Will My Frightened Cat Come Home?

My 1 year old female got out of the door late saturday night. I could not catch her. There was a bad storm about 2 hours later and again the following day. I have searched the streets and the neighborhood, as well as placing a lost and found ad, passing out flyers and putting a sign in my yard. Do you think there is a chance that she might be ok and just afraid and hiding? What should I do?

You didn’t mention whether your cat is normally a strictly indoor cat or not, as this might have some bearing on his ability to fend for herself and find her way back home. The chances are your cat was frightened and found the first place to hide that she could stay dry and feel secure during the storm. Knowing cats, this was probably the tightest, darkest spot she could find.

So far you have done everything right – you have done everything possible to find her or to let someone who does find her know that you are looking for her. It is sometimes advisable to take a minute to think like your cat; after all, you will probably know where it tends to be, and what it tends to do on a day-to-day basis. Cats are excellent at hiding so I would be advise that you look around the outside of the house and yard (and shed and neighbor’s sheds).

Remember that if your cat has become injured for any reason, she will instinctively retreat to the quietest place she can find – so keep looking, no matter how unlikely the places seem. In addition, keep in mind that cats can often fit into spaces a lot smaller than you might think. Of course its entirely possible that you have already found her, but she did not let you know. So keep making sojourns into your yard, calling her name and rattling her treat bag (or whatever you would normally do to get her attention). Keep looking in the same spots time and time again, and don’t feel overcome with anxiety. Cats are tough cookies and can last for many days without food and water. Good luck!