How Long Can An Outdoor Cat Go Missing

One of the worst things that cat owners face is when their cats go out every night. Some people handle the situation better than others, but the truth is that you never know when your cat will be back. This creates all sorts of uncomfortable feelings that lead to anxiety and a lot of worries until they return. The worst scenario is when they take longer than usual to return. Knowing what to do in these situations is the best that you can learn.

So, how long can an outdoor cat go missing? Outdoor cats can go missing from a few days to a few months. Although they usually return within a few hours or days, there are stories of cats that went missing for years until they returned home. The main reason this happens is that a cat either got lost, hurt, or died. This is why it’s so important to have a way to track down your pet.

Now, remember that your cat is likely to come back if it’s been only a few hours. If that isn’t the case, you can learn below what to do to find your pet. It’s a great idea to already have a way to track them down before they go missing.

Many cat lovers are starting to experiment with different tracking devices that let them know where their cat is. So, read ‘til the end to know exactly how to find your furry friend.

Don’t Worry In The First Few Days

It’s completely normal for outdoor cats to go missing for a few days. Obviously, if your cat does return home every morning, then maybe you should worry when he’s been out for more than one day. Generally, you shouldn’t worry before 48 hours, but depending on your cat’s habits, it might be the case.

Now, the important thing is that you have a way to find your cat if he doesn’t return after a certain time. Think of ways to find your cat like going to the places you know the neighborhood cats hang out. He might be hurt or stuck.

So, always make sure that you look for a cat after 48 hours. Still, if there’s been a week or even longer, your cat might still return. The problem with defining an amount of time is that cats vary too much from one another when it comes to personality and habits.

Get A GPS Tracker Collar

A GPS tracker collar is the best solution for your cat. This is an invention send from cat heaven and everyone should have it. You can pretty much use a tracker to locate where your cat is at all times. This is important because you can find him when he’s hurt, stuck, or lost. A lot of cats get hurt by other cats, cars, and humans. That’s why having the tracker collar is such a great idea.

All you have to do is to put the collar and get the app that’ll allow you to track your cat from your phone. It’s simple and easy, and your cat won’t mind the invasion of privacy.

So, make sure to get a GPS tracker collar to put you at ease every time your cat goes out. The best collars have a nice range and signal. Also, make sure to look for the one that has good quality when it comes to the fabric of the collar as well. The BARTUN GPS Pet Tracker is one of the best in the market. You’ll find your cat with one of those no matter where. Get yours here.

Take Your Cat’s Personality Into Consideration

Cats go out a lot. Most cats go outdoors every day. This habit is usually developed from an early age and happens usually at night. Now, if your cat is missing, you should always take his personality into consideration.

The reason is simple. If your cat is street smart and usually takes longer to return, there’s a greater chance that everything is okay. If he’s too innocent for this world, you should go looking for him as soon as possible.

Now, there are so many possibilities to what might have happened that the best that you can do is to look for him in the places he usually hangs out. Cats also do not have the habit of going out too far from home, so there’s a great chance you’ll find him in the neighborhood.

The good news is that he’s likely hanging out with other cats, or he’s after a female companion.

Some Cats Return After Weeks And Months Even Years

If there’s been more than one week that your cat is gone, then the chances that he’ll show up get smaller. Still, you should continue trying to find him. Some cats return home after weeks, months, and even years. The main reason is that they get lost or stuck somewhere else.

Now, this is why it’s so important to know where your cat goes when he’s out. You can’t possibly know every location, but at least the main ones. Also, make sure to put a tracker collar on him. This way, you can track him down.

The whole point is that you can keep your hopes up, but the best thing that you can do is to have methods to find him. If you know where he usually goes and even can track him down, these are great starts for you. Below you can see the most common methods to find your cat.

Check Nearby Roads

Unfortunately, you have to look everywhere. If you’re worried, chances are that your cat’s being missed for a long time by now. This means that you must check every possibility. This includes nearby roads. Your cat might be hurt or even dead.

Obviously, you shouldn’t make a conclusion before being certain, but you must cross every possibility off the list. Any nearby road, large or small, must be checked. Cats go out at night, which increases the odds of being run over by a car.

Check the side of the roads. Your cat might also be lost and wandering the nearby roads, so the news might not be as bad if they’re there. You can also ask your neighbors if they saw your cat. This is the best moment to have a photo of him on your phone.

Post Missing Photos Around The Neighborhood And Online

There’s no denial in the power of the community. In times of need, these are the moments that you’re going to need to count on your neighbors and fellow humans. It’s time to get practical. Post missing photos of your cat around the neighborhood and online. Any social media platform will do here. What you need at this point is to reach the largest number of people possible.

Now, make sure to include a way for people to contact you and a good resolution photo on the post, so people can easily identify your cat. It’s also a good idea to put them in places that there are a lot of people walking by such as the grocery store, supermarket, and malls.

So, make sure to post the photos around the neighborhood and online. Ask your friend to help by sharing the photo with their social media friends as well to help your reach.

Check Local Animal Rescue Centers

The next step that you should do is to check local animal rescue centers. There’s a chance that your cat is there. This is also why it’s always a good idea to put a collar on your cat, so people know that he has an owner. Otherwise, he may be mistaken for a stray cat. No matter how clean and well-few your cat is, people will assume he’s stray.

Now, make sure to have a photo before going to the animal rescue center and get as many things that identify your cat as you can. The point is to make it easier for them to locate your cat. Often times, cats with a home are there just waiting for the owners to come and pick them up.

So, make sure to look for all the animal rescue centers near your house and begin hitting them up immediately. Since time is important here, you shouldn’t wait for too much to do this.

Consider A Chip

Finally, you should consider having a chip inserted in your cat. It’d make your life that much easier. The chip isn’t that expensive and takes very little time to do the procedure. Afterward, your cat will be more easily identified and located. The chip will help you track him down and make sure that the cat you have is really your cat.

There isn’t any recommendation against the use of microchips, so you don’t need to worry about them. The technology is also simple and every place that usually handles animals will have the device to read the chip.

Final Thoughts

So, an outdoor cat might go missing for a few days, but more than a week is worrisome. Since this varies, the best thing that you can do is to take your cat’s habit into consideration to get started looking for him.


As a kid, J. Cesar has always dreamed of becoming Dr. Dolittle. When he isn't writing, you can find him supporting his favorite football team or eating ice cream with his best dog-friend by his side. Linkedin Profile, My Website

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