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How Long Do Cats Go Missing For

How Long Should My Cat Be Missing Before I Worry

How To Find A Lost Cat: What To Do If Your Cat Goes Missing

The average length of time it takes for a cat to return home is about 24-72 hours, but this can vary.

There are times when cats go missing for longer this can of course be a source of great stress for caring and attentive owners.

Much depends on your cats normal routines. Try comparing its current absence with any previous occasions when it didnt return home when expected.

Generally speaking, if it hasnt returned in more than three days, you should contact your local cat shelter or vet.

How To Find A Lost Cat And Stop Them From Going Missing Again

Cat missing and don’t know what to do? Don’t panic. Use these tips to find a lost cat fast. Plus, see how to better understand lost cat behavior, and how to prevent a cat from running away in the first place.

Are you currently wondering, where is my cat?! and freaking out just tiny bit? Thats understandable. Losing a furry friend even momentarily can be any pet parents worst nightmare. And there are many reasons why cats run away. So its essential to know to how find a lost cat fast.

If you have a missing cat, take a deep breath, and try to stay calm. Then, take a look at our guide below, which is full of tips and helpful information that can help you bring your cat home safely.

To Keep Your Cat From Fleeing Follow These Steps:

Neutering and Spaying:

The mating instinct of a cat is compelling. When another cat is in heat, your cat may feel compelled to visit it as soon as possible. That is why spaying or neutering your cat is a good idea. After being spayed, a female cat becomes a homebody and prefers to stay with her owners. When a male cat gets neutered, he becomes cuddlier and less interested in meeting females. It doesnt mean your cat wont want to go outside anymore, but it wont want to flee all the time.

Training using a clicker:

Using a GPS tracking device:

Attaching a cat GPS to their collar or harness can provide genuine peace of mind for you, the owner. A GPS tracker is compact and light, making it discreet to the cat. It is highly beneficial for owners to be able to track their cats steps. It is also easier to track their cat if it does not return home.

With the embedded clicker, the tracker also features a callback feature, and once trained, your cat will return whenever its owner clicks it.

Wear a collar with a name tag on it:

Because not everyone is aware of the benefits of microchips, a collar with your cats name and contact information is required. A collar not only helps identify your pet but also prevents strangers from mistaking it for a stray. Make sure your contact information is on both the tag and the inside of the collar.

Give your cat plenty of opportunities to be stimulated:

Do not let your cat unattended for an extended period:

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Finding A Lost Cat With A Tractive Gps Cat Tracker

If your lost cat is wearing a Tractive GPS cat tracker, youre in luck! This will make your search for your missing cat much easier. You can:

  • Hit LIVE to follow every step in the Tractive GPS mobile or web app with real-time location updates every 2-3 seconds
  • Track together with friends and family using Family Sharing
  • Use Find Mode once youre nearby to pinpoint their location they might be hidden behind or under something
  • Activate light or sound if its dark out, or hard to see where they are
  • if your cat is further away, and you need help getting reunited you can do this in the location section under the Tracker tab in your profile
  • Reunite with your cat, and give them a biiig cuddle

How Far Can A Cat Go And Remember Its Way Back Home

Lost Cat (Webster, Texas)

Yes, cats can return home many days, weeks, months, and even years after they wandered off or were lost. According to the Lost Pet Research project, there were reports of cats traveling 50-80 miles in 2.5 years, 38 miles in 6 months, 30 miles in 10 days, and 20 miles in 21 days. So if your cat is lost, keep up hope.N

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How To Find Your Lost Cat

Act immediately. The longer you wait, the harder it could be to find your cat. More time passing can mean the opportunity for your cat to wander further.

Form a search party and look in all areas you think your cat may be.

Start close to your home then expand your search gradually. While searching, bring along your catâs favourite toy or an open can of food they love.

Tapping their food can can lure your cat to you. Listen for meowing. However, indoor cats will often hide in silence so make your search primarily visual.

If your cat normally comes to being called, call its name calmly or make familiar sounds.

Knock on neighboursâ doors and ask people you see in the street. You never know who may have spotted your pet cat wandering around!

Ask them to keep an eye out for your cat and provide them with your contact information in case they see the cat later on.

Searching at night can be affective as sounds can travel further .

Use a torch when searching at night or during the day in dark, small spaces. The torch can catch the catâs reflective eyes.

While you are out searching, have someone stay at home in case your cat comes back. Leave your back door ajar so if your cat comes home and you are not there it can come inside. Put out your catâs food and water as usual.

Animal shelters and vets can get extremely busy and they can forget to call you, so check in with them regularly to see if there is any news.

Create a lost cat poster. The poster should include:

Common Scenarios Of Lost Cats

At PetHub, we like to be transparent: we have affiliate relationships with other companies , and we may receive a commission on qualifying purchases made via the links in this article at no extra cost to you.

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Dont Leave Your Cat Out Overnight

Even the most street smart cats need to feel secure when it gets dark. Make sure you bring your cat in if you are away for the day and at night. Knowing your cat is safely indoors will give you peace of mind, and keep your cat safe. This is especially important during heavy rainstorms or annual celebrations such as Guy Fawkes when your cat can become disoriented.

Let us know if you found this article helpful? Perhaps your cat has gone missing before, and there was a happy ending to the tale? We would love to hear about it, so feel free to share in the comments below.

How To Find A Hiding Cat

What To Do When Your Lost Or Missing Cat Returns Home

Your cats past behavior might give you an idea of what hes doing when hes lost, Albrecht says. If he likes to socialize when company visits your house, he may have simply wandered down to a nearby house and found a way inside.

If your cat typically hides and doesnt come out until long after houseguests have departed, she might be hiding somewhere when you think shes lost. Shell be panicked and afraid, so shell stay silent, hopefully hiding away from any predators. Thats why owners have to look hard.

They will almost always be hiding, Albrecht says.

For instance, the Texas Pet Detectives Association found a missing cat who had hidden in a half-finished patio made of cinderblocks close to its home. The rescuers eventually had to remove some of the cinderblocks to retrieve the feline.

Some cats might eventually return to the house because they pass a threshold and need their humanlikely for food or waterbut thats not always the case, she says.

If the cat is hiding silently, its best to search late at night when outdoor activity quiets down. Then you might have a better chance of hearing him.

Going out in the dead of night might not sound appealing, so another option is deploying wilderness cameras to track the cat in case he ventures out from its hiding space. Examining your or your neighbors surveillance camera footagedoorbell cameras to the rescue!could help, too.

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How To Find A Lost Cat

When your pet cat goes missing, it can be a very stressful experience. It is like losing a member of your family. Owners of lost cats fear for the wellbeing of their pet.

There is a risk that the cat may not come home or be injured.

The most important thing when finding a lost cat is to stay calm, act fast and never give up. Catshave been known to be found weeks or months after going missing.

Keep searching every day until it has returned home.

How Far Can A Cat Go And Find Its Way Home

Yes, cats can return home many days, weeks, months, and even years after they wandered off or were lost. According to the Lost Pet Research project, there were reports of cats traveling 50-80 miles in 2.5 years, 38 miles in 6 months, 30 miles in 10 days, and 20 miles in 21 days. So if your cat is lost, keep up hope.N

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Best Strategies For Searching For A Missing Cat

Kat runs Missing Animal Response Network, which offers courses on basic pet recovery strategies. The courses are based on proper search techniques as well as knowing where to search for lost pets. The latter varies depending on the species. The behavior of dogs and cats influences the distances they travel, Kat says. Dogs run, sometimes great distances, while cats will hide. They not only hide, they do so in silence and typically stay close to home.

On Average How Long Do Cats Go Missing

What To Do If Your Cat Goes Missing

Cats are known to go missing for two days on average. Depending on your cats lifestyle, every pet owner will have varying amounts of concern about their cat going missing. It may take longer to notice an indoor/outdoor cat who sleeps outside, whereas a cat who has only ever lived inside will be seen missing right away. Theres no need to panic until your cat has been missing for more than twenty-four hours.

If your cat spends some time outside, it is more likely to have traveled further and taken longer to return than a cat who has never left the safety of your home.

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How To Ensure Your Cat Does Not Go Missing

Cats are part of the family so we know how terrifying and upsetting it can be when one goes AWOL.

Here are a few steps you can take to prevent them from going missing for days at a time. Consider having your cat microchipped, and have them wear an identification collar that displays your name and number.

This will greatly increase the chances of you and your cat being reunited if they do ever end up lost. These details should be kept up to date at all times.

Cats in heat are prone to wandering off in search of a mate. Likewise, male cats, once they pick up the scent of a cat in heat, can also quickly lose their bearings.

Having your cat spayed or neutered when they are around six months old should stop them from running away regularly.

Another good way of keeping track of your cat is to place a high-quality tracker on them.

A GPS tracking collar will let you know exactly where they are, whatever time, day or night.

Some pet parents want their cat to experience life outdoors, but are scared theyll end up getting themselves into trouble.

Maybe theyve been lost before, or theyre injured and would struggle beyond the perimeter of the house.

Buying a catio or another type of cat enclosure means your housebound feline can enjoy a bit of fresh air while remaining safe.

Conducting A Physical Search For Your Lost Cat

If your cat is missing and nowhere to be found inside or near your home, its key to start an active, physical search for them. In other words, dont just wait for your cat to return home on their own.

A study by pet detective Kat Albrecht and professor Jacquie Rand found that 59% of lost cats were found alive precisely because their humans actively searched for them2.

Here are some tips for your search:

  • Start searching right away. The sooner you start looking for your lost cat, the easier it will be to find them.
  • Start at home and work outwards. Remember, 75% of cats were found within 500 meters of where they call home.
  • Make a list of reasons why your cat could be lost. Then, youll know where to start your search.
  • Researchers found that cats can recognize their humans voice as well as their own name, even when strangers call it3.
  • Ask friends and neighbors to help you actively search. If they cant, ask them to call or text you if they see your cat.
  • Check your cats old territory. If you moved recently, your cat may have tried to return to their old home.
  • Consider your cats personality. Are they more likely to be hiding, or exploring the neighbors farm? This story shows how one Tractive user discovered their curious cat Kiwi trapped inside a moving van!

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Making Lost Cat Posters And Social Media Posts

Still no luck finding your cat after your search? It might be time to put up missing cat posters. An effective lost cat sign should include:

  • a high-resolution photo of your cat
  • a physical description including age, sex, coat length and color, and any other special markers that could be used to identify your cat
  • when and where your cat was last seen
  • your name and phone number

When putting up the cat posters, remember: cats go farther than we sometimes think. Hang posters at public transport stops to make sure as many people see your poster as possible. Cover the posters in plastic or tape for durability.

Download the free lost cat poster template from Tractive

In addition, youll want to post your catâs picture and description on various social networks. And ask your friends to keep an eye out. On most social media platforms, there are specific groups or lists for lost & found animals in specific regions. Check the pages of animal shelters in your area theyll often post their latest finds online.

How Long Should A Cat Be Missing Before Worrying

Why Do Cats Disappear For Days On End?

Cats go missing for a period ranging from 24 to 72 hours. However, in extreme circumstances, cats have been known to turn up after being absent for months or even years. A missing cat can survive in the outdoors for several days without food or water by hunting and foraging.

As a pet owner, its a painful experience to discover that your cat has vanished. Even though cats are known for their adventurous nature, you will still be concerned about them escaping and missing.

An inside or outside cat that spends nights outside may take you longer to realize that it is missing than an indoor cat that has only lived inside. However, you dont need to panic if your cat has been missing for more than 24 hours.

You should not expect your cat to be missing for long periods, especially not when you are their sole source of food. However, when it comes to eating, most cats make it a point to show up on time.

There are exceptions to this rule, such as if you have a cat that spends time inside and outside your house. Also, if your yard is large, your cat is more likely to have wandered off in search of an animal or a new scent and then returned on their own.

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Distracted Cats May Disappear

Cats are more likely to go missing during the summer months when the weather is great and they feel inclined to spend more time outdoors chasing insects and small animals.

Cats are famous for their lightning reflexes and when startled they will often leap into the air and then run from the scene.

If your cat is caught unawares and frantically runs to a place it is unfamiliar with, this may cause them to go missing for some time, particularly if they find themselves stuck behind a busy road or crossing.

Most cats will eventually find their way back home after an incident like this but it may take them until nightfall, when traffic and noise have died down, to summon up the courage to retrace their steps.

While you cant really prevent this kind of behaviour without keeping your cat permanently locked in your home it may be worth considering using a cat tracker so that you can keep an eye on where your cat has gone on its adventures.

Did you know?In some cases disappearing for days at a time could indicate that your cat has ADHD.

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