Why Do Cats Run Away
Whether they are indoor or outdoor cats, our feline companions sometimes stray. There are many reasons why cats run away, but here are some common ones:
- A female cat in heat or an unneutered male cat have a strong mating drive, which may cause them to roam in search of love
- Cats are curious beings who love to hunt and explore their territory
- Of course, it could just be that theres a friendly neighbor feeding them
Whatever the reason, its quite common for cats to run away. So if you find yourself wondering where your missing cat is, you are not alone!
Why Is My Cat Sitting Out In The Rain
Although most cats want to avoid getting wet, some enjoy being out in the rain. In fact, particular species of cat enjoy the water and actively seek it out. If your cat is a Maine coon, Turkish vans, or Bengal, for example, it may purposefully venture out and sit in the rain.
Others cats may not prefer the rain but will enjoy how quiet and vacant the outdoors become as soon as a downpour begins. If your cat likes exploring backyards and sidewalks, a rainy season may be ideal for it.
In that vein, your cat may be sitting in the rain because its actually hunting. It can be easier to capture prey during this time. The sound of rain can mask the sound of a cats footsteps, dramatically increasing its success rate.
According to Animal Conservation, precipitation such as rain and snow influences the eating habits of feral cats. Thats because of what prey is available during those times. If youve newly adopted a stray, then it may be taking part in a well-trusted routine.
Do Cats Get Sleepy When It Rains
Cats need to sleep for 12-16 hours a day, which is a hefty amount when compared to humans. It can seem like your cat gets sleepy when it rains, but that isnt the case. Cats dont get drowsy because of storms. Instead, they may get bored with the lack of outdoor activity and decide to rest as a way to pass the time. The barometric pressure or the humidity doesnt play a role.
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Ronnie And Reggie Visit The Pub
One evening, my husband, Richard, decided to go to the local hotel bar for an evening drink. Having made it three-quarters of the way and now on the coast road, he arrived at the hotel only to realise the two cats were with him. The owner of the hotel invited Richard in, but Richard pointed out that he had the two cats with him. The owner very kindly suggested Richard bring them into the hotel bar with him, and so he did.
Ronnie and Reggie comfortably curled up on one of the padded seats in the bar and proceeded to be petted by all the guests for the next two hours. When Richard went to leave, he simply called the cats and they willingly followed him all the way back home again, stopping at kerbs and waiting for cars to invite them to cross the roads, at which point they followed Richard trustingly over. They all arrived home safely and were none the worse for their adventure.
Ronnie Lies in Wait
Is This A Paw
The implications for understanding how cats are distributed go far beyond just cat owners wondering what their pets do in their free time.
Rather, it can have major implications for understanding the state of wildlife in a given area.
As mentioned earlier, cats are one of the most abundant species of carnivores on the planet and are incredibly effective hunters. As such, the sheer number of cats in an area can have a major impact on the local ecosystem due to being an apex predator among the wildlife.
Now, cats acting as hunters isn’t a bad thing, per se. After all, it is their tendency to prey on rodents like rats that have helped keep humanity thriving for millennia. This is no exaggeration, with scholars pointing to cats being essential to humanity’s agricultural success, as they protected human grain storage from rodents some 10,000 years ago. In fact, their use to farmers was of such importance that they began to spread as farming did too, and in one case a cat was even found buried in a human grave in Cyprus dating back some 9,500 years ago.
But this predatory tendency is not limited to just protecting human grain storage, and in fact has an absolutely astounding ecological impact.
It is for this reason, along with fears of disease and getting hurt, that some experts urge cat owners to keep their cats indoors.
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Luring Out A Lost Cat
Locating a missing cat is tough, but luring it back into the house might be another challenge. Your cat might want to stay in its hiding spot.
Albrecht says owners trying to lure out their cat should use food. You can even place food just inside the door and then close it once your cat heads back inside. You might also consider leaving food and water outside the home in case the cat comes back at night.
A humane trap might be needed when your cat is hiding somewhere more secluded. You can dribble food to the trap with a larger helping within the trap as the primary bait. Cover the trigger plate with a blanket or towel.
How To Make A Cat Hideaway
Cats love having small spaces to hide and get away from it all, as it helps them to feel calm and secure. If you have a slightly nervous cat, this could be the perfect refuge for them.
Watch our video to find out how you can make a hideaway for your cat using an old t-shirt and a box.
If you have more than one cat you will also need to make sure that there are enough options to prevent the more assertive cat from taking up all the locations and excluding the others. If you have young children, its also important to make sure your cat has places to go that arent accessible by them.
All cats, irrespective of their age, benefit from having somewhere safe and secure to go when they feel the need, and an elderly cat will be no exception. Older cats can suffer from stiff and painful joints and jumping up onto high places can become difficult or even impossible.
Make sure that several ground level places are available and if possible, provide some gradual steps up to their usual high place, just so that they have the choice.
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Do Cats Prefer To Be Inside Or Outside At Night
Some felines would much rather be at home when night falls. If your cat feels secure with you and has assigned territory, it will likely stay inside. This way, the cat remains warm and safe from harm.
However, some cats prefer to wander at night. This is likely if the cat has frustrated hunting instincts or has not been spayed or neutered. As mentioned, cats enjoy the quiet and solitude that the night brings.
If your female cat is in heat, she will want to be outside at night. She will pick up the scent of intact toms that are out patrolling. That why cats in heat yowl and howl after dark as they are trying to attract the attention of a mate.
If your cat is male and has not been neutered, it will also be keen to get outside. Intact male cats are always keen to breed. Without humans getting in their way, the night offers the perfect chance to do so.
Reggie The Food Thief
Now, we also have a jet-black cat called ‘Reggie’, and he is a real character with an appetite that is unbelievable for a slender feline. Quite by chance, one of our neighbours has a cat that is the exact double of Reggie, and neither of us can tell our cats apart.
Some months back, our friend, ‘Bartie’, was sitting in his lounge when his cat came home and promptly scoffed the entire contents of the cat bowl before settling down on his lap for the evening. Bartie commented to his girlfriend what a huge appetite their cat had lately.
It was only an hour or so later that Bartie went into their bedroom and saw his cat sitting on top of their wardrobe. He quickly realised that this food thief was a mystery cat that had been regularly eating all the cat food, playing along and sitting on their laps. This mystery cat was actually our cat Reggie. To add further insult to injury, Reggie was also eating at least four or five bowls of food a day at home, so how on earth he isn’t grossly obese I have no idea.
Ronnie and Reggie Visit a Pub
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How To Find A Hiding Cat
Your cats past behavior might give you an idea of what hes doing when hes lost, Albrecht says. If he likes to socialize when company visits your house, he may have simply wandered down to a nearby house and found a way inside.
If your cat typically hides and doesnt come out until long after houseguests have departed, she might be hiding somewhere when you think shes lost. Shell be panicked and afraid, so shell stay silent, hopefully hiding away from any predators. Thats why owners have to look hard.
They will almost always be hiding, Albrecht says.
For instance, the Texas Pet Detectives Association found a missing cat who had hidden in a half-finished patio made of cinderblocks close to its home. The rescuers eventually had to remove some of the cinderblocks to retrieve the feline.
Some cats might eventually return to the house because they pass a threshold and need their humanlikely for food or waterbut thats not always the case, she says.
If the cat is hiding silently, its best to search late at night when outdoor activity quiets down. Then you might have a better chance of hearing him.
Going out in the dead of night might not sound appealing, so another option is deploying wilderness cameras to track the cat in case he ventures out from its hiding space. Examining your or your neighbors surveillance camera footagedoorbell cameras to the rescue!could help, too.
How To Find A Lost Cat With A Microchip
Many people assume that a cat microchip will help them locate their cat immediately if they go missing. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Unlike a microchip, a GPS cat tracker helps you find your lost cat in minutes by letting you follow their location in real-time.
To find a lost cat with a microchip, youll need to wait until someone finds your cat and brings them in to a shelter or vet where the microchip ID can be read.
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.
You can use the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup or the US Pet Chip Registry to learn more about microchip registry and missing pet identification.
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.
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Eight Probability Categories Related To Lost Cat Behavior
Cat Hiding Inside The House
Sometimes, they are still inside the house. A near-tragic example is the case of Bess, a two-year-old cat who disappeared one night from her familys home. Bess remained missing until a few weeks later when the family suddenly heard a faint meow coming from, of all things, a hinged window seat in the living room.
Bess is a perfect example of why you should comb every inch of your house thoroughly, Kat says. Check areas where you think the cat couldnt possibly be, like inside cupboards, under mattresses and behind dressers. Check, then check again, because cats may change their hiding spots over time.
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How To Find Your Lost Cat
Act immediately. The longer you wait, the harder it could be to find your cat. More time passing can mean the opportunity for your cat to wander further.
Form a search party and look in all areas you think your cat may be.
Start close to your home then expand your search gradually. While searching, bring along your cats favourite toy or an open can of food they love.
Tapping their food can can lure your cat to you. Listen for meowing. However, indoor cats will often hide in silence so make your search primarily visual.
If your cat normally comes to being called, call its name calmly or make familiar sounds.
Knock on neighbours doors and ask people you see in the street. You never know who may have spotted your pet cat wandering around!
Ask them to keep an eye out for your cat and provide them with your contact information in case they see the cat later on.
Searching at night can be affective as sounds can travel further .
Use a torch when searching at night or during the day in dark, small spaces. The torch can catch the cats reflective eyes.
While you are out searching, have someone stay at home in case your cat comes back. Leave your back door ajar so if your cat comes home and you are not there it can come inside. Put out your cats food and water as usual.
Animal shelters and vets can get extremely busy and they can forget to call you, so check in with them regularly to see if there is any news.
Create a lost cat poster. The poster should include:
Conduct An Active Physical Search For A Lost Cat
A major finding of the study was the importance of an active physical search: 59 percent of cats were found alive because their people pounded the pavement and crawled under bushes looking for them. Thats critical, because Kat often meets people who rely solely on passive methods such as posting signs or asking their neighbors to keep an eye out, hoping someone will see their cat and call.
One of the most common suggestions, Kat says, is to put personal items or a dirty litter box outside, under the premise that the smell will draw the cat back home. She doesnt give that strategy much credence, saying that if the cat does come back on his own, its more likely that he overcame the fear of being displaced and returned home. Whats more, Kat says, the pheromones from a litter box can backfire by attracting territorial cats, who then keep the missing cat from returning home.
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Why Cats Go Missing
There are countless reasons why your feline friend can go missing.
Indoor cats can escape through doors or windows left open, or even manage to pry open exits themselves.
Outdoor cats may have left their regular comfort zone and have lost their bearings.
This can be because they are scared of noises, traffic, people or other animals. They may have also wandered too far in search of food or following an interesting smell or noise.
Can Cats Sense Rain
Cats have heightened senses that allow them to perceive shifts in barometric pressure with their inner ear. Slowly falling barometric pressure indicates rain, whereas rapidly falling pressure indicates a storm coming. Since cats can detect these shifts, they may be able to predict bad weather. They will then return home or seek shelter in advance.
Additionally, cats have a better sense of smell and hearing than humans do. They can use this to smell the rain in the air and hear the sound of thunder in the distance. This gives them a warning well before we can detect the storm.
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Use Caution In Offering Rewards
Sad stories have been told about cruel extortionists who extracted large cash rewards from grieving pet owners under the premise of having “found” their pets. If you advertise with a reward, leave out one or two pertinent identifying details of your cat Don’t leave yourself open to false hopes, and by all means, don’t wire reward money until you see your cat.