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Old September 8th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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cpietra16 cpietra16 is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pointe Claire, Quebec
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I hope you get him back....Finding A Lost Indoor-Only Cat...I posted this on the other site...
If your indoor-only cat has escaped outside there is good news--your cat is probably not lost at all! That is because it is likely that your cat is hiding and, depending upon the terrain, may be closer than you think! When an indoor-only cat escapes outside, it is a case of where is the cat hiding? That is because cats are territorial and your cat's territory was inside of your home. Once a cat is transplanted into unfamiliar territory, it seeks shelter because it is afraid. A cat that is afraid (and cats that are injured) will seek areas of concealment (under a deck, under a house, under a porch, in heavy brush, etc.) the chances are that your kitty will not respond to your voice and they will not meow! Meowing would give up their location to a predator. It has nothing to do with whether the cat loves you, whether it recognizes your voice, or whether it can smell you--it has everything to do with the fact that a frightened cat will hide and be silent!

Indoor-only cats are often found within a three house radius of their home, so keep your efforts close by. Remember she may not meow back when you call and yet still be very close. Some Indoor-only cats become very frightened when thrust into the unfamiliar outdoor world and will do everything possible to stay hidden. They are most likely hunkered down to the ground, more frightened than ever before, ready to dart away from any perceived threat - even from you.

Thoroughly search your property. Try to think like a cat, your cat specifically. Look around and try to imagine what could have happened to account for the disappearance and help you look in the right places. Bring a flashlight and check EVERYWHERE (possibly multiple times): inside drain pipes and culverts, in heavy brush, sheds, basement crawl spaces, open garages, under decks, any place that your pet could hide. THINK CLOSE...that he is nearby but hiding.

Indoor only cats are in a "scaredy cat" mode while they are outside, they have that instinct to stay put, hide, and will NOT meow. The only thing that might cause a cat to travel is if a dog or something were to frighten her, or if there was no place that offered protection and if there was no source of food or water. So please leave out food and water, as well as belongings with a familiar scent so that your cat does not have any reason to wander.

If you've been looking everywhere for your cat without any results, one method that has resulted in the recovery of many "missing" indoor-only cats is the same method used to capture feral cats--the use of a humane trap. These wire cages have a trip mechanism that when triggered by a cat, will shut the door and contain a cat inside. They are available through most animal shelters, some veterinarians, as well as pet shops and hardware stores. Thus your next step in getting your cat back is to going to be to obtain a cat trap with yummy canned cat food and attempt to trap her. This method has a 70% success rate for finding the lost indoor only cat.

Last word of advice is DON'T GIVE UP THE SEARCH TOO SOON. Don't give up as soon as the cat fails to return home or after only a few days and don't just wait for the cat to come back or not. Keep looking in those same old spots, calling and listening. Try new spots; enlarge your search-area to the next block or the next after that.

98% of cats reported missing to animal shelters are never returned to their owners. WHY? Because cat owners are not being told how and where to search for their missing cat! They are being told to post flyers and to drive twenty miles to check the animal shelter but they are not being instructed to set humane traps in their neighbor's yard because their indoor-only cat might be hiding. They are being told to place an advertisement in the local paper but they are not being told that indoor-only cats will likely be hiding within their territory in an area of concealment and that they will not meow.
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