My Cat Is Gone!

Updated on February 17, 2012
J.K. asks from The Colony, TX
24 answers

My cat went missing sometime between last night and this morning. He may have gotten out when I put the dogs out??? Who knows? As of now, we haven't seen him since last night. This is the 1st time he's been gone ever. He must be terrified! He is microchipped and yes he has his claws still. I have faith he'll come home.

Can someone reassure me that cats are definitely smart enough to be gone for a long while, yet still find their way back home? How smart is a cat really?

Besides putting up flyers, calling Animal Control, calling our vet, etc. what else can I do to help him find his way home???

Thanks, Ladies!

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So What Happened?

He's back!!!! WooHoo!!! Thanks Moms for all your advice!

He never actually came home by himself. This morning, my daughter was outside playing with the dogs before school and frantically said, "Mommy Mommy I hear a cat meowing!!!" We followed the cries and found Scout in the yard behind mine (on the other side of the alley) hiding under their outside storage shed. I couldn't believe it!!!

However, it looks like he's interested in getting out again. He must have really enjoyed his temporary freedom. I can only hope we're more careful from now on. Thanks again Moms!

Featured Answers


answers from Houston on

Cats have an amazing innate homing skill, most likely it will be back in the next day or two. I have had indoor cats disappear for a week or two, then make their way back home safely.

Be careful though, once they get the taste for the outdoors, they will usually want to take more outdoor treks, so be careful when opening the front door because many will try and sprint fo it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

He will likely come home. Go outside annd shake his food bag while you call his name. If he is not home tonight set an open can of tuna outside the front door. You might attract more than just him but it should work. Cats are amazing at knowing their way home.

Since he his microchipped if anyone takes him in they will see it and call you. Hang in there! Mine once got out the day we moved from indiana to orlando and he came home the next day! :)

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answers from Portland on

We had a cat that would disappear for days. Turned out he adopted a neighbor who thought he was homeless. He did come home but continued to visit the neighbor too. Once we told the neighbor he was our cat they stopped keeping him in the house overnight.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

We use to baby sit our neighbors indoor cat at our house when they went on vacation.
There were a couple of days we could not find him anywhere in the house.
My Mom was so upset - we thought our neighbor would never forgive us for losing their baby (they treated that cat like a person).
Well, my Mom's crying as she washes/puts away the cat bowl (it clinked a few times) and low and behold - the cat turned up mewing at her feet.
It turns out the cat found a place in the basement where he could cozy up and look out a basement window and he snoozed there awhile, then came running when he heard his food dish.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

There are few cats around here that are "neighborhood" cats...I think they house to house...and then end up back at the original owners home. Cause it can be a week two weeks before we see them again! I wish they'd stay there!

Sorry it it sounds harsh, not a cat person.

When my parents dog was lost we put up the flyers and said Reward...we found him within the hour...and it cost my dad $20...(we did not say what or how much the reward would be).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My cat got out last winter. It was about 10 degrees out. He was gone for 4 days and came back. I thought he was gone for good but he returned hungry as ever! Good luck.

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answers from Rockford on

First, make sure your vet has all your current info. I have heard many times people forget to update information and finders can't find the pet owners. Also, my cat was gone one time for three days. I thought she was gone forever! I left the garage door cracked open everynight, just in case, and sure enough three nights later I woke up and she was in bed with us. I don't know what she was doing, but she survived just fine. The only thing we noticed was her back claws were really worn down, so she had some kind of adventure. I hope yours finds his way home soon!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I've had several indoor/outdoor cats over the years, who've gone missing and came home. I still freak, though, when one is gone longer than usual. The first time this happened to me, one of our cats snuck out the door and under the garage door before I saw him. This was on a Friday after work. We looked for him all weekend. On Monday morning, he was on our deck looking to get in. He'd gotten locked in a neighbor's garage, he smelled like a garage. We had another who was gone a couple of weeks. We'd given up on him when a neighbor down the street called and said they had him. He'd been wondering.

Hang in there! It's very likely he'll be home soon.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

my cats often escaped overnight but came back next day. My real wonderer sometimes would be gone two days. If they were gone more than this I knew something was wrong. So I combed the neighborhood calling them. In all three instances they had gotten caught inside a neighbor's garage! One time for 6 days! I was sure I had lost that one to a coyote. On the 6th day I knew he was really gone and begged and pleaded with God to let my cat come home on my morning commute. When I got into the office my husband called me on the phone and stopped mid sentence and said "your never going to believe this, you cat is sitting on the back fence!". I fell to my knees and made a huge hysterical crying scene (new job too)! Hope you can tell a similar story. Also, two of the times I found my cat in neighbors garages, I had thought I heard their faint meows, but they were so faint I ignored them. It wasn't until in desperation I went to check again and got right up to the neighbors garages that I was able to detect they were really in there.

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answers from St. Louis on

They always come home. So far as finding their way home cats are a billion times smarter than dogs. For the most part they never leave it is just they don't always come when you call them or they got themselves stuck somewhere.

The longest I ever had a cat missing was a week, she was catting around. Never looked for them, they just always come home.

Oh don't know if it is cold where you live but in the winter my cats could be found in and around compost bins. They like the warmth. :)

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answers from Redding on

You've heard the expression, "Catting around"?

I'm sure it's scary for you because he's never done this before, but it's my bet that he will be just fine and come home soon.
My neighbor has a female cat who was fixed a long, long time ago and she takes off quite frequently. She comes back just as fat and no worse for wear. Who knows where she goes, but she always comes home.

I'm sure he's just on an adventure.
Best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Our cats have been outside cats but some have been gone for weeks and weeks and come home fine and healthy. Who knows where they were but the vet said they can travel I think it was 10 miles without any problem at all and they find their way home. Just leave some food out and water and check it daily to add to it and hopefully you'll have a cat back soon.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I agree with the mamas who say put up flyers. Walk around your neighborhood with them and hand them to all your neighbors too -- or stick them in their front door.

Look under neighbors' decks and porches (with permission of course). Shake the Pounce or the food bag.

My neighbor lost her cat last year and if it wasn't for the flyer with picture she handed out, I wouldn't have known to call her when I found her cat in my window well. He was terrified. I was glad she made the effort to look for him, otherwise he probably never would have made it home. I would have taken him to a rescue.

My cat got out once, years ago. I found him under a neighbor's deck, terrified. Indoor cats are usually pretty scared once they realize they are outside. Yours might be hiding somewhere. Good luck! I know it's a terrible feeling to not know where your cat is.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Open your garage a little bit and put some food and water near the back door.

Cats will come home. They are very smart little critters. Although I freak out too when mine get out.
Once I called the shelters, vets, paper, I started making flyers and she was sleeping in the linen closet.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hey J., I know this is REALLY LATE, but I wanted to answer anyway. I have been panicked several times because my cat(s) hide in my house (3/2/2)......I look under/in/around and will never find them, then suddenly they show up. I didn't know I had that many hiding places.

One writer said something about 'since your cat is microchipped, they'll see it and call you" .... I'm SURE you already know this, but microchips are not visible except with a scanner - they have to be taken to AC or vet or somewhere to scan. For that reason, it is always advisable to keep a collar and tag on your cat. I personally have never found a collar that a cat couldn't get out of. I took a stray to the vet one time to have his shots and neutered (he wasn't mine, but I figured as long as he was showing up regularly for meals, he was sort of part-mine). I had them put a harness on him with the rabies tag because I never had luck with collars. Well, he stuck around for a few days, then left. About 2 weeks later, here he comes with his rabies tag gone, the harness hanging on around the neck and one leg. I was trying to get it back on him and he took off. It was a long time before he'd even come close enough to let me pet him, but I didn't care - at least he wasn't out breeding!

I also have a cat that darted out the door every time it was opened - no matter how careful I was. Her mother was a stray who didn't bring her kittens up until they were about 10 weeks old - her and her brother. I finally got hold of all 3 of them, got them to the vet, shots, spay/neuter. About a month later, mama starts wandering a few days at a time, then longer, then one day she just didn't come back. The male kitten starts wandering - he'd be gone all week, show up on Friday afternoon, stay all w/e, play with his sister, then disappear on Monday until the next Friday. This went on for months. Then one day, HE didn't come back. This was in the dead of winter. Little Socks cried and cried for her brother. She wouldn't sleep in the area I prepared for them outside with a heating pad. So I trapped her and brought her inside....We had an OLD kitty inside that would groom her. She seemed content, then started darting outside again. (For the record - we live in the country - it's a prime location for people to dump animals, so this is something we contend with every day.... most of the time it's cats, but we've had a few dogs too). Anyway, she started losing her hair. I got her to the vet, he says she has allergies, so he gives her an allergy shot, says keep her in for a couple of weeks. I did, she got better, hair started coming back.....she gets out again .... same thing happened. So I make her stay in and have gone to great lengths to make sure she stays away from the door! Her hair has grown back in and she's beautiful - again - it's not worth it to me to have to take her to the vet every month for allergy shots. We had another stray in the house and they became best buds....we had to have our OLD one put to sleep....that was sad - nearly 18 years old, but Socks and Shiloh are doing great - totally inside kitties.

That's the only way to keep them really safe. It's a pain to have litter boxes, but I'd rather do that than wonder if they're OK.

Right now, we have about 13 feral/stray - we've made shelter for them under our porch with dog houses and heat lamps and rugs. They've all been spayed/neutered/had shots (except for the 2 newcomers-both males).

Like my sweetie says, 'if you're going to feed and care for strays - there's no guarantee they'll stay safe ... they might go somewhere else' .... I know that's true - we've had a couple get hit by idiots driving 70 mph down a country road (ARCGHHHHHH). It's heartbreaking, but .....

I even took one to my vet and had him neutered/all shots, etc. He'd been showing up at my place for weeks (all the strays were in heat so I had a ton of toms)....but Dexter was sweet/tame and I could pet him - most of them are not. I found out that Dexter aka Mr. Pickles actually belonged to some neighbors a few lots down. He showed up with a collar the day I was going to take him in....I wrote a note and taped it around the collar. A week later I got a call from his owners. I explained that he'd been hanging around - pretty beat up looking, gash in his head, abscess on tail - fighting - and I asked them if he'd had any vetting....of course he hadn't - he'd shown up as a kitten on their porch a couple years earlier....they fed him, etc. Well, I told them I was going to take him for shots and neutering and I hope they didn't mind.....(actually, I didn't care of they minded or not - if he eats at my house and hangs around, then he's fair game! LOL) They were fine with it. Sometimes if I don't see him for a few days, I'll call them to see if he's there and vice versa. Sometimes they keep him inside. But he always shows up. In fact I have a duplicate of him - JJ (his son). But I finally trapped all the mamas and babies and toms and fixed 'em. We just don't need any more pets!

I DID learn some valuable information from my vet: Female cats are in heat and pretty much ready to breed continually from early February through late October, so that's when the toms are out & about....AND, the females will breed again when their kittens are just a couple weeks old, still nursing!

Oh - another thing - most vets won't spay kittens before 6 months. I was told they don't start breeding until about 7 or 8 months. Well, guess what? Yep, JJ's sister, Gum Drop was 5 months old and already pregnant....just barely, but definitely pregnant. We went ahead and spayed her. So, if your vet won't do it, take them to the Humane Society or find a vet who WILL.

Sorry for the long post .... birth control in dogs and cats - it's my passion.

Thanks for listening! Too bad we can't post pictures!

Glad your baby came home!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

When our cat wouldn't come home at dinnertime, I'd walk the neighborhood jiggling a plastic cup with some of his dry food in it, calling his name. It flushed him out every time.

If he's not home by tomorrow, put up flyers asking folks to check their garages and sheds, etc - any place he might have sought refuge if the weather has been stormy. When I lived in MO, my cat disappeared after a thunderstorm. I papered everything within a 3-block radius of my house (including everyone's door knob or garage door handle) - except for the house across the street (because I'd talked to the adult there). Four days later the kids across the street came over saying there was cat poop in their garage, and they didn't have a cat! Sure enough, he was cowering under the workbench. The dad had even had the garage doot open two days earlier while he mowed the lawn!! But my cat was too scared to exit, I guess. Anyway, I carried him home and he ate and drank and was recovered within a day. It took me weeks to recover!

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answers from Washington DC on

Put up LARGE flyers with a LARGE photo on every corner near , and not so near your home.
I found a cat that had been missing for months that lived 3 blocks away because I had happend to glance at a flyer that morning. Our dog was barking frantically and I peeked to see what she was barking at and recognized "Steve" from his flyer.
Good luck and keep us posted!!



answers from Dallas on

I hope he comes home soon! I know he will!! Since he is microchipped, you should contact the company. We have Home Again and they let you send out a missing pet alert if you have registered the chip. Make sure you call the company because when he is scanned whoever finds him other than your vet will call the company who the chip belongs to, not you. The company will then call the number they have on file. I only know this because Home Again told me.

Trust me, I know how scared you are! I am sure he is out having a blast enjoying his new freedom but he will get hungry, tired and scared. He will want to find his way back home. Put food/water out. Keep calling his name so he knows where you live. CATS ARE SMART!!!!

We had this happen a while back and I was terrified. We put up posters, called the shelters, pound, our vet.I sent out the lost pet alert and posted to Facebook. We walked the neighborhood calling his name and shaking a bag of his favorite snacks. No luck. So we walked home with me crying and there he was sitting in our garage (we left it open just in case) crying back at me. This was 24 hours later. The second time, he ran into a neighbor's garage thinking it was ours. They thought it was a wild animal but with a flashlight saw his ID tag with our phone number on it.

Praying for his safe return home to you!!! Please let us know when he comes home!!


answers from Houston on

Put something up on Craigslist in the pet section.



answers from San Francisco on

The Colony? What kind of neighborhood? ROMAN was fixed!

I lived in the Santa Cruz mountains for 11 years....had cats and dogs. I had one cat (Roman) who could be missing for a long time. The longest was almost three months!...Then one day appeared out of no where right at my kitchen window....looking none the worse for the wear! He was crying for me to let him in......once he had his BIG helping of love, food and brushing....guess what....he wanted back out side!.....Roman lived to be a ripe old age, but did tend to go on his merry way (never as long as three months)...until he decided to go away forever! I loved that old cat....he was about 14.

Hope your's comes home soon....Blessings...


answers from San Diego on

Make posters with his picture and post it around the neighborhood. Post them further away then you would think.
Not that long ago my friends cat went missing. He was found 2 weeks later 2 blocks away from their house by a neighbor. The neighbor had tried for a few days to get him to come out from hiding but finally did. I had a cat bolt out the door when we'd only had him 3 days. He was found 3 days later by the mail carrier that recognized him from my flier. It didn't even have a picture because I hadn't been able to take one of him yet. Another cat got out once when she pushed the screen out of the window. My other cat went right up to the front door immediately when he realized what happened(he was the one that was lost for 3 days before so he knew he didn't like it). She came back at about 3 in the morning. I left food and water by the front door as well as their carrier with a towel with our scent on it. I also went out searching for hours on end.
Cats are smarter then dogs. Once a dog starts wandering they are unable to find their way home but cats are able to do so.
Cats are able to find the houses that feed them all the time. One of the cats we have now we rescued off the streets. We began feeding her, she started coming on a regular basis to get fed. She knew where we lived. We now have her and the 2 kittens she was pregnant with and have for 3 years now. They have no interest in the door or going outside anymore ;)
It feels like one of our children is gone. It is a horrible feeling. But odds are in your favor that he will return home. I wish you all the best and I hope it's soon!



answers from Dallas on

I think you have a good list going with the animal control, vet, etc. Talking to your neighbors and asking them to keep an eye out, is helpful. Keep a bowl of food and water outside, in case she comes back while you're sleeping or not home.

We had a cat growing up, and she would disappear for days, sometimes a week or more at a time. She always did come back. The first couple of times she went off, it terrified us!! What's funny, is she didn't start doing that, until we had her for 5 years!! She just got brave one night, I suppose. I hope you're cat returns soon.


answers from Austin on

Our cat went MIA a few times. The longest, she was up in a neighbors tree.. Not sure what scared her. My husband had to go over there and call to her for a while.. then she came down..

We drove around and called for her, so she could hear us.

We sent out messages on our neighborhood email lists and we put up signs..

She always came home.



answers from Louisville on

male cat ...
have heard the howls of heat around here lately - so he might literally be out catting around (and come home in a day or so)!

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