensitivity to the geo-magnetic field of the earth which enables them to keep a compass fix on their home region regardless of distance and direction traveled,â according to a 1977 book on different animalsâ ability to find their way home.
But because thereâs so much we donât understand about catsâ homing abilities, we canât count on our cats to always be able to find their way home. If we could, cats would never get lost, or theyâd always make it back to us, whenever they did go missing. We know thatâs not the case â one 2017 study showed that around two-thirds of missing cats are never found by their owners.
Read Also: Chinese People Eating Cats
Put Up Posters In Your Area And Ask People To Keep An Eye Out
Weve all seen the lost cat or lost dog posters in our neighborhoods at some point. Apparently, this still works, and there are plenty of cat-lovers out there who care and want your baby back home with you.
Make sure to spread the word by putting up those posters and ask people to keep an eye out for your kitty.
Cats Go Missing When They Lose Their Bearings
Cats can go astray for so many reasons. Sometimes they lose their bearings and cant find their way home.
In this situation, some can revert to a wild state and manage to hunt or scavenge, but most will struggle to survive. Life is very hard out there with no help at all.
Always do your best to help a cat you think is lost. Call a local vet or cat rescue center for advice.
Also Check: Is Blue Buffalo Good Cat Food
How To Help A Cat Calm Down After A Move
If the cat shows signs of severe stress, synthetic pheromones can be used. Some pharmaceutical companies have successfully reproduced synthetic pheromones. These pheromones are sold in spray or diffuser form and are developed to helpthe cat regain its balance during a period of intense stress when its own pheromones are not enough to soothe it. Like natural pheromones, they are odourless to humans.
Using a feline behaviourist can also help you identify and understand the causes of stress and thus find solutions that will help your cat get better. To do this, the behaviourist will ask you about the cat’s routines and identify any changes that may have upset its balance. He will then establish with you the actions to be taken and/or the attitudes to adopt that can help him.
Why You Should Leave Your Cat Indoor After A Move
It is essential tokeep a cat indoorafter a move to let them acclimatise, get to know their new environment and spread their pheromones to create a new territory. If you let your cat outside, it could decide toleave because it doesnt like its new environment. A runaway cat could then go and find a new family and never come back. Be careful with a cat flap, that should stay locked during a certain period of time.
If your cat is more of a homebody, moving wont be much of a problem. Some breed like the Persian, Siamese, Ragdoll, Devon Rex, or the Birman love to stay inside. But if these types of cats were to find themselves outside, there are more chances of them getting lost since they would not have made time to go explore their new environment.
Recommended Reading: Too Cold For Cats
How Far Can A Cat Travel When Lost
The area your cat will roam around is usually around 17-houses from where its territory is located.
For Indoor cats, they are more likely to roam within a 2 to 2.5 house radius but If a cat feels the need to move away from its territory, it can generally walk around 5 to 10 miles each day.
The Importance Of Cats Pheromones
Pheromones play anessential role in cats. First and foremost, they have a reassuringand soothing virtue. This is why cats spend so much time rubbing against objects or humans in the house. Pheromones are also used to help the catfind its way through space and to mainly with scratches and urine sprays.
Read Also: My Cat Ate Chocolate What Should I Do
Can Cats Find Their Way Home If Lost
Theres no question about it. Cats are a bit weird.
To call them quirky and unique would be a total understatement. Its as if they have real-life superpowers and abilities when compared to other domesticated animals. But in true cat fashion theyll only use them when its convenient for them.
One of these seemingly unnatural abilities they have is their homing instinct. Cats have an uncanny talent to find their way home. For example, a one-eyed cat named Ginger made its way back home after being lost in a blizzard five miles away!
So, the question is, how can cats find their way home if lost? What about them makes their homing abilities so keen?
A Gps Tracker To Find A Lost Cat
With a GPS tracker for cat, you wont need to shout to call your lost pet, who might be stuck or in hiding. You wont need to walkthrough the neighbourhood at random without knowing where to look. With the real-time tracking function and no distance limit, the mischievous feline won’t be able to escape your vigilance. You can follow its movements and know its exact position in real-time. If your cat takes a long time to return, just follow its movements and go and look for it.
Moreover, the secret life of a cat can be fascinating for its owners. With the GPS chip, the cat will no longer have any secrets for its owners, who will know exactly all the routes it takes.
Read Also: Is Christmas Tree Water Bad For Cats
Putting Up Lost Posters
It is also very important to let your neighbours and any passers-by know of your cats disappearance. Put up lost posters and hand out flyers with a picture of your cat, any distinctive signs, and your contact information.
Put up lost posters on electric polls, on your supermarket noticeboard and slip flyers in letterboxes. Do not forget to ask your neighbours to check their garage and garden shed, your cat might have gotten stuck in there.