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My cat got out and I'm so worried....

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I opened the door, and usually he just peeks out..but there was a grey cat on the porch...there was some hissing and off he went...not really too fast, but too fast for me.

He's only 15 months old, a strictly indoor cat, and of course it was after dark. He sort of chased after the grey cat across the street but not too speedily. I never heard any fighting or anything...and in about 10 minutes, the grey cat came back....but not my cat.

Being an indoor cat, what at the chances that he'll find his way home? I just can't believe that he'd go far....I 've been out at least every hour calling his name, listening, looking...up and down the street. Where could he have gone?

He's such a friendly cat too...never shied away from anyone who came in the house..he was everyone's friend. He is neutered, microchipped and came from the Humane Society....it's cold out...he'll be getting hungry...he's about 17 pounds and muscular....so he ate alot.

Please say a few prayers that he'll come home....we live in a residential neighbourhood so it's all homes just about. But we're close to the road.

I'm so afraid he'll get confused and not know where home is. I'm just sick about this...I'm sorry this is so long....please wish him back home...thank you!
post #2 of 22
In my experience, they're pretty good about knowing where they live (provided you've lived there a while and not just moved in), and usually come back in a couple hours. They don't come back right away because they're too busy exploring and sniffing all the new stuff.

I hope he comes back soon so you can stop worrying and go to bed!
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you, that's encouraging news. I just came back in from watching for him....we've been here a long time, but he's so young. I'm afraid he'll sit on someone else's porch thinking that it's his.

There are so many outdoor cats around here too, I'm afraid they'd keep him away...as if our house is 'their' territory. He's been gone since 8:30pm ..so it's been nearly 4.5 hours.

I'll try to keep a positive outlook. He is just so special and loving and friendly.
post #4 of 22
This is what I do when mine goes astray.

1. Put a smally cat box outside so she can smell her own scent. If it's raining, put it under a high cover like a table.

2. Put her food outside too, -- something she really loves, something with a strong odor. If it's hot and the steam carries through the air, all the better. Do it at night when the cat won't be afraid to travel if she's scared and hiding. Also put some water out for her in case she's so spooked she doesn't recognize even you.

3. Most cats who go astray, especially housecats, become terrified when they get out and see a dog. They tend to jump a fence or something and then get stuck behind the neighbour's fence. Others may go exploring and get locked in someone's garage.

I have found my cat a couple of times this way, although the neighbours surely must have thought I was nuts:

Wait until it's perfectly quiet out, like at midnight, on a non-windy day. It can be scary going out at that time so take your car and drive it about 20 feet at a time. Roll down the windows and turn off the lights AND MOTOR. Call your cat. You don't have to call too loudly because your voice will travel far at that time of night. You will hear your cat crying if she is trapped behind a fence. If you don't, drive another 20 feet and switch EVERYTHING off again, and keep doing that until you hear her answer you when you call.

Sometimes people take other people's cats into their own houses to play with and then let them go after a few days. This is really traumatic to the owner.

Are there any kids in the area who have taken a shine to your cat? If so, ask around, or ask one child to tell all the others that the first person who finds your cat will get an immediate $20 reward. Some kids will go looking for it just for fun. You might even suggest that they ask neighbours if they will mind checking their sheds or garages. Have the reward money ready for when the cat is found because if you delay they won't look for it next time.

Most cats who stay home all day won't wander more than 5 or 6 houses away so chances are she is really close nearby. Also, if you have a neighbour who dislikes cats, make sure you spoil yours so he doesn't like food from others. Also make sure he always has something to drink so he won't drink from another source.

Check with your local animal pound, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any other agency in your area that has interests in animals and ask them if they know what else you can do. Many will take your name and address in case the cat gets turned in harmed or suggest other places to call.

Look at the top of all of the trees in your neighbourhood. If your cat was frightened by something it may be up there really high, and too scared to move for a few days. To get it down easily it's nice to keep on hand a long
2x6 board with rug glued all the way down the length.

If you have a friend who has a web site, ask him if he will put that cat's picture on the web site, with a lot of key words such as your district, the colour of the cat, the size, any special markings and so on.

In my city all of the found animals' pictures are posted on the Internet by the city or the animal protection society so their owners can find them quickly. If this isn't being done in yours, you might want to suggest it.

If you have a cat door, (which is the overall the ideal solution for anyone with a cat), make sure she can get in at any time you're not home in case she has to run from her enemies.

To make sure she won't be able to get out again after she gets in, pull the door toward you on the inside of the house, and then put something like a thin cord under it, and let the door close softly over it. That way she can get in but a lot of cats won't be able to figure out how to get out again. (If she doesn't know how, don't teach her either. Mine knows she can go out only when the door pushes outward.)

When some cats are teased, played with roughly, or very unhappy they will simply run away. Some would rather starve to death than be unhappy, mistreated, or abused by others, so make sure you never do this to your cat. If the cat has ever behaved strangely around a particular member of the household, chances are that member might be abusing it when you aren't around, hard as it may be to believe.

Once your cat comes back, put a stretch collar around its neck. Leave enough room for only one finger to fit through comfortably. Make sure there is a little engraved or similar tag tied to the collar stating "REWARD: CALL (Phone number). That way, the next time she is lost you won't worry so much.

Also, if you must let your cat out, let it out very late at night so dogs won't chase it and make sure it stays in the house for at least 8 hours a day, in a comfortable place it really loves to be in, or it will become wild.
post #5 of 22
In addition to doing the things Julie suggested, you can print up flyers with your cat's description (leave something out so you can test whether the calls you get are serious reports of a sighting), a photo or two, your area (without your exact house number), (cell) phone number, and a request that people check their garages, etc.. Distribute them within at least a six-block radius of your home, and ask if you can hang them up at local stores and gas stations.

that he comes home or you find him soon.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you Julie and icat for your great suggestions. We've been doing some of them...we were out walking the streets till very late...around the block calling his name, nickname....then this morning out again....looking on sunny porches, up trees.....and still nothing.

He's a very confident cat within the house...and he's strictly an indoor cat...he just escaped to chase a cat that was on our porch...but in 10 minutes that cat was back...we heard no fighting...and obviously they weren't chasing each other.
Even when we have workman in to do stuff, Cameo is all over them.....the vacuum passes within inches of him.....he's very loving and definitely not abused....but I understand why you would say that.

I think he went out because he's been smelling the air with the windows open....and saw the other cat and he wanted to explore, but now he may have bitten off more than he could chew. The dogs around here are on leashes and not kept in back yards....

He will be hungry now...he was a big eater...always the first one to the trough, so to speak. It's been more than 12 hours. It does worry me that he's scared beyond belief and won't respond to us....should I just sit on the steps of the porch tonight with the treat jar, shaking it, and calling his name.....? I'm also scared that he won't find his way back home....but how far does a scared cat go? He wouldn't have been chased by a dog, and we didn't hear anyone yelling at a cat....nor did we hear a cat fight...and we were out there for at least 90 minutes right after he ran out. Other cats were coming and going on the street..so my cat wasn't posing a threat to them.

This is just so worrisome. He is microchipped...so if someone turns him in....I will be contacted.....that's my only hope....if he doesn't come home on his own.

Thank you for your concern!!
post #7 of 22
Such cats who get out rarely go very far. Look around and under everything in your area, including cars. This works well at night, too; the flashlight will cause their eyes to reflect, which you may see even if you don't see the cat. Look under every tree, every porch, every outbuilding or shed. Call around cars; he might get up under them.

Some researcher has said that cats that escape the house almost always turn right.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Such cats who get out rarely go very far. Look around and under everything in your area, including cars. This works well at night, too; the flashlight will cause their eyes to reflect, which you may see even if you don't see the cat. Look under every tree, every porch, every outbuilding or shed. Call around cars; he might get up under them.

Some researcher has said that cats that escape the house almost always turn right.
Mrblanche...that is such encouraging news. We've been watching for him, but I suspect he'll hide during the day...although he's a confident cat. We'll be out this evening doing all we can to find him. We looked with flashlights last night....but we'll be bolder tonight. I just hope he hasn't run far...and will find his way back.
We can only hope that he's hungry enough to come out of hiding. Certainly he won't be afraid of us...he knows we love him.
post #9 of 22
It has nothing to do with him being afraid of you - it has to do with him being terrified of not being in his territory. Inside-only cats that escape outside (even if they didn't really want to) often will NOT come when called - and will sometimes bolt even if someone they know and love approaches them.

PLEASE read this very well written article! http://www.lost-pets.org/content/view/3/1/

post #10 of 22
I know that the few times Punkin has gotten out, I've had absolutely no luck calling him. If I didn't keep him in sight, he would have been gone.

We need something that will keep the cats from going out in the first place.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
This morning about 6:20am, not really light, not really dark...I saw a light coloured cat walking on the cross street....but not seeing that well in light of that time of the morning, I couldn't be sure it was him....but I went out and called to him...and he did turn and lope the other way. I say lope because he didn't really run, but didn't really walk...his shape sure looked like Cameo. We have alot of outdoor cats in the area, but not one light coloured one. They are all black, grey or brown. He seemed to head into a neighbours yard, I looked around....but didn't have permission to go in the yard...but we will be doing that this evening before dark, and after dark.

I wasn't vigilante enough. I could have put him and his brother in the kitchen behind a closed screen door, but he's never gone out....he'll peek or just plain look out....what possessed him to 'go for it', I don't know. Being nighttime, once he got beyond the street light, I couldn't tell where he went except between two homes...where the path leads to a back yard.....

Please wish me luck in finding him....we have to find him tonight....as far as I know he hasn't eaten and he's a big muscular cat....I have food out back and front, just in case. We miss him alot.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
It has nothing to do with him being afraid of you - it has to do with him being terrified of not being in his territory. Inside-only cats that escape outside (even if they didn't really want to) often will NOT come when called - and will sometimes bolt even if someone they know and love approaches them.

PLEASE read this very well written article! http://www.lost-pets.org/content/view/3/1/

that it was him and you'll be able to bring him home tonight. And just quoting myself again to encourage you - again - to read the article about finding your kitty that escaped.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
... and I'm so happy. Just like you said.....he was not far away...in fact...I was following some of your suggestions....sitting on my front steps...just watching...when all of a sudden I hear a clamour of bushes and see a squirrel jump onto the brick wall of the house across the street. What jumps on the porch after him.......yes...my Cameo. So I get up and slowly approach the porch..he can't see me....from the middle of the street, I talk to him in soft tones....bring out the bottle of treats and start shaking it.....oh, he's interested....so I slowly approach him and take out some treats and put them on the porch....he comes over to eat them.....and I pick him up...telling him he can have them later.....I was so happy........I'm sure you know the feeling.....he did indeed get the treats once he was safely in the house. It was the worst 22 hours of my life.....it will NEVER happen again.

I didn't realize that an 'escaped' cat would be so hard to catch, and he did seem afraid of me until he saw the treats.

A very big THANK YOU for all your kind words, encouragement and words of wisdom....I am so very happy. I bet he'll sleep better tonight..in a warm, soft spot, safe and snug.....and we'll all sleep better too!!!

I have some hugging and kissing to do......LOL.....
post #14 of 22
Such good news!!! Welcome home, kitty! Let mommy love on you for a while!

Look him over carefully, and he may need a flea treatment, depending on the weather where you are.
post #15 of 22
Oh, thank goodness - I bet both you and Cameo will sleep well tonight, being home together.
post #16 of 22
Sooooo happy for you and Cameo. Good news for sure.

You know, we moved into the woods and our indoor-only cat got terribly curious about going outside. In order to keep him away from the door so he couldn't slip out, we did a tricky thing. My husband hit outside by the front door, and when our cat went up to it, I gave him the cue and he banged on it. Sounds kind of mean, but now he stays back from the door, so we don't have to worry.

Soooooo glad you can sleep easy tonight!
post #17 of 22
In a house where it is possible that a in indoor cat can get out by accident (and it does happen, howwever careful you are), I think it is a good idea to take the cat out sometimes on a harness, to let it walk around and know the environment and hte smell of home. It has always seemed to me that the ones who disappear for good are those with no idea of where they are when they get out and who bolt because they are scared, then cannot even smell their way back.
post #18 of 22
I'm so glad you got your baby back!
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your kind thoughts and good wishes. Relief is such an understatement in these circumstances. Yes, I was so happy.....and guess who was snuggling with me this morning. He snuggled with his 'brother' and 'sister' during the evening....and I bet he slept well. I sure did, as my husband did too!!

Mrblanche, I did check him all over, and I think with the cold weather we've been having...fleas wouldn't be a problem....but I'll keep looking just in case. Thank you for the suggestion, I wouldn't have thought of that.

Cameo kept grooming himself all evening...maybe trying to wash off the smells of the outdoors.

Now that he's home, safe and sound, I'm happy that he had that little experience. It's amazing that all the outdoor cats in the area get along so well and even accepted him into their 'space'. I sure don't want him to experience that again, though... Hope he doesn't tell the other two about the great time he had...LOL

Again, thank you for your concern, hints and sense of relief at his safe return. I'm still 'high' on the happiness of having him back.
post #20 of 22
: WHAT A RELIEF! Wow this made my day!
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
: WHAT A RELIEF! Wow this made my day!
And take that RELIEF to the power of 10....and that's how I felt........I can hardly wait to get home from work to give him, and his sibs, more love and attention!!!
post #22 of 22
That's great news! Welcome home, Cameo!
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