Our missing cat has just appeared in the garden....

in Pets & Pet Care
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  • listerlister Forumite
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    troo wrote:
    8 years ago our neighbour stole our cat, we went round to get him back and they denied it, saying they've never had a cat. Mr troo stuck his head round the door and saw a big cat basket and a food bowl :mad: Another neighbour said they definitely had him, they'd seen him going in and out the house. A few weeks later cat-thief neighbours went away for the weekend and my next door neighbour found the cat in her garden, he was almost dead. We took him to the vet and was told he had cat flu and would probably die. Cat-thief neighbours came home and we marched round there and they said 'oh we knew he was ill and thought he'd probably be dead by the time we got back'. Anyway he didn't die and they stole him again. We moved a few weeks later, the nice neighbour kept an eye out for him but never saw him again.

    That is one reason to get cats microchipped... Cat 'theft' is actually illegal, but you have to be able to prove ownership, and a microchip is an excellent way to do so.

    Twice in the past eighteen months I have had cases of this with cats we have recently rehomed (from a Cats Protection branch). One case was especially blatant. We rehomed a proper silver tabby which then disappeared on about the second day it was allowed out. Despite our best efforts, we didn't find it (we normally do in these situations), but were very pleased to get a call from a local vet about three weeks later to say he had the cat. Someone had fancied a silver tabby and had taken him in, kept him inside for three weeks, then gone to the vets and asked for him to be chipped... Vets always scan first before they chip (or at least they should - although I happen to own a two-chip cats myself), so had found our chip. I read the woman the riot act in no uncertain terms.

    troo wrote:
    THREE YEARS LATER, the cat jumped through our window :eek: I nearly threw him straight back out til I realised who he was.

    How did he know where we were? And how did he get here?

    Cats can have very large ranges, espcially males, and more particularly unneutered males. Even neutered males can have a range that goes half a mile to a mile from the house (depending on the shape of the territory). Once he got close (perhaps half a mile away), he might well have been able to smell and hear familiar things.

    For cats who return over longer distances (sometimes thousands of km), it is done in a similar way to many birds who migrate long distances. They use the sun and earth's magnetic field to help navigate.

    Most perplexing of all are the handful of cats who have travelled hundreds and even thousands of km to a place they have never been to before to locate their owners. I have no idea how they manage it - other than sheer determination.
  • getcartergetcarter Forumite
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    My kitten disappeared last year, he was being looked after by my parents and just shot out of the door one day - he was chipped and wearing a collar but haven't heard anything. Do vets check every new cat that comes in to them even the ones with owners? He was only 7 months old so I assume (not too happy but better than the alternative) that he was taken in by someone.

    Got another kitten now, but don't know whether it's worth chipping or not.:confused:
  • FranFran Forumite
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    lister wrote:
    Once he got close (perhaps half a mile away), he might well have been able to smell and hear familiar things.
    Ah that's it Troo, it smelled you! I'm sure it's a lovely smell too. :D
    Torgwen.......... :) ...........
  • BossybootsBossyboots Forumite
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    getcarter wrote:
    My kitten disappeared last year, he was being looked after by my parents and just shot out of the door one day - he was chipped and wearing a collar but haven't heard anything. Do vets check every new cat that comes in to them even the ones with owners? He was only 7 months old so I assume (not too happy but better than the alternative) that he was taken in by someone.

    Got another kitten now, but don't know whether it's worth chipping or not.:confused:


    My colleague had a cat that took to living her bin cupboard. She knew nothing about cats and put a bed in for it and got it some food. This went on a few weeks before I finally realised what was going on. I had only overheard snippets of conversations up to then. I told her to take it to the vet to see if it was chipped. She hadn't even thought of that. In the end, she telephoned Cats Protection and someone came out to her with a scanner and it was indeed chipped and returned home. The cat had been missing for nine weeks and living at hers for five of those. If we hadn't had a spell of bad weather, she might never have done anything about it and just carried on.

    The only thing is, having been returned home and not been seen at my colleague's for a few weeks, it has now come back expecting to sleep in her bin cupboard. She knows the owner of the house two doors away from where the cat lives and she says it is a much loved and well looked after cat so she can't understand why it keeps going off.

    If the cat had not been chipped, another colleague was going to look after it until a new home could be found so I think it is worth getting them chipped.
  • listerlister Forumite
    239 Posts
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    getcarter wrote:
    My kitten disappeared last year, he was being looked after by my parents and just shot out of the door one day - he was chipped and wearing a collar but haven't heard anything. Do vets check every new cat that comes in to them even the ones with owners? He was only 7 months old so I assume (not too happy but better than the alternative) that he was taken in by someone.

    Got another kitten now, but don't know whether it's worth chipping or not.:confused:

    Yes - vets should check. Even if they forget to check before, they always scan afterwards to make sure the new chip is working, so have a good chance of finding the other one first.

    Rescue organisations such as CP and the RSPCA will also scan any animals they go out to. Even if a cat is run over and not found by the owner they will often be checked - I end up doing quite a lot of this, especially at this time of year when unneutered males in paricular are wandering more (and they usually end up either at a vets for a few days in their fridge to see if an owner can be found, or with the local environmental health department (who will also scan any bodies they get alerted to)).

    Most of the cats I reunite with owners are because they are chipped (our branch reunites 20-30 cats a year). I have reunited cats after months, and in a few cases, years because they are chipped. Just make sure you update the database when you move - a good few chipped strays now don't get reunited because their owners have moved and we cannot find them.

    Unfortunately a lot of friendly cats who wander will get taken in and not reported to any local organisation. That is most likely what happened to your kitten. I have been called out to strays only to be told that the person who called it in has another cat they took in a year or two ago (hence why they can't keep this 'stray'). This usually bothers me a bit, but as long as it is a good home I figure it is better not to get involved after so much time.
  • NikkiNikki Forumite
    775 Posts
    Great story and one I shall keep in mind next time our male cat goes walkabout. We had a phone call from BIL(who was house sitting)a couple of days into our holiday just before 1/2 term,saying he couldn't find Mew. He finally strolled back in 3 days later much to our relief. Just before we moved in Nov there was a ginger cat hanging around our street, we'd never seen him before but he was very friendly. He spent 2 nights meowing outside our back door to be let in but we didn't want encourage him as he looked well cared for and figured he'd got himself a little confused as to where he lived. He was around the same age as our kittens at the time and we felt really sorry for him(we made him a shelter for the night as he wouldn't go away)and it would have been very easy for us to have taken him in(we even went as far as phoning the animal rescue centre to ask what we should do). After those 2 night we never saw him again so hopefully he found his way home.
  • carrie483carrie483 Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    Great story op and all the others, see this is the main reason i have dogs. I couldn't allow one of my pets to wander around where it likes, i would worry too much. When i'm at home my dogs don't leave my side, they even follow me into the bathroom :rolleyes:.
    Accept that some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.
  • trutru Forumite
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    Fran wrote:
    Ah that's it Troo, it smelled you! I'm sure it's a lovely smell too. :D

    Not at the moment it's not :rotfl: I've just walked almost 2 miles in the hot muggy sun with 2 bags of shopping, I need a shower :D

    I showered this morning so it's fresh sweat, not stinky BO :p
    Bulletproof
  • Bargain_RzlBargain_Rzl Forumite
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    Wow, Quackers what an amazing story! ... I live in a "cat thief" household I'm afraid - "our" three cats actually belong over the road, they live variously at several different homes around our neighbourhood and have multiple aliases! Usually at weekends when I'm in all day I leave the back door open so they can come and go as they please; we keep food for them and keep an eye on them medically as we suspect they're not too well looked after at home (they never seem to have minor wounds treated, and don't wear flea collars, hence current infestation I'm tackling!) We don't have beds or litter trays for them, or try to restrict their movements to our house, as they're not ours, and it wouldn't seem right. However, if any one of them had a serious health problem we wouldn't hesitate to get it sorted ... there have been rumours in the neighbourhood for some time that the real owners may be planning to move away from the area, and my housemate reckons that if they ever do, he'll go over and ask if they might let him keep the cats!
    :)Operation Get in Shape :)
    MURPHY'S NO MORE PIES CLUB MEMBER #124
  • Jay-Jay_4Jay-Jay_4 Forumite
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    Awwwwww :)

    That's lovely Quackers :)

    I took in an RSPCA cat a couple of months ago. She's about 8 years old and is the most lovely little thing. She obviously been very well cared for in the past as she's so calm and laid back (I'm practically sat on her at the moment!). I wonder if her old owners are still looking for her somewhere or if she had an elderly owner that passed away.

    Whatever happened, she has a lovely home here with us, probably just like so many of the missing cats on this thread. There's always hope that these lost puss cats are snuggled up on someones duvet every night and not wandering around eating bin scraps or worse.
    Just run, run and keep on running!

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