[thrive_drop_caps color=’orange’ style=’2′]T[/thrive_drop_caps]here are many stories of missing cats and few stories of them finding their way home. But still, those few stories are still real stories of cats making it home. The question remains: can cats find their way home?
Based on how cats are, in general, they probably can. They are territorial, sensorial and smart. Even if it takes them a while, there is still a high chance that they can. However, the unfortunate reality is that most lost cats don't make it home on their own, or even ever. The reasons are many and possibly tragic.
Cats are Territorial and Sensorial
You may notice that cats are territorial creatures. They have their spots in your home; their favorite resting place, their feeding place, and other places where they are comfortable in. It takes time for them to warm up to a new territory.
A cat's territorial behavior has a lot to do with their sense of smell and other sensory perceptions. They can quickly identify when an area is safe, dangerous, or neutral. In fact, using their sense of smell, they can get themselves out of certain situations.
Cats can also hear very well, and they use this to orient themselves with the area. Also, their sense of touch and awareness of the environment helps them even more. That’s why they are very cautious in new places.
Different situations can cause a cat to be uncomfortable or frightened out of its territory. For instance, another animal chasing it out, a stressful event, or any startling activity. When this happens, it will probably run away and find another safe hiding place. It will also feel momentarily lost because it’s new and not so familiar.
Just Because Your Cat is Missing From You, Doesn’t Mean It is Lost.
As we said earlier, they are territorial and are highly aware of their surroundings. But cats like to play too and may find themselves chasing a squirrel to an unfamiliar territory. When the cat realizes that it is in new territory, it will probably run to find a hiding place.
From there, it will slowly find a neutral territory and try to avoid "dangerous" ones. This makes a "lost" cat harder to find because it's most likely hiding away.
What You Can Do When Your Cat is Missing
If your cat goes missing, of course, you’ll want to find it. Start as soon as possible, especially if it's an indoor cat. It shouldn't be so far away. Also, the sooner you start, the higher the chances you’ll find it. It also prevents permanent lost of the cat for tragic reasons.
Tips For Finding Your Cat
- Look in places where you think your cat can hide: Behind the washer, under a sofa, dense planting, garage, etc.
- Softly call cats: You have to remember that they are probably afraid and loud yells or voices will not help at all.
- If you see your cat, then you need to be very slow and careful with your movements: Approach it slowly and gently and avoid sudden movements that may frighten it and cause it to bolt.
- Try looking for it in the evening when it is dark because it may be coming out of hiding place and have less fear: Use a flashlight and search in the same near areas.
- Leave food and water out near your area and maybe at the entrances of your house: Place a few items that may be familiar to the cat, such as litter and some toys. The scent of everyday objects can help calm the cat and keep it close by.
- You can also set up a hiding place near your house or yard, in case it finds its way home: Place food and water too!
- Notify your neighborhood that your cat is missing: Inform them of ways they can help and avoid scaring the cat even more.
- Post "Lost Cat" flyers, preferably with a photo of your cat: This warns and informs the people. Put in your contact details in case someone finds it so that they can contact you right away.
Cats are very territorial and gentle animals, so when they are in an unfamiliar place, they may feel fear or stress. They go into hiding or into a place where they feel safe. With that in mind, we can say that not all missing cats are lost because they could just be hiding for safety.
That’s why probably why you will also hear stories of lost cats finding their way home after a long time of being missing. They were probably just being slow but sure that they are safe and careful.