My cat doesn’t want to come home.

Kat5242

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I feel so dumb and stupid and tired.

I lost my cat. I know the general area of where she is.
i took her for a walk because the room i am renting has no natural light. I had her on a leash. This wasn’t the first time doing this. I thought it was fine.
She got spooked by some kids on the playground I thought she got spooked by the leash because its one of the retractable ones. She ran off into a patch of dense low woods nearby and I tried to find her. I tried so gosh dang hard.
I tried again this morning before school and at lunch break. I found her at lunch. Her leash had gotten stuck. When I approached her she tried to run away. As I got closer she hissed a little. when I picked her up she dug her claws in deep. Like hours later and I still see blood. As I walked past a tall wooden fence she grabbed on and WOULD NOT let go.
I finally extracted her and headed towards my car holding her tight because she was trying to get loose. I got close ish to the playground and I felt her freakout. Thats when I realized the children were what was spooking her otherwise I would have avoided them at all cost. Anyway Im sure you all know how hard it is to hold on to a cat who 100% doesn’t want to be held. I lost her twice
I know she is a cat not a human so I shouldn’t be putting human behaviors and logic on a cat. But I know what a resounding no looks like.
I don’t understand because She slept with me. When I woke up she would be all over me desperate for cuddles. I love her so so much but I can’t help wondering if I should be forcing myself on her.
At the same time I literally found her starving flea covered and sick and from what I have seen she doesn’t have hunting skills. i just… it’s barely been 24hrs but I am so drained and its so hard to convince myself to keep hoping and keep trying for someone who has made it clear…. They aren’t interested in coming home.
Maybe you can offer advice, maybe this is just a vent. I don’t know.

And please. If you think I suck and want to hate. How could you lose your cat, or how are you giving up already. Or you must not treat her right if she doesn’t want to come back.
I am my own worst hater for all of it right now please just move on.
 
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Maria Bayote

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Does she have a travelling crate? Can you bring it with you the next time you come look for her? Put her toy inside or anything familiar to her from your home, and some treats. When you catch her, I suggest you put her immediately inside the crate and do not try to bring her all the way back to your house. That way when she gets spooked again she cannot escape this time.

Goodluck. I hope you succeed. Afterwards, try not to bring her out for a week. Keep her re-settled again. If you can provide a catio for her it would be much better.

Thank you for not giving up on her.
 
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Kat5242

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I have her carrier out there right now with her water dish and a little food. And yeah if I manage to catch her again Ill get her in the crate immediately
 

Kflowers

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Your cat is in panic mode right now. She isn't thinking normally, only in the flight or fight. She may not completely recognize you. This doesn't mean she hates you, it certainly doesn't mean she doesn't want to come home. She does. She's just afraid. When you grab her and put her and the leash in her box, bring her home and let her stay in the safety of her carrier for a an hour. Maybe cover it with a towel. When she calms down, she'll remember you and be so happy to be home.

Since she's on a long leash with the plastic handle, go back to where you found her, take the carrier with you and a towel. She may be stuck again with the leash snagged on something. When you find her, drop the towel over her and wrap it around her. Then either untangle the leash, or better yet, cut it free from where it's stuck. Carry your still wrapped up cat to her carrier and put her inside.

I swear to you a panicked cat in their own house acts exactly the same way you describe your cat acting. It's a survival mode.

If your scratches get stiff you might want to put warm damp compresses on them.
 
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Kat5242

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Unfortunately when i caught her I took the leash off hoping it would help her relax. I was truly not expecting her to run away I had it in my head she would not want to leave me for ages because staying alone at night was probably scary. Very dumb I know. So anyway when she ran away the second time she was leashless. I will keep what you said in mind however and if I manage to catch her again Ill make sure she is given time to calm down and feel safe.
 

Kflowers

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Not dumb, inexperienced. But taking the leash off makes things safer for her, keep that in mind.

One person I knew of had his cat escape. he went after her and she freaked. Then he couldn't find her. He did all the things one does - putting up flyers, putting her litter box (used) on the porch to draw her home - nothing. For a YEAR there were sightings of her in the neighborhood but she never came home. Then one night she darted across the street in front of his car. He leapt out and ran after her. He grabbed her and she acted about as yours did. He did get her home and dropped her on the sofa. She looked up at him with the where have you been look. In her world everything was as it had been before she was frightened off the first time.

Honestly, the fear takes possession of them. Once they are home again things go back to normal. DO NOT GIVE UP.
 
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Kat5242

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I would like to add.
thank you so much for being so supporting. I just got off the phone with a lady whois involved with cat rescuing. And although she was very helpful it also felt very judgmental which was really hard for me to deal with right now. So just thank you for focusing on helping me and supporting me. I truly appreciate it.
 
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Kat5242

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Not dumb, inexperienced. But taking the leash off makes things safer for her, keep that in mind.

One person I knew of had his cat escape. he went after her and she freaked. Then he couldn't find her. He did all the things one does - putting up flyers, putting her litter box (used) on the porch to draw her home - nothing. For a YEAR there were sightings of her in the neighborhood but she never came home. Then one night she darted across the street in front of his car. He leapt out and ran after her. He grabbed her and she acted about as yours did. He did get her home and dropped her on the sofa. She looked up at him with the where have you been look. In her world everything was as it had been before she was frightened off the first time.

Honestly, the fear takes possession of them. Once they are home again things go back to normal. DO NOT GIVE UP.
Thank you so much for this! I got in contact with a lady who is part of a cat rescue program thing and she is helping me. Ive been working on getting flyers printed but thats had some complications but Im hoping to get it done soon. I managed to get in contact with the family who lives near where she ran off and they are keeping an eye out for her and have my number and her pictures.
I have been sitting where I last saw her for an hour and a half or so shaking her food bowl occasionally. So hopefully I am doing enough.
It just feels so draining. Apparently my bodies natural response to grief and stress is to just stop feeling anything but tired. Probably as a self defense mechanism but its been hard.
I feel guilty because I feel like Im not sad enough. I feel guilty because part of me wants to let her go. So yeah. Im struggling as a person, as a cat mom, and as a young adult who just wants to drive home and cry in my parents arms.
But I promise ill keep trying. Ill get those posters done. Ill keep visiting the area I lost her. Although I haven’t seen her at all today so Im worried that since I unstuck her she left the area or that my tromping through the woods is loud and scary.
Part if me doesn’t think she would leave the area though. My parents….. well I was at work and they don’t know who let her sneak out but one of them let her sneak out in the morning (they know it was the morning because they both left the house and my mom came home HOURS later and she was in the yard trying to hunt birds. So yeah…. That doesn’t make us sound any kind of responsible but she did stick around the area she knew.
anyway sorry for this long response I think Im just trying to process everything.
 

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Time to stop blaming yourself. Conversations about taking your cat for walks are all over the place. You took your cat out to give her pleasure, you didn't know the children's voices would frighten her. That makes this an accident. If everything worked out the way we hoped, there would be no insurance companies. This isn't over.

She's been in the yard. The best thing is that she got to where she is walking not running, she noticed what was around her and that means there is a good chance she knows how to get home once the panic eases.

Here are some more thoughts. Keep some of her treats in your pocket. Keep a towel and a pillow case in your car for when you drive around where she is. Sometimes it's easier to slip a pillowcase over the cat than a towel. she won't be in it for long.

Shaking her food box is a good idea. Another is smelly cat food, or sardines. The world animal protection league that rescues animals uses sardines to entice cats and dogs. Remember these are people the animals don't know which means this must be something they really like.

Again, your cat just doesn't recognize you through the panic state she's in. Think back to the last time you panicked. Right, that's it you still loved everyone you loved before, but in that state all you can think about is the panic. Don't let that illusion come between you and your cat.

I do understand about the grief making your want to just lie on the floor and not move. But your cat needs you to be looking for her. The more you walk the more strength you will draw from nature and purpose. This is hard, yes, but you can do it.

Not sad enough? No, at no time can anyone be certain of the depth of their emotions EVER. You experience as much as you can bear at any given time. Right now you have to ration out your grief so you can be of use to your cat. Don't worry about not grieving enough, you have the rest of your life for that if you wish. (BTW cat would not want you to spend your life grieving, it's not their way.)

The part of you that wants to let her go is the part that feels guilty for the accident that happened, it's the part that says you don't deserve her. You do deserve her, if you didn't you wouldn't care at all.

Every time you feel you should let her go, every time you feel you were stupid remember this was an accident, not a stupid, an accident that could have occurred to any of the thousands of people who walk their cats.

What is your cat's name?
 
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Kat5242

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Her name is Phera though most of the time I call her baby girl or little one.
 

Kflowers

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Phera is a lovely name, and your heart joins with hers when you call her little one.
 
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Kat5242

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When I got her I thought her posture and manners were very queen like despite how much of a wreck she was. So I wanted her to have a suitable name
 
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Kat5242

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Thank you 🙂 So much for everything.
 
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Kat5242

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Update she got found!! It rained a lot this week so she went in search of shelter and thankfully the person who found her is a cat owner who took care of her until I was contacted. Thank you for all the help and support
 

Kflowers

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We're so happy for you and your cat. Glad you got her back, keep her safe inside away from scary things.
 
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