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When pets run away
04-27-2012, 12:56 PM,
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Mantis Offline
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When pets run away
Certainly not the happiest thread, but what are your experiences with this? A couple of years ago around Christmas my older tabby cat ran away. She was a really good friend since I was a young boy, so as you might understand, I spent a couple of days out in the freezing cold on black ice putting up leaflets everywhere, and also submitting information to online pet databases.

Unfortunately, no one got back to me. Even to this day, I refuse to believe she is dead. I know in the future I'll need to accept that, but today it isn't an option. It's very possible she was taken in somewhere and she's still alive and being well looked after. Now, one of the main things that comes to my mind is why our pets choose to do this. My cat, like most cats, didn't venture far outside of the neighbourhood, or at least that was the assumption. As a child, she often tried to follow me to school, but I sent her back home.

I sometimes wonder if perhaps she wanted to finally explore the world outside of our neighbourhood, realising she didn't have too long left. Perhaps she had an intention to return home, but got lost somehow. There are many possibilities, but it pains me to think of the most negative ones. I think a lot of people underestimate the intelligence of most animals. Cats are such intelligent creatures, and I thought my cat enjoyed living here, but she must have had some kind of motive.

What are your thoughts regarding pets that run away? Despite advising my parents to do so, they didn't give her a collar or a chip which is ridiculous. Due to the experience, I'll do one better than that. When I get a cat when I move into an apartment, I'll be putting a GPS tracker on it!
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04-27-2012, 01:35 PM,
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RE: When pets run away
I know the feeling, Mantis.
Once when I was walking in the neighborhood at night, someone drove by and asked me if I saw a dog. He lost his dog and was looking for it all over the places at night.

The thing with cat is, sometimes they aren't intentionally trying to "run away" from your home. They could simply get lost on their way to explore the world. Although I do not believe it is common for cat not be able to find their way home. Sometimes they could be grabbed by other people. One time I had a unknown neighbor's cat walked right into my door as I just got home. I could have had the cat if I simply closed the door. I had to keep my door open and show the cat way out. It could be the case with yours.

A GPS tracker in the collar would definitely be the best way to track your cat.
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04-27-2012, 01:57 PM,
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RE: When pets run away
I had multiple pets escaped during my childhood.

A turtle, and two Parakeet.

I had that turtle since I was six. One day it was just gone and I couldn't find it at all. I thought someone in the neighborhood could have found it and took it in. As for the parakeets, they broke the cage and flew away. We realized that in the morning and there was nothing we could do. There was no sign of them anywhere.

There were also two Parakeets flew into my home a few years later on two separated occasions. I took them in lol. There was no way to know where they came from, and since they couldn't have survived on their own, I took them in and gave them food.
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04-27-2012, 06:24 PM,
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RE: When pets run away
I haven't ever lost any pets, but one cat gave me a good scare. I had just moved into my new house the day before, and there was another hour or so of moving things in before I could return the truck. For the main move in day my two cats Tayla and Max had been kept in the bathroom, where they hid under the clawfoot tub all day. That night I let them out to explore the house. The next day, after loading the truck and cleaning out the apartment, I shut Max in a room while we loaded the last stuff in. He lived to go out and would sneak out any chance he got. He didn't know this neighborhood, so I had to be carefull with him. Tayla was scared to go out, so I didn't worry too much about her. That evening when everyone had left, I couldn't find her. I searched the entire flat, then the yard, then most of the block, calling as I went. I thought I heard faint meows a few times, but I couldn't tell where they were coming from, or if I was imagining things. I finally gave up and went to bed. The next day I spent searching the neighborhood again, making and posting lost pet posters, and calling all the animal shelters in the region. I also visited our local shelter to look for myself. The next day she still hadn't turned up. I decided to go check the shelter in the next county, and since I was going that way I might as well take my realtor the light fixture I was getting rid of that she wanted. I went to the basement to get it, and out of habit I called for my cat while I was down there. I was rewarded with a weak pathetic wail coming from a small storage room at the far end of the basement, and my cat came slinking out to find me. All that searching, and she'd been hiding in the basement the whole time!
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04-27-2012, 08:49 PM,
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RE: When pets run away
Ouch, I can imagine how relieved you were when you finally found her. Did you spend time to take down those lost cat posters and call back at the animal shelters to tell them you found her? What trouble she caused you. I am all for planting GPS tracking devices on the pets who are capable of leaving the home. It is even easier for you to track them in door.
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04-28-2012, 01:14 PM,
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RE: When pets run away
(04-27-2012, 01:35 PM)Admin Wrote: One time I had a unknown neighbor's cat walked right into my door as I just got home. I could have had the cat if I simply closed the door. I had to keep my door open and show the cat way out. It could be the case with yours.

She was a timid cat, so it's highly unlikely she'd ever try to enter another's house since she was always very shy. Heh, now that you mention that, there's a black cat that has recently kept trying to come into the house. I wish my mother wasn't such a nutcase around animals. She always chased it out, but it was the friendliest and most affectionate cat. Thumbsup

(04-27-2012, 01:57 PM)Ram8349 Wrote: I had that turtle since I was six. One day it was just gone and I couldn't find it at all. I thought someone in the neighborhood could have found it and took it in. As for the parakeets, they broke the cage and flew away. We realized that in the morning and there was nothing we could do. There was no sign of them anywhere.

There were also two Parakeets flew into my home a few years later on two separated occasions. I took them in lol. There was no way to know where they came from, and since they couldn't have survived on their own, I took them in and gave them food.

Sorry to hear about the turtle and parakeets. I wonder how many animals are actually capable of regretting "running away". I certainly hope your pets ended up in good care. It's great you took care of those two parakeets. It may have been a good idea to put some notices on Post Office noticeboards or various other places in case the original owner had seen them.

(04-27-2012, 06:24 PM)Karenskatz Wrote: I haven't ever lost any pets, but one cat gave me a good scare. I had just moved into my new house the day before, and there was another hour or so of moving things in before I could return the truck. For the main move in day my two cats Tayla and Max had been kept in the bathroom, where they hid under the clawfoot tub all day. That night I let them out to explore the house. The next day, after loading the truck and cleaning out the apartment, I shut Max in a room while we loaded the last stuff in. He lived to go out and would sneak out any chance he got. He didn't know this neighborhood, so I had to be carefull with him. Tayla was scared to go out, so I didn't worry too much about her. That evening when everyone had left, I couldn't find her. I searched the entire flat, then the yard, then most of the block, calling as I went. I thought I heard faint meows a few times, but I couldn't tell where they were coming from, or if I was imagining things. I finally gave up and went to bed. The next day I spent searching the neighborhood again, making and posting lost pet posters, and calling all the animal shelters in the region. I also visited our local shelter to look for myself. The next day she still hadn't turned up. I decided to go check the shelter in the next county, and since I was going that way I might as well take my realtor the light fixture I was getting rid of that she wanted. I went to the basement to get it, and out of habit I called for my cat while I was down there. I was rewarded with a weak pathetic wail coming from a small storage room at the far end of the basement, and my cat came slinking out to find me. All that searching, and she'd been hiding in the basement the whole time!

Wow. Cats sure are curious little mites. Really glad you found her in the end. On a couple of occasions my cats have explored neighbours' garages, only to be locked inside. Thankfully, the longest that happened for was only a day or so. I once heard about a cat that had been shut inside a garage for ages, but survived by licking the walls or something. Icon_eek
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04-28-2012, 05:26 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-28-2012, 05:30 PM by Karenskatz.)
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RE: When pets run away
All the more reason to notify your neighborhood when you pet goes missing and ask them to check garages and sheds. Also, talk to neighborhood kids and to your mail carrier. They get all over and might spot your pet. ALso notify Animal Control and go there and check IN PERSON frequently. When a friend's dog went missing, I also found out who picked up dead animals along the roads (Hwy Dept) and gave them a copy of her flier. Help your pet find their own way home by puting something you have worn or a used litterbox outside in a weather protected area like a porch or car port to give them a scent trail to follow. If your pet is microchipped (and it SHOULD be!!!!) notify the microchip registry that you pet is missing so they can flag the file. If you don't find your pet and give up on getting it back, if you ever move or change your phone number be sure you notify the microchip registry . Pets have been found years later and states away! And by all means, notify everyone and take down your posters when your pet is found!

I've heard of those GPS tracking collars and I wish I could afford one but they're realy expensive. If I could afford one, next time I trapped a nursing mother cat, I could follow her to find the kittens!
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04-29-2012, 06:44 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-29-2012, 06:44 AM by Fishbone.)
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RE: When pets run away
That is awful. A few years ago, we took in a little tiger striped kitten, she had gotten into the tire well of one of my wife's co-workers car, and apparently made it 12 miles on the interstate. So we took her in, got her cleaned up, tested, vaccines, etc... She never really "tamed" down. She was sweet, very good with the other cats, and never mean or actually scared, but she was wary of us. After a few years we could pet her here and there, but just generally feral. She got out one day. We could never get her back in. We saw her around for about 6 months, at night. There are a few feral cats in our neighborhood, and the males seemed to go after her. Then we just stopped seeing her. Poor thing Sad We tried quite a bit to try to get her back in, lure her with food, she would sit across the street from me for an hour, never walk over, and walk off if I got up. Like she almost wanted to, but not really. She was sweet, just not domesticated. She would climb up in the Christmas tree both years she was here, she liked the real tree the second year much, much more...


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Okay, now I'm sad Sad Very sad subject....
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04-29-2012, 11:59 AM,
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RE: When pets run away
Fishbone, I am sorry to hear that.

It seems some pets value "freedom" over free food and shelter. Quite the opposite of many other pets who won't leave even you want them to because of the free food and sometimes they simply had become obsessed with you.

No wonder some people keep their cats indoor at all time. No chance for them to get into any trouble including run away from you.
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04-29-2012, 05:11 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-29-2012, 05:20 PM by Thor.)
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RE: When pets run away
The key phrases are "never really tamed down" and "Fine with other cats but wary with us." That sounds strongly like a feral cat. How old was she when you found her? If she was much over 8 weeks, you missed the window of opportunity. She would naturally be fine with the other cats because that's the society she knew from the start. She never got to know people. You did what you could for her, but it seems she was more comfortable out doors. Sounds like maybe a more dominant cat chased her out of the area. It's rough. I've had a few that I wish I could socialise and find a home for, but it's just too late for them and I have to leave them outdoors because that's where they're most comfortable.
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04-30-2012, 01:35 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-30-2012, 01:37 AM by Fishbone.)
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RE: When pets run away
(04-29-2012, 05:11 PM)Karenskatz Wrote: The key phrases are "never really tamed down" and "Fine with other cats but wary with us." That sounds strongly like a feral cat. How old was she when you found her? If she was much over 8 weeks, you missed the window of opportunity. She would naturally be fine with the other cats because that's the society she knew from the start. She never got to know people. You did what you could for her, but it seems she was more comfortable out doors. Sounds like maybe a more dominant cat chased her out of the area. It's rough. I've had a few that I wish I could socialise and find a home for, but it's just too late for them and I have to leave them outdoors because that's where they're most comfortable.

You are very right. She was feral, she calmed down while we had her, and was very sweet, but never was tame. My wife really liked her though, so we basically had a wild cat in the house. Ahh, what's a zoo without the wild cats, right?
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