10 Reasons Why Cats Run Away from Home & How to Deal with It
Wednesday , May 22 2024
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10 Reasons Why Cats Run Away from Home & How to Deal with It

10 Reasons Why Cats Run Away from Home & How to Deal with It

Missing cats and why do they run away? Pet owners never want to think about it, but unfortunately, it happens with alarming regularity: Their best friend runs away from home.

While any pet, whether a dog or cat, can get lost in the great outdoors is problematic. Unlike dogs, calling cats isn’t conceivable to bring them back, and they’re vulnerable to predation from other animals.

If you’re worried about your cat friend running off, it would be helpful to understand why they leave, then you can think about what you can do to bring them back. Here, we look at ten common reasons cats run away and how you can deal with it.

Here are the 10 reasons why cats run away from home

1. Reproductive intuition

Reproductive intuitions are strong, and if you don’t neuter your cat, it’ll be overcome by a powerful desire to roam and find a mate every time its cycle comes along. It’s not only females that are helpless either. If an unaltered male detects a whiff of a female in season, they’ll do almost anything to chase them down.

  • How to Deal With It: The clear answer is to have your cat neutered or spayed as soon as possible. It will remove the desire to leave their home in search of a mate and has bonuses, such as lessened aggression toward other kittens and a more extended lifespan.

If you’re not ready to have your cat fixed, your options are limited to being attentive about keeping them inside. It would be best to get your cat microchipped, ensure the information on their collar is up to date, and consider investing in a GPS collar that will help you track them down once they go missing.

2. They Want to Claim More Territory

Cats have an unappeasable hunger for acquiring new territory. Once your cat has become entirely comfortable in their home, it may desire to expand its empire. That’s specifically true if your area is full of outdoor cats.

If your kitty sees these other cats intruding on their territory, they may need to get out there and show those cats who’s boss. It is bad because it makes your cat more likely to run away and increases the risk of fight that can expose them to all kinds of dreadful diseases, like feline AIDS.

  • How to Deal With It: The desire to claim territory is most powerful in unneutered males, so this problem can be mitigated by having your cat neutered. Try to remove the temptation to walk by limiting their ability to see what those other cats are doing outside.

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3. Fear and Stress

Cats may run away from home if they feel threatened or stressed in their environment. This could be due to a new pet or person in the home, loud noises, or changes in their routine.

  • How to Deal With It: You must determine the stress’s source before solving it. If it’s another animal causing the trouble, you may need to provide your nervous cat as much room as possible. If it’s due to a temporary situation, such as moving, you’ll need to try to make things as comfortable for your cat as possible. Moreover, give them plenty of attention until they get comfy.

4. Medical Issues

Sometimes, a cat may run away from home due to an underlying medical condition. This could include pain, illness, or a urinary tract problem. Taking your cat to the vet regularly is important to ensure good health.

  • How to Deal With It: It would be best to take your cat for regular vet visits to ensure they are in good condition. It may help you catch severe diseases before they progress. Beyond that, it’s primarily about checking in with your cat daily. Giving your regular cat attention will let you determine if they’re feeling sick or have a wound of some sort.

5. Cheating on You

If you have an outdoor cat that will disappear for days before coming back or one that goes at the same time daily, there’s a possibility that they have another family somewhere nearby. Maybe they have more delicious treats or more exciting toys than you do at home. It’s not unusual for a cat to have a ‘backup home,’ specifically if they’re being spoiled.

  • How to Deal With It: If you know the other owner, you can talk to them and ask them to stop providing treats to your cat. Otherwise, it would be best to put a GPS tracker and collar with ID to find them easily.

Read Also: Why Do Cats Sleep So Much? – 7 Reasons

6. Lack of Attention

Cats are social creatures and need attention from their owners. If a cat feels neglected or ignored, it may run away to seek affection elsewhere.

  • How to Deal With It: It doesn’t take much to meet your cat’s attention needs, so try to cut out a few minutes to play with them in a day. It’s suitable for them, and it’s good for you too. You can also enlist every household member in your group to get your furry friend’s attention.

7. A pregnant cat giving birth

If your cat successfully meets their mating intuition, you may have a pregnant cat on your hands. And it’s usual for pregnant cats to hide. Pregnant cats will usually seek a secret and safe place to bring their kittens into the world. Therefore, if you have a restricted home with dogs or children running around, don’t be surprised if your pregnant cat is missing.

  • How to Deal With It: If you have a pregnant cat, you need to give her part of the home and make that area as relaxed as possible—giving her blankets for heat and keeping essentials such as water, food, and a litterbox nearby.

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8. Hunting instinct

Your cat will likely run away from home because of its natural and deeply rooted hunting behavior. Inherently, the domesticated cat friends we share our houses with today share a hereditary lineage with wild, big cats, which are masterful hunters. It’s no mystery that for most of history, big and small cats depended on hunting to feed themselves.

  • How to Deal With It: The desire to hunt is deeply rooted in your cat, and you won’t be able to turn it off. Shift that energy by playing with the cat. You can use toys or a piece of string to give them something to stalk and seize on, satisfying their desire to kill.

9. They’re Scared

When your cat gets scared, one of its most powerful intuitions will be to get away from whatever’s threatening them. If something in your home scares your cat and there’s an open door or window nearby, your cat will probably run to safety. A neighbor’s dog has run off multiple outdoor cats, and that chase could see them running a long way from home.

  • How to Deal With It: It’s impossible to predict everything that could scare your cat, but that doesn’t indicate you can’t try—giving your cat a safe location to interact with the world. It would be best if you also were extra careful whenever something happened that could scare your cat away. It includes construction in the area, holidays with fireworks, or anything else you can think of.

10. Curiosity

Cats often run away because they are curious creatures who love to investigate and follow their interests. Maybe your cat likes chasing insects or butterflies in summer; maybe they got diverted by a friendly squirrel or neighbor child. Even lovely weather is enough to cause them to leave your lap in a hunt of excitement.

  • How to Deal With It: There’s not much you can do. Your best chance is to keep them inside and be quite alert about not leaving doors open; however, your entire family needs to be alert at all times, which likely isn’t realistic. You can enhance the odds of that happening by giving them a well-made collar with an ID tag and maybe a GPS tracker.

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How missing cats find their route to come back home

Here are some aspects that can help your cat buddy return home on their own:

  • Home instinct:

A cat’s homing behavior is its capability to guide it back to a familiar place. While it is not entirely understood, it may have something to do with cats’ keen sensitiveness to the Earth’s geomagnetic domain, which helps them to figure out their way home. However, remember that not all cats are trained at homing; indoor cats do not have this ability compared to outdoor cats.

  • Cat sense of direction:

Cats’ great sense of direction helps make their homing instinct strong. Using their advanced senses of hearing, smell, and vision, cats have been known to find their path home from miles away. In addition, the iron in cats’ ears and skin may work as a natural compass.

  • PSI trailing:

In some special cases, cats have found their way back to a loved one, through an unknown part, to a destination previously unfamiliar to the cat. It is known as psi-trailing, and there is not much of a scientific reason for it – but some cat parents’ stories reveal that cats may have some way of following their parents, regardless of where they go.

These are three reasons to stay hopeful that you will be reunited with your cat again.

Read Also: How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat?

What to Do if Your Cat Runs Away

  1. Contact local shelters and vet clinics to report your missing cat.
  2. Put up flyers in your neighborhood with a picture of your cat and contact information.
  3. Set out food and water in the area where your cat was last seen.
  4. Use social media to spread the word about your missing cat.
  5. Consider working with a professional pet detective to track down your missing cat.

How to prevent a cat from running off

There are several things a cat parent can do to stop a cat from running away from home. Even if you have an adventurous outdoor cat, you have chances to keep your cat safe and close by. Here are some of the best tips for preventing a cat from running away:

  • Get them fixed:

Neuter or spay your cat to stop them from running off. Many cat parents can worry less about their male cat going missing once they’ve spayed their cat.

  • Cat-friendly relocation:

Make your activity a cat-friendly one.

  • Keep your cat inside:

Whenever feasible, specifically during cold months or high game activity times, such as dawn and dusk.

  • Create a catio:

Aka outdoor cat enclosure, so your cat can relish the outdoors without the chance of getting lost.

  • Microchip your cat and ensure they have ID tags:

By doing this, other people will know that your cat already has a family.

  • Engage and keep your cat aroused:

You can do this at home with healthy activities & play.

  • Restrict your cat’s roaming area by setting up a Tractive GPS Virtual Fence:

It will help notify you if your cat crosses the border and other restricted areas.

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Cats are known for their independent nature and tendency to roam. But when they run away from home, it can be a stressful and emotional experience for their owners. By providing a safe and secure environment, plenty of attention and stimulation, and proper identification, you can reduce the risk of your cat running away.

In addition, if your cat goes missing, taking quick action and utilizing all available resources can increase your chances of being reunited.

Swati Kaushal is a blogger who loves writing about Dogs. She is happy to amplify her unique knowledge and experience through DogExpress in the hope of helping and educating concerned pet owners. She has two dogs and believes dogs are a source of unconditional love.
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