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My Cat Has Been Gone For Almost 3 Weeks. What Should I Do?

Discussion in 'Cats S.O.S' started by Carter4321, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Carter4321

    Carter4321 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    I've been looking for my baby for almost 3 weeks now. He went missing on the night of March 29th. We live in an apartment complex at the end near the street so it is possible he might have crossed the street at night. I also noticed the week after he went missing that there seemed to be more stray cats around our building than usual. I'm not sure how cats behave in heat, but my kitty is neutered though I heard that even neutered cats go after female cats in heat. My mom thinks he might have gotten into a fight and lost which I don't know is a thing or not. Do cats ever give each other fatal injuries when fighting over territory?

    I've checked all over the complex and set up flyers and I haven't seen any sight of him in any hiding places he could be in. I like to think the chances of him getting picked off by a predator were slim even that late at night and I saw no signs he was caught in a car accident, but that just makes me wonder what could have stopped him from coming home (he's an indoor-outdoor cat). Does anyone have any idea where a cat could have gone under those circumstances? My kitty is 13 years old and kind of skinny which has my mom thinking he won't come back and she's been crying over it like he's already gone, but I'm trying not to lose hope. I've heard of stories about cats missing for months that came back home, but it's still hard to not imagine the worst might have happened.

    I'm hoping some tips here can give me a lead as to where to look or what to do next. One more thing, we live near quite a few other apartment complexes and I checked them for him, but I still haven't found any sign of him. I'm gearing up to set up flyers in these other complexes as I have yet to do that cause I wanted to make sure he wasn't hiding somewhere in our complex first you know. How should I go about setting up more flyers to ensure people see it?
     
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  2. CatLover49

    CatLover49 My Precious Snowball Super Cat

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    Have u checked the animal control??And also does he have a collar with information on it like name etc.incase gets lost?
     
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  3. Carter4321

    Carter4321 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Apr 20, 2019
    Unfortunately, he doesn't have a collar on him or a microchip. My mom told me she didn't find him at the animal shelter and I keep looking online at the Maricopa Animal Control Center and no cats look like him. There was a time he went missing for 2 weeks and came back at night out of nowhere after mom called for him so I don't know if something similar to last time has happened to him or not, but he's been gone longer than last time so we're all worried he won't come back this time. I called the street cleaning services and it sounded like they didn't find any animals corpses so I'm not convinced something fatal happened to him, but that just makes his disappearance more of a mystery. I doubt a neighbor moved him too because it was so late that barely anyone was awake or at least I hope that isn't what happened. The worst part is that he went missing at a time where most people in the complex were asleep.
     
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  4. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

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    Have you used SPCA web sites to post your lost cat? If you live in an area that has Next Door Neighbor web site, I would suggest you join it and post there as well. Get the flyers up in the surrounding complexes ASAP, and post them on apartment doors as well. Did your mother leave a flyer with the local animal shelter she contacted? Have you actually called the Maricopa Animal Control Center to inform them of him, and ask if they will accept a flyer? Do you have other local animal shelters/rescue centers/vets/SPCA offices/etc. that you could contact (in person), and give them flyers as well?

    What have you been doing to look for him this past 3 weeks? Is there an area outside near your entryway that you could put his litter box (or, at least some of his used litter in a cardboard box - saving some for later, in case another animal uses it)? You can also take clothes that you have worn and set them out as well - to help try to entice him to come nearer? Have you sat outside, especially at night, and called for him - even taking a bag or can of treats that you could shake while calling for him? If you do, you need to sit there for quite a while, in case he can hear but has a way to go to get back to you.

    You can also walk around your complex calling for him. But, again, wherever you do this, you need to linger for a while to allow him time to come out from possible hiding places. And, walk around the other complexes as well.

    You keep referring to the fact that he disappeared at night - but, that was 3 weeks ago, so any neighbor could have seen him at any time since then and taken him in to their home, or as I suggested earlier taken him to a local shelter.

    How was his health - aside from being thin? If he was not in good health, the odds are worse in terms of whether or not he can survive on his own, and how well he might be able to deal with injuries from a fight if one did occur. I am not trying to be pessimistic, but there are a whole host of things that could have happened to him. I hope once you expand your search for him with my suggestions above, you will find out someone took him in and that he is OK.
     
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  5. CatLover49

    CatLover49 My Precious Snowball Super Cat

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    Feb 8, 2018
    Reidsville NC
    I completely understand how u feel.Ive not been through it but I can imagine its very upsetting.I live in a apt complex also.And my cat is totally indoors all time.But have cat trees n etc.to give him lots of fun.I hop ure baby comes back.Safe n sound.I assume u have looked really good around ure place outside
     
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  6. Carter4321

    Carter4321 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    He seemed perfectly healthy last time I saw him. He was acting normally and wanted me to pet him when I took the garbage out that night so I'm confident he wasn't sick and just didn't know it. I just set up some more flyers at nearby complexes today on their mailbox areas so hopefully people see those. I had put flyers on the doors at our complex, but the leasing office told me they couldn't let me print anymore flyers after I ran out on the first week.

    Mom didn't have any flyers on her when she checked the shelter and she didn't take me with her either. I'm trying to get her to take this more seriously, but she acts like he's already gone. She would always assume our cat was in bad health because he was so skinny, but he behave normally up until his disappearance and we went looking for him about 3 hours after we noticed he hadn't come back yet. I just find it hard to believe he suddenly became sick in that amount of time.

    I still need to get in contact with Maricopa County so my cat's picture can show up on their lost pet map. The problem is that they seem to have this system where you leave a message and wait for them to call back. It takes them like an hour to get back to you and if you miss their call, you have to wait another hour for someone to possibly get back to you.

    I have used some services like Pawboost and Lost Cats of Arizona to get the word out about my cat, but I know there has to be more I can do. Now that you mention it, when he disappeared 5 years ago, Mom called out to him and after we went inside, he showed up at the door so tonight I'll try just calling for him waiting around the complex with food for him. I was so focused on looking in hiding places before that I never thought to just hang out in one place and wait for him to find me. I should do that tonight around 10 or 11 pm. That's around the time he missing.
     
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  7. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

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    Central FL (Born in OH)
    As I said, get those flyers to the shelter your mother went to, as well as any local vet offices (they will post them for you, if they are like my vet's office), and consider door-to-door inquiries in all the complexes around you as well as your own. Ask your leasing office what options they might let you do to continue to spread the word about your lost cat.

    Go out tonight and hang out for him, and any number of other times of the day you can. And, don't stop at just one night - do it over and over and over again. If possible, leave behind something with either/or his scent or yours where you hang out.
     
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  8. Carter4321

    Carter4321 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    That sounds promising. It could be possible that something really benign happened to my cat since I put flyers on most of the doors in the complex, but I never went door-to-door just asking people about my cat nor did we check vet offices for him. I'll need convince my mom to take me to those places in case somebody has him and thinks he's a stray and are taking care of him. I'd rather someone take him in than have him be lost out there on the streets and everyone I've talked to so far claims they haven't seen him or admit to basically not paying attention to the cats in the area. I won't be able to get anymore flyers until tomorrow because of Easter hours, but I can still wait for him outside at night and leave stuff for him to sniff out.
     

  9. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

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    Jun 13, 2018
    Central FL (Born in OH)
    Keep us posted!
     

  10. Mamanyt1953

    Mamanyt1953 Rules my home with an iron paw Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Remember, the BEST TIMES to look are at dusk and dawn. This is when their instincts tell them to hunt. MOST cats are found near home, hiding in small, dark places, coming out only to find food, then hiding again. Carry a flashlight. That eye shine can show you even the best-hidden cat!

    I have had one cat come home safe after EIGHT MONTHS, so don't give up hope!
     
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  11. sarajeremy

    sarajeremy TCS Member Kitten

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    Apr 11, 2019
    have you found your cat yet?
     
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  12. Carter4321

    Carter4321 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Apr 20, 2019
    Still no luck. I won't be able to post flyers at the vet clinics until Wednesday. I hope he's being taken care of if someone found him. Mom keeps describing him as "sickly" just because he was skinny, but he didn't act strange or anything before he went missing so I doubt his disappearance has to do him being old or sick. You'd think cats would start to show signs that something was wrong with them before vanishing like that. Hearing that a cat can come home even after eight months gives me more hope though. My kitty is an indoor-outdoor cat so he should know how to hunt and get water if he is lost. I just hope he's somewhere safe where people might actually find him. I at least got more flyers on the mailing areas of the nearby complexes. Hopefully, I'll hear something soon.
     
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  13. Carter4321

    Carter4321 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Apr 20, 2019
    Just got woken up tonight. According to my mom, there was a cat fight on our porch tonight. When we came to investigate, there was feces in the area where my missing cat would lay at. We also found some fur at the scene that might possibly be his. Mom didn't see which cats were involved with the fight by the time she went outside and I was asleep during the whole fight. Anyone know how cats fight over territory? This has never happened before and seems to confirm my theory that my cat went missing because a stray is scaring him away from his home.
     
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  14. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

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    Central FL (Born in OH)
    If your cat was involved in this fight, it means he is coming around the area - and possibly means he is hanging around there at least at night.

    Did you go out at night and sit while calling for him in the past couple of days? If you did, it might mean that he has heard you and is/was hanging around more.

    You need to start a much more intense search for him. You might want to consider setting up a trap. You could place a blanket or towel with his scent on it inside the trap, along with food. Animal control or a local shelter might loan you a trap.

    If it catches your guy, then great! If you get the other cat he was fighting with that is OK too, as you can take it to animal control or the local shelter, and perhaps that would help your buddy come out of hiding.
     
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  15. Mamanyt1953

    Mamanyt1953 Rules my home with an iron paw Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Havelock, North Carolina
    GaryT, catsknowme and FeebysOwner purraised this.

  16. saleri

    saleri TCS Member Super Cat

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    Do you have a video camera or something of the sort so you can see if the cat has ever returned?
     
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  17. HollyBells

    HollyBells TCS Member Young Cat

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    Apr 10, 2019
    @Carter4321 I get what you're going through. My cat Juniper escaped from my apartment complex on March 26th. Please don't give up hope! I'd suggest putting out a live trap with some of his food and maybe a scent item of his like a blanket or some towels and a dirty tshirt of yours. Good luck, and I hope you find him!
     
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  18. Carter4321

    Carter4321 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Apr 20, 2019
    That sounds like a plan. I just got to get mom on board with it. Since it's the weekend, we should be able to take this time do exactly what you suggested. Even if we don't catch him, getting that bully out of the area could be what gets him back home. I've been sleeping with the window open ever since the fight occurred so I hopefully wouldn't sleep through it if it happens again.
     

  19. catsknowme

    catsknowme TCS Member Top Cat

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    HollyBells has a great thread just chock full of excellent suggestions and some very encouraging news - I especially like Norachan's suggestions of setting up a special email address for only your missing cat PLUS the idea of putting a flyer in your back windshield. Prayers and vibes that you get your cat back soon & that you find a feral program to help prevent cat overpopulation in your housing complex!:vibes::vibes::vibes::heartshape::cheerleader:
    Here's a link to HollyBells' thread
    Cat Has Been Missing For 2 Weeks - Please Help
     
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  20. Leomc123

    Leomc123 TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I agree with Feebysowner to trap your cat, but i would feel sorry to take the stray cat to the animal control cause they will probably put the poor thing down if he isn't own by anyone :(

    I would try placing food in the usual spots that your cat would eat at. And put blankets with your scent on it. And to go outside and call him at dinner time cause he will be hungry wanting to eat, if he hears your voice he will know its safe to come and eat.
     
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