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

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  • #61

Carter4321

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Young Cat
Apr 20, 2019
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I know you are frustrated and very worried - and I know it is tedious, but have you gone back through this thread and read all of the suggestions members have made to make sure you have tried them all? Any one of them that you might have missed and haven't tried might just be the one that works!!
Well, now that you mention it, we never did try the cat trap idea. Is there anywhere you can get a cheap or borrow a free cat trap? I think if we just relocate the bully cat, that might be what convinces my cat to come back. I saw cat traps at Walmart for about 25-28 dollars.

It still haven't gotten any calls after putting up the new set of flyers. I hoping that someone has him and just hasn't seen the flyer yet. It just doesn't make sense that all these other cats are okay, but my cat disappears with no trace as to what could have happened.
 

catsknowme

TCS Member
Top Cat
Jan 2, 2005
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Eastern California,USA
When you borrow the trap, your local TNR group may pay to have the intruder neutered and vaccinated - it is the most humane way to handle this. Also, dumping the cat is probably illegal; he won't be able to simply switch territory, especially among ferals.
Please keep us informed! I am hoping that you get the help you need so your beloved boy comes home soon. :vibes::vibes:
 
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  • #64

Carter4321

TCS Member
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Young Cat
Apr 20, 2019
26
40
Call local shelters and rescue centers, maybe even vet offices, and see if you can borrow a trap or ask them where you might be able to borrow one.

So, you are saying the bully cat is still hanging around?
From what I can tell, he still is though I haven't seen too many cats lately. Despite that, the cats I do see are some new ones which implies that even more cats are circling around our building. I heard multiple cat fights over the past week and my brother spotted a dark cat running off further into the complex after catching the end of two fights. My mother and I spotted a dark gray cat one morning that might fit the description of the cat my brother saw, but my cat is also a brown and gray tabby so he could be mistakenly identified seeing how these fights occurred at night.

At least three cat fights have broken out on our building ever since my cat disappeared, twice at our porch and again in the hallway leading up to our stairs. Combined with the recent fights, there have been about 5-6 cat fights in the area yet nobody at the complex has spotted my cat or seem to even pay attention to the cats.

I'm pretty positive my cat was scared away and I never saw any blood or anything indicating he may have been wounded from any of these encounters, but I still don't know why he wouldn't come back at this point. It's about to be three months soon...
 

catsknowme

TCS Member
Top Cat
Jan 2, 2005
9,965
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Eastern California,USA
:think: It definitely sounds like there are females in season in your area - even if kept locked up inside, those pheromones will be detected by intact males from all directions, thus all the new cats and all the commotion :livid: why can't people just get those poor cats fixed?!!:argh:
Please don't give up hope....there are probably lots of food sources around and kitties can go a long time living nearby but undetected, especially with strange tomcats lurking about.
Thank you for the update! I am continuing to send prayers and vibes :vibes::vibes::vibes:
 
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  • #67

Carter4321

TCS Member
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Young Cat
Apr 20, 2019
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Mom is convinced our cat isn't coming home. She thinks he was killed by the stray cats because he was skinny. It's getting hard to stay optimistic. He's been gone for about 3 months now. I mean how could a cat just vanish with no evidence of a fight. Nobody in the complex seems to have seen him and maintenance claims they haven't seen any corpses around, but what happened to my cat? I don't know what else I can do. He's here one day and completely disappears overnight...
 

catsknowme

TCS Member
Top Cat
Jan 2, 2005
9,965
4,166
Eastern California,USA
Typically, cats don't out & out kill other cats - they can and do die of infected wounds. But the body will be nearby and the scavengers leave remains that create a distinctive odor. I am sorry to be so graphic but that has been my experience of a lifetime (over 60 years) of dealing with barn cats & ferals.
I know that it breaks your mom's heart to see you worrying and grieving for your cat - my heart, as a part of your TCS family, aches for you as well.
These missing cat cases take a lot of detective work. If there are a lot if homeless cats in your area then you know that predators are less likely a problem than traffic or even neighbors. I routinely encounter FB posts of people who "find" cats and keep them, either assuming the cat was thrown out or that any owner who allows a cat outside does not have an owner who deserves their return. Even when I try to argue that accidental escapes can happen, especially with small children or special needs people (disabled, elderly), people insist on Zero Tolerance.
 
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  • #69

Carter4321

TCS Member
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Young Cat
Apr 20, 2019
26
40
Typically, cats don't out & out kill other cats - they can and do die of infected wounds. But the body will be nearby and the scavengers leave remains that create a distinctive odor. I am sorry to be so graphic but that has been my experience of a lifetime (over 60 years) of dealing with barn cats & ferals.
I know that it breaks your mom's heart to see you worrying and grieving for your cat - my heart, as a part of your TCS family, aches for you as well.
These missing cat cases take a lot of detective work. If there are a lot if homeless cats in your area then you know that predators are less likely a problem than traffic or even neighbors. I routinely encounter FB posts of people who "find" cats and keep them, either assuming the cat was thrown out or that any owner who allows a cat outside does not have an owner who deserves their return. Even when I try to argue that accidental escapes can happen, especially with small children or special needs people (disabled, elderly), people insist on Zero Tolerance.
It's good to hear more confirmation that a cat fight wouldn't have just outright killed him. It just seemed unlikely to me that he would be fatally injured from a cat fight. You'd think he'd at least come home with a severe injury as opposed to something that kills him overnight while making his body vanish.

After all these months, I saw no evidence of corpses in the streets or anything like that. There was a coyote sighting according to mom, but my brother also told me coyotes try not to actively assault cats because cats can fight back.

I looked more into cat finding tips and found Missing Animal Report Network and one thing they mentioned was to avoid falling into "grief avoidance". Basically, some pet owners avoid the stress of what happened to their pet and actively looking for them by just accepting the pet's disappearance under the assumption that they have died and I think that's what mom is doing. She still hasn't taken me to the West Maricopa Animal Control Center where we know the stray cats are funneled to because I asked at the control center near us and they told me that whatever stray cats get turned in are transported to that location.

I also had to cut a poster run short because she started getting notably frustrated driving me around to other apartment complexes. It seems like "grief avoidance" accurately describes this behavior. I also had the idea to go door-to-door and try asking about my cat though my mom insists that I don't since I also left flyers on people's doors, but if someone has my cat and just doesn't want to let him go or doesn't know if the owner lives in the complex, maybe seeing me in person will convince them to give him back.

I just find it difficult to keep my head up when she talks about him as if we know he's dead even though we've see zero indication of his death and it really makes me lose hope, but then I remember how cats have returned after years of disappearance and it's that thought that helps me get through these last 3 months. It's not exactly peace of mind, but it stops me from thinking that finding him is hopeless.

I'll try to see if I can convince mom to take me to other shelter and I think I might go door-to-door when she's away so she doesn't try to stop me. I haven't done a physical search for him since the first month and I read that's the most reliable way to find lost cats. If there are any more tips or warnings before I go around asking the neighbors about him, I would appreciate. My mom just makes it sound like I'll get arrested or something just for knocking on people's doors about my cat especially since I asked people at the mailbox and they confirmed that they don't notice the yellow poster in there so if someone has him, there's a chance they've never seen the poster.

I really appreciate all the positive thinking from everyone here. It really helps me remain optimistic for his return.
 

catsknowme

TCS Member
Top Cat
Jan 2, 2005
9,965
4,166
Eastern California,USA
You have some great ideas! Will your brother or soneone else escort you door-to-door? The buddy system is the safest way! If anybody "hinky" asks to to come inside to see if the cat that they have in there is yours, just politely refuse (say you have specific instructions to not enter any dwellings) & ask them to take a photo instead (maybe you guys have a "burner" phone or an old tablet they can use). Safety is an absolute must! I can tell that you will do very well in the cat rescue field of work & now is the time to hone those safety skills.
Have you contacted any TNR groups? Colonies are often kept confidential for the safety of the cats so there may be sightings that you otherwise won't know about. Strays will stay on the perimeters of territory, waiting for a chance to eat - typically after dusk when the colony goes off for naps.
Do your shelters have advocacy Facebook groups? Those volunteers routinely visit the shelters and take pictures and post about cats needing to be pulled; they monitor the cats' statuses for health and risk of PTS. Giving them a picture with a background story will alert them.
And please ask others to post flyers in their back windshield - Norachan suggested it to another member and it worked for them to get their cat back. It is an easy way to spread the word throughout the area (including all those adjacent complexes).
Your cat is very blessed to have such a dedicated and loving person! :catlove::clapcat:
 

Kflowers

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Jul 28, 2018
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Since you have female cats in the area in heat it's likely the intact males will be concentrating on fighting with each other, not with a cat who isn't interested in the ladies. When our girl went into heat (before she was a year old) about ten toms arrived in two days time. They fought with each other, but left the neighbor's fixed male cats alone. The neighbor's cats were plenty big enough to fight, but they seemed to know those toms were just there for our lady cat so they didn't fight for territory with them.

If you wondered, the toms didn't get to meet our girl, who has been fixed, our dog was against it and so was she.
 
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