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Lost cat in feral colony?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
A while back, I posted about my lost cat, Mysty, a 1 year old unneutered silver tabby male. He's been missing since April. Having read some of the posts about ferals and stray cats appearing in people's backyards and on their doorsteps, I'd like to know if a cat that originally was a feral kitten (my Mysty), would revert back to a feral or wild state while roaming or searching for females in heat? I guess I'm hoping that Mysty is still alive, but to make a story short, here goes: Mysty, a feral kitten, was found living under our back porch. We began putting food out for him on the porch and gradually began taming him. When fall approached, we let Mysty spend more time indoors. He was still an outdoor cat, but spent increasingly more time in the house. I kept him in the house every night and let him outside in the morning. He always took a long afternoon nap inside the house. Since April, some data in chronological order:

1) Mysty spotted walking by the school building (next to my street) one afternoon

2) Mysty seen with a big, black cat on the corner of our street. They walk off towards the school together

3) Cat that fits Mysty's description found lying by side of main road about 1/2 a mile from my house. When my husband goes to investigate, cat's body is no longer there.

4) Neighborhood child claims he saw Mysty walking in front of some houses on a busy, main road 1/3 of a mile away

5) Man living 1 mile away responding to "Lost Pet Flier" informs us that a gray tabby is hanging out by his house at night and eating cat food his wife leaves out for strays. The gray tabby is really fast, he says. Man has older cats of his own, but no longer calls back to report seeing the cat.

6) Gray cat seen with black and white cat in neighborhood 2 1/2 miles away

I should also note that one of my neighbor's cats, a brown Siamese male, has been missing for a week. Several weeks ago I saw this Siamese cat walk across my backporch. He was wearing a collar and I.D.

I want to add one more bit of data that happened after a cat was found lying by the side of the road about 1/2 mile from my house. The owner of an Archery Club, located on that main road, calls in response to my "Lost Pet Flier" to say they have been feeding a stray; a scrawny, skinny, all black cat. They have not seen a gray cat, however. "Rest assured," the Archery Club owner jokingly responds, "if we see a gray cat in the woods, we won't shoot him."

All of these cat sightings, but I still have no clue as to what happened to Mysty. In addition, I live right next to a heavily wooded area. Is it possible that Mysty reverted back to his old feral kitten state and joined a feral colony in the woods?? Since Mysty really knew the area and was very street smart, it's difficult for me to believe that he may have been hit by a car. Any thoughts on this missing cat dilemma would really be appreciated!
post #2 of 5
I'm sorry to hear your Mysty is missing. It's so hard to ever know why or what happened when our cats disappear. Maybe a child from school took him home? Do you have preditors in the woods? Maybe someone took him in as indoor only? Did you try calling (or do you have one) dead animal pickup? Have you posted fliers with pictures?

When we started getting into, let's say, the cat business we had some ferals born in a neighbors woodpile out back. One started taming up a bit and coming in on ocassions and spending some time with us. He turned up missing and we went frantic. We posted fliers, called dead animal pickup, checked the Humane Society on a regular basis,talked with neighbors, but after 3 weeks he still hadn't come back around. My husband came home from work one evening and I said let's post fliers one more time, he argued a bit and said it's hopeless but we went anyway. We drove about 3 houses down to post a flier on a street light pole and I said something to Kevin and after we heard this faint meow. We kept talking and the meow kept getting louder. Kevin ran home got a flashlight and some tools and opened a manhole drain, and there lay Bailey. His hip was hurt so he couldn't get back out. He had layed there for 3weeks! We rushed him to the emergency vet, and besides his hip being injured, he was in pretty good condition. He was dehydrated and lost a few pounds but was home! We had surgery on his hip and he, and the rest of the brood, are totally indoor only now!

Sorry I went on but maybe this will offer you a bit of hope. I wish you luck!
post #3 of 5
Lisa, what an incredible story about Bailey. It is amazing that he lived three weeks without food or water and with an injury like that.

Caterpiller, a feral that has been completely away from human contact for a long period of time can revert back to being wild. However, if he were to show back up at your house, and if you were to be very patient, he would likely warm back up to you surprisingly quickly. It would go even faster if you were to bring him inside where he was completely safe. Even a cat who was never feral will act wild if outside and frightened.

I am so sorry Mysty is still missing. I know how much it tears up your heart to lose a cherished furry family member.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
What a will to survive! That's how I felt about Mysty; a feral kitten that was a true survivor. I feel so guilty and I agonize about what happened to him because I made a major mistake by not having him neutered in time. It's so heartbreaking and people add to my guilt by their comments, like saying, "Why didn't you get him fixed?" "If he was fixed, you would have had a nice pet; he never would have strayed." "If he was fixed, you wouldn't have lost him." Now I know better, but what a lesson I learned.

With Mysty, I wish it was a matter of checking with the neighbors or looking everywhere up and down the street, including people's garages, but Mysty never went into garages, unlike some of the neighborhood cats. I always let Mysty in the house by opening the patio door. I just have a horrible feeling that Mysty was lying by that main road and a good samaritan picked up his body. It happened on Good Friday or the Saturday morning before Easter. Traffic was busier at these hours because of Good Friday and Saturday services.

The two new kittens don't fill the void created by my missing cat. Pets are irreplaceable. What are the odds that he will return, or is he "gone" as friends have remarked?
post #5 of 5
It is very probable that your cat has joined a colony. That is what they do, the travel till they find their own kind that is why colonies become so built up with so many cats.
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