Compared to other domestic pets such as dogs, cats are famous for being independent, and their owners are more than happy to give them the freedom to come and go so they can explore the world around them. In most situations, when cats go out and about, they will usually always come back.
That being said, it is not true that ALL cats come back. If your cat has gone out and not returned for a few days, it could be a concern because unlike their ancestors, more domesticated cats are not as able to defend themselves in the big bad world.
Every year, many thousands of cats go missing on a yearly basis. More alarming is the fact that around 6.5 million felines are lost throughout Europe over time and it is thought that around 25% of all those lost kitties will never find their way home or be with their owners again.
So Why Do They Go Missing?
There are actually a number of different reasons why cats go missing, and understanding these might help you prevent yours going missing before he or she does. Some cats are just very curious and nosey. Remember that phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat’. That didn’t come about from nothing. Don’t be alarmed though, as we are not suggesting that just because your cat has gone missing for a number of days, that he or she is dead. Just that their curiosity can get them into trouble.
Unspayed and Un-neutered Cats Have a Tendency To Go Missing
One of the most common reasons male tomcats that have not been neutered yet go missing for numerous days is because they have caught the scent of a female cat who is ready for breeding, in heat. They have strong animal instincts that they need to follow through on, especially if it gets set in their mind that that’s what they need and want. They will spend as long as it takes to get the female cat which could mean they are missing for a week or two before they bother coming back home.
There is a common misconception held about female felines that suggests they won’t go hunting for males even if they have yet to be spayed. This is false though because even though it is rarer for them to travel as much as male cats for a mate, they are just as likely to get frustrated and then go on the hunt for a male.
By far the easiest and most effective way to stop this occurring is by ensuring that you have your cat spayed or neutered as quickly as possible. Not only will that help prevent your cat from going missing for days and weeks, it will help reduce the growing population of feral cats up and down the country.
It’s important to note that although taking these precautionary measures won’t stop your cat from ever wandering off while chasing prey or anything else that intrigues them; it means they are less likely to go to the same lengths they would to mate with a cat of the opposite sex.
Distraction Can Lead Cats Away From Home
During the summertime is when there is a greater chance that distraction can cause your cat to go missing. This is often because they are spending their time out and about chasing after smaller animals, other cats and insects. Cats have well-documented super fast reflexes and can also be incredibly jumpy. You may already have experienced just how jumpy your cat can be if he or she is taken by surprise. It can cause them to leap high into the air and then run as fast as they are able to in the wrong direction, and very often that direction is away from their home.
If the above happens to your cat and he is taken by surprise and runs to somewhere that is not familiar; it may take them a few days to get back home. Especially if they end up on the other side of a busy crossing or road.
Generally, most cats are able to find their way back home in this situation; but it could take some time, and they will normally wait until night falls when noise and traffic have died down and they are brave enough to try and find their way home.
You may not be able to stop this from happening, especially if you want to give your cat freedom. However, you could invest in a cat tracker that will help you to know exactly where your cat is, even when she or he has gone missing for a day or more.
Cats Often Disappear When They Find a More Satisfying Environment
When changes happen in the home environment, cats can be greatly affected by these and it can make them want to move on and find somewhere more favourable and satisfying for them to stay. If you bring a new baby or dog into your house, it may push your cat to think about moving on to a quieter house, like the one with at the end of the road who do not have any kids or smelly dogs and they can get a decent bit of tinned fish.
The only way you can really ensure that this doesn’t happen with your cat then, is to make sure you do your very best to look after your cat properly. Ensure they always have a clean litter tray, enough food and clean water and most important of all; a comfortable, quiet and safe place to hide away in the family home when things get too noisy for them.
Tips For Preventing Your Cat From Disappearing For Many Days
- Purchase a high-quality cat tracker so that you don’t have to worry when your cat goes off for a few days at a time because you will always know where he or she is
- Arrange for your car to be neutered or spayed as soon as you are able to
- Spend some money on a high quality and very sturdy catio or cat enclosure to stop your beloved feline from leaving or escaping your garden
- Have a cat-flap installed into your home that syncs up with your cat’s microchip and places a curfew on the time they can spend outside
- Take the time to make sure that your cat has everything they want and need in your home, as this will stop them wanting to move on or go somewhere else