Do lost cats come home?

Cats get lost every day. Pet parents would naturally want to have the pet back. Unfortunately some cats that have wandered away from home never make it back. A lot of cats though manage to come home. Cats do not intentionally run away. These animals are known for their excellent sense of direction. As such, a lot of cats that have gone missing can eventually find their way home. It may take days, weeks or even months but some cats can come home and be reunited with the human family.

Cats by nature are solitary animals. Cat owners are aware of the fact that their pets are very much different from dogs when it comes to showing affection. However, this is not to say that cats do not form strong bonds with their owners. Cats can be the owner’s very loyal friends. Pet cats therefore do not have the inclination to run away. Maltreatment from the hands of an abusive owner will not make a cat jump ship. Cats are also territorial animals. It is uncommon for these animals to wander too far away from home. However, some situations would make a cat venture away from its territory. The great outdoors would be an exciting unfamiliar place for a cat that has spent all of its life indoors. The lure of the outdoor sights sounds and scents would be too much to resist thus a door that was left ajar would give the cat an opportunity to wander away from home. Cats are curious animals. One that is investigating the rustling movement at the back of a truck can be spirited away. An outdoor cat can get lost if chased out of its territory by a dominant or aggressive animal. Will these lost cats manage to find their way home? Some lost cats can come home and be reunited with the owners. Other cats will not be able to find their way home and remain separated from the owners forever.

Cats that remain lost may have found another home. It is also possible that the cats died from vehicular accidents. Cats that were lost would need to fend for themselves. Cats are hunters by nature but the ability to survive on their own is somehow diminished when cats were domesticated and become pampered pets. The lost cat may have become the victim of predators or have succumbed to a fatal illness.

As mentioned, other cats will find their way home. Some of these “lost” cats were not really lost. Tom cats are inclined to wander especially during mating season. The cat would be gone for a few days so that the owners would think that the pet was lost. To the owner’s surprise and delight the pet would come home and settle to its usual routine as if nothing extraordinary happened. Other cats that were really lost can find their way home because these animals have excellent sense of direction. It is often said that it is impossible to intentionally lose a pet cat because of the animal’s excellent homing instinct. Studies have proven that cats have the ability to return to their own territory when lost or stolen. This is the reason why cat parents that have moved to a new home are advised to keep the pet indoors as there is a good chance that it will return to the former home which is considered as its territory. Cats can return home when lost because of a phenomenon called psi trailing. Psi trailing refers to the amazing ability of cats to find their owners after being lost for some time. Although unsupported by scientific evidences, psi trailing is believed to be associated with the bond that exists between owner and pet.

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