Do you think my cat will come back?

onecatonedogDecember 7, 2010

My 12 year old cat got out last Wednesday. My son & I were not home, but my husband was fixing the Christmas lights and inadvertantly left the door open. My husband said he heard rustling in the shrubs, but had no idea it was our cat as we have other neighborhood animals (rabbits, cats, etc) that we frequently see in our front yard. I don't blame him at all for this, as the cat had never expressed any interest in going out the front door before, so he probably had no expectation that something like this would happen.

This cat had behavioral and dementia problems for a couple years that we were slowly working through, but I suspect that if he wandered any more than a couple houses away that he would not be able to find his way back. So, I'm posing the question to the experts on this forum, have any of you had experience with a cat "escaping", and did it come back? After how long?

We have been looking for him every day and calling his name, but have seen no sign of him. If he's gone we can come to terms with that, but I really would like some sense of closure.

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I don't think anyone can answer for sure. Hopefully he didn't get far!

Please canvas every neighbor on your block and leave them your phone number. Put signs up everywhere, especially local vets and stores. Contact your animal control officer and all shelters.

Please let us know when he returns!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 5:49PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

This happened to my neighbor and someone suggested she put a hav-a-heart trap with food outside in her yard. After two or three days, she caught her cat in the trap. He was in her yard the whole time, just too scared to come out when she called.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 9:50PM
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I had an escapee that stayed in my yard the whole night, too! I called and called for hours but she didn't respond. I think they get scared and stay in their hiding spots. She was at my back door in the morning waiting for rescue - thank goodness.

Try looking around at night with a flashlight. The light will bounce off his eyes. Your voice travels farther at night so go out and call around your area, too. Put things around the perimeter of your yard for scent (like the vacuum cleaner contents and dirty socks). He might pick up on the smell and wander back. Check Craiglist in your area and put up an ad in both the lost & found and the pet section.

I hope you find him soon. The not-knowing is the worst.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 10:52PM
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I am very sorry about this. Yes, your cat may be very, very close, hiding and SCARED. Is there any way you could leave a door open for him, if at least the garage, with food and water nearby, even if that attracts other cats? I don't have anything to add after all the great suggestions. As Kittens said, leave some of his favorite things (toys, small blanket, basket..? ) anything with HIS scent on the edge of your property... and keep going around calling his name... Does he eat canned food? walk around with a can and keep clicking it open, or shake a bag of treats, dry food.. whatever you think might be familiar to him.. With some "dementia" issues, who knows... he may just be hiding right under your nose... Hope the weather is OK where you live!

One of my INDOOR cat did escape once in our old neighborhood, and came back 5 days later! So there are some happy endings...

and NO Christmas present for your husband.. Just kidding, he must feel terrible!

All my best, and keep us posted.. Looking for a happy ending

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 7:29AM
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I certainly hope your kitty comes home. I think the trap sounds like an awesome idea -- hopefully you will get your cat and not skunk!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 9:38AM
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Thanks everyone for your helpful suggestions! I do have an update . . .

When I came home I happened to look back and I saw our cat crawling into the bushes beside the house behind us. Long story short, my husband got him out of the bushes and we brought him into our garage.

Our cat doesn't look good. He has obviously lost weight, but most importantly he's having big problems walking and using both of his back legs. We gave him a little food & water, and while sitting to eat we can see that something is different about the way he's sitting and his hip placement looks odd, somehow. There's also something going on with his eyes, they appear milky and pale. No other obvious injuries that we can see.

For tonight he's safe and warm in the utility room in our garage, and I made him a little bed out of his favorite blanket. I'll call the vet first thing in the morning and we'll take him in.

Again, thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:44PM
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Glad for his return .. but sad at the same time to read that he had deteriorated!!! Did he stay out for about a week?
Hope the vet can help him.. In his condition, I would say that weak legs are a sign of neurological/brain issues. Did he eat/drink anything? He may have become dehydrated...and is there any reason you are keeping him in the utility room? I wish you the very best...
Keep us posted please,

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 6:58AM
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Onecatonedog, I've been thinking about your kitty. I'm so glad you found him. How did the vet visit go? Is he doing better now?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 9:31PM
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