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Missing Cat! Need advice

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
My cat Arty has been missing since Wednesday evening from around 5:30!

He was a very settled cat and would only go out for an hour or two at a time so this is very unlike him...we recently moved house to a really open area of countryside and he was catching loads of mice/rats/rabbits etc. We assumed he was just taking advantage of his new surroundings! He had also recently started doing a really weird meow! Like a really long yall...can't really describe it

We have put up posters and asked around but there is no sign of him..there is no sign of him being attacked by a fox etc. He's just vanished!
Can anyone shed any light on his behaviour? Do you think there's any chance he'll ever come back!? I miss him like mad!
post #2 of 33
please see this website for ideas www.lost-pets.org

Good luck!
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hissy...I feel a bit upset, i thought more people would offer me a bit of advice or at least send messages of support. I'm absoultely devastated about losing my best friend...i needed a bit of comforting. Now i just feel like giving up...don't think i'll use the catsite.com anymore.

But thankyou to Hissy. xxxx
post #4 of 33
I lost my cat 6 weeks ago. He got out after I just had moved to a new home. Although it does seem like he vanished, I have a feeling he isn't really far away. However, I do hear alot about cats going back to their old homes. I just hope my cat does not try to do that because he was 11 years old:-(

It is like the worst hurt imaginable to lose an animal and I still haven't come up with words to describe it. It's hard to imagine going on in life without the little kitty but with that you just have to have hope and faith. Keep trusting in God to take care of the situation as that is really the only thing that helps me at all. I pray everyday multiple times for my cat's safety, health and his return. It helps alot. Also, don't feel shy about telling everyone you know. It's an enormous hurt on your heart and talking about it will definitely help you.

Some things that I have done are, I called all the area shelters and visit them once a week or more to see if my kitty is there, I posted signs but people in the area ripped them all down for some reason?! That was an additional pain on my heart. I also have been posting an ad in the local newspapers, petfinder.com, tabbytracker.com, and have his description out to all of the local wardens. Since it has been 6 weeks of his missing, I will start to expand the area of wardens that have his description.

I will pray for the safety, health and safe return of your kitty. God always works things out so do not lose hope.

There is definitely a chance that he will come back. From what I have been reading, lost cats get scared and tend to hide out for a few days. Generally they return home between 7-10 days. Make sure to put big bowls of water out everyday and hard kitty food too - hopefully it won't attract other wild animals. Also put an article of your clothing out near where you last saw your kitty. This has your scent on it and your cat will be drawn to that. This is sort of wild but I actually read that putting your urine out in the hard holds your scent better than just an article of clothing, so honestly, that is what I am doing every night now. It seems to limit the amount of animals that come around too - so it can be a good thing. Put his/her kitty litter outside too because that will have his scent in it also.

I hope these tips help your aching heart a little bit
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks Brownie!
I'm just so scared that he's been got by a fox...i've been dreading this for years. I started uni the other week and went to say goodbye to Arts and gave him a big hug, but if i'd known this could be the last time i saw him i would never have gone! I swear i saw him outside last night but it was so dark...my parents say it was a fox and that it was proberbly the same one that got him but i still feel that he's alive, and just pray that God puts someone in his path to make him safe and happy. I am being selfish in wanting him back for me..but i miss him so much!
It seems to be that much worse because we are in such a rural area...it's just so vast..
Hope your Kitty comes back safe! Pray for each other!!
post #6 of 33
Aweeee...try to remember that your cat was just that...a cat. And cats are VERY good at hiding so if there are woods or buildings or anything for him to hide under, he will ! He may still be out there and just be scared hiding somewhere! Also if you are seeing the fox around in the evening, I would think that the fox is there because he smells something (your cat)??

Has your cat ever been outside before? Or was it an always indoor pet? From what I have read, the indoor only ones stay very close to where they got out and they hide for a very long time - days/weeks and the ones that have been outdoors do not go that far either (unless you have recently moved to that house or something like that).

You are just like me in being selfish about wanting our pets back but what more should be expected?? We feel with our hearts and this hurts horrible. It's like we've lost a child and that is absolutely horrible.

I will keep praying for his safe return to you!!!
post #7 of 33
I hope that Arty turns up soon. Is he neutered?
post #8 of 33
You will need to really walk around and do some major searching for your cat, including ringing the doorbells of all your neighbors and asking if they have seen your cat, giving them your cat's picture with your cell and home phone and address on it, telling them what a good boy he is, asking them if they are ok with cats; and of course introducing yourself and also asking if they mind if you look in their window wells, under any of their tool sheds, or other nooks and crannies where a kitty would hide.

Also you need to ask them to please check their garage in case he got stuck there and is disoriented.

It sounds like your boy was outside in the past so he may not be as freaked out as a lot of cats are when they get lost outside, but he is probably disoriented all the same.

I would also make him a bed outside in a hiding area near your house with bedding that smells like you so he may go there; and also you will know where to look for him in the event he is around but just disoriented and scared to come when you call.

Many cats will not come when called if they are lost outside, and may even need to be trapped.

Another person who posted on this forum asked if he is neutered and I had the same question. When you mentioned the very loud long yowl, that is more a sound that an unneutered male cat will make. If he is neutered, that yowl could be stress, or he saw another cat and is claiming territory.

Your cat would need to establish his territory in the new place, and it is likely he has run into other cats who already have marked out their territory- and he may have had to fight a cat who caught him in their turf. Male cats tend to have wider and more territory than females too. I would encourage you to look very hard for him in the houses and areas immediately surrounding your house, and in his case, you may want to go beyond there as well.

Last but not least, you need to take this opportunity to really get to know your neighbors while searching for your cat no matter what, because you really need to find out if any of them really hate cats. You also may find, especially if your male cat is not neutered (or even if he is but is also dominant) that your neighbors have indoor cats but are not pleased if your boy is out there marking his territory, or catching birds at their feeder. Unhappy neighbors are the most dangerous threat of all to your kitty, so you need to find out what territory he is up against.

All of this amounts to a large amount of time and work on your part, and seriously, most people do not get their cats back by just posting fliers and calling the police and shelters. I am just sharing this because it is the unfortunate truth .

Keep in mind your cat is the same as a little baby outside when it comes to other humans and if he had a sheltered existence at your old house, he could also be like a baby in the wild with the other predators at this new place. So you are his parent and you need to help him, first by finding him, and second by helping him navigate the new place.

If you do find him, I would be sure and go outside with him every time for several months until you have had a chance to see where he goes and what he does, so you know his territory. I would never let him out at night. And I would make sure the neighbors are ok with him.

Most of all I would neuter him since that will slow him down and keep him closer to home.

Good luck and please do keep us posted.
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Arty is 13 and was neutered when he was a kitten. I have done most of what you have suggested..placed fliers, checked the neighbours houses/gardens/sheds etc and i go outside and call him every morning and evening. The problem is we have only got 1 or 2 neighbours and we searched them..i just don't know where he could be. Do you know whether it is likely he could have been got by a fox? He was an outdoors cat and enjoyed catching mice and rats but he also loved his home comforts and would never be out for more than a few hours without coming home for some food or a sleep. The funny thing is he seemed quite settled when we first moved in and enjoying his new surroundings. We did go away on holiday for a week and he was kept in the house and looked after by a neighbour. He seemed fine when we got bk. The problem is that after a week i had to go to uni and he disspaeared on the wed after i went on the Sat. Do you think he was stressed. I feel guilty for putting him through such unsettling events but they could not be helped.

Do you think he has just gone of in his old age to die? Or is he lost and disorientated? He was perfectly healthy when i left for uni. He's been gone a week exactly this evening. I have been putting food outside and leaving my shoes outside (v.smelly) but there is no sign. There are always rabbits outside the house which he used to hunt, so would they not be an incentive for his return?
post #10 of 33
I really do not think he got eaten by a fox. The fact that he's been out before is definitely a bonus for him - so he knows the area and probably knows all of the hiding spaces in the area too. Also cats are territorial and again because he's been out before, he knows his territory.

It sounds like you are doing all of the right things - just keep doing those things everyday. Have you put food out or does that draw the foxes and various other wildlife? Do you have a huge bowl of water out minimally? When I talked to the local warden they said to put out a big bowl of water and not food which is probably a good idea because we put food out and all we see are skunks, skunks and more skunks...and sometimes possums.

I have heard that cats usually go off to be alone when they die but yours was healthy so there is no reason he'd just go off to die.

I will keep praying for his safe return and don't give up on him. He loved you and will want and try to get back to you but it may not be until after he plays outside for a little while longer! Keep remembering that he is a cat and likes to play with animals and apparently can hunt so he's just out there being a cat.
post #11 of 33
IT could be that he was missing his structure and routine and tried to substitute his own while you were gone, and it didn't work. I would definitely make him an outside "den" with stuff from your house, a sheet you slept on and blanket just in case he is able to get toward your home while you are not around, which would most likely be in the wee hours after all the predators have gone to bed too. It would give him comfort to find a bed he recognizes.

The question is whether he just got stuck somewhere like a garage or in a hole; or whether he is in hiding and disoriented after a big fright/fight (with a real or imagined predator keeping him at bay or up a tree); or whether he is hurt and unable to get back.

I strongly doubt he went somewhere to die unless he got injured, in which case I think he would come back to his parents and his home.

Good luck and keep going outside and walking all around to find where he might have gone.
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thankyou, I'll keep searching. I won't lose faith just yet.
At times when i look out the window and see the vastness of the area it is easy to lose hope. He used to sleep on a blanket at the end of my bed so i will put the outside tonight and hope for the best.
post #13 of 33
I know it is hard. I've lost 2 kitties outside too and I have at least 3 friends and relatives who have gone through the same thing.

You said it well when you said how vast it is- and the thought of trying to find your one little cat when there are so many possible places he could be- it is very discouraging.

But I did find my cat - stuck in the neighbor's garage- and yours might be somewhere like that too (I know you said you are more in the wilderness but you never know!)

Just hang in there and keep looking and keep asking everyone. My thoughts are with you.
post #14 of 33
More prayers for your baby!
post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 
I will keep calling and searching. I don;t think i will ever stop
His blanket is now out under the log store where he used to mouse and his food is by the front door. I just have a feeling one day he will come trotting through the garden like nothing's wrong. I don't feel that he is gone, so i'll keep praying.
post #16 of 33
Yes! Keep praying because it always works. I just wish that cats wouldn't 'like' going outside because that would make it so much easier.
post #17 of 33
I agree with BrownieLuv who said that a healthy cat usually does not just go off and die. My cat Brownie did not come home 1 night. He adopted us and remained an outdoor cat (tried to convince him to be an indoor cat, but let him have his freedom). But he always came for breakfast and dinner; my big, beautiful male cat never missed a meal. After a week, I knew he was gone. He was 12 and we lived in the same house. 2 other cats disappeared in our neighborhood. Think a coyote had pups and got the cats. Not sure a fox would be big enough. Live in a suburb of SF, but even so, coyotes live with us. One day one was even calmly walking up our street. RIP my beautiful Brownie who gave us so much happiness. Hope you find your Arty.
post #18 of 33
I am so sorry that your going through this. My cat Cedar went missing for 5 days over the new year period and I was beside myself with grief.
I recieved some amazing advise from this board and I will try and remember some of them. (sorry if I repeat things you have tried or been suggested, just going to type as I think)

Have you gone out in the middle of the night, when its totally quiet and just called his name? Just sit there and listen. Thats how I found Cedar, he is such a timid timid cat and he was locked under someones house... I heard just a faint meow (he doesnt have a loud meow at the best of times) and I could only hear it in the dead of night.

Did he use a litter box inside? It was suggested to me to throw used litter around the yard as the wind can help with drifting the scent around.

Have you thought like a cat? looked in every single place you can think of, even tiny tiny spaces that you wouldnt even think a cat could get into? Cats can squeeze into the tiniest of places if they need to.

Good on you for continuing to remain positive. I know thats one of the hardest things to do. I think I cried for 5 straight days when Cedar went missing - I was a terrible mess.

I will try and think of some more suggestions... private message me if I forget to come back and check

thinking of you both
post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your suggestions. Several people have said the thing about the litter tray, so i may put that outside,alongside the food and his blanket that's already there.
There is absolutely no sign of him anywhere around the house or the neighbours'.We have checked all outbuildings and garages and gone out late at night...i don't know what to do anymore. I just want him back..

Thankyou Again everyone
post #20 of 33
I'm so sorry to hear that Arty's still missing. Though it must seem like an eternity, he hasn't been gone a very long time, so please continue to do all you can to find him. Don't give up!

In addition to the site Hissy suggested, there's another one to try:
That site helped a woman in my town find her 15 year old indoor-only kitty after almost 6 weeks, and in the middle of winter! Molly, the missing kitty, was only a few blocks away from her home, being fed by some kind people. She was too afraid to approach them and go inside their house, but was able to survive thanks to the food & water, and curling up under the porch.

Since you live in a rural area, it's possible that Arty has wandered further than you thought - far enough that he's located another food source. You may want to expand your search beyond your immediate area.

Besides posting flyers, send a letter to the editor of your local paper along with a picture of Arty, or take out an ad in the paper with his picture - some neighbors here did that for their missing dog and it helped find him.

This is such a heartache for you - don't feel selfish for wanting Arty back. Of course you want him back - you love him.

All good thoughts and prayers for Arty's safe return (as well as BrownieLuv's kitty).
post #21 of 33
Has this kitty been found yet ?
post #22 of 33
Thread Starter 
Nope Artycat still missing..but still praying. We are broadning our search area and putting up more posters! I'm not giving up!!!
post #23 of 33
awee Mine is still gone too - it's been almost 9 weeks that he's been missing.

Since I have been going to shelters I have found this one kitty that seems to really like me and I like it too. Do you think it's too soon for me to get a new cat? It's definitely not a replacement for my lost Brownie and I will keep my searching up for him just as it has been - so nearly constant.

Thoughts? Like if I get this one will I get more sad when it behaves a little differently than my missing Brownie did or will I resent it? When I see him he is always shaking but then when I pet him for a while he always stops so it makes me want to bring him home to give him a good home where he doesn't have to shake and be nervous.

I will keep praying for Arty!
post #24 of 33
Oh, I'm so sorry he has not been found yet

I am sending many prayers for his safe return
post #25 of 33
Thread Starter 
Awww Brownie, I'm so pleased you have found another Kitty. I am thinking of it but i don't think i can bring myself too...maybe someday. Until i'm ready, i'll keep searching for him
...thankyou for you prayers and thankyou Troutsmom! He's sooo cute!
S'bin so long since i had a cat cuddle! I need one!

I know you won't stop looking for you kitty Brownie, so if a new kitten helps you, go for it! Make sure you keep me updated!!

xxx Thankyou everyone xxx
post #26 of 33
I just found this thread! I was so hoping that I would get to page 2 and find out that your boy was home....sorry that is not the case. Pleae keep searching and praying. And follow the advice of everyone else - keep looking, putting up posts, walking etc. Probably everything that you are all ready doing. I am sending you prayers and vibes from New Hampshire...
When I was a little girl, my parents gave my cat Tiger away when we moved acorss town. 6 months later he showed up at our new home - and yes, it was Tiger! So miracles happen every day. Keep the faith!
post #27 of 33
So last night we bought the new kitty. When we brought him back he didn't shake AT ALL b ut I was so torn up because he is not my beloved Brownie. So I cried for quite a while but my this morning I am starting to love this one just the same. I wonder how I post a picture of the new guy on here? He is super inquisitive but listens well. He follows us everywhere and likes to be petted and doesn't hide !! And get this, we have been setting out food for 9 weeks. The first 2 weeks we had cats coming but none have come since then, it's been all raccoons and skunks. Last night after we had the new guy (we don't have a name for him yet) here, we had a cat out back eating our food too!! Who knew!!???! So hopefully the cats keep coming back and my Brownie shows up one night!

I keep praying for Arty and Brownie and all of the lost kitties so they get home safely in God's time.
post #28 of 33
Thread Starter 
Yey..i am so pleased for you BrownieLuv! What's the new kitty called, i'm so glad he seems to be happy at his new home

And Brownie could still come bk, then you would have 2!! And i'd be very jealous! Hehe. I may think about looking for a new kitty after Christmas...i jst can't get Arts out of my mind!

Good luck with the newcomer kitty!
post #29 of 33
I actually haven't thought of a definitive name yet...one that seems to be sticking, though, is Buster Rabbit !? lol ... We had another cat visitor outside this afternoon too, so something is bringing the cats around again !!

Do the foxes still come around your house? Any signs at all of Arty?
post #30 of 33
I did everything I could think of: walked the street with tuna, put up flyers and talked to people, ad in the paper, put a notice on the Cable Access channel.

That last was free so I just let it run. I had actually gotten another kitten at the six week mark, my husband wanted me to stop crying. I won't turn down a kitten, but I still followed up leads about Mr. Bond. My dad said, "What if Mr. Bond turns up?" I said, "I should have such problems!"

So, two weeks later, I get a call from a lady who said a cat with the description on Cable Access had gotten hit by a car and she had taken him to the vet. So I went it and it was Mr. Bond!

He eventually made a complete recovery.

It's the hard thing about cats... it's almost as though you never give up hope. It is so tough. I'm so sorry he hasn't turned up yet.
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