strange cat situation

cats.and.dogNovember 14, 2011

I need some advice about a missing cat situation. My cat went missing recently. We walked the entire neighborhood yelling his name and I have visited the various shelters in the area, all to no avail. We posted to a local lost and found website with a description and photo.

Right after we posted another person posted that she also lost her male cat. He looks exactly like our cat. He has an odd name that to me is not the sort of name you give to a beloved cat. She also did not mention the part of town he was lost in. The angle of her photo is also odd for a pet picture. Believe me, I have seen thousands of cat pictures this past week and you can tell when somebody is trying to get a good pic of a pet. They get down on that level. This pic is looking down on him while he looks up almost nervously at the camera over his shoulder. I feel 99.9 percent sure that this person took our cat and is toying with us. Taunting us. Why I don't know.

I contacted the lost and found website hoping that they could give me some assistance but they feel this is just coincidence. I also called the person listed to get some feeling of what might be going on. I did not confront or accuse her. I mean, it is possible that this person(who is a stranger to me) did indeed loose her cat that just happens to be my cat's twin, and she may be going through the same angst I am right now.

I just don't know what to do right now and have lost all hope of ever seeing my cat again. Is this a common scam? Maybe someone who does not flat out want to ask for a ransom so they do this instead? This is the best explanation I can come up with.

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How is that a scam when they haven't asked you for anything? People have odd names for pets and they take terrible photos with their cell phones.

Put your energy into continuing to check shelters, put up & hand out posters of your cat around your neighborhood, and ask your local veterinarians if they have a bulletin board you can post to.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 3:49PM
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Unless your cat has a very unique coat pattern, markings, or other rare distinguishing physical characteristics, he most likely looks very similar to hundreds or thousands of other cats. There's no reason to think that the other person's lost ad is referencing your cat. Certainly it won't hurt to contact the other person and discuss the matter with them. It's not impossible that you may have someone in your area who is abducting cats of a certain physical description. For example, it's not at all uncommon for black cats to go missing around Halloween.

If your cat is an indoor cat who escaped outside, it's much more likely that your cat is very frightened and is hiding somewhere out of sight, probably close to your home. Or your cat may have become inadvertently trapped in someone's garage, shed, or basement. You should make up flyers with his photo and description, then distribute them to every household and business within at least a one mile radius of your home. Flyers should also be posted at every vet clinic, animal shelter, pound, pet store, feed store, pet groomer, etc. in your area, as well as at your local police station or sheriff's dept. Speak personally to all of these entities, as well, so that they know there is a person behind the posters who is seriously searching for this cat.

If your cat is still nearby, it will help keep him close and hopefully draw him back to your house if you put his (preferably soiled) litterbox outside your door, along with some of your own dirty laundry (dirty underwear works best). Those strong, familiar scents will hopefully lure him back. Also, ask your local animal control officer, animal shelter, and/or wildlife services if you can borrow a live trap to set up outside your house. If your cat is close by but too scared to come out of hiding during daylight hours, you may be able to trap him overnight.

If your cat is an intact tom, all bets are off. He could be many miles from home by now, looking for love.

Keep going to your area shelters and pounds every day or two to personally check through the cat cages for your boy. Don't rely on the people who answer the phones at those places. You need to check those cages yourself to make sure your boy isn't overlooked or lost in a paperwork shuffle.

I wish you the best of luck in finding your boy.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 4:44PM
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Thanks for the replies. I have done and will continue to do all the things suggested.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 9:58PM
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So sorry to hear about your cat - it's the "not knowing" that eats at you.

Look EVERYWHERE no matter how unlikely, and KEEP GOING BACK to re-search the places where you've already looked. I had an indoor/outdoor cat go missing several years ago. Looked everywhere/did everything. Five days later I was down in the basement and noticed one of my Jack Russells wedged between some boxes tail a-wagging... I moved a carton and an orange paw slipped out. My cat had returned injured (abdominal injury that the vet thought was likely caused by a fall) and hid in a safe dark place. For days. No crying, no slipping upstairs to look for food or water. He was terribly dehydrated but healed nicely and was soon back to form.

The other poster is correct that your cat may be very close by. I had a new cat slip out of the house during some very cold weather. She was gone for over 24 hours. Searched everywhere. Stood on the back deck calling her name over and over all day and all night and shaking a bag of dry cat food. Finally found her curled up inside a wooden pallet stored under the very same deck I had been standing on. She was uninjured, just terribly frightened.

Cats have some strange (to us) survival instincts and behaviors, such as hiding and being silent.

Hope you find your buddy. I don't think that other person is playing with you.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 10:27AM
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Good luck and keep us posted!

I agree with ilovepoco to search and research nearby areas. I had a cat go missing for 2 days, only to find he had got locked in my neighbor's garage. Another time I found my neighbor's cat hidden in my basement. He snuck in when the door was briefly propped open and was there several days before found.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 12:15PM
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We had a shy house cat escape. She was not very friendly and I did not know how we were going to get her back. She would not come to us even in the house. Nevertheless, I went outside and walked all over my neighborhood calling her name and hitting her little cat food cat with a fork and shaking a bag of dry food. The purpose was to give her sounds she might respond to. I did this several times daily. It probably looked crazy but everything I read and the Director of a local cat rescue told me the cat would stay close to home probably. I also made very expensive color posters and hand delivered them to every house in my neighborhood. It was the posters that really saved my cat. One of my neighbors got a poster and realized the cat sitting on her front porch looked like mine. Actually, her daughter was the one who said "hey, that cat looks just like the one in the flyer we got." They called me and told me they thought it might have been my cat sitting on their front porch. I was so happy, this meant my cat was probably near by. It was about a week later when the rescue director actually came to my house to help me find the cat. She said it can be easier to spot a cat in the dark with a flashlight because the cat's eyes glow. We put out hav a hart traps baited with smelly food. We also turned out all the lights in the house and opened the doors (it was warm outside when this happened). We kept quiet and after about half an hour the cat figured out how to come back into the house. She was exhausted and dirty and hungry from this ordeal and was not herself for a few days. What I learned is that cats do tend to stay close to home, at least until they need to find food. The rescue director told me to put food out in my backyard to keep her close by because once she wandered she could go far away and get herself too lost to find her way back. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 7:42AM
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