Stray Cat Missing

tabbytom

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Hi everyone. I am thrilled to report that Monty showed back up this morning - I looked outside at about 11:00 am and he was eating the food that I had left out. I have no idea where he could have gone for the past 3 days, but I am so glad that he returned. Is it normal or expected for them to go missing for periods of time and then show back up?
That's great to hear! It's normal for them to wander around and cats sleeping habits change all the time. One day you'll find them sleeping here and the other day at another place. They sleep wherever they find comfortable.

Yes, please bring him in if you can. Many good advice from the above posters and also if you can, take some photos of Monty and show him to us.
 

shadowsrescue

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You could still use your bedroom if that would be possible. You could either block under the bed or temporarily put your mattress on the floor. You could start him in a large cage and then allow him to be in your room with the door closed.

Yes, some feral cats do not adjust to inside living. But the majority do. It just takes time and patience and lots of effort on your part.

Outside is a dangerous place.
 

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Thank you both SO much for the wonderful advice. Unfortunately, I don't have a spare room to keep him in since I live in a 1 bedroom apartment - I just have my bedroom, my small bathroom, and the rest is an open concept kitchen and living room, so I'm not sure where I would keep him while he adjusted to being inside. I had him in an XL dog crate for one night after his neuter. He tolerated it, but he was NOT thrilled at all and seemed very upset. I would feel so terrible having to keep him in a crate for weeks or months while he got acclimated. Do you think that I should try to keep him inside now, or give it a few more weeks/months to allow him to settle down since he was just neutered 2 weeks ago? Is it possible that some feral cats just never adjust to being inside?
I would absolutely take Monty inside in a heartbeat and give him a forever home - I absolutely love him. I just want to do what is best for him and I don't want his wellbeing to suffer from being inside since it would be such a huge change for him.
Thank you all again for your support and very helpful advice!!
When he settles; ... :)


Good Luck! ... 👍


Btw, I'd recommend purchasing this scratching post. It's tall enough so (as Jackson Galaxy mentioned) the cat is able to get a full stretch.

Cat 33.5 Inch High Scratching Post
 
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lynne8832

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Thank you all for such wonderful advice! Monty has come by multiple times since he went missing (or I guess he was not really missing and he was just out wandering, haha!) He came by yesterday at 10:00 am for breakfast and I haven't seen him since then, so it's been 24 hours, but I am not as worried as I was last time since now I know that he may wander off for a few days and then come back. I also talked to one of my neighbors that lives on the other side of the apartment complex - they feed some of the other stray and feral cats that live in the apartment complex and they said that they have seen Monty a few times per week when he stops by, so clearly he has a few different locations that he hangs out at, which makes me feel better! It seems that if he does go missing for a few days, I can now be confident that he is probably just at one of his other spots and it is less likely that something bad has happened. I am going out of town in 2 weeks and I will be gone for 1 week, so I think that I will try to bring him inside when I get back - I would just hate to bring him inside now and then have to leave for a week while he is still adjusting. I still worry about him, but I know that he is a very smart cat that has been able to take care of himself - they estimated that he was about 4-5 years old when I took him to the shelter for his TNR appointment, so he has clearly been able to take care of himself for a long time, so hopefully a few more weeks of waiting to bring him inside will not really make a difference. Since Monty is the first stray/feral that I have ever cared for, I did not realize that stray cats can have such variable routines - it seems that it can be normal for them to disappear for weeks at a time and they are usually okay and will return eventually. I was talking to one of my friends about the situation when Monty was gone for a few days and she said that she used to care for a very friendly stray cat that went missing for an entire year and then came back one day!
 
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lynne8832

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Waiting until you get back in a really good idea. Is there someone who could still feed him while you are gone? Even though he may have other places to eat, you want him to continue to return to your feeding area.
Yes! I was out of town for 2 weeks in December and one of my friends came by to refill his dry food, water, and wet food every day, so I can definitely have someone come by to leave food out for him while I am gone. I just hope that nothing happens to him over the next few weeks before I have a chance to get him inside - I would feel so terrible and blame myself if anything happened to him, even though I know that I am doing everything that I can do for him. Should I be worried that I haven't seen him since 10:00 am yesterday (it's been about 36 hours)? I feel like he may start coming by less since it's been so nice out here - it's been 70 and sunny for the past few days so maybe his routine will change now that it is spring and not winter. I have lived in this apartment for a year and a half and didn't ever see him until December, so he clearly has multiple spots and a routine that changes.
 

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He still has his hormones and with the warmer weather, he may be out thinking he needs to find a mate. That should all start to settle in a week or two. Some male cats even after neuter do continue to wander. It just depends on how used to wandering they were before the neuter. Most of my stopped wandering about 4 weeks after neuter. I did have one boy that never stopped wandering. He would worry me sick. I bought surveillance cameras to keep an eye on him and see if he would come at night. It helped to ease my mind that he was still around.

You have a plan. Don't worry about something happening. Send positive energy that he will be just fine! A wise friend told me that energy flows where attention goes. So send your energy to positive places!
 
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lynne8832

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Hi everyone!
I just wanted to give an update on Monty - he is still coming by, just with varying frequency. Last week I barely saw him and he only came by every few days, but he has been here more often in the past few days. Yesterday he came by about 3 times (early morning, late morning, and afternoon) and he even spent a few hours sleeping in the cat bed that I have outside for him, which he hasn't done in weeks! I last saw him yesterday evening at about 7:00 pm and he came inside for food. I left food out for him overnight, but he didn't come by overnight or at all today - we had a big storm with a lot of wind earlier, so I have been a little bit worried about him, but I'm sure that he has endured worse weather during his time outside and it seems that he knows how to take care of himself. I am a bit less anxious when I don't see him for a few days, since I know that he is probably completely fine and just hanging out somewhere else, but i still do get worried! I'm hoping that he will stop by sometime tomorrow so that I know he is okay after the storm.
 

tabbytom

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we had a big storm with a lot of wind earlier, so I have been a little bit worried about him, but I'm sure that he has endured worse weather during his time outside and it seems that he knows how to take care of himself. I am a bit less anxious when I don't see him for a few days, since I know that he is probably completely fine and just hanging out somewhere else, but i still do get worried! I'm hoping that he will stop by sometime tomorrow so that I know he is okay after the storm.
I'm sure he knows where to take cover. Looks like he has a few pitstops.
 
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lynne8832

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He ended up showing up yesterday at around 11:00 am so I think he was hiding during the storm. He didn't come overnight last night and hasn't come back today - it's been cold and raining all day so I'm hoping that he is just hiding from the weather again. I definitely get very worried and stressed about him when he doesn't show up for a few days, but he ends up turning up every time I worry about him. I am just bummed that he isn't spending as much time here as he used to, but I know that I am doing absolutely everything that I can for him - I TNR'd him, leave food out for him, and he can come inside any time that he wants to. I have also heard that sometimes stray or feral cats can disappear for weeks or even months and show back up, so I try to remind myself of that whenever I worry about him.
 

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It will be a great day, When I/we will read that the boy is in the house. Maybe a bit restless at first, but safe. He'll learn what having a home is, as well as posting for advise/recommendations. Remember; Patience and Time. And the "obligatory" posting photos, of how well you Catiffy'd your apartment. ..🤞🤞

Yeah, it will certainly be a great day! ... :bigeyes:


Btw, here's the new link to Frisco's Scratching Post; Cat 33.5 Inch High Scratching Post
 
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lynne8832

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Hi! Sorry for the delay, I was out of town on vacation. One of my friends came by to feed Monty while I was away and she said that he was here constantly sleeping on the chair on my porch and the cat bed that I have outside for him! He last came by on Friday morning. I got back into town yesterday, and he didn’t come by at all yesterday, overnight, or this morning, so it’s been about 2 and a half days since he’s come by, which is strange considering that he was here so often while I was out of town. I try not to let myself get too anxious when he does this though, since he’s done it before and I know that he is a smart cat. Hopefully he will come by within the next few days!
 
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lynne8832

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By now it’s been almost a full 3 days since Monty last came by, which seems strange considering the fact that he was here so often while I was out of town - he was coming by 4-5 times per day and sleeping on my porch for hours while I was away, and he hasn’t shown up in almost 3 days now. I’m not sure if I should be concerned yet, as he has been gone for a few days before, it just always makes me think the worst when he does this. I just took a walk around my neighborhood to see if I could find him. No sign of him, but I did see about 4-5 other stray/feral cats, so I think there are a bunch of them that hang out in the area. I assume he just travels around and that’s why he goes missing for a few days at a time
 
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lynne8832

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At what point do you start to worry about a stray or feral when they are not showing up like normal? 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month? I feel like he is more than likely fine, it just seems strange to me that he went from being here all day Saturday-Wednesday to not showing up at all these past few days. He had gone back to sleeping here overnight, which he has not done in at least a month, so it seems strange to me that he started doing that again and then disappeared for 3 days out of nowhere. Could this be normal? Just hoping that it doesn't mean that something happened to him :(
 

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Some of the former feral cats I care for have disappeared for 2 months and then showed up again. If there are other feeders in the area he's most likely OK. You just have to get used to the fact that cats wander off whenever they want to. The only other option is to make him an indoor only cat, but that doesn't work with all ferals.
 
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lynne8832

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Some of the former feral cats I care for have disappeared for 2 months and then showed up again. If there are other feeders in the area he's most likely OK. You just have to get used to the fact that cats wander off whenever they want to. The only other option is to make him an indoor only cat, but that doesn't work with all ferals.
This is so reassuring, thank you so much. Was the feral cat that disappeared for 2 months one that showed up regularly? I think I just worry when his routine changes so suddenly, but again, I’ve never cared for a stray or feral cat, so I think I’m just not used to trusting that they can take care of themselves outside. I have definitely gained his trust over the past few months since I started feeding him, but he is still very feral and skittish, so I don’t know how well he would transition to living in a small apartment and I feel like that may just cause him a lot of unnecessary stress. I think my biggest fear is that he will get hit by a car, but I think I need to trust that he is smart and probably knows to avoid the road. There are a lot of other stray cats in the neighborhood, so I think that my neighbors are probably also feeding them, so maybe he travels around to different areas and that’s why I don’t see him for a few days at a time. It definitely puts it into perspective and makes me worry less since it’s only been 3-4 days since I’ve seen him and your cat came back after 2 months :)
 

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Was the feral cat that disappeared for 2 months one that showed up regularly?
She's an 11 year old feral born cat that I've been caring for since she was about 3 months old. I was feeding the neighbourhood cats and it took me about 6 months to lure her and her litter mates indoors. She now lives with me and my other cats, but has outdoor access to a big enclosure. The thing is, in spite of all my efforts to make the enclosure fence cat proof, she's really determined to get out. The other 12 cats are happy to hang out here but Lizzie does that squirrel hop thing from tree to tree until she can get on top of the fence and then take off into the woods.

Sometimes she'll go out for a couple of hours then be back at dinner time. Sometimes she's out for a day or two, comes home to eat and then is gone again an hour later. Every summer she takes off for weeks at a time. Her longest ever outdoor adventure was 2 months and three days. She worries me, but there's not really anything I can do about it. I live in a very remote area in the middle of a forest so I guess it's a nice place for a cat to run free.

She's not really a feral cat anymore. She's very affectionate, loves to be groomed and petted and regularly sleeps on my bed. It's just now and again she gets the call of the wild and she can't resist it.
 
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lynne8832

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She's an 11 year old feral born cat that I've been caring for since she was about 3 months old. I was feeding the neighbourhood cats and it took me about 6 months to lure her and her litter mates indoors. She now lives with me and my other cats, but has outdoor access to a big enclosure. The thing is, in spite of all my efforts to make the enclosure fence cat proof, she's really determined to get out. The other 12 cats are happy to hang out here but Lizzie does that squirrel hop thing from tree to tree until she can get on top of the fence and then take off into the woods.

Sometimes she'll go out for a couple of hours then be back at dinner time. Sometimes she's out for a day or two, comes home to eat and then is gone again an hour later. Every summer she takes off for weeks at a time. Her longest ever outdoor adventure was 2 months and three days. She worries me, but there's not really anything I can do about it. I live in a very remote area in the middle of a forest so I guess it's a nice place for a cat to run free.

She's not really a feral cat anymore. She's very affectionate, loves to be groomed and petted and regularly sleeps on my bed. It's just now and again she gets the call of the wild and she can't resist it.
Wow! So she’s a feral that you’ve clearly been taking care of for a long, long time and she still disappears - that makes me feel better about Monty’s sudden change of routine. I was wondering why he would be here constantly for a week and then not show up for days, but it seems like that’s just what feral cats do and I have to assume that he’s okay and will return eventually. I think Monty would be the same way if I tried to keep him inside - he has lived outside for so long and I’m not sure he would ever want to be a 100% indoor cat. I think I just need to trust that just because he isn’t here for a few days/weeks, doesn’t mean that he’s not okay or that something happened to him :)
 

tabbytom

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Hi! Sorry for the delay, I was out of town on vacation. One of my friends came by to feed Monty while I was away and she said that he was here constantly sleeping on the chair on my porch and the cat bed that I have outside for him! He last came by on Friday morning. I got back into town yesterday, and he didn’t come by at all yesterday, overnight, or this morning, so it’s been about 2 and a half days since he’s come by, which is strange considering that he was here so often while I was out of town. I try not to let myself get too anxious when he does this though, since he’s done it before and I know that he is a smart cat. Hopefully he will come by within the next few days!
Yea, I guess it's the timing of coincidence when he's around and you are out of town. I also agree Norachan Norachan that the cats can be gone for quite awhile before showing up again and yea, get them indoors is the best thing to do.
Over at my place, it's the same. some community cats disappear for some time and show up again. I did follow one of the cats and he went like 4 - 5 streets away and he looks at home over there. So these cats come back after awhile.
 
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