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Unread 01-03-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy We lost our cat... ):

Hello,
I would like to request comments and suggestions regarding our cat that ran away from home yesterday. We found this male cat on the street when he was about 2 months old and we adopted him then. He has been with us for about 6 months now, so he is about 8 months old. We had him neutered when he was about 6 months old. We have given him lots of love and we could tell that he was a very happy feline as he has always been very attached to us, cuddling beside us whenever we are home and even sleeping on our bed every night. He had never left our home until now that he somehow managed to climb the wall and hit the street. We looked for him last night and this morning around our neighborhood without any luck. We live in a suburb, residential area, with relatively low car traffic, although, about 5 blocks from our house there is a busy commercial area. He was wearing a collar with a name tag with our phone number on it, although the collar is the "safety" type that snaps off easily if tugged on. Unfortunately there are no animal shelters in our area and there are quite a few stray cats around the neighborhood.

We don't understand why he ran away as we feel that he was very happy living with us. Could it be that it is just his natural instinct to go out and explore? Given that he never left home before, will he be able to find his way back even if he walks far away? How does his sense of direction work? Is it based on visually recognizing the area and by smell?

Our idea is to continue looking for him over the next few days around the neighborhood. We are very concerned as he has always fed on the cat food that we gave him and even though we offered him other types of food (left overs) he never ate anything else but his own cat food. What will he feed on?

As you might imagine, we are very saddened about this and we will greatly appreciate any comments, suggestions or experiences that you can share that might help us understand what we can expect.

Thank you. :frown:
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Unread 01-03-2011   #2 (permalink)
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Hi, I'm so sorry to hear about your lost kitty, you must be beside yourselves, I know I would be. I don't have any direct experience of this and can only offer the below suggestions.
Good luck and I really hope you have some positive news and he comes home safely. Best wishes, Heidi xx


Suggestions to follow if your cat goes missing (by Haworth Cat Rescue)

1. Create posters with picture and details plus contact number(s) ..... hand out to neighbours and anyone you see. Put up in local shops, pubs, bus stops, libraries and supermarkets - in fact any public/communal areas in the neighbourhood. Stick to all local lamp posts. (If it rains go and collect them and replace - the neighbours and council don’t mind you putting them up so much that way). Also put one in your car and friends’ cars - it's amazing how many people see them this way. Laminating them or putting them in plastic jackets will make them last longer.

2. Make smaller flyers and push through every letterbox on your streets and the surrounding area. They don’t have to be big - you could have six or eight to a page and just cut them into smaller notices. Remember you can never have too many posters out there! It is also a good idea to offer a Reward … of course this doesn’t have to be money, a box of chocolates or a bunch of flowers is just as good.

3. Knock on doors and ask neighbours to check their sheds and garages WHILE YOU WAIT … it's surprising how many people say they will check but as soon as the door is closed they forget. Or better still go and check the shed etc yourself. Your cat may respond to you but not a stranger. Remember though, a cat’s instinct is to remain quiet to avoid capture. Your cat may not respond at first. Call, wait and call again. Ask your neighbour(s) if you can repeat this at different times of the day for the next few days, or if they will leave the door or a window ajar.

4. Register the cat lost at all vets/catteries/rescue homes within a 20mile radius (remember to keep a record of everyone you contact). And, if he is microchipped, inform the microchip company that he is missing (that way, if anyone tries to change the address, they should contact you first). Keep checking with them - some are less reliable at getting back to you than others

5. Contact any other “animal” organisations/establisments you can find - these might include dog groomers, pet sitters, animal feed shops etc etc. Although they probably won’t operate a “lost and found” register, they will chat to pet owners, and word may get around.

6. Leave food out and a toy

7. Leave out an unwashed item of your clothing - socks are a good idea.

8. Put the contents of your vacuum cleaner bag on your garden - it’s full of smells that the cat will recognise and if doesn’t bring the cat directly to your door will at least hopefully keep him/her in the area. Alternatively if you have a litter tray that the cat has used put some of the used litter on the garden as this will have familiar smells in it.

9. Contact the local fire brigade and see if they have had to rescue any stuck cats

10. Ask the local children to look - they are great for knowing all the local hidey-holes and love helping. Ask the children to TELL you if they find a cat, not to bring it to you (it might not be yours!). Also have a word with your local post-person, milk man and any other delivery people in your area.

11. Ask the local radio station to announce the cat is missing and give out a contact number

12. Put an advert in the local paper. Repeat the advert after a fortnight.

13. Contact your local environmental services dept (bin men/cleansing) they should keep a log of all deceased animals picked up on the roadside ... this is not a pleasant call to make and hopefully it will come back as negative, but at least it will help with uncertainty. Make this call every couple of days or so, as they may not phone you back if they find a cat after you've contacted them.

14. Go out after dark when it is quieter with a friend/partner and walk round the local area gently calling every so often (give the cat a chance to answer you). Keep talking as you walk round, that way if s/he is in the area s/he will hear you. Note, it is better to call when you are on the way home rather than the way out, so that you don't inadvertently lead him further from home.

15. Check out any known local feral colonies - vets/rescue groups may be aware of some, or you might hear of some as you make other enquiries. S/he could be living there.

16. Search the web for lost and found sites and register with as many as possible, submitting photos if you can.


Good luck and stay positive.

Hopefully your little one has just got himself shut in a shed somewhere.

And finally ……. IMPORTANT NOTE: When you get your cat back remember to remove ALL the posters and inform all vets / rescues / websites /microchip company etc that they are home.

(The information on this guide is copied from the Haworth Cat Rescue website. Search the internet to find our website for more information).
UK Registered charity number 1058218
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RIP Ben, Tippy and Simba xxx
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Unread 01-03-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you very much for your reply and suggestions. We will try some of those tonight. I keep you updated.
Thank you again.
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Unread 01-03-2011   #4 (permalink)
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I am very sorry to read this, you must be out of your mind. No, he didn't get tired of living with you. Something caught his attention, a bird perhaps, and before he knew it he'd jumped the wall. Once over the wall he didn't know how to get back.

I don't have much to add to Heidi's excellent thread (which I agree with every point, especially asking people to check their out buildings and trash barrels, and waiting while they do) except a couple of things:

keep in mind that outside of his yard, everything will seem strange and scary to him, including you.

When you see him, it is very important that you stay very calm and coax him to come to you. Don't cry out in joy, don't scream his name, don't run after him. Stop, drop to the ground, speak softly to him and coax him to you until you are sure you can grab him.

When you call for him, keep your voice calm.

Lost cats are almost always very close to home, but afraid to come out.

One more thing about scent, scent is everything to a cat, it's how they recognize you and their home. In addition to what Heidi said, put his litter box out side. Sprinkle his used litter on the ground outside of the wall, on the top of the wall, and in your yard.

Praying for your kitty that he comes home safe and sound soon.
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Unread 01-06-2011   #5 (permalink)
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Great advice from heidi and acerlt...i really hope you are able to find him, i feel so bad for you. It might not be a bad idea if u do hopefully find him to get him microchipped that way if shows up at a clinic or shelter they can scan him and and get him back to you. Make sure you register the microchip. I will pray for u. I would be in a state of panic so I really hope for a happy ending...
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Unread 01-06-2011   #6 (permalink)
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Post Lost kitty

We're so very sorry to hear about your lost kitty. Maybe he's not lost. Maybe he just went out to check out the neighborhood. Hopefully, he'll come back home real soon.

Can't improve on all the suggestions from Heidi and Gail. All were GREAT.

Keep the faith and we'll keep thinking positive that you see a familiar little fuzzy face back home very shortly.

With Aloha .. Nancy& Maui Boy
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Unread 01-11-2011   #7 (permalink)
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GOOD NEWS! - Our cat is back with us!

It turns out that on the same day that he disappeared from our home he climbed through a neighbor's window and stayed inside their home. They are not much of a pet people but fortunately they managed to take care of him until we found out that they had him.

We are very happy, of course, and now we are just worried as to what to do in order to avoid this from happening again in the future. We are now afraid to let our cat out in our yard and have kept him inside the house but we realize that we can't keep him inside forever and it would not be fair to the little guy. We read that if the cat knows the neighborhood well, if he does get out, he can always come back as he won't get lost. The question is, how do you get him to know the neighborhood? Do you "walk him with a leash"? Do you carry him and walk around? How do you manage this?

Once again, thank you all for your previous supportive comments.
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Unread 01-11-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Hooray, I'm so happy to hear this, and happy for you and the little fella

My cats are indoor/outdoor cats, they come and go via a cat flap although I always keep them in at night - so I can't really advise you on your other questions. Some forum members do use a leash and I know the cats get used to it after a while. Is there any way to make your garden more secure so he can't easily escape and have supervised time out there with him?
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Unread 01-11-2011   #9 (permalink)
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Oh I'm so glad. Thank you for letting us know. How did you find out your neighbor had him? Did you put up flyers and go door to door?

There isn't any reason you cannot keep him inside. My cats have always lived inside and they are quite happy.

You can train him to a harness and take him out in the yard with you, but don't leave him out there alone harnessed, only when you are out there

You can build a cat safe outdoor enclosure, by purchasing a kit or designing and building your own.

You can put cat toppers on the fence such as

CAT FENCE-IN™ | Cat Containment System

or

Pictures - The Affordable Cat Fence in action!

or

Outdoor Cat Enclosures - Outdoor Cat Enclosure

let us know if you do any of those, it might help someone else
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Unread 01-11-2011   #10 (permalink)
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Thats great news!!!!! My cats live inside only and they are fine. Too many sick people in the world for them to go out. I would get your kitty microchipped just in case.. Those cat fences and enclosures for outdoors are a good idea like gail said. My friend let her cat out and he was hit by a car and killed. I am just really glad that this has a good ending..
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