Cats love the outdoors. They tend to stay outside for hours on those nice sunny days and come back home like clockwork, thanks to their excellent sense of time.
Their body has an amazing rhythm called the circadian. Simply put, the circadian rhythm is a natural process that regulates the sleep and wake patterns in the brain, governed by the rising and setting of the sun.
Meanwhile, cats are very in tune with this process so they would know when to come home.
However, if your cat doesn’t come home as usual, it can bring on a sense of anxiety making you fear that the worst has happened.
Once your cat finally reappears and looks a little disheveled, it is. That is the time to think about how to prevent your cat from evading you again.
How To Care For Your Cat When It Returns Home
Feed Your Cat
Depending on how long your cat was absent, it may or may not be hungry.
Monitor your cat to ensure that he is not just wolfing down the food as eating too quickly could cause your cat to be sick. Note that freshwater needs to be available.
Check For Cuts And Wounds
Check for any open wounds and inspect its fur for fleas and ticks. You can inspect for ticks by running your hands through its fur to feel for abnormalities.
If ticks are present, you might notice a bumpy feel in their fur. You can remove the ticks yourself, or have a veterinarian do it.
Either way, make sure you save the ticks in an enclosed container and have them checked for lyme disease. Your veterinarian will advise on how to do this. If possible.
Bathe Your Cat
Bathe your cat using a mild shampoo, baby shampoo will work fine. Use a comb while bathing to check for fleas.
The water and shampoo will kill any live fleas, but a veterinarian will probably suggest using a topical flea control solution usually applied to the back of the neck.
This treatment will need to occur once every month for at least three months to be successful at killing any unseen fleas.
Monitor Your Cat
Monitor your cat over the next few days for any behavioral and eating disorders. Any change could signify a health concern brought on by whatever ensued while your cat went missing.
You might want to check your cat’s feces in case it was exposed to worms from anything they may have eaten.
Behavioral changes could be a sign of pain, fear, or anxiety. Your cat may have experienced a traumatic event while missing and just needs time and a little TLC to help it recover.
Spay Or Neuter
If your cat hasn’t been spayed or neutered, he may have a tendency to roam again.
Spayed and neutered cats have a longer life expectancy, no unwanted litters, are less likely to develop cancer, and are typically more well-behaved.
Microchip Your Cat
Microchipping your cat is a much better alternative to a collar and name tag. This tiny device will not prevent your kitty from becoming lost, but it will help it in being found if someone finds it and takes it to the vet.
A microchip is a tiny electronic device twelve millimeters long that is usually implanted between the shoulder blades of a cat using a syringe.
The microchip stores a number which can be seen with a scanner found at a veterinarian’s office and pet shelters.
They link the number to a database containing the owner’s pertinent information so the owner and pet can be reunited again.
Build An Outside Fence Or Enclosure
Now that your cat is back home, you will need to decide on whether you want to allow your cat the freedom to roam the neighborhood again.
If you like you keep your cat inside but still give it an option of enjoying the fresh air, then perhaps a fence or a cat enclosure would work.
If you decide on a fence, make sure it’s built at a proper height of at least six feet, so it does not entice your cat to jump over it. You will also need to cat-proof the top of the fence by using either roller bars or netting.
A cat enclosure is a great option if you can not build a fence. You can build it as a temporary or permanent structure, and they can range in size depending on your yard and needs.
Materials for an enclosure can easily be found at any hardware or home improvement store and can usually be built over the course of a weekend.
Why Do Cats Wander Away?
There are many reasons a cat might wander off. Here are just a few listed below.
- A cat may wander off to look for a mate if it is not neutered or spayed.
- Curiosity gets the better of some cats, and they may have wandered off to check something out.
- A cat might become disoriented if it wanders too far away.
- Cats are nosy. They may enter an opened building, only to find it shut when they want to leave.
- Cats may get bored with their surroundings and wander off to find something more appealing.
- Chasing prey
- Another animal or person chased it away
Tips On Finding A Lost Cat
There’s nothing more excruciating than the thought of never seeing your beloved cat again. Here are a few tips in helping you locate your missing feline.
- Distribute fliers with your cats picture and contact information
- Check trees in and around your property, as cats like to hide in high places
- Alert your neighbors to be on the lookout
- Shake the treat jar
- Call for your cat
- Place your cat’s bed or blanket outside. Cats have an excellent sense of smell and may find their way back with a familiar scent.
Your missing cat is liable to keep you awake at all hours with worry. Celebrate its return and think of ways to avoid it from going astray again. Hopefully, this article can help with that.