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How do I get my indoor cat back in?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
One of my indoor-only cats got out 3 weeks ago today. After several days, he finally showed up, I was putting food out for him, but I can't get him back in. If I see him and try to open the door, he runs off.

He's only comes at night. At first, it was around 8:30 but as I started trying to get him in, he started coming later and later.

I've tried a humane trap, but in the morning, there was no food, the trap had been sprung, and no cat. After that, he didn't show for a couple of nights since the food I left out was uneaten. Once I took the trap away, he started coming back.

I've tried sitting out with food and I sprayed the blanket I was sitting on with Feliway phermone spray. I also tried using our den as a large trap. All it does is push the time he comes around to a later time.

Finally, I just gave up trying to get him in and I leave food out for him. He may not be in, but at least he's eating. I'm hoping he will move his nightly visit to earlier in the evening.

I'm frustrated and just simply out of ideas. Does anyone have any suggestions?
post #2 of 16
first of all - are you POSITIVE this is your cat, & not just a look-a-like? was he wearing a collar with id tags? it may be a stray/feral look-a-like, which would explain why he keeps running away from you. otherwise, try doing a search here on the forums for runaway indoor cats... i think used cat litter is supposed to help. i wish i could offer more suggestions, but none of mine even try to get out. good luck!
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
It is him. The first couple of times I wasn't sure but then I got a good look at his face.

He never acted like he wanted to get out. We came home one evening and ran out of the house like a bat out of hell. Best guess is that he saw a cat outside our house and was trying to chase it away.

I'll look for info on runaway indoor cats.
post #4 of 16
move the food closer and closer to your house. I would still try the humane trap...are you certain you set it up correctly? Also, humane traps should not be left out overnight.

Katie
post #5 of 16
Just a thought, but I've been trying to socialize a feral, and someone helping me suggested I lay down with her in the kitchen a little while every day and simply read to her, and that got me thinking.

What if you were to not feed him in the am, then in the evening, when he's giood and hungry, go outside and lay down close to your house for 5 or 10 minutes each day with a book or magazine, and a small dish of either freshly cooked chicken, or some tuna (or his favorite) that will tempt him that you put near you, maybe barely arm's length. Then next time closer, etc. He might come by and eat it, or might not. If not, feed him, and try again, eventually you might tempt him enough to get close enough to you to grab him. Just make sure if you try to grab it's a good bet, because you don't want to keep scaring him away more.

The laying down I was told is much less threatening and it might help get him to come closer sooner.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
He only comes around in the evening. At least, that's the only time I've seen him. I'll put food out in the morning but it will stay there until evening.

The first indication that we have that he's around is a cat that we adopted with him starts going crazy. He will run from window to window, excited to see his missing friend. The past few days, he's been having meowing fits. Could he know that Mikey (the missing cat) is around and he's trying to let us know?
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
I set the trap again last night. I put the food on a plate, wrapped it up in a paper towel so that he would have to work at getting to it and be more likely to spring the trap, put it way back in the trap, covered the trap, and waited.

Bailey, the other cat, started to act like he was around, so I was checking the trap every few minutes. Finally, I looked around and saw the plate a couple of feet from the trap. He got the plate of food out of the trap without tripping it. I went out with a screwdriver and tripped the trap so I know it was set correctly. I'm just going to try it again tonight.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by clhawk
I set the trap again last night. I put the food on a plate, wrapped it up in a paper towel so that he would have to work at getting to it and be more likely to spring the trap, put it way back in the trap, covered the trap, and waited.

Bailey, the other cat, started to act like he was around, so I was checking the trap every few minutes. Finally, I looked around and saw the plate a couple of feet from the trap. He got the plate of food out of the trap without tripping it. I went out with a screwdriver and tripped the trap so I know it was set correctly. I'm just going to try it again tonight.
Some people cover the bottom of the trap with newspaper so that the cat doesn't know where the trip is.

Katie
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
Some people cover the bottom of the trap with newspaper so that the cat doesn't know where the trip is.

Katie

Did that. This cat is just a lot smarter than I thought. I feel like Wiley Coyote without an Acme account.
post #10 of 16
Try SMALL pieces (tiny shreds) of tasty (they loooove this) KFC or Popeye's fried chicken tenders, just sprinked at the entrance of the trap, then placed at the VERY back. Put the food through the top bars of the cage. Then cover the cage well. That SHOULD work - withhold food for a day however to make SURE he is hungry....
post #11 of 16
Is there anything in the house that he likes? I have some old stuffed chairs that the kitties love to sit in. Or if he loves an empty box or something, you could set that up for him.

Some used litter from the other kitties will let him smell familiar smells. Or some of your used socks...they will smell strongly of you. Make him up a nesting area, and hopefully he will remember his tame days. Keep trying to trap him, too, just in case.

I'm glad he is staying nearby...but the sooner you recapture him the better!
post #12 of 16
I'm so sorry your kitty got out, how frustrating this must be for you.
I hope you manage to catch him soon and he adjusts back to his indoor life.
post #13 of 16
Several yrs ago one of our indoor/outdoor cats got spooked at something. We didn't see her for a few days then we spotted her under some of our spruce trees. She would meow but not come to us. This went on for several days.
We started feeding her where we saw her and then moved the dishes closer to the garage until one day finally she came into the garage after LOTS of coaxing. We shut the service door which I'm sure scared her as she was under the truck. We opened the door from the garage to the house she ran in up the stair to the bedroom where she hid under the covers for 24 hours without moving. Shewas always aa bit jumpy after that.
Patience is the key. Good luck!!!
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Update--

I set the trap last night and had a moniter set up so that I would hear it if it was tripped. It was tripped and I waited for a while and then checked on it. Food gone and no cat.

This morning, I played around with the trap. I poked a stick in it from the back to see how easy it was to push the door open. No problem. Then I put my cat Lola in it to see if she could get out. She could. Mikey is a lot stronger than she is so he could just walk right out. The thing that is suppose to keep the door down doesn't work!! I called the company that made it and was told to take it back to the store where I got it and exchange it.

I'm going to do that and then set it tonight. Maybe by midnight, I'll have my baby back in!
post #15 of 16
What great detective work! And now your kitty is trained to go into the trap, and not worry about tripping it! Yay!

I'll be watching for news of kitty being caught!
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Update -

The trap works, but the wrong cats were caught. I've set up a litter pan with used litter and left his bed out. I'll just keep trying.
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