Please tell me that all indoor/outdoor cats return back home

Update: The cat came back just in time for dinner!!! Yay!!! Thank you everyone for calming my nerves. You have no idea how many times I’ve looked for her throughout the day.

My family is on a cat sit for an older female cat with stiff hips. She used to be feral and adopted the HO’s a couple years ago. She wakes up, eats breakfast, then goes to the back yard and then comes back in when it’s time for dinner. She’s gone. I texted HO and they told me that due to her bad hip, she doesn’t go anywhere outside of the yard. I’m very worried and have even asked the neighbors if they’ve seen her. To the experienced cat folks here, do cats know where they live and know how to get back home? Weather is hot today and I’m worried she will get dehydrated or get into some sort of an accident.


How long has she been gone?

Have you tried shaking treat can in the yard?

Are you in an area where there are coyotes? Foxes?

@Katie it’s been about 4-5 hours. She likes her wet can food but she didn’t respond to the treat when we first got here. Not sure about the coyote fox population here. The yard is fenced and I was working on my laptop outside and didn’t hear anything come in so I assume she went underneath the fence and went out. I left my phone number to the neighbors so I guess I’ll just have to be patient and wait

1 Like

I think 4-5 hours isn’t long enough to worry too much. There’s not a great deal you can do other than what you are doing and just walk around the area. She could be stuck in someone’s garage. She should know where she lives.


Check she hasn’t got locked anywhere in the house? Barns/sheds nearby. I’d retry clanging the treat tin. We have local neighbours whose cats go astray sometimes (at this time of year, during the evening, foxes can scare) but mostly are refound. However a little walk around with a treat and clanging something might be worthwhile. Cats are pretty able to look after themselves and do tend to know where home is.

Cats are very good at hiding away especially if they are not sure about a situation . Having strangers in the house maybe she is hiding close by - probably watching you from a safe distance . She could be asleep somewhere in the house - under a bed for example -owners room ? got into the attic ? Have a thorough search of the house -garage under car - shady places - maybe put a dish of food / water outside back door .

Cats do occasionally get locked in sheds/out buildings -their curiosity takes them into these places and unaware that they have sneaked in the owners lock the doors . Please let us know when you find her .

@Silversitters She has been great with us for the last few days, lots of pettings and even slept on the floor with my daughter. I don’t think she’s scared of us anymore. House is small, there is one small shed in yard that is locked. Only the back door was cracked open for her and my kids studied at the kitchen table by the back door and she never came back in. I’ll keep being patient as I’ve walked around the neighborhood, shaking treat jar, calling out her name, and knocking on neighbors’ doors.

1 Like

Glad the cat is back. I sat one last year in Worcester, UK who the HOs told me had gone walkabout for 6 months and then presented himself at the animal shelter where they scanned his chip and sent him home. I was still to allow him out through the cat flap, but locked it so he could only come in after 8 pm, not go out again until morning.
He would come along when I would take 1 of the dogs for walks!

1 Like

It’s scary when you’re watching someone else’s pet and the thought of losing them or the pet getting harmed is nerve wrecking

1 Like

How do you know the cat’s back?

I had one cat not come back at bedtime but she did jump through my bedroom window in the early hours of the morning … and wanted cuddles :cat2: :heart_eyes_cat:

1 Like

@IHeartAnimals posted this on their original comment @Smiley :clap: :cat: :heart_eyes_cat: