Have you had a cat just vanish?

berkOctober 10, 2010

My beautiful black cat, Midnight just vanished .

I have had her for almost 2 years. She was a stray cat that appeared on my deck on evening and became part of our family real fast. Once she trusted us and would come in the house we found out she was expecting too. We turned her into a pet real fast and she was a loving cat in no time. She had 6 babies and we found homes for all but one and I kept her. We got her and her kitten both fixed.

She always wantes out in the morning and would come back home every couple hours to eat and come in and be loved on and stay for awhile and at night she would always be home between 6-7 for the night. Then a week ago Monday she was out side at 10 am and I haven't seen her since. We live in the country and I have looked every where for her and called and called and ask all the neighbors and no one has seen her. I haven't seen any voltures anyplace eiher. Has anyone had a cat dissapear like this and show back up? I am just heart broken and can't give up hope on her returning home. She was such a joy to us.

Thanks for reading this and I hope someone has some encourging words for me.

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I'm sure you've already thought of all the bad reasons she may have not returned, but here's a story that indicates that she may possibly be just fine.

Years ago, a cat turned up in our garage and began living in there. I put out food for him and started looking for his owner. I finally found an ad on a store bulletin board that matched his description, but it was months old. I called anyway and the owner came and identified him by a missing tooth, his markings, and he was obviously very happy to see her. The weird thing was, they only lived two miles from us and he had been missing for much longer than he had been with us. I have no idea why he didn't just go home or why he had run away in the first place.

So, advertise heavily and don't give up too soon. Someone could even have her in their home, but she may eventually get out and come back. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 11:03AM
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I had this happen to one of my cats withing weeks of moving to our present home when I remarried. She was gone for at least two weeks. I don't know what happened in her absence, but she must have been transported a long distance from us, or was trapped somewhere inadvertently. She was emaciated, but recuperated. I had completely given up hope. Yes, they can return.

I also live in the country, and I understand barn cats, so you won't get any comments from me about not keeping her inside. I had a barn cat (necessary because of keeping henhouses and a range of greenhouses where active mousing was required by an animal with a brain) and he lived to be almost sixteen.

I also found out that the same barn cat would go down the little country lane running by our property and visit the family down the road and eat a meal with his cats on the porch. Routinely! LOL. Somebody may have thought your cat was a feral and taken her in to be their outside cat or turned her over to a shelter. You need to telephone the people who live around you.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 12:49PM
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I have got in touch with all the neighbors and no one has seen her and we don't have an animal shelter in our small town.
It is just not like her to vanish after all this time. I am still hoping for a happy ending.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 1:54PM
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Yes, I have had cats vanish and I have had neighbors tell me their cats vanished. Mine cat was stolen by a women moving to Cleveland - she should have asked. Took me a few days to figure that one out.
I live in Coyote country, cats disappear this time of year on a regular basis...sometimes they hole up and reappear in a couple of weeks, sometimes they become the coyote....

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 2:44PM
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I am still hoping for a happy ending.. and I am, too!!!
It can happen.. Our 2-year old cat went missing once for TWENTY-FIVE days.. he even survived a freak heavy snowstorm (14") on April 1st.. not a joke. He reappeared one morning (early) for his breakfast. We would always leave food & water on the porch. 5AM.. I get up and the bowl was EMPTY. Stuck my head out, and here he came running.. He had lost weight and looked somewhat unkept.. but he was FINE. I must have woken up the whole neighborhood with my scream.. of joy!
So, yes, sometimes there are happy endings. Don't give up!We had put flyers everywhere, made regular visits to the shelters, knocked on doors..roamed the neighborhood 3 times a day (more on weekends).. He never told us where he went.. but we imagined he got locked up in a garage as he had done twice previously to chase a mouse or squirrel.. Don't ask me how he survived (mice?) but he did. In our neighborhood, people used their garages as storage areas, so some did not often get open.
So please ask people to check their garages, or any tool sheds they may have on their properties.

I know you won't give up on Midnight, and I hope she will surprise you one evening at your doorstep begging for her dinner. In the meantime, I'm sending you my best.. and please let us know.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 3:03PM
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We always say we have 6 1/2 cats. The half cat is only here about half the time. She is a 4 yr. old spayed female and since the kittens were born (another mother) she obviously has found another place to live part-time. She doesn't much care for the kittens who are now 5 mos. old (and all fixed) so she just leaves for a week or so at a time. Her brother who is very attached to her whines every day she is gone. When she comes back, she is very loving and we have no idea where she goes.

Our closest neighbors are several miles away and our road has an average of 2 cars a day that go by - ours is usually one of them! So, it isn't as though she has lots of neighbors to choose from.

When I was a kid, I had a cat that did the same thing so I guess it isn't unusual.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 3:22PM
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As others mentioned, sure, there can be lots of not good reasons why she didn't return but she might. About 8 years ago a mean next door neighbors cat had kittens and she threw the kittens outside. They took up residence under our boat. They had been there quite a while and were quite feral before we finally saw them and realized what was going on. We live near a pretty busy country road so some of the cats lost their lives there. We tried very hard to catch the cats and did get some. Two of them started mating. One we called Mommy. When she had her litter we were able to get the kittens and found homes for most of them. We could not get hold of her. She had several litters and we always were able to get the kittens and get them fixed and find homes... for most of them. Anyway, we were stating to be able to get near to her when she disappeared. We thought she got hit on the road. A year later, a whole year, she showed back up pregnant. We were finally able to get a hold of her so as soon as she had her kittens and we were able to she got fixed. Phew. So anyway, she got fixed and right now is sitting up top on the double incline across from me. All of our cats are fixed and indoors btw. That's the story of Mommy's long absence and how we got all the Greys. There is hope, you never know. We think someone had her inside, at least for the most part, then somehow she got pregnant and they let her out and home she came.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 2:23AM
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When I lived with my parents we always had "inside-outside cats" We had a barn and when the cats wanted in the house we let them, when they scratched at the door to be let outside- out they went. Mostly when they didn't show up again it meant bad things had happened. One got hit on the road (which was quite a distance from our house since we lived on top of a huge hill and back in the woods), one got attacked and killed by a neighbor's dog, one wandered off to the woods and died (not sure from what) another died from being poisoned. We did have two in-out cats that lived for over 15 years. The female would often take off from a few days and we'd never see her. Never knew where she went- sometimes she was gone for up to 5 days at a time. I think she probably found someone else who would feed her and hung out at their house for a few days and then returned home. I have no idea. I hope your cat comes back but chances are he/she won't. I'm really sorry if your cat doesn't come back. Now that I have cats I keep them strictly inside only because I'm afraid of what could happen to them if I let them outside to roam.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 2:12PM
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Any news about Midnight, Berk?? Probably not or you would have shared your joy/story..
Still thinking of you and Midnight,
My very best,

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 4:05PM
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No news on my Midnight and she has been gone 16 days now. I haven't given up hope yet. I miss my beautiful black cat so much and so does her little kitten Itsy, who is a little over 1 now.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 4:35PM
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I've heard of people who swear their cat found its way home because they put a family member's used TV shirt or soiled socks in their yard. It is worth a try. Cats depend so much on their sense of smell. Good luck and do keep searching. . .don't give up!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 6:43PM
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Also empty the contents of your vacuum cleaner canister in spots around the perimeter of your property.

Here is a link that might be useful: Find Toto

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 9:16PM
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Look EVERYWHERE, even places that seem ridiculous or impossible.

We had a big ole orange tiger male (spayed) go missing once. Did not see him for over a week. We looked all over the neighborhood (including neighbors' sheds, garages, and basements), put up fliers, called and called, put out food, etc. He was a big strong boy who liked to wander, but we figured he had fallen victim to a coyote.

Fast forward to over a week later. I was down in the basement looking for something, and one of our Jack Russell Terriers was snooping along with me. She suddenly froze and started wagging her tail. I looked, and saw an orange foreleg reach out slowly from behind some boxes. It was Elvis. He was in bad shape - weak, dehydrated, glassy-eyed, clearly injured (big swelling on his stomach). And he just crept home, came in through the cat door, and hid in a box in the dark in the basement. For over a week. Not a peep out of him. Just hiding in a box, suffering. The vet surmised that he had fallen somehow - perhaps hitting another branch as he was falling or jumping out of a tree - and suffered internal injuries. He was out of commission for a long time and basically lived on my bed with the bedroom door closed for several weeks. He healed up completely, although he always had a hard little bump on his belly. He lived for many more years.

Moral of the story - look EVERYWHERE. If a cat is injured, you could be standing right next to him and he won't make a sound or move a muscle. Instinct is telling him to lay low and hide. Even from you :o(

I'm sending you and Midnight and Itsy good thoughts.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 12:50PM
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She could be stuck up in a tree. Sometimes cats get trapped in people's vehicles, like vans and such, and get carried away. Sometimes they will come home even long distances. There are hawks, I hate to say,, that can swoop down and carry off a small animal or coyotes, mountain lions that come down into neighborhoods. DD moved to Orange county south of LA mountain lion chased her young daughter into the garage after their 20 year old cat disappeared one morning. I wouldn't give up hope, however, cats seem to disappear a lot and then turning up.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 12:42AM
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The cat knows its way back home if it wants or can come back. It could be months before she decides she wants to come home again or perhaps something happened. Unless it is a very rural area, I would guess someone else thought she was a wonderful cat and took her in. If that happened (and it did to us once when we lived in the city) she will want to go outside or will just escape and go home.

I hope that happens for you.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 9:13AM
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Crossing fingers for you! When I was a girl, I adopted a stray that was pregnant ( much to my mother's shagrin, she said I always brought all the strays home). While my parents are great people, for some reason it didn't occur to them to go get her spayed and so we had several litters before Blackie disappeared for almost 6 months. I was devastated. What I learned much later as an adult ( daddy just fessed up last year and I'm 40), he had taken her to Mckinney ( we lived in Richardson) and dropped her in the country. Yes, I reprimanded him for that behavior. BUT, Ha ha, she came home and was actually in good shape when she arrived. I would imagine that my parents were a bit stunned to see her, but she never disappeared again. I hope your kitty finds her way home soon!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 9:32AM
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I keep checking the thread to see if you'll have a happy ending.. like posters above... Marita's suggestions brought something to mind.
My cat had been missing for 25 days (as I said). There were ads everywhere. The day before his return, I had got a call from someone who thought they might have seen him. Too far a neighborhood, but I still went to check it out on my bike, calling his name a lot, and several times before I actually saw the 'mysterious' cat, but it wasn't MY cat! This was about 7pm. The next day, 5 AM.. here he was!! Although I'll never know of course, I could not help thinking that just maybe... my going this different route.. and calling his name may have helped him find his way home..that day.
Anyway I really hope we'll soon read some good news about Midnight coming home just before her midnight curfew.. She is a young cat, so she may just have a good time somewhere...
Don't give up! and check your local shelters on a regular basis..
Thinking of you both,

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 8:05AM
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Not as an adult since my cats don't go outdoors. I had so many heartbreaking experiences with pets vanishing when I was a kid that I vowed I would never let that happen when I got my own pets as an adult.

I hope your story has a positive ending.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 2:55PM
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Our Cat who was a little over a year old just "disappered into thin air also. Holly was a little girl, had been spayed and a cute little tortie. She was the offspring of a semi-feral Mom an Dad. Both the parents lived here for years and were having litter after litter. I moved here into my BF's house and finally decided to get them all fixed. They all lived together fairly well, except the brother of hers' "Patches" was disowned, probably because he was Male and a threat to "Mad Max" the Dad. We do live on a very busy street and I saw her cross the street many times and my heart just sunk.

It's been almost a month since she been gone and I keep hoping and praying she'll show up. I think a car got her, but there were never any indications, as I looked everywhere. I just hope if it was a car that she went fast.

Miss you little girl!!!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 12:51PM
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Sorry to hear your cat has vanished too. Mine has never came back and I miss her so much. She was a stray cat and such a loving little thing. Her baby , who is a cute little tortie like yours, is my baby all alone. My cat was solid black, my favorite color! I haven't seen her since the last Monday of Sept. I am still watching for her and I know she is gone because she wouldn't let anyone close to her out doors but me.
I hope you have a happy ending to your missing cat. I know how you are feeling and I still want my black baby girl back.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 5:14PM
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I never had lost a cat because Kero is my first cat. I think to avoid vanishing your cat maybe you should put a name tag to your cat or a microchipped. In that way you can find your cat easily.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dog Crates

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 12:41AM
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You should never completely give up hope. Our 5 yr. old female (spayed) started disappearing for days at a time after we got a litter of kittens. She came home yesterday after being gone for well over a week looking very well-fed and healthy. She only cares for her brother and none of our other cats/kittens, so she just leaves when she has had enough!

I now have a separate outdoor sleeping arrangement for her well away from the others and hope she will use it.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 8:51AM
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This is one of the reasons I am considering keeping this feral cat I am feeding...(seepost on integrating feral cat with a dog), due to the anxiety felt when they do disappear. This is always a risk factor when it is an indoor outdoor cat, but bc she once lived outdoors based on your post I would imagine she would fare well outdoors for an indefinite period of time, and like many posters I know there are several incidences where many cats do disappear and come back weeks, sometimes months later. Keep food out each night for it where it would know to look and hopefully you will attract it back.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 9:49AM
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I will never stop looking for her. It has been many weeks now but I still yell for her and watch for her.
She was just a one of a kind black cat, so sweet and loving.
Each day I think, maybe today my beautiful black, Midnight will show up at the door. I just can't give up hope of her returning.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 9:57AM
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I got a beautiful black kitten named Midnight when I was 12 years old (I wanted to keep the name but my dad said it was stupid >

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 6:40AM
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I will never understand the indoor/outdoor cat philosophy.

I understand farm cats, who serve an important role, but pets shouldn't be left to roam outdoors unsupervised.

I am sorry about your cat, and hope he comes home. But I would hope you convert him to an indoor only cat if he does come back.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 5:35PM
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I had a 15 year old cat named Purrdita. She lived with me in Washington State and later moved with me to Utah. I had lived in Utah for three years and she disappeared. She was an indoor cat. I didn't let her outside. One morning I got up to feed her and she didn't come for breakfast. I looked all over for her but there was no trace of her. The last time I saw her I had gotten some cat food and was putting it into tins. I spilled some on the floor and told her to clean up the floor. She didn't eat the food. She just followed me. I took the bags out to the garbage as it was garbage pickup the next day. I wasn't aware that she followed me out but she must have. I went to bed with my other two cats. Sometimes when I got out the my cats will sit on the porch and wait for me--like when I take the garbage or get the mail. Then they follow me into the house. It was dark when I emptied the garbage that night so I wasn't aware that Purrdita had followed me out. That's the only thing I can think of. That was in 2008 so it has been five years. I have since had another cat put down so now I only have one cat.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 1:33AM
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I am so sorry for you and your kitty. One thing I thought of was if there could be a place she was trapped? MY cat once disappeared for a few days and we looked everywhere. Then my neighbor asked again if we had found Sky. NO... well, she thought she heard a cat under her house. Sky had gone through an open vent under the house and the owners had re attached the screen. So, best of luck and look in weird places.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:49PM
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I am wondering If Midnight ever returned? I just had my little ferel Black Cat disappear suddenly. I have been looking for her every night. She has come religiously to my porch each am and pm and was eating like crazy for four months. I thought maybe she was pregnant, but could not tell as she was very furry and all black...each day she became more like a domesticated cat...I am hoping she is ok and was not hurt or killed......unfortunately she did not want to come inside, no matter how many times I tried.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 3:13PM
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Blackcat21..sorry to say Midnight has never returned. I am sure with living in the country that something had to have gotten her. I still stop and call her name when I see a black cat. All my cats come by their names, Since though, my husband got me a black kitten for Christmas 2 yrs. ago. I love her to death, but she isn't my Midnight. :(

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 3:35PM
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Everyone with missing cats - past, present & future...

Please-please-please visit missingpetpartnership.or and catsinthebag.org and apply the methods.... which are solidly based on science and what is known about lost cat behavior. They have a 70% success rate which is phenomenal (compare that to 2-10% of cats turned into shelter ever finding their home). Its not uncommon for cats to become spooked or driven out of their territory by dogs, people or whatever, or for some other reason they snap into feral mode, don't reply when called and keep hidden. and yes this does apply also to indoor cats too. Indoor cats get out (moving is particularly hazardous) or they even can disappear within the house if they are sick or scared.

When my Figgy went missing I was convinced he wasn't around, because he ALWAYS was first in line for dinner when I called. Could NOT imagine him not coming, but that's exactly what happened. It took getting a wildlife cam (very affordable these days) and setting up a feeding station before I finally determined - 6 weeks later - that YES, he was around - and from there I was able to eventually get him back in the house. Had I not been in such denial I could have gotten him back in 3 days (my neighbor swears she saw him one night 3 days after he went missing - but stupid me, I didn't believe her - I was sure he wasn't around because if he was, he'd come to me, wouldn't he???).

Ive since become a real fanatic about this issue - It is so so tragic what happens to some cats due to people's not knowing about lost cat behavior or how to systematically go about getting them back. Even my own vet was telling me if he's not back in two weeks he's probably gone for good, give up. I was so happy to prove her WRONG.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 4:33PM
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Berk and Kashka Kat-Thanks for your response. This is helpful. I am sorry about Midnight...Iknow how you feel. I call this cat Juliet. Juliet was a black cat with gold eyes and was long haired, like a maine coon. She was beautiful... Juliet was brought to my porch by Romeo, an old male who I think was a TNR cat. He is still around and seems to be looking for Juliet. Yesterday, it was very warm here as we have had a cold winter and a Calico cat which I never saw before was in my yard. I am thinking that this cat could have attacked Juliet or ran her off. Kashka, thank you for the lost cat behavior tips...I can't give up on Juliet either...She was too sweet and I like the idea about the Wildlife Cam...I am going to look into that..This cat was wonderful, cleaned the dish as if I put it in the dishwasher. She was such a clean cat for a feral cat. Berk, I have a tuxedo also, had her for 11 years and love her to death. I am glad you got another cat..it makes it a bit easier. Who knows maybe one day they will both return..you just never know. On a positive note, maybe someone adopted them. We can think positive, right?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 7:47PM
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Kashka, you were right! I think that other cats made her flee. I have studied those websites and I have had two other strange cats visit my porch since she vanished. But tonight, to my surprise, she turned up..Two months later. She looks wonderful and does not look as if she has been outdoors in this crazy winter we have been having. I believe she may belong to someone or has been inside, as she did not look dirty and she is a long haired cat. Either that or she was picked up by TNR and then let out. I was shocked to see her, I thought the worse.. So, your absolutely correct that we must study the behavior of ferel cats..I really thought that an owl or hawk got her as she was missing for quite some time, but as quickly as I saw her tonight, that is how quickly she disappeared. So, something interrupted her routine and it must have been other cats that I have been seeing. I will see when and if she comes back again, but it was nice to know she was ok. So never give up.Berk......Midnight might still return, if she was not adopted by someone.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:13PM
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My barn cat Miss Dobie kid went missing a week ago. She would always come in at night till 4 in the morning. On march 5th 2015 Miss Dobie kid went missing asked people around me looked in our barn up the dirt road call her name which by the other at she would come. I still call her every morning maybe Miss Dobie kid will come Home. Miss Sheri is my ferial cat that now I can pick her up rub faces with. Peek an Tessa are the other barn cats that they all came from the same place and all where in the same room. I pray Miss Dobie kid is alright

    Bookmark   March 16, 2015 at 12:38AM
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