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Scott M

Cat got out, how to catch again

Question

Scott M

Got home this weekend and can't find the cat. We think she may have snuck outside when we left the door open to load the car on Friday for a weekend trip. Anybody have any tips for getting her back? We're a little concerned as things are bound to get cold soon. My wife and I just moved to a little neighborhood in one of the suburbs and this cat was just getting used to the house. She has no claws and won't make it being an "outside cat." I'm a 'stepfather' for the cat as I married into it, but this is my wife's pride and joy so there will be much crying and gnashing of teeth if the cat isn't found soon. Anybody have any tips to get her back?

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DeanoB

a cat lady i used to work for said her cats would run off for days, but always come back. to speed the process, she would sometimes leave food out on the porch/step. you just have to hope that some 5 year old kid didn't catch it and drag it home. you can always go door to door and ask if they've seen the cat or have it.

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harvey lee

Maybe some tuna or fish in a live trap.

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Valv

To reassure your wife tell her that even if de-clawed cats can protect themselves very well, I had some that were even great hunters, in fact one catched so many mice that was almost unbelievable.

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Shack

Dude, when it gets hungry, it will come back. My garage kitty/cat is declawed and she get mice, chipmonks, blue jays and god only knows what else (she hacks up). She was a house cat when I got her! She has dodged death many times and comes up the winner! She is out side potty trained and is put outside all the time. She will take off for a coupe days at a time and when she is hungry, comes right back!

I just whistled for her and found her in the my buddies GTO!

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icehousebob

Put up lots of 'Lost Cat' posters, maybe offer a reward. All of our cats have become indoor cats now. They live longer and stay healthier. The food on the porch thing might help, but you can always end up feeding coons and skunks too. Good luck.

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Scott M

Posters were made. We plan to talk to the neighbors tomorrow. If the cat finds its way back home, its a timing issue since neither of us are home. I hope it shows up again is all I can say. The problem with this cat is it is always hiding and absolutely abhors most human contact. So expecting it to just show up meowing at the door seems unlikely given the cat's temperament. We put a dish of food by the front door.

We'll try giving it a couple days, but life will be tough for this guy if order isn't restored soon in this household.

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Shack

I would not put a dish of food out! It will eat and then head back out again! If anything, put a tinny bit out and see if any has been eaten!

I would say it is a good thing about human contact issue! Your cat will not cling to another person that found it, unless hungry!

As long as it is in good health and not at animal control, it will come back!

I am not the biggest cat lover in the world and my cat(s) make it back every time.

The poster idea never hurts!

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Surface Tension

A friends cat came up missing for a week one summer.

It wasn't like that for the cat to stay away. We were working on their camper earlier in the week and returned to finish the job. When I opened the camper door the cat shot out of there and to the nearest water source.

Look around the home and property for anything the cat might be trapped in. Look in the trees too. Cats climb but house cats freak out sometimes and are afraid to climb down.

Being your cat isn't a people person and a house cat, there are things it hasn't encountered before that'll scare it into hiding. It'll move at night and hide during the day. I'd get a live trap and try and bait it. If you need to borrow a trap I have one.

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Scott M

No food missing outside, so that makes me doubt she's creeping back and forth or anything. This cat is totally helpless...no claws on all 4 feet, in my estimation doesn't have the sense to return from where it left or the instincts or scent detection to do so, we're in a neighborhood surrounded by dogs so she probably wouldn't feel comfortable returning.

Called the local shelters and the non-emergency Police. That's probably what we're going to have to hope for. She is such a hermit that I could see her just holing up and giving in without even trying to find human contact for food or water. I don't think she's been taken in but its possible. It would be hard for someone to want to keep the cat if it avoided human contact, but maybe it would warm up to somebody if it got some food and water.

Thanks for the offer on the live trap S.T. It would be a little too much of a drive with Fleet Farm selling Haveaheart traps just down the road. I'm not gonna buy one since we haven't seen any food disappear.

I don't know at what point I should start talking to the Mrs. about the chance we won't get her back (it increases every day). The cat was only half way through its life expectancy and Mrs. has had her since her teenage days. Life will be tough in this house if we don't have the cat returned.

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DeanoB

not to be blunt but...have you noticed any smell? You said you left the cat at home when you left, did it die? COuld it have gotten into an attic, do you have a crawlspace, or basement someplace like that?

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Sandmannd

It sucks, but don't give up. I would bring up the possibilibty that it's not coming back, but she can keep some hope. Had a declawed cat with my ex that had no claws on all four and it got out and was gone for 3 to 4 weeks. We pretty much gave up and then it showed up all ragedy and everything. It probably is hiding out but when they get hungry they'll find a way home. You'd be surprised how good they can find their way back. There really isn't much more you can do that you haven't already. Just keep watching.

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larryz

Did you try checking your old neighborhood? Sometimes animals will go back if they do not feel comfortable in their new environment. Just a thought! Good luck!!

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Shack

If it was a dog, I would of given up hope by now of it coming back and been pretty active at local pound! But being a cat, it will show back up!

Just like sandman, I had written a couple cats off before, only to find them staggering back after 1-3 weeks!

Good luck!

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daydreamer

D_C where do you live? What's the cat look like? I did have a cat show up in my backyard last night. I'm in NE Maple Grove. The cat looked quite big and was grayish/tigerish in color. Let me know if this is a possibility.

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Scott M

Thanks for posting daydreamer, our cat is small and has a calico/siamese look to her.

BUT, the good news is my wife got a call this morning that a lady has seen the cat behind a nursing home in her alley boxing a black stray. She just saw our flier today so she didn't call sooner. I hope she is still in that area. We will have to do some more posting and try and look around that area.

The way we know it is her is the boxing behavior. She has done that to other cats in the past, it's totally her. I just hope she is keeping to a small home range.

It's some hope anyways.

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Scott M

Got a second call a couple hours ago. Got home this evening and started walking the alleys. I went one way, my wife went the other, and like American GIs busting Saddam in his spider hole, my wife found her cat. It had gotten into some guys garage. The thing only responds to her. She smells like a foot, but other than that she is no worse for wear.

Glad to get some advice from everyone here and glad she is back. Life is back to normal again.

Now she's getting a collar, maybe a chip, and a bath shocked.gif And the door is never getting propped open.

Thanks again.

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Shack

Never say never!

I think after a cat has been through a period of time that is not the best comfort and not like it is used to, the chances of it running off again get slimmer every time it happens! The next time it happens, it should not go far! If the cat is spayed or neutered, they tend to run out that "got to go" stage!

Great to hear! Its a happy ending!

Nothing like having all your ducks in a row again! I am sure your wife feels that way as well! smile.gif

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Surface Tension

Good to hear the cats back home. Could you tell if the cat happy to be back?

Maybe after its hard times the cat will be a little more affectionate, but I doubt it. grin.gif

I think taking it for walks around the neighborhood would help it get acquainted with its surroundings, just in case it gets out again.

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Bobby Bass

Just like dogs an article of clothing will draw cats back and to stay in the area. Our cats has escaped a few times and they do not travel far. We have had good luck with a sweater or coat left on the deck and most of the time we will find them sleeping on it. Have used that trick with dogs in the woods to when you get separated.

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Sandmannd

Glad you got her back and the wife is happy.

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