Lost Cat Behavior - please help

kashka_katSeptember 18, 2013

Hardly recovered from losing my 22 year old calico to cancer/old age/euthanasia - now one of my 2 guy cats went missing... trying hard not to jump to grief and to keep positive right now.

His history is - he had been hanging out with ferals in a more rural area, was trapped and found to be friendly. He was in shelter for many months and became friends with Orange, my other cat, and I adopted them both about 5 years ago.

So on Saturday - he ran out the door and my approach is to not run after them when they do (or they just go off running and cant catch them) but wait till they settle down and then scoop them up at first opportunity. (Obviously, I will have to rethink this whole approach and get some sort of second door put up - but thats a discussion for another time).

Anyway there were new people moving in next door a lot of hubbub, and at one point a little girl charged after Figgy and chased him into woods/brush in back. In retrospect he really looked frightened and I wonder if he'd been traumatzied by some brat in his early years. But then... I stupidly thought, OK hes safe, I'll get him when the hubbub next door dies down. Except when I went out calling an hour or 2 later... no Figgy. He was just gone....

My question is - could he have reverted to feral behavior so quickly? missingpetpartnership.org (great site) has analysis of cat behavior based on personality, and I thought Figgy more of the clown type , a bold cat who would more likely travel. Ive been postering, I asked the neighbors about the moving van and went to check the vans the next a.m. as they were being opened. There is one garage about 5 doors down where people appear to be on vacation - Ive been knocking and getting down to call his name under the door but dont hear anything.... Still Im worried he might be in there.

God I miss him.....

Any thoughts, clues, suggestions, most appreciated.

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Cassandra

I am so sorry for you: this is heartbreaking. Never give up hope because people have found pets long after they went missing. Keep up the good effort! What I've always noted is how often cats are found hanging out very close to where they went missing. Make sure you put out food and a couple of t-shirts or old clothes with your smell on them. A video camera might also help. Best of luck!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 6:43PM
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annzgw

Revisit the area you saw him run into........the shrubs in the back yard. Set one of his litter boxes out there, along with some food and continue calling him. After 5 years of being indoors, he could be scared and hiding.
I'd also consider putting Orange in a crate and sitting in the back yard with him. His meows may draw the other kitty back to your yard.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 6:49PM
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kashka_kat

Hes microchipped - WHY couldnt they have added a tracking device to locate him This stupid dumbass phone has one why not my cat something far more precious and loved.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 8:52AM
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lisa_fla

I once read the KFC in a Have A Hart type trap works wonders with cats. Wouldn't cost much to try., If you try this,, don't leave other food out-you want him hungry! Another thing you try for peace of mind-set up a wildlife camera by the food bowl and you will know if he's eating from it and still nearby,.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 11:06PM
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kashka_kat

Just stumbled over ths old post of mine from a year ago... Im happy to report I got my cat back, 6 weeks after he went missing. I didnt ge tmy wildlife camera until 5 weeks in.... and eventually got pics of him!!!! I just could not get my head around the fact that he was in feral mode,not responding to my calling him. I assumed because he was not coming when I was caling him that mean he wasnt around. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

I didnt have to trap him . I just kept feeding him outside at regular times each evening, and one night.... 4 days after first getting pics of him.... he saw me puting the food out, broke cover and started meowing desparately from where he was hiding --- he let me pick him up and take him back inside.

I would strongly encourage everyone missing a cat to go to missingpetpartership.org and apply the methodology and read up on lost cat behavior.. It really works!!! They have a phenomenal 70% success rate (oh, is a free non profit website - Im not trying toscam ayone!)

1 Like    Bookmark   January 24, 2015 at 4:41PM
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JordanWalker

I'm so happy to know that you already found your lost cat. Good thing you did not lose hope. 6 weeks is such a long time for you.
How did you find him anyway?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2015 at 7:56PM
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kashka_kat

Thanks Jordan - I could write a book on how I found him (actually I am writing some kind of feature article on it - I've been told it makes a fascinating story). I didnt get around to leafletting houses on the other side of a parking lot and some railroad tracks until week 5 (thinking he wouldnt be there) and got some info that made me suspect he was hanging out over there. I got some canned mackerel and ran a trail of mackerel juice from their backyard, over the rr tracks and through the parking lot and across the street to my house - started getting pics of him on the trail cam that very night! I started feeding at set times every night (6 pm) and he started showing up earlier and earlier, until the night he was hiding under the back porch and saw me putting the food out and decided to start meowing. Im convinced he had to SEE ME doing that before he could make the connection that I was a friend and not a foe. He was totally in feral mode, regarding
ALL PEOPLE as predators or threats.

The thing is - I did pretty much lose hope - the conventional "wisdom" is that if you dont find a cat right away they're gone for good (my own vet told me this). Couldnt be more wrong. It was only the insistence of the person at Missing Pet Partnership I was communicating with and the missing cat assistance Yahoo group that kept me going. I got my trail cam pretty much so I could feel that I'd done everything. Was completely expecting that it wouldnt work!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2015 at 1:37PM
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kashka_kat

Thanks Jordan - I could write a book on how I found him (actually I am writing some kind of feature article on it - I've been told it makes a fascinating story). I didnt get around to leafletting houses on the other side of a parking lot and some railroad tracks until week 5 (thinking he wouldnt be there) and got some info that made me suspect he was hanging out over there. I got some canned mackerel and ran a trail of mackerel juice from their backyard, over the rr tracks and through the parking lot and across the street to my house - started getting pics of him on the trail cam that very night! I started feeding at set times every night (6 pm) and he started showing up earlier and earlier, until the night he was hiding under the back porch and saw me putting the food out and decided to start meowing. Im convinced he had to SEE ME doing that before he could make the connection that I was a friend and not a foe. He was totally in feral mode, regarding ALL PEOPLE as predators or threats.

The thing is - I did pretty much lose hope - the conventional "wisdom" is that if you dont find a cat right away they're gone for good (my own vet told me this). Couldnt be more wrong. It was only the insistence of the person at Missing Pet Partnership I was communicating with and the missing cat assistance Yahoo group that kept me going. I got my trail cam pretty much so I could feel that I'd done everything. Was completely expecting that it wouldnt work!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2015 at 1:38PM
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