October 13th, 2006, 12:36 PM
Hello....I need advice please. At the end of August my daughter came and took my cat to her home to be kittysat while my husband and I were away for a few days. We had agreed that the cat would stay indoors only while she was there. ( She has access to outdoors from my home but never leaves the back or side yard....she could if she had a mind to...just a bit timid tho ). She would not use the litter box and woke my daughter in the middle of the night meowing at her. When she followed and tried to put her in the litter box she ran to the door and scratched to get out. Finally my daughter thought the only way she was going to be able to get back to sleep is to go out with her into her high fenced yard while she did her business. They had only been out for a minute when my cat bolted from the yard...over the fence and into a wooded area and has not been seen since....even tho' my poor guilty daughter looked for her immediately and for the rest of the night....rest of the week actually. When I came home 4 days later ( she was afraid to tell me til I was back ) I immediately did all the usual things...most of which my daughter had already done. Posters ...calling ....shaking the treat bag..checking the local shelter..crashing thru the bush ...looking under over and around everything...telling everyone I saw. She has now been missing for 6 weeks. The last couple of weeks I have read several articles on finding missing cats that say an outdoor access cat that is missing away from it's territory may be hiding and following instinct not to move or answer my calls. DOES THIS SOUND RIGHT? A few days ago my son and I were looking thru the wooded area and found what we believe is possibly her tuft of fur in my daughter's neighbors yard....she has unusual Angora like fur that she sheds in tufts. There are no other cats around that area that anyone knows about with that type of fur. Is it possible she could still be around there and only coming out at night to eat ( food left out )?? Or am I just not "moving on". My family thinks I'm nuts....but some of the articles I read say people give up too soon and that sometimes cats will hide under deep cover for weeks.....I had planned to leave out a humane trap but my daughter is concerned that as there are many cats roaming the neighborhood they will all be caught over and over and traumatized and neighbors angry with her???? I am planning to put a box or something that has waterproof covering up in the yard with some family members dark clothing in it ( her fur is white and if she goes in perhaps she will "shed") If so I will put a humane trap there and go and check it often as my daughter works long hours 35 miles from her home. I guess I am looking for someone to tell me that this IS the right thing to do and that there is hope that she may indeed still be out there? Any other suggestions would be appreciated ...Thanks....sorry it was such a long story
October 13th, 2006, 01:10 PM
Of course there is still hope, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
I'd put up a little shelter, with a place for her to curl up, food and water, but in your daughter's yard or on a porch, to minimize visits by other critters. Once you establish that she is in the vicinity - by sight or other evidence - you can definitely use a humane trap.
I would also stay at your daughter's place for a few days and go out every night with treats, your voice might bring her in if she is nearby. It's true that in an unfamiliar environment, cats are more likely to stay in the vicinity and lie low, but she could also be chased out of the area by dogs or intimidated by other cats if she is in their territory. So if there is evidence that she is still around, I wouldn't wait to do this.
Humane traps must be kept under surveillance so that other neighbourhood cats and wild animals, if they are caught, can be released immediately and the trap reset and replenished with food. Some people go for the gradual approach, putting the food near the door at first and then further and further back, until it is past the release mechanism.
October 13th, 2006, 02:43 PM
Iím perhaps not the best person to ask how long is too long to keep looking for a cat. I donít know if I could ever bring myself to stop looking if one of my cats got out. Iím afraid I donít have any great words of wisdom. I just wanted to say to keep your chin up and keep looking. Iíll keep my fingers crossed for you. :fingerscr
October 13th, 2006, 02:52 PM
Hi Redhed, Where in BC do you live? Are there wild animals or something that your cat felt like she had to go out and protect the home from? My cat went nuts one night because there was a bear in our yard. There is also a possibility that she got spooked and may try to get home,(to your home). Is your cat possessive or jealous of other cats. It would explain why she ran out. If she saw another cat she may have fought and may be injured and will only come back when she feels strong enough...I don' want to upset you but these are all scenarios that have happened to my cats at one time or another. Please don't give up. If she's alive she will be trying to get home.
October 13th, 2006, 04:16 PM
Like others have said,don't ever give up,I know I would not,were it one of my cats.
Does your daughter live near your house,could she possibly find her way home???
It could be someone is feeding her,a longhaired white cat would be desirable and they might not have seen your posters.:confused:
I can imagine how you feel right now,but please don't give up looking for her,she needs you to find her,winter is coming quickly..
Lost cats tend to hide in the daytime,nightime would be the best time to search,loaded with a bag of treats.
Are there any wild animals in the area,like Coyotes?
:fingerscr that you'll find her:fingerscr
October 14th, 2006, 09:57 AM
Your cat is probably scared, and scared cats generally won't come out from where they're hiding unless it's to eat. Scared cats also don't tend to go very far, especially in unfamiliar territory. It's doubtful she'll come out when you're calling her, even if she's very close by. I had this happen with a cat of mine several years ago, he got out and even though I spotted him a few times, he would never come. I started leaving food out for him and tried to nab him that way, but he was always too quick for me. I ended up having to trap him in a humane trap. So, I would start by leaving food out in the same place every night for a few nights, then get a humane trap and leave the food inside it. Good luck!
October 14th, 2006, 01:07 PM
Thank you everyone who has replied to my Post. :) I began last night putting a box with dark clothing of mine in it.....( my daughter only lives a few blocks from me)..I went and checked this morning and the food was eaten but no hair of whoever ate it....I'm thinking of putting some packing tape on the "ceiling" of the box and putting the food further inside...to see if I can catch some fur. If I catch some that looks like hers I will put the humane trap there. Our small city is surrounded by mountains and forest and we do get bears wandering this time of year....coyotes not unheard of....but there are a lot of strays near my daughters and they aren't "eaten" I do realize that it is a big possibility that she was eaten/killed by a preditor..wish there was a way of knowing....she totally disappeared from the time her butt went over the fence....that is why I think she may be hiding. Also with her long Angora like fur ( which I brushed several times a day )and her nice disposition she would be a desireable cat to take in...I've heard stories of that as well. I wished I had started the food at night thing earlier but I was thinking logically and not like a cat I guess....not until I recently read how they can hide for a long time. I'm not sure it is realistic after almost 7 weeks now but we did think we found her fur in the neighbors yard........since we only live a few blocks away ( maybe 3/4 of a mile ) wouldn't she have made it home by now if she were coming :confused: ??? I keep checking the patio door where she used to go in and out. Again thank you to all who posted ......I need as much support as I can get........
October 14th, 2006, 01:25 PM
I don't have any more advice for you. I just wanted to wish you good luck in finding your precious girl. :fingerscr :fingerscr
October 15th, 2006, 08:57 AM
I'm not sure it is realistic after almost 7 weeks now but we did think we found her fur in the neighbors yard........since we only live a few blocks away ( maybe 3/4 of a mile ) wouldn't she have made it home by now if she were coming
Not necessarily. Cats will hide and stay hidden when they are scared, even if they are close to home. My parents had one of their cats disappear for a month and found her hiding in their garden shed. They still couldn't catch her so they had to set a trap. Like I said in my previous post, I had to trap one of my own cats because he wouldn't come home, even though I could see him across the street! He was missing for 5 weeks by the way, so after 7 weeks it is entirely possible that your cat is still around. If there is food being eaten at night I would set the trap, even if you're not sure it's her. That way you may catch her, and if you catch something else you can just keep trying. Applying tape on the ceiling of the box probably isn't a great idea as it may freak her out.
October 19th, 2006, 07:34 PM
It's been about a week since setting up the box.....the food has been eaten on most nights but the hair in the tape hasn't been that of my cat. My daughter has taken in a stray that has been around since April and she is the most likely culprit .... she is a very easy going cat that likes the other neighborhood catsbut there is another cat that we think is a stray who has also been hanging around for months....although he seems to get along with the female my daughter "adopted" he has appeared with various chunks of fur and evidence of "scraps" and can be lovey and cuddly then turn into Jeckle ( or Hyde? )at a moments notice.......I wouldn't be surprised that he has chased my missing girl away.....although we found that tuft of hair a couple weeks ago. I really don't know what to do if that is the case...gosh knows where she could be....if she's too afraid to return to my daughter's I don't know if she will eventually try for home. It's been really chilly out the last several nights and rainy the last 2....( she didn't like going out in the rain...spoiled as she was...LOL ). Now they are calling for snow ! Although it probably won't amount to much for another month or so... I guess I just needed to vent....my family doesn't know what to say to me so I am sort of trying to keep my heartbreak hidden when around them. Thanks for ready...
October 19th, 2006, 08:06 PM
So sorry to hear that your kitty has not come home yet. when she ran out it seemed like she knew where she was going or knew who she was going after...is that right. She may be injured, but won't come out of hiding. Injured cats are very quiet...I would maybe keep calling her....good luck