Cats are very independent animals, and they can look after themselves. That is why the owners allow the cat to go out and roam themselves. They often return when they get hungry and do not go missing for more than a few hours.
Most cats happily return home before it gets dark and they make themselves comfortable. When they are out, they stick to their territory and play around the house.
Unfortunately, this is not always true that cats will come back. Sometimes they go disappear for days leading the owners to many sleepless nights. Why have they gone missing? How to prevent them from disappearing?
Why do Cats Disappear for Days at a Time?
Cats are inquisitive animals. It is natural for them to hunt, play and explore the territory. It is a good sign indicating your feline is playful and active. But sometimes, they get into trouble and get separated from their owner for days.
In a normal scenario, cats return home when they are hungry and want their owners to feed them. But when they disappear for days, they ought not to eat the food outside that is often rotten and causes them vomiting and upset tummy as they are not familiar with such foods.
Your cat wants to return home because this is their residence and comfort zone, but sometimes they get lost or get in some sort of trouble concerning injuries that prevents them from returning home.
Let us be familiar with the basic reasons why a cat gets lost-
Your Cat Is in Heat
If your cat is not neutered (male) or spayed (female), it can often disappear for days if they are in heat. Male cats hear the calls and catch the scent of the female cats who are in heat and ready to mate.
As with other animals, cats also have their instincts and they have to pursue the cat in heat and often end up in unfamiliar areas where they have not previously been to. They will find a way to escape from the house following their instincts.
Unspayed female cats will wander away from home if they are in heat. If they cannot find a male cat for mating, they will keep looking by calling them, which often sounds very disturbing to the owners.
When female cats are in the heat, it is very difficult to keep them home as they scream and growl a lot calling other male cats of the locality for mating. For female cats, the permanent solution is to spray your cat. To know more about spray and neutering, please stick with me to the end.
Someone Saw Her Wandering and Took Her to an Animal Shelter
Sometimes your cat might have entered someone else’s yard or garden chasing its prey and a passing lady may have mistaken her for a stray cat and taken her to the animal shelter. On such occasions, you cannot find your cat if you search the whole locality.
They Get Lost
Wandering off to unfamiliar areas pursuing a female in heat cat and when they realize they are not in their territory, the area seems unfamiliar. They search for familiarity to get back home.
Sometimes they get lost and chased by another dog or cat. If you have other dogs or stray cats in your locality, there are possible reasons they chased your cat and they cannot find the way home as they have got far from protecting themselves.
Do not get worried. There is a solution to this problem. If your cat gets lost, you can find your cat with a cat tracker quite easily.
They Got a Better Offer
Sometimes your cat might feel happier and more comfortable somewhere else than at your house. They get attracted to that area and gravitate to that area and you can do nothing; you can do much to stop them.
There might be something in your home environment that is pushing your cat away. There might be some other place where she feels more relaxed and content. It might be a new home and someone is feeding and looking after them, or it can be a garden or someone’s yard.
For this reason, they do not return home if they get a better offer elsewhere. There is not much you can do on your behalf in this case but of course, you can try to help prevent your cat from doing so.
Cats are sensitive to changes in their household and this makes them stressed and emotionally disturbed. Do you have too much noise at your house? Cats are sensitive to noises and they prefer a peaceful environment.
Apart from this, introducing a new member to the family, like a new dog or a baby in the family, makes them feel unwanted. So many cats choose to move on and look for newer places where they feel happier and relaxed.
Have you seen your cat lying or sitting but suddenly, they ran out without your concern? This is because they have to attend to urgent cat business only cats know the details about.
Cats do this because of their cat instincts. Sometimes you have to accept that there are more important things for them to do apart from just sitting in the house. This might be going out for a hunt, climbing a tree, or chasing mice. Sometimes even hiding in some corner of your house.
They Have Been Injured
One basic thing for you to know is- sick, injured, and panicked cats hide in silence. Your cat can get injured while they are out. Often, they can get attacked by another cat or bitten by a dog or cat that made them wounded.
It is a serious issue as they are wounded and require treatment, but they choose not to return home. The injured cats tend to seek shelter in the darkness, heavy bushes, someone’s backyard, under a deck, under a house, and many places where none can see them.
What Can You Do to Prevent Your Cat From Disappearing for Days Again?
Neuter Your Cat: the Ultimate Solution
If you want to control your cat’s coming and going, the best thing you can do is Neuter (male) or Spay (female) your cat. Once they are neutered, they will not have the urge to go outside. They will not come in heat resulting in them going outside.
The male cats, once neutered, will not follow the scent and call of the female cats in heat and remain at home and you can allow them to go out whenever you require. There will be no trouble in keeping them home.
For female cats, the Spay is the best option to keep them home and stop the annoying noises when they are in heat. Spaying your cat makes its homing instincts stronger.
The pros of neutering your cat are-
- Spaying your female cat will avoid unwanted babies that need extra care and attention besides extra litter for them, vaccinations, and taking them to the vet, which needs money.
- A neutered cat lives a healthy and longer life than an average cat.
- A neutered cat avoids the risk of breast cancer.
- Prevents unwanted behavior and urges to go outside when a female cat calls. A neutered cat does not respond to a female cat calling to come outside.
- They( both male and female) will not wander far from home searching for mates when they are in heat.
- They stick to their territory as they do not have any reason to go far.
- Male cats mark their territory by urinating with a very pungent smell which often makes the yard smelly. Neutering your cat will avoid such problems.
Note: The perfect time for you to neuter your cat is when they have attained their sexual maturity. That is 4-5 months of age.
Put a Collar on Your Cat
If you have an indoor cat that goes outside, the right thing you can do is put a collar on your cat. Sometimes people might find your cat roaming in their yard and people might mistake your cat to be a stray cat and take her to the animal shelter.
Putting a collar on your cat will make people realize this is an owned cat and will not capture or harm the cat. A nice person will look for their owner around if they see a collar.
Get a Cat Tracking Device
If you notice your cat often goes missing, then install a cat tracking device for your cat. It will show you your cat’s location and you can easily find them. You do not need to panic and look for your cat once you have the cat tracker installed.
Invest in an Enclosed Catio
Cats love to watch the outdoor’ view; that is why we often find them sitting next to the window. Building a catio for your cat will ensure the sightseeing of your cat without wandering off too far.
Cats are designed to leap, balance, and climb anything. Building a catio for your cat allows them the opportunity to climb on it and have fun besides watching the environment.
Give Them a Better Home
As I have said earlier, something in your house might be pushing the cat away. Make sure you do not have too much noise in the house that might make your cat disturbed. Are you not providing them enough attention?
There are some needs they require from you beyond feeding them. That is your love and attention towards them. If you are unable to provide time for your cat, they will try to go outside and they might find a favorable environment for them and often not return.
Do you feed them in time? When it is snack time, you must feed your cat in time as they starve if not fed in time and they tend to go outside looking for food. Leave them no chance to feel unwanted. Play with them and keep them active.
The majority of cat owners have reported that they have shifted their house and their cat has disappeared. When you go to a new environment, your cat is unfamiliar with it.
The measures you can take to help to get your cat familiar with the new environment are-
- Select a room for your cat before the arrival of your cat into the new residence.
- This room should not be used regularly and cannot have outdoors. Manage the supplies for your cat before letting them in.
- Make your cat comfortable in the room and keep it in the room for three days without letting them out. Their litter box should be cleaned regularly and provided with enough food.
- After three days open your room and let them know about your new house. You must now allow them to go outside for one complete week.
- They get to know about the house and get familiar with it in this one week. Then take them out to know the locality.
To Wrap Up
Cats generally go out to play or hunt but they return before night. We start worrying when they disappear for days. The possible reason why they disappear is they are in heat. Again some cats lost their way back home after entering an unfamiliar place. Install a cat collar on your cat if they often go missing.