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Rhino[_3_]
June 11th 12, 05:00 PM
I'm wondering if anyone out there has figured out any good ways to track
down missing cats?

Here's my situation. My mother adopted two cats a few weeks ago. We think
they are brothers although we don't know for sure. Their names are Fred and
Barney. They are a year and a half old, male, neutered, and have all of
their claws and shots, except for rabies. They have both been microchipped
but aren't wearing trackers.

This past Thursday, Fred snuck out of the house when my mother stepped
outside for a second. He raced away and was soon lost to sight. My mother
tried to chase him but she is 85 and not able to run as quickly as a fit
young cat!

She had been intending them to be indoor cats so they had never been outside
and didn't know the area. We don't know if they were outdoor cats when with
their previous owner. She was immediately worried that he would be lost and
not able to fnd his way home. However, he put in a brief appearance on her
front porch on Friday but skittered away before she could even open the
door. I don't live in the same city but I drove down on Friday and spent
several hours walking around calling for him. I posted an ad on the local
Kijiji website and made up some posters, then walked around some more
looking for him and calling his name. I was about to go out and put up the
posters when Fred made a second appearance at the basement window. We rushed
out to see if we could coax him back inside but he just ran away again.
Shortly after that, it rained, often quite heavily, until well into
Saturday.We haven't seen him since.

Barney seemed quite disturbed over the whole thing since he and Fred were at
least good friends if not brothers, and made several attacks on my two cats,
which involved him screaming at my cats then launching frontal assaults on
them though they hadn't done anything to him and were going out of their way
to keep their distance. I figured that Barney's anxiety about Fred was
making him hyper-territorial; neither Fred nor Barney had attacked my cats
when they met them a few weeks before.

Since Fred clearly knew his way home and Barney was making my cats
miserable, I decided to go back home on the assumption that Fred would soon
show up. I don't know why he didn't come home but was afraid my presence
and/or the presence of my cats might be the problem. When I had come down to
meet Fred and Barney a few weeks after they arrived, Fred had been very shy
and I'd only seen him briefly twice from across the room. If I took even a
single step toward him, he would immediately run away. Barney had been
considerably more outgoing. So I thought it might be better if I - and my
cats - disappeared. I honestly thought that he would soon be back again
and, finding me and my cats absent, would come back into the house and be
reunited with Barney - and his dinner bowl!

Unfortunately, Fred still hasn't come back home and my Kijiji ad hasn't
brought forward any responses.

My mother promised to call immediately once Fred was back in the house but
hasn't called. I'm not sure if he has made any further appearances at her
house but if he did, he just ran away again.

I'm really worried about him and would be happy to go down again to look for
him but I'm not sure if walking around the neighbourhood calling him would
have a good result. Since he doesn't know me, he might be more frightened
than relieved to hear a stranger calling him. If it just makes him run
further away, I wouldn't be helping by walking around. I could put up the
posters we made and hope that increases the number of eyes looking for him
but, aside from that, I'm not sure if there's anything else I could do that
would be positive.

I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with finding lost cats in
similar circumstances?

I remember seeing a documentary a few years back where a cop whose pet dog
had gone missing. He was a K-9 officer so he used his police dog to track
down the other dog. I thought that was brilliant and wonder if this idea
could be adapted for cats? I've been toying with the idea of taking Barney
out on a leash and seeing if he could find Fred. I've never heard of such a
thing but maybe someone has tried it. (Mind you, I wouldn't want Barney to
develop an irresistible longing to go outside too; he might be the next to
sneak out and maybe not return.)

Does anyone have any ideas they have tried successfully for fnding lost
cats?

Also, does anyone know how cats navigate? I'm wondering if they use smell
and whether the long rainfall we had after the last sighting might have
washed away the clues Fred needed to find his way home? Otherwise, I have to
think he could use the same techniques to find home that he used in his
first two visits back.

Sorry for the long note but I wanted you to have a complete picture of what
had happened.
--
Rhino

John Doe
June 11th 12, 06:44 PM
"Rhino" <no_offline_contact_please example.com> wrote:

> I'm wondering if anyone out there has figured out any good ways
> to track down missing cats?

Tell her to close the door open when she steps outside.

Put some fancy feast inside the door when it comes around. Or, if
you can, leave the door open for a while with the fancy feast just
inside. Figure out a way to close the door when he steps into eat.

But avoid frightening the cat.

After that... Provide an environment full of stimulation. Use an
infant room monitor to bring the outside sounds in. Allow it
access to a window. If possible, occasionally open the window so
that it can smell and feel the breeze. And give them exercise
equipment, stuff to climb and jump up onto.

Most cats won't even try to run away when I open the door. My male
cat will go out on the porch and hang around for a while, then he
will voluntarily come back inside. Inside is safety.

Chasing a cat is the wrong thing to do.

Never chase a cat if you are trying to get it to do what you want
it to do.

In fact, chasing a cat indoors is a good way to make its indoor
life very uncomfortable. That's a secret about indoor cats. You
have to give them space. The reason is because if they were
outdoors, they would run away from you. Indoors, they cannot run
away, so they get very uncomfortable if you are aggressive towards
them. That's not to say you can't make them do what you want them
to do, you just have to figure out ways to make them behave
without making them think you are a threat to them.

Also, the letterbox area is sacred. It must be a clean and happy
place. Messing up the litter box area or the cats experience in
the litter box area can cause the very worst sort of problems.

I'm not a mushy cat lover, I'm a scientist. If you want to
cohabitate with cats, that's some of what you have to know.




> Here's my situation. My mother adopted two cats a few weeks ago. We think
> they are brothers although we don't know for sure. Their names are Fred and
> Barney. They are a year and a half old, male, neutered, and have all of
> their claws and shots, except for rabies. They have both been microchipped






> but aren't wearing trackers.
>
> This past Thursday, Fred snuck out of the house when my mother stepped
> outside for a second. He raced away and was soon lost to sight. My mother
> tried to chase him but she is 85 and not able to run as quickly as a fit
> young cat!
>
> She had been intending them to be indoor cats so they had never been outside
> and didn't know the area. We don't know if they were outdoor cats when with
> their previous owner. She was immediately worried that he would be lost and
> not able to fnd his way home. However, he put in a brief appearance on her
> front porch on Friday but skittered away before she could even open the
> door. I don't live in the same city but I drove down on Friday and spent
> several hours walking around calling for him. I posted an ad on the local
> Kijiji website and made up some posters, then walked around some more
> looking for him and calling his name. I was about to go out and put up the
> posters when Fred made a second appearance at the basement window. We rushed
> out to see if we could coax him back inside but he just ran away again.
> Shortly after that, it rained, often quite heavily, until well into
> Saturday.We haven't seen him since.
>
> Barney seemed quite disturbed over the whole thing since he and Fred were at
> least good friends if not brothers, and made several attacks on my two cats,
> which involved him screaming at my cats then launching frontal assaults on
> them though they hadn't done anything to him and were going out of their way
> to keep their distance. I figured that Barney's anxiety about Fred was
> making him hyper-territorial; neither Fred nor Barney had attacked my cats
> when they met them a few weeks before.
>
> Since Fred clearly knew his way home and Barney was making my cats
> miserable, I decided to go back home on the assumption that Fred would soon
> show up. I don't know why he didn't come home but was afraid my presence
> and/or the presence of my cats might be the problem. When I had come down to
> meet Fred and Barney a few weeks after they arrived, Fred had been very shy
> and I'd only seen him briefly twice from across the room. If I took even a
> single step toward him, he would immediately run away. Barney had been
> considerably more outgoing. So I thought it might be better if I - and my
> cats - disappeared. I honestly thought that he would soon be back again
> and, finding me and my cats absent, would come back into the house and be
> reunited with Barney - and his dinner bowl!
>
> Unfortunately, Fred still hasn't come back home and my Kijiji ad hasn't
> brought forward any responses.
>
> My mother promised to call immediately once Fred was back in the house but
> hasn't called. I'm not sure if he has made any further appearances at her
> house but if he did, he just ran away again.
>
> I'm really worried about him and would be happy to go down again to look for
> him but I'm not sure if walking around the neighbourhood calling him would
> have a good result. Since he doesn't know me, he might be more frightened
> than relieved to hear a stranger calling him. If it just makes him run
> further away, I wouldn't be helping by walking around. I could put up the
> posters we made and hope that increases the number of eyes looking for him
> but, aside from that, I'm not sure if there's anything else I could do that
> would be positive.
>
> I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with finding lost cats in
> similar circumstances?
>
> I remember seeing a documentary a few years back where a cop whose pet dog
> had gone missing. He was a K-9 officer so he used his police dog to track
> down the other dog. I thought that was brilliant and wonder if this idea
> could be adapted for cats? I've been toying with the idea of taking Barney
> out on a leash and seeing if he could find Fred. I've never heard of such a
> thing but maybe someone has tried it. (Mind you, I wouldn't want Barney to
> develop an irresistible longing to go outside too; he might be the next to
> sneak out and maybe not return.)
>
> Does anyone have any ideas they have tried successfully for fnding lost
> cats?
>
> Also, does anyone know how cats navigate? I'm wondering if they use smell
> and whether the long rainfall we had after the last sighting might have
> washed away the clues Fred needed to find his way home? Otherwise, I have to
> think he could use the same techniques to find home that he used in his
> first two visits back.
>
> Sorry for the long note but I wanted you to have a complete picture of what
> had happened.
> --
> Rhino
>
>
>

Rene[_2_]
June 11th 12, 09:13 PM
From what I understand, cats who have escaped don't usually go very
far. He could be hiding under a shrub, in a garage or under a porch
nearby, and may not respond to you calls because he is petrified.

IDK how far you are from your mom, or if she is physically able, but
I'd suggest going door to door in your neighborhood with flyers. If
you make face contact people will be more likely to remember you and
call you if they see him.

Another thought is to rent or borrow a live trap and put it on the
porch. Wire it so it stays open and put the food bowl near it. Move
the bowl a little each day until he is eating in the trap (which is
still wired open). Skip a day and do not feed him, then set the trap
and put the stinkiest food you can find inside. With any luck you will
catch him. I would suggest that, right after trapping, taking him to
your local vet.

Also, please contact the local shelters and make them aware of the
missing cat. Check and post on craigslist too.

A note--you will need to re-introduce him to the household, slowly. He
will smell different and be like a "new" cat to any resident cats.

Keep the faith.

Rene

Rhino[_3_]
June 12th 12, 05:13 AM
"John Doe" > wrote in message
...
> "Rhino" <no_offline_contact_please example.com> wrote:
>
>> I'm wondering if anyone out there has figured out any good ways
>> to track down missing cats?
>
> Tell her to close the door open when she steps outside.
>
> Put some fancy feast inside the door when it comes around. Or, if
> you can, leave the door open for a while with the fancy feast just
> inside. Figure out a way to close the door when he steps into eat.
>
> But avoid frightening the cat.
>
> After that... Provide an environment full of stimulation. Use an
> infant room monitor to bring the outside sounds in. Allow it
> access to a window. If possible, occasionally open the window so
> that it can smell and feel the breeze. And give them exercise
> equipment, stuff to climb and jump up onto.
>
> Most cats won't even try to run away when I open the door. My male
> cat will go out on the porch and hang around for a while, then he
> will voluntarily come back inside. Inside is safety.
>
> Chasing a cat is the wrong thing to do.
>
> Never chase a cat if you are trying to get it to do what you want
> it to do.
>
> In fact, chasing a cat indoors is a good way to make its indoor
> life very uncomfortable. That's a secret about indoor cats. You
> have to give them space. The reason is because if they were
> outdoors, they would run away from you. Indoors, they cannot run
> away, so they get very uncomfortable if you are aggressive towards
> them. That's not to say you can't make them do what you want them
> to do, you just have to figure out ways to make them behave
> without making them think you are a threat to them.
>
> Also, the letterbox area is sacred. It must be a clean and happy
> place. Messing up the litter box area or the cats experience in
> the litter box area can cause the very worst sort of problems.
>
> I'm not a mushy cat lover, I'm a scientist. If you want to
> cohabitate with cats, that's some of what you have to know.
>
Thanks very much for your suggestions!

[snip]
--
Rhino

Rhino[_3_]
June 12th 12, 05:20 AM
"Rene" > wrote in message
...
> From what I understand, cats who have escaped don't usually go very
> far. He could be hiding under a shrub, in a garage or under a porch
> nearby, and may not respond to you calls because he is petrified.
>
> IDK how far you are from your mom, or if she is physically able, but
> I'd suggest going door to door in your neighborhood with flyers. If
> you make face contact people will be more likely to remember you and
> call you if they see him.
>
> Another thought is to rent or borrow a live trap and put it on the
> porch. Wire it so it stays open and put the food bowl near it. Move
> the bowl a little each day until he is eating in the trap (which is
> still wired open). Skip a day and do not feed him, then set the trap
> and put the stinkiest food you can find inside. With any luck you will
> catch him. I would suggest that, right after trapping, taking him to
> your local vet.
>
> Also, please contact the local shelters and make them aware of the
> missing cat. Check and post on craigslist too.
>
> A note--you will need to re-introduce him to the household, slowly. He
> will smell different and be like a "new" cat to any resident cats.
>
> Keep the faith.
>
>

Thanks very much for your suggestions. I think they are practical, although
I may have to accelerate the timetable if I try the trap. Fred hasn't eaten
in over 4 days now! At least, he hasn't been given food by my mother in 4
days; he may have been fed by others or figured out how to hunt mice or
whatever else is around my mother's neighbourhood that a cat can eat.

You also raise a good point about re-introducing him to the household. The
only other cat regularly in the house is Barney, who we believe is his
brother, but I know that is no guarantee that he will be accepted. Friends
of mine recently had a problem with some kind of obstruction in one of their
three cats. Spooky was out of the house several times over the course of a
few days and had various tests performed. When he got back, one of the other
cats absolutely freaked at him although they had been devoted to one
another. I suppose he smelled different as a result of the tests. It took
four days but Renie FINALLY calmed down and accepted hm into the fold again
but my friends had a miserable several days with their apparently psycho
cat.
--
Rhino

Bill Graham
June 12th 12, 09:56 PM
Rene wrote:
> From what I understand, cats who have escaped don't usually go very
> far. He could be hiding under a shrub, in a garage or under a porch
> nearby, and may not respond to you calls because he is petrified.
>
> IDK how far you are from your mom, or if she is physically able, but
> I'd suggest going door to door in your neighborhood with flyers. If
> you make face contact people will be more likely to remember you and
> call you if they see him.
>
> Another thought is to rent or borrow a live trap and put it on the
> porch. Wire it so it stays open and put the food bowl near it. Move
> the bowl a little each day until he is eating in the trap (which is
> still wired open). Skip a day and do not feed him, then set the trap
> and put the stinkiest food you can find inside. With any luck you will
> catch him. I would suggest that, right after trapping, taking him to
> your local vet.
>
> Also, please contact the local shelters and make them aware of the
> missing cat. Check and post on craigslist too.
>
> A note--you will need to re-introduce him to the household, slowly. He
> will smell different and be like a "new" cat to any resident cats.
>
> Keep the faith.
>
> Rene

Its also a good idea to put a collar on him with your name and phone number
on it so if someone else is feeding him they can call you and let you know
he's OK. We have several strays that we have fed, and none of them were
collared, so we couldn't let their former owners know about them.

But in any case, I wouldn't worry too much. If he knows where home is, and
still doesn't come there, then he must be eating somewhere else. If he
prefers it there, then why worry about him?

Gandalf[_2_]
June 13th 12, 01:39 PM
On Mon, 11 Jun 2012 12:00:48 -0400, "Rhino"
> wrote:

>I'm wondering if anyone out there has figured out any good ways to track
>down missing cats?
>
>Here's my situation. My mother adopted two cats a few weeks ago. We think
>they are brothers although we don't know for sure. Their names are Fred and
>Barney. They are a year and a half old, male, neutered, and have all of
>their claws and shots, except for rabies. They have both been microchipped
>but aren't wearing trackers.
>
>This past Thursday, Fred snuck out of the house when my mother stepped
>outside for a second. He raced away and was soon lost to sight. My mother
>tried to chase him but she is 85 and not able to run as quickly as a fit
>young cat!
>
>She had been intending them to be indoor cats so they had never been outside
>and didn't know the area. We don't know if they were outdoor cats when with
>their previous owner. She was immediately worried that he would be lost and
>not able to fnd his way home. However, he put in a brief appearance on her
>front porch on Friday but skittered away before she could even open the
>door. I don't live in the same city but I drove down on Friday and spent
>several hours walking around calling for him. I posted an ad on the local
>Kijiji website and made up some posters, then walked around some more
>looking for him and calling his name. I was about to go out and put up the
>posters when Fred made a second appearance at the basement window. We rushed
>out to see if we could coax him back inside but he just ran away again.
>Shortly after that, it rained, often quite heavily, until well into
>Saturday.We haven't seen him since.
>
>Barney seemed quite disturbed over the whole thing since he and Fred were at
>least good friends if not brothers, and made several attacks on my two cats,
>which involved him screaming at my cats then launching frontal assaults on
>them though they hadn't done anything to him and were going out of their way
>to keep their distance. I figured that Barney's anxiety about Fred was
>making him hyper-territorial; neither Fred nor Barney had attacked my cats
>when they met them a few weeks before.
>
>Since Fred clearly knew his way home and Barney was making my cats
>miserable, I decided to go back home on the assumption that Fred would soon
>show up. I don't know why he didn't come home but was afraid my presence
>and/or the presence of my cats might be the problem. When I had come down to
>meet Fred and Barney a few weeks after they arrived, Fred had been very shy
>and I'd only seen him briefly twice from across the room. If I took even a
>single step toward him, he would immediately run away. Barney had been
>considerably more outgoing. So I thought it might be better if I - and my
>cats - disappeared. I honestly thought that he would soon be back again
>and, finding me and my cats absent, would come back into the house and be
>reunited with Barney - and his dinner bowl!
>
>Unfortunately, Fred still hasn't come back home and my Kijiji ad hasn't
>brought forward any responses.
>
>My mother promised to call immediately once Fred was back in the house but
>hasn't called. I'm not sure if he has made any further appearances at her
>house but if he did, he just ran away again.
>
>I'm really worried about him and would be happy to go down again to look for
>him but I'm not sure if walking around the neighbourhood calling him would
>have a good result. Since he doesn't know me, he might be more frightened
>than relieved to hear a stranger calling him. If it just makes him run
>further away, I wouldn't be helping by walking around. I could put up the
>posters we made and hope that increases the number of eyes looking for him
>but, aside from that, I'm not sure if there's anything else I could do that
>would be positive.
>
>I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with finding lost cats in
>similar circumstances?
>
>I remember seeing a documentary a few years back where a cop whose pet dog
>had gone missing. He was a K-9 officer so he used his police dog to track
>down the other dog. I thought that was brilliant and wonder if this idea
>could be adapted for cats? I've been toying with the idea of taking Barney
>out on a leash and seeing if he could find Fred. I've never heard of such a
>thing but maybe someone has tried it. (Mind you, I wouldn't want Barney to
>develop an irresistible longing to go outside too; he might be the next to
>sneak out and maybe not return.)
>
>Does anyone have any ideas they have tried successfully for fnding lost
>cats?
>
>Also, does anyone know how cats navigate? I'm wondering if they use smell
>and whether the long rainfall we had after the last sighting might have
>washed away the clues Fred needed to find his way home? Otherwise, I have to
>think he could use the same techniques to find home that he used in his
>first two visits back.
>
>Sorry for the long note but I wanted you to have a complete picture of what
>had happened.


Walking around calling a lost cat's name is, unfortunately, simply a
complete waste of time. Most cats don't come when they are called when
they are at home. When they are lost outdoors, they simply won't respond
to their name. Trust me on this important point.

Cats do not 'navigate' by smell, like dogs can. They navigate by sight,
much the same way that people do.

Putting Barney on a leash to try to 'track' Fred simply won't work. Cats
are very different creatures than dogs. They behave very differently.

Stop thinking they will act like a dog. They won't. Ever. They are CATS.

Your best bet to recover this cat may be to use a humane live trap. I
recommend the Havahart traps:

http://www.havahart.com/store/live-animal-traps

Some rescues and shelters will let you borrow one, or they are available
locally at Fleet Farm and Tractor Supply stores. Some hardware stores
carry them, as well.

It sounds like this cat knows how to get home, but he's just too
skittish to catch. The trap should work.

Have your Mother put his food and water dish outside. The local wildlife
will eat most of the food, so have her put out a lot of food.

Here is the link for making posters for the lost cat that really get
NOTICED:

http://www.missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-posters.php

June 13th 12, 08:47 PM
Here are some ideas for lost cats -- Debbie B.

The Good News Is: Your Cat is probably Not ďLostĒ Ö Your Cat is Hiding!
If your newly adopted or indoor-only cat has escaped outside Ė your cat is probably not lost at all. Your cat is hiding, and most likely hiding close by. Depending on the terrain, your cat is probably closer than you think. Thatís because cats are territorial and your cat's territory is inside your home (or their previous home). Once a cat is thrust into unfamiliar territory, most cats seek an immediate hiding spot because the cat is afraid. A cat that is afraid (or injured) looks for the first good hiding place (under a deck, house, or porch; in heavy brush, etc). Also, chances are your cat will not respond to your voice and will not meow. Your catís instinct is to be quiet so they wonít be discovered by a predator. This has nothing to do with whether your cat loves you, whether your cat recognizes your voice, or whether your cat can smell you!

The Bad News Is: Cats Are Very Good at Hiding!
Hereís a Few Critical and Immediate Steps to Take:

1) Start Your Search From the Point of Escape Then Move Outward Ė Staying Close By: Try to think like a cat Ė specifically like your cat. Start with the point of escape, if you know how your cat got outside, then move outward. If you didnít see your cat get outside, start from the logical exit points. Then look around for the closest hiding places. Bring a flashlight (even during the day because catís eyes reflect light) and check EVERYWHERE (multiple times). Look inside drain pipes or storm drains; in heavy brush; inside or under sheds; inside garages; under decks; and inside basement crawl spaces Ė any place where your cat can hide. Stay close by Ė newly adopted or indoor-only cats are often found within a three house radius of their home. Remember your cat may not meow back when you call even though your cat is most likely close by. Your cat is most likely hunkered down to the ground and ready to dart away from any perceived threat Ė even from you! A catís instinct is to hide, stay put, and NOT meow. Note: Your cat may have traveled farther away only if a dog or something else has frightened your cat, if there are no good hiding places close by, or if after several hours or days there is no source of food or water close by.

2) Put Food, Water, Litter Box and Bedding Outside: Put food and water outside near the point of escape or close to a good hiding spot nearby. Use strong smelling canned cat food that your cat can smell from a distance so your cat knows where to go for food. Also, put your catís litter box and any bedding that has your catís scent on it outside to attract your cat back to your home. Catís have an amazing sense of smell!

3) Talk to Neighbors: Immediately start talking to your closest neighbors. Let them know your cat is outside and ask them to actively search their own property for your cat. Tell them what your cat looks like, that your cat will most likely be hiding, and what to do if they see your cat. If they see your cat, ask them to not approach your cat since this might frighten your cat. Itís best for them to just put food outside (canned cat food or tuna), open up the door to their home (first securing their own pets if they have any), and notify you right away.

4) Put Signs Up: Put signs up in your immediate neighborhood with large print saying ďLOST CAT.Ē Include a photo, date lost, and phone number where you can be reached 24/7.

5) Set a Humane Trap: If you've been following these tips for a day or two and your cat is still outside, get a humane trap. These wire cages have a trip mechanism inside that is triggered when the cat enters the trap in search of the food you have left inside. Once triggered, the door shuts the cat inside the trap. Even the most frightened cat will eventually come out for food. You may be able to borrow a trap from a shelter or rescue organization, or purchase one from a pet store.

6) Donít Give Up! Our last word of advice is Ė DONíT GIVE UP THE SEARCH TOO SOON! It could take days, or longer, to get your cat back inside. Don't give up if your cat fails to show up after a day or so. And, don't just wait for your cat to come back. You need to actively search for and lure your cat back home. Keep looking in those same old hiding spots Ė depending on how much time has passed, your cat may be moving from one hiding spot to another. Also, try new spots and enlarge your search area step by step, house by house.