Do Indoor cats come back home? It is impossible not to be concerned with what happens with our cats once they manage to leave the house. Will they be able to find their way home? Or will they get lost?
Indoor cats generally can figure out the way home if they go outside. But, there are plenty of variables. Cats are intelligent animals, but indoor cats that have never been out can get too scared to walk the road to return, or they can be too unfamiliar with the environment and get lost.
Cats have great instincts, but indoor cats sometimes are used to living a comfortable life and are not training their skills too much. So let’s see what happens to indoor cats once they go out.
DO CATS COME BACK HOME?
Cats are super quick and sneaky, and they are known for being pretty adept escape artists. So don’t be too alarmed if your cat sneaks past you when you open the door. But, you may be wondering, do indoor cats come back home? The answer is almost always yes.
Cats have powerful senses and can find their way home, even days after getting outside. However, there are some tips you can use to help bring your cat home faster or to follow in case your cat is not returning as usual from wandering outside.
There are plenty of stories from cats owners reporting their cats coming home after getting out. However, some cats could come back after weeks or months, while some were thoroughly familiar with the surroundings and knew how to go out and get back with ease.
If you have an indoor cat that has never gone out, it could be problematic for him to find his way back, or he could be too scared by strangers, cars, and other animals and, as a result, decide to hide for days. But, again, it depends on what your cat is used to and how skilled he is in moving around, hunting, and protecting himself.
I know of brilliant cats that know how to survive outside, while some cats would not go past a staircase and would stand on a step for days waiting for a rescuer, meowing like hell for help! (true story).
DO INDOOR CATS COME BACK HOME?
Indoor cats have a fantastic sense of smell, so their noses can guide them home from a very long distance away. Furthermore, they have a good sense of direction and don’t often get lost. It just may be hard to find them, even if they stay close by because they are so good at hiding.
If you let your cat go out under supervision, he might have spread his scent around and marked the environment. Indoor cats familiar with the surroundings have higher chances to get back once they leave the comfort of their home.
But what happens to indoor cats that have to spend years inside a house and suddenly run outside? In this case, a cat can have a big problem coming back. You need to look for him or make it easy for your cat to recognize the house. Some owners who lost an indoor cat could get their cat back even after months.
Here is some advice on what you can do if your indoor cat runs out and doesn’t come back:
1. GO OUT AND LOOK FOR THEM
Cats should return for food. If you do not see your indoor cat after 3 or 4 hours, you should go out and look for them. If your cat just went out and it wasn’t planned or has never been outside, you should go out and look for him as soon as you realize he is missing.
When cats run out, especially for the first time, they do not go far. You should look within 5 miles radius and look into any place a cat can hide because it is very possible they are scared and hiding from cars, strangers, or wild animals.
2. USE FOOD
If you do not find your cat, you could put it outside some food or move around looking for your cat, calling for him and shaking his favorite treats box. The sound of the treats might attract him out of his hiding place.
Alternatively, he can also smell the food you left outside and return home. Some cats owners place out the litter box hoping that the more pungent smell of his urine can help their cat come back home.
3. CALL HIM OUT AND SPEAK TO HIM
Cats can recognize your voice. You should call him out or speak loudly while looking for him. Your cat will hear you and come out of hiding. It is crucial that you not sound agitated, scared, or scream. Cats could pick up that something is wrong and decide to keep hiding.
4. LEAVE AN ENTRANCE OPEN
If possible, leave the garage door opened a bit, your window, or the door. Your cat could come back, find the door closed and hide again. They may come back during the night and, not managing to go into the house, leave again.
5. ALERT OTHERS YOUR CAT IS MISSING
Let your neighbors know your cat is missing and tell them to alert you if they see him. Place some fliers around the community and in shops. Use social media to post a photo of your cat and tell people to alert you if they see him.
6. USE A GPS TRACKER
If you know your cat tends to sneak out or is used to leaving the house from time to time, you could get him a GPS tracker so you can find him and monitor his moves.
Here are some ideas for good GPS trackers:Table could not be displayed.
CAN CATS SURVIVE OUTSIDE?
Typically, cats will find a way to survive outside, although indoor cats can have a more challenging time adjusting and learning how to get food and shelter.
Every cat is different, but instinctively, cats can adapt and survive outdoors. Of course, it will vary slightly depending on where you live and what kind of predators they need to protect themselves from. However, even though cats have been domesticated for a very long time, they haven’t lost their instincts.
WHAT DO I DO WHEN MY INDOOR CAT GETS OUTSIDE?
You will want to talk to your neighbors and advise them to keep an eye out for your cat. You can also call shelters and put up flyers with a picture of your cat and your contact information.
You can also post to local social media grounds or neighborhood groups to spread the word to look out for your cat. Include clear instructions regarding whether or not a person should approach your cat and try to apprehend them.
Look thoroughly through bushes, in ditches, and in small spaces where your cat can hide. They are good hiders and do so out in the wild to stay warm and protected.
HOW CAN I ENCOURAGE MY CAT TO COME HOME?
Outside of walking through your neighborhood and letting your neighbors know that your cat has escaped, there are a couple of trusted methods you can use to encourage your cat to come home.
It has been shown that leaving their litter box outside will entice your cat to come home. This is because they will be able to pick up on their unique scent in the litter box, even if it’s clean. You can also try to walk around the neighborhood shaking a bag of their treats, as this sound could easily lure them out of their hiding spot.
It can be easy to panic when your indoor cat gets outside, especially if they have never been out before. Instead, trust your cat’s instincts to keep themselves safe and find their way back home. Getting your indoor cats vaccinated and microchipped are two essential ways to protect them further.
Some cats have even returned home weeks or months after getting outside, so you never want to give up hope that your indoor cat will come home.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How often do indoor cats come back home?
In most cases, indoor cats will come back home, even if only after weeks or months. Cats will try to get back to you and the house. If you look for them and help them find their way back home, their chances are higher. But, in some cases, cats will get lost or get into some accidents.
What to do when your lost cat returns home?
When your lost cat returns home, provide a quiet place for him to rest, food, and water. Do not stress your cat or try to be all over him. When he is ready, he will come to you as usual. If your cat has been missing for a long time, you should consider a trip to the vet.
How long will a cat hide if scared outside?
If cats are scared outside can hide for many hours and even for one or two days. Then, of course, they could come out of hiding only to look for food, but cats can sometimes be so scared to hide for an entire day, although they usually hide for a few hours and come out when hungry.