Skip to comments.Can you help with my cat mystery?
Posted on 07/22/2013 9:06:25 PM PDT by cradle of freedom
Could someone help me with this mystery. Our cat slipped out of the house on the night of June 21. We realized that she had not be feeling well since she had not been eating for a couple of days.
She was an indoor cat who slipped out when my husband left the basement door propped open as he was bringing something out of the basement. She slipped out when he wasn't looking.
She was 12 years old so it would not be unusual that she would go away to die. There are woods across the street and we believe that she went there. I hoped that somehow she didn't die but would return home again. This is when it gets a little unusual--last week on July 15--last Monday--I was sleeping lightly when I heard meowing at 2:30 in the morning. I jumped out of bed and ran to the open window calling her name, but I did not hear any response.
There were three meows, it sounded like the way she meowed but of course I cannot be sure but I do not think that I ever heard a cat meowing outside. Sometimes cats walk through our yard but I don't think that I have ever heard one meow. I have been wondering if she could have lived for three weeks and was meowing to say goodbye.
There is a brook in the woods not far from the street so she would have had plenty of water to drink for three weeks but do you think it was possible that she lived for three weeks without eating?
I actually had a 12 year old cat who disappeared for about the same amount of time when we moved to a new house. It turns out she was hiding in the neighbor’s garage, but I don’t think they were feeding her. She came back and had lost a lot of weight, but she didn’t die. I’d put out some food, just in case she’s still around.
I’d add she’s probably utterly freaked out. If there are any out-buildings around the house, I’d be checking them often.
She probably caught mice or other small animals.
Cats revert to wild activity very easily.
Personally, I think its very possible to be your cat still. 12 years isn't that old for a cat. And unless the sickness was something terrible, its possible the cat was just under the weather for some days.
I hope this didn’t happen to your cat: there was a story about some people who couldn’t find their lost cat for months, then finally located her via very weak meows, and found her in a closed wooden bench or cabinet. By then the cat was near death, was gradually nursed back to health, but had suffered severe brain damage through malnutrition and dehydration, and was never the same. Read the poem “The Retired Cat” by William Cowper (kitty finds a comfy dresser drawer in which to take a nap, but the dresser drawer is closed shut and kitty is in trouble). I hope your cat is outside, where her chances of survival are better (other people can leave out food).
They eat bugs, lizards, and walnuts. Not kidding.
They go wild and can survive.
Maybe you can try to shake a cup of foot to entice kitty. That has worked for us in the past.
I got my cat back with a trap from a rental place. Put food in it, went to bed, got up in the morning, and there he was, looking really stupid, but safe.
” it was possible that she lived for three weeks without eating?”
Cats eat most anything from bugs to rodents.
They do not have to have Meow Mix, or tuna to live.
I have several grown cats and 4 kittens.
Could she be in heat?
Perhaps she found enough food and water to survive. She might have been meowing to say "How do I get back in the house?" Do you have a dog/cat door? Have you been leaving food and water outside for her?
If your cat has a food it craved, try that.
Our first family cat was nuts for tuna. We’d use an electric can opener for tinned tuna. The sound of the opener’s motor would bring her running from anywhere in the house.
When she was no where to be found and it was late at night, I could get her in the house by taking the can opener out on my deck and just running the motor.
Of course, I’d give her a tuna treat when she came running in ! (smarter than the average cat - just).
Good luck with you cat.
I recently had to put my cat down because of renal failure and what the vet said was probably liver cancer. She was 24 years old and had a very good life of bossing me around.
12 is not that old for some cats but probably about average for some breeds. Cats can definitely live for more than 3 days without food.
When you call for your cat, use a calm voice. They will respond better than if you use a loud shout. This is from our own experience locating an inside cat that went outside.
We have an indoor cat that got out. I read that they don’t go far. And 2 days
later I found her under the enclosed back steps. She found a thin space and got in. I agree— put some food out, and stay by an open door calling her/him -— if it means all night. Cats would stay hidden during the day if they are unused to being outside. Please keep us posted.
I’m sure your cat found something to eat out there, even a long time house cat could catch a little mouse or something.
That is a sad story, I hope she still comes back.
I don’t know what part of the country you’re in, but coyotes eat cats (and small dogs) all the time. Hopefully not yours, but if they’re around it’s a possibility.
Some great advice on this thread. Your kitty could be lured back with favorite treats.
Our Mama Cat disappeared during a blizzard. Days passed, weeks passed. I fully expected to see her frozen carcass during the spring thaw.
One night the neighbors house’s lights were all on. No one was living there, and it was discovered there was a burglary. Mama cat was inside. Apparently she followed them in. (Does that make her a cat burglar?)
Mama Cat feasted on mice in the basement, drank water out of one of the commodes, and went to the bathroom in the other. She looked healthy.
Your cat is probably doing what cats like to do.
I’ll apologize in advance and admit that I know it was a typo but it’s irresistibly compelling......What type of cat kibble goes into the foot cup or is it just some chopped and dried foot in a regular cup?
Sorry, I’ll go away now..
Can you entice her with some catnip?
That is so sad. My heart goes out to you. I think you should try everything as they all seem to be excellent tips. Please let us know when she returns home. All best wishes.
I’ve heard that outside cats you consider as yours often have another family somewhere. Even cats that just go out at night. So maybe your cat moved down the street or across town. She may well come back.
I’d keep putting her favorite food on the front porch for an hour at night when you can watch out the window. My cat goes crazy for Friskies Party Mix treats, so maybe your kittie would find those irresistible too.
Let us know what happens, and good luck, cradle of freedom.
“Can you help with my cat mystery?”
As someone who has owned cats and dogs, I believe I can help you.
Forget about the cat and get a dog. Dogs don’t pull this kind of bull s***.
Cats revert to wild activity very easily.
Mice, small animals, and surprisingly enough, grasshoppers.
Some studies have shown that half the diet of a feral cat is grasshoppers.
Even house cats have instincts to catch prey, so I think it is quite possible she could survive. The good thing is it’s summer so it’s not too cold. Other than keeping on looking for her I would second getting a live trap and putting food and seeing if maybe she will go in there and be captured. I guess the question is whether you might accidentally catch something else, like a raccoon or skunk. That would not be good. Raccoons are mean and skunks, well, skunks are skunks.
Oh, and 12 is not that old. Our neighbors have an outdoor cat that has to be at least 17 or 18 and he is still going strong.
It is absolutely possible she survived 3 weeks or 3 months for that matter. Cats know how to find food!!! And she has water.
Yes, she may have gone away to die.
Yes, she MAY have gotten better and maybe she is out there, yet.
I would do the only obvious thing, to go walking as often as you can and call her. Bring tunafish or whatever she likes best.
She MAY be out there and you will never be comfortable about this unless you at least go walking and call her for a few weeks now.
(Been there, done that! This is just how it goes....part of being her care-taker)
good luck with it!
Wanna bet? Neighbor's Yorkie (12 yo) took off with a dog pack and was found four months later in a shelter 50 miles from home. His poor had been bereft. The man died three months after getting the dog back.
All the advice so far is terrific.
I had a cat who lived to be 20. Our present cat is 15 and, while mature, is not old or feeble. Old cats get quite skinny and crave heat. If that doesn’t describe yours, it is likely doing just fine.
All of my cats have gone in and out. Even declawed cats (front paws only), can catch food easily and still climb trees.
I had one of those cats who had multiple families. The neighbors knew it was ours, but let it in and fed it anyway. He behaved better at their house: the wife was impressed that he didn’t go on her counters. He was quite happy to climb onto ours.
Not sure they crawl away to die. I had one cat just keel over sidewise and that was that.
I hope she comes back OK. If she was healthy she may be OK. They usually come back during the day though. Cats don’t get lost usually.
Is it possible the cat is trapped between the inside and exterior walls of the house?
Cats can definitely live for three weeks (or longer) without *you* putting out food for them. She may have found a kindhearted neighbor who thinks she’s a stray. Or she may be a better mouser than you think. I don’t think you should give up on her yet.
The trapping suggestion that someone already made is a very good one. The have-a-heart live trap is very easy to operate. You may be able to buy one (cat size runs about $45), rent one from a feed store or pet store, or borrow one from a feral cat program (they will often lend out their traps to trap ferals, or for a good cause like getting your kitty back again). Cats can WANT to come back home but get VERY freaked out, and it’s hard to get hold of them if they’re in that nutty state. So the trapping might do the trick. (We had a cat who was part Siamese and would get completely ballistic on the rare occasions when he managed to slip out of the house. My husband had to dress in a heavy coat, put on leather gloves, and still wrap Crazy Cat in a quilt to get him back in the house without getting injured!!)
Best wishes for getting your kitty back!
Cats are funny little critters. We share two with the people next door and have not gotten any to replace the two that died. First one, the old momma cat just went away followed by her very youthful but flighty offspring. Something tells me Puddy found a new family since she was a big grey long hair calico who was very prissy.
Cats are mostly very private about dying and will go to some quiet small place and just go to sleep. I’ve seen it several times.
Cats love grasshoppers. Growing up I used to take my barn cats walking in the early morning to hunt grasshoppers. They were still cold and easy for th kitties to catch. They all loved going.
If there are woods, there's food... especially in the summer.
I think the "back to say bye" theory is completely plausible. Cats do some amazing things.
Cats tend to come back to the place they escaped from. Leave that door cracked with some food. Good luck.
I think cats just go off to die somewhere. Our cat did that.
Molly was an indoor declawed cat that would dart out an open door every chance she got but I would always be able to catch her and bring her back in. I have a cat door that allowed her out on the pool deck where she could watch the squirrels and birds. One time I must have left the screen door to the pool cage ajar and she got away at night. Well she was gone for over a month. I left the screen door ajar all the time she was gone and finally one night I heard the cat door flap and a whole lot of meowing and there she was bedraggled and skinny but otherwise healthy and unharmed.
Your kitty will come home too when she’s ready. They know the way home.
Had a beautiful all black long hair female kitty walk in my back door one evening. She stayed around for a couple or five weeks, eating anytime she wished and demanding I hold her and pet her whenever I lit for TV or Interneting. I took several pix of her and named her Midi, for Midnight. Then one day she walked out the back door in the morning and has not been seen since. Truly cats are their own bosses. I reckon she went back home after giving herself a rest from perhaps a new baby in the house.
I had a black cat, walk up my sidewalk, into my open front door, hiss at my dog, climb up on my couch and immediately go to sleep. He stayed with me and became my CAT! I moved from Tampa to Atlanta with him. I had him about 3 years. I introduced a new cat in Atlanta and CAT took off. One year later on the day and hour the moving truck with all my belongings was leaving for Nashville, CAT jumped up on my patio, rolled on his back, I scratched his full belly and he took off. He had come to say good bye. Cats are beyond mysterious.
Had an old cat disappear for 3 months and then show back up on Christmas Eve like nothing was wrong. She lived another 9 months and died at home.
We had a cat that for about 7-10 years lived up in an Oak tree right beside our front porch laying on a branch. I built him a platform and would send his food up with a long pole. He could get down when he really wanted too but he simply liked living in the tree. He felt safe there. Good Luck.
I always figured women like cats for the same reason women like bad boys: because they both treat women like doormats.
Yes your cat could have survived. They are great scavengers for food. 12 is not old for a cat.
In Houston one of my neighbors used to park his boat in his garage. The boat was too big, so the door wouldn’t close. Mycat would go in at night and leave little cat paw prints all over his boat and hat made him furious.
One day my cat disappeared. She was gone 6 months. Eventually she came back, fit as a fiddle. Obvously she had been eating well.
My neighbor’s wife admitted that he had captured the cat and had taken her to another neighborhood and let her go.
There’s even a song about that — “And the cat came back...”
My cat, who ended up dying of heart problem in March at age 12 1/2 (may she RIP), would get out on occassion. After a few hours, she would come up on the porch and want in, but she wouldn’t come in unless a plate of food was given to her to coax her in. One time, though, she got out and wouldn’t come back. This was probably months to a year before she died. We kept thinking she’d get hungry and come home, but she didn’t. We saw her over at the neighbors, but she would run if we went near her. Finally, I guess after she got so weak and exhausted, three days later, we found her and were able to grab her as she was starving. She was declawed, though, so I don’t think she could catch her own food as well as as a cat with claws. She was older then, and maybe cats get a bit odd when they get older, and for whatever reason, are more reluctant to come home.
The bottom line is that I believe your cat could be alive and could be finding something to survive on. I would try a shaker can of treats to see if the cat comes back. If not, I’d try putting food out. Your cat may come up and eat it. Then you can get ahold of your cat. If you don’t think that will work, I’d put the food in a trap, so when your cat goes in to eat, you have it. I wouldn’t write your cat off as gone yet.
I wish you the best of luck and hope you catch your cat. They truly are valued members of the family.
My cat ate a big live locust today, then puked it over the floor 10 minutes later.