Outdoor Cat Won’t Come Back: You Can Do That Now

Cats are often away for a long time. You can find out here when you should start worrying and how to look for your cat properly in an emergency.

Outdoor cats are often away for a long time. The worries are often great when the beloved pet does not come back for a while. Here you can find out how long cats are usually out, how to look for your cat in an emergency and how to prevent your cat from going missing.

When Do I Have to Worry?

Every cat has its own rhythm. While some want to go back into the apartment after just a few hours, others even stay out of the house for several days. In general: If the cat stays away longer than usual, something is probably wrong and you should start looking.

However, how long a cat stays away also depends on what it is doing outside. This can decide whether the cat will not come back for just a few hours or even for several weeks.

Young Cats Explore Their Surroundings

Younger cats usually need a lot of time to explore their surroundings. Since everything is new to them, they first have to get to know their territory. Their forays are therefore often more time-consuming than those of older cats.

Search for Conspecifics Willing to Mate

If the cat or tomcat is looking for a conspecific to mate with, it can take a while. Cats can then actually be out for a week or even two.

Responsible cat owners only let their pets out of the house after they have been neutered in order to avoid uncontrolled reproduction.

Conflicts With Other Cats

If your tomcat gets into a serious argument with another of his own kind, this conflict can last a long time. It can also be that the cat doesn’t dare to go home for a while after a lost fight. Some animals then do not come back for months.

When the Weather is Warm, Cats Stay Outside Longer

As the days get longer and warmer, many cats usually stay outside longer than usual. Conversely, cats often prefer to spend the winter in a warm home. This seasonal variation is completely normal.

Territory Size Matters

The size of your cat’s territory depends on where you live. If the territory is large, it will take longer to roam it. The cat may then stay away from home for a few days.

The Cat Got Lost

Especially after a move, there is a risk that the cat will lose its bearings and not find its way back. It is, therefore, necessary to follow important rules when moving with a cat.

How Do I Search for My Cat?

First of all, you should assume that your cat may have holed up somewhere. To systematically search the entire apartment or house. Cats can also hide in corners, closets, or under beds.

You can then search the outside environment. Ask your neighbors if you’ve seen your cat. Your cat may have found shelter with someone without them noticing. Find out which door was open at the time in question. Also, look for your cat at different times of the day.

Tip: Remember that even familiar people will look strange to your cat in unfamiliar surroundings. Make yourself small as you search, speak calmly and softly. Try to entice your cat with familiar noises like the rustling of the treat box.

What Do I Do if My Cat no Longer Shows Up?

If you have searched extensively for your cat but have not found it, it is important to remain calm. You should report the loss of the animal to the police and the Pet Registry. Also, contact the local animal shelter so that your cat can be identified if found.

Wanted lists can alert others to your missing cat. Ideally, the following information can be found on the note:

  • Current photo of the cat
  • Indication of when and where the cat has been missing
  • Distinctive features of the missing cat
  • Your contact details, such as phone number

You can also ask in veterinary practices whether you can put out the search slips there. Social media can also be helpful in informing as many people as possible about your cat’s disappearance.

If you have found your cat again, you must immediately report this to the animal shelter, the police, or the public order office.

How Can I Stop My Cat From Disappearing?

To ensure that your cat finds its way back to you in an emergency, there are a number of measures you can take now. Having your cat chipped is highly recommended. In this way, the cat can be reliably identified if it is registered with an animal registration office.

A tattoo in the ear with an identification number is also possible under anesthesia. However, this can fade over time and become illegible.

A collar with contact details is conceivable but less advisable. It can be lost or taken off intentionally. It is also possible that the cat will get caught with the collar and possibly injure itself. If you choose a collar, then only with a safety clasp.

Cats often stay away from home for long periods of time. When to start looking for your cat depends on their habits. It is important that you act correctly in an emergency and make sure in advance that your cat can be identified if it is found.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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