How Humans Looking For Lost Pets Behave
Dog and cat caregivers often behave in ways that actually reduce their chances of recovering their lost pet.
Some develop “tunnel vision” and fail to find their pet because they focus on wrong theories. They assume their dog was “stolen and sold to research” when in fact their dog might have been rescued and put up for adoption through a local adoption event.
Cat caregivers are often discouraged by others who tell them “your cat was probably killed by a coyote,” when in fact their cat is hiding under the neighbor’s deck.
Alone and discouraged, both dog and cat caregivers experience “grief avoidance” and quickly give up search efforts because they really believe they will never see their pet again.
Sometimes rescuers who find lost dogs and cats behave in ways that reduce the chances that the animal will be reunited with their owners. Those who find skittish dogs assume that the cowering, fearful behavior means that the dog was “abused,” when in fact the dog was simply born with a fearful temperament and has been shy and fearful since it was a puppy.
Now that you know about the human and animal behaviors that inhibit lost pet recoveries, here are the steps and techniques you can use to increase the chances that you will find your lost companion animal.
Owner Behaviors That Create Problems
Cat owners often behave in ways that actually inhibit their chances of finding their lost cat. They develop tunnel vision and fail to find their cat because they focus on wrong theories. They experience grief avoidance and quickly give up their search effort. They feel helpless and alone, often discouraged by others who rebuke them and tell them it was just a cat and youll never find your cat. But one of the biggest problems is that cat owners typically focus their search efforts by posting lost cat flyers and by searching the cages at the local shelter. Although these techniques are important and should not be overlooked, the primary technique to recover a missing cat should be to obtain permission from all neighbors to enter their yards and conduct an aggressive, physical search for the missing cat . Simply asking a neighbor to look for the lost cat is not sufficient! Neighbors are not going to crawl around on their bellies under their decks or houses to search for someone elses lost cat!
Cat Hiding And Cats In New Homes
When bringing newly-adopted cats home, they often use a form of Bradshaws math. The standard advice to prevent cat hiding is to set up a small room like a bathroom or utility closet and make sure that room has all the cats essentials like food, water and a litter box.
Then, leave the cat alone in the room and let her get accustomed to part of her new environment at her own pace. But if you peek in, youll often see the cat hiding somewhere within the room itself, too.
With my cat, Mimosa, she took up a hiding position under the sink cabinet presumably to try and achieve Bradshaws goal of safely boxing herself in as much as possible while still being able to spot any advancing intruders.
How To Catch Lost Cats
In many instances, the best way of capturing a missing cat is with a humane baited trap. Cats have a very keen sense of smell. If you use a baited trap , line it with towels that have a familiar “home smell” to entice her to go inside. You can even place some of her kitty litter inside as well.
When you make “lost” posters, don’t forget to include your cat’s personality traits, likes and dislikes, and include a telephone number where you can be reached at all times.
Ask your local animal shelter for help with traps or employ a pet detective with a search dog that is trained to detect cats to help retrieve your pet.
Hiding Demeanour In Cats
There are a number of reasons why cats go into hiding, and most cats include this habit of hiding as a normal, healthy activity.
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Create A Clear Easy Escape Route
If your cat is going to come out of hiding, they need to feel safe. The best way to do that is to create a clear, easy way for them to escape. Typically, this means added vertical space.
Cats feel safest high up, so they can have a clearer view of any predators. Adding another cat tower near where your cat is hiding can coax them out.
Why Is Your Cat Hiding
When discussing cat hiding, Tracie relates it to a felines place in the animal food chain. Cats are fearful prey animals, she says. Almost any noise or new person or other animal or moving furniture can be stressful and drive them to hide.
Hotchners characterization rings true for me: Every time the apartment doorbell sounds for delivery, my cat, Mimosa, scurries along and hides under the bed like the end of the world has just been announced. Mimosa has never experienced any harm or distress as a direct consequence of the doorbell sounding but it seems that the newness of the noise, which she cannot pinpoint as originating inside the apartment, sparks some cat hiding instinct. The fear of the unknown can make us all act in strange ways.
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How Do I Deal With Inappropriate Behavior
Cats can be demanding creatures so its important to instill good manners early on. Inappropriate behavior such as swatting, excessive vocalization, and biting should not be tolerated. If your kitten begins to exhibit these behaviors, quickly and quietly leave the area and cease all interactions. Once the kitten is calm and quiet, resume interactions. The goal is for the kitten to learn that calm, quiet behavior warrants attention while aggressive actions do not. Make time daily for appropriate interactions with your cat that include play and petting.
Disciplining a young kitten may be necessary if its behavior towards people or property is inappropriate, but punishment should be avoided. A sharp, No! may be all that is needed to stop your kitty in his tracks. However, remote disruption that associates the consequences with the action may be considered. For most kittens, hand clapping or rattling a can of beans can divert attention and be intimidating enough to inhibit undesirable behavior when you are present.
What Can I Give A Stressed Cat
These include: Catnip – Catnip has a euphoric effect on cats that tends to ease their stress. Pheromones – A product like Feliway will diffuse a calming solution into the air that mimics a cat’s feline facial pheromones. These pheromones help calm your cat and send a signal that the location is safe.
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Why Are Some Cats Fearful
Fearful behavior in cats can be caused by various factors. Insufficient exposure to humans and/or a variety of stimuli during kitten hood as well as traumatizing events in their lives can teach them to react fearfully towards people or new situations. Cats can also be genetically predisposed to being fearful.
How To Find A Cat That Might Be Hiding
This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. This article has been viewed 147,214 times.
Losing track of your cat can be a scary experience. It may be difficult to find them or to know where to start your search. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to protect your cat from becoming lost and make it easier to find your cat if they do go wandering.
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How Long Will A Scared Cat Hide
- Post category:Cats
If your cat is hiding because theyre scared, dont panic. Hiding is their natural instinct to protect them from predators.
A cat will stay hidden for an average of 2 hours until they feel safe again. This could mean a few more hours if they were scared by a loud noise, or it could mean a couple of days if they were scared by a recent move.
If your cat wont come out from their hiding spot, this article will provide a few tips and tricks to help coax them from their hiding spot.
What Can You Give A Stressed Cat
These include: Catnip Catnip has a euphoric effect on cats that tends to ease their stress. Pheromones A product like Feliway will diffuse a calming solution into the air that mimics a cats feline facial pheromones. These pheromones help calm your cat and send a signal that the location is safe.
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Sit Close To Your Cat Hiding Spot And Talk To It
Scared cat will always want to hide, by hiding if you cannot talk to the cat, it might consider running away.
Your presence will play an important role in helping a cat to get through when scared.
Talk to your cat and show concern about your cat scared condition.
If you fail to stay close or pay close attention to a scared cat, the cat condition can not get better therefore, always check on your cat.
Removing The Scary Object
A cat can not be scared for nothing, something is really causing the cat to be scared.
So helping the scared cat come out of its hiding places is just to remove or take away every object that causes the cat to be scared.
It could be the presence of a dog or other pets that scares the cat, and once a cat is scared, hiding is the next option.
So you have to be smart and look out for things that gets the cat scared and remove them.
If your cat feel threatened he will try to hide so always find out why your cat is hiding.
If its an object, noise or event keep it away from your cat.
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Contacting Local Vets And Shelters
Perhaps your cat has already been found and brought into a vet or shelter. Call local vets and animal shelters to ask if anyone has brought in a cat matching your cats description. Leave them your number, so that they can call you in case your cat is eventually brought in.
Also check shelter websites people often post missing cats theyve found here.
You might find these regional resources useful in your search to being reunited with your lost cat:
Where Do Scared Cats Hide
It is normal for you to be upset and anxious if your cat hides in fear. Most frightened cats have been found to like to hide in some very common places. Most of these places are somewhere near the inside and outside of your home.
Cats usually hide under a porch, car, in a heavy bush, or other things near their home. In fact, 75 percent of cat species are found within an area of 500 meters from their escape point. Eighteen percent hide directly outside the entrance to their home.
The behavior of sick, injured, or scared cats is that they will hide in silence. Just because a cat owner doesnt see or hear their cat doesnt mean its not there. The lost cat may be hiding in a neighbors yard. If it is not found, the cat will probably return to your home in a few weeks.
Most critically, these cats will not meow. Meowing will reveal their hiding place to a hunter. Whether the cat loves you, recognizes your voice or can smell you has nothing to do with their behavior. It has all to do with the fact that a scared cat will hide silently. So just because you cant see or hear your cat doesnt mean its not too close to home.
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Is It Cruel To Lock Cats Out At Night
Please note: A cat should never be locked out all night. Also, ensure that cats have access to shelter in the day time, either providing a kennel or access to a shed. Even simpler would be to put in a microchip cat flap which only lets cats in that have their chips programmed into the cat flap register.
How To Comfort A Scared Cat
If your cat is scared, chances are that youre a little scared, too. In addition to the stress of seeing your pet uncomfortable, frightened cats have been known to claw first and ask questions later.
So, what to do if you have a scaredy cat on your hands? We consulted the experts for this step-by-step guide to assessing, comforting and preventing frightened felines.
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Rescuer Behaviors That Create Problems
One of the most tragic misinterpretations of feline behavior occurs when rescuers observe a cat with a xenophobic temperament and assume, based on the fearful behavior, that the cat is an untamed feral. While it is true that feral, untamed cats that are unaccustomed to human contact will hiss, spit, twirl, lunge, and urinate when humanely trapped, this wild animal behavior is also common in cats who have xenophobic temperaments! We know this because we have talked to owners of lost xenophobic cats that had to be humanely trapped in order to be recovered the owners verified that their cats exhibited wild behavior while in the humane trap. These behaviors are a reflection of a fearful temperament, not a lack of tameness. Shelter and TNR workers should scan all feral cats for microchips and conduct research to determine if the new feral is actually someones xenophobic pet cat that escaped outdoors, perhaps several weeks or months before it was found.
For more lost cat behavior and recovery tips, visit www.lostapet.org and/or read Kat Albrechts book, The Lost Pet Chronicles: Adventures of a K-9 Cop Turned Pet Detective.
Try To Engage Their Hunting Instincts
If your cat isnt food motivated, another great option is to play with one of their toys.
Cats are natural hunters, and they love to stalk and pounce on their prey. Cat wands are a great toy to encourage this behavior in your cat. If they see the toy wiggling outside of their hiding spot, their hunting instinct can take over, and theyll chase their toy out of hiding.
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What Should I Do If I Have Other Pets
Some kittens not only face a new home, they also face a new family that includes other pets as well as humans. Some kittens may show fear and defensive postures toward other pets in the home, but most young kittens are simply playful and inquisitive around other animals. In fact, existing pets that have an established territorial instinct for the home may pose more of an aggressive problem than the new kitty. If you know or suspect that your dog or cat might be aggressive toward the kitten, choreograph their introduction with safety in mind.
Keep your cat or dog on a leash or have someone hold them when introducing the new kitten. Allow the pets to explore each other and intervene only if you detect signs of impending aggression. Usually, gently correcting inappropriate behavior on the part of the new or existing pet and reinforcing desired responses will diffuse the situation, but be prepared to use the leash and retreat quickly if tensions escalate.
Planning ahead will make the introduction of the new kitten easier. Review training commands with your dog. Ask him to sit and stay if either he or the kitty becomes agitated during the introduction. Have him on a leash in case a hasty retreat is necessary. Resident cats may not respond to voice commands, but they can be placed on a leash/harness for quick avoidance of dangerous behavior.
The introduction period will usually last one to two weeks and will have one of three possible outcomes:
Lost Pet Advice: Finding Pets Who’ve Run Away From Shock
Most often, a furry friend thats run away from home or has gone missing hasnt done so out of a genuine desire to abandon you, but because of an external situation. Many want the chance to temporarily exercise their natural hunting, running, or chasing instincts in a way that extends beyond the boundaries, and simply wander too far in the wrong direction. In some cases, however, a cat or dog can take off in search of safety if there is a perceived threat in your environment.
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