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Absent Cat

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I am new to the forum and have joined as I would like some advice about one of my cats (Highbury).

My wife and I got Highbury and his brother (Cosmo) when they were kittens about 2.5 years ago. They are our first cats and we love them and care for them both a lot. However recently we have been seeing less and less of Highbury. Right now I havent seen him since last Thursday evening.

Until about 2 months ago we made it a point to keep both cats in at night. We did not like the idea of them roaming the streets at night and worried that they might be at increased risk of being run over.

We changed our policy because a) it was starting to become a very hot summer and we had to have all of the windows open and b) we were worried that the cats would start to become tired with being couped up.

We both work but I tend to work from home at least one day during the week.

What should we do? How can we find out where Highbury is going and how can we get him to spend more time at home? Should we go back to keeping them in at night.

We have a feeling that he might have found another home but we dont want to accept that we have lost him as he is very dear to us.

Any help or advice from owners who have had similar experiences would be very gratefully received.

post #2 of 7
One of our cats has periodic spells of being away more than she is home, and they have all coincided with unusually warm weather. We've never discovered precisely where she goes. Once the weather cools a bit, she's home more than away. She's 7 this month, and by now we've acknowledged that this is just how she is. Which is not to say that we don't worry when we don't see her, but we know that she would go bananas if she were not allowed out, and we would ALL go bananas if we had to close the house up to the extent necessary to keep her in.

It sounds as if Highbury may be like our Suzy. I hope Highbury gets over his wandering soon, for your peace of mind.

Oh, and one other thing: the prevailing thinking on this board is that cats should not be allowed outdoors, so you will likely get advice to that effect. Some of us are in situations where it's not a bad thing. I hope a few more chime in with their thoughts for you.
post #3 of 7
I can't give you any specific advice (esp as my cats are indoor cats) but I've heard of a lot of cats doing the same right now and stopping out for several days. I think it's related to the hot weather so hopefully Highbury will curb his wandering ways when the weather cools down.

As to keeping them in at night - I do think that's a good idea as night time is when a disproportionate number of RTAs involving cats occur.
post #4 of 7
Have they been neutered? That would make a big difference (and keep down the stray population), but while I know everyone still seems to let their cats out all the time in the UK, it's so much safer for them to adapt to being indoor pets, especially as they have each other for company anyway, and I honestly feel you may never see HB again at some point in the near future if he continues to go out (day or night). Cats indoors are known to live many years longer than those 'out there', and it's just a matter of a) neutering, and b) withstanding their wails of wanting to go out, until they adapt. A big help in that dept. could be to get proper "4-point harnesses" - which are like collars but with a short piece along the back from the neck part that then attaches to a 'collar' behind their front legs, and has a hook for a leash on top. They're much safer for cat necks (much more fragile than doggy ones) as resistance is on the middle loop instead. Once they get used to wearing the harness indoors for a few minutes at a time, then they can be 'walked' (though won't necessarily proceed like a dog!) safely.
post #5 of 7
Hi Hadyn,
i guessed u juz hv to wait till ur cat comes back. it is indeed a good idea to keep ur cats indoor n as u'd mentioned of reducing the chance of being run over n also reducing the chance being bitten or contracted harmful diseases...
post #6 of 7
I have the same problem with my cat Jasmine. She will wander when the weather was hot and we would not see for as long as two weeks. She always comes back looking fine and well fed so I can only assume she has two homes. I think whoever else feeds her is possibly keeping her inside and it is only when she escapes that she comes back to us.

When she does come back she is happy and will stay for several weeks and then boom she is gone again for anywhere from several days to a week or two.

I don't know why she is different from the others. All our other cats that go outside usually come in at night right before we go to bed.
post #7 of 7
I have a Hignbury myself and it took me a lot of time many years ago to find out where Cleo went. It is hard to track a cat outdoors (I just managed to get lucky one morning).

What you want to start to do is feed Highbury on a regular schedule outside, always in the same place. Cats feel comfortable outside, we tend to put them in nice padded cages with all the comforts of home (our houses) but some just like the freedom of being outdoors. Weigh the risks, accept that you might lose Highbury for good and just let him be. It is either that or bring him indoors to live with you forever which sounds like that isn't much of a possibility. BTW Cleo my strictly outside cat? He turns 13 years old soon. He has scared me from time to time by vanishing, sometimes for weeks. But, he always returns home in the end. (knock on wood).
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