for Indoor-only cats
It's often confusing to owners of missing pets which search methods
to concentrate on, when it seems like their pet could be "anywhere."
Generally speaking (and when no outside forces have displaced the
cat) the personality of the pet determines the behavior when missing.
The behavior when missing will determine the best method of recovery
and, to some degree, the distance from home.
find the optimal method of recovery, first determine which of the
three profiles best describes your cat's personality. Then click on
the hyperlink to read the section that describes the recommended method.
recommended methods are listed in order of higher chance to lower
chance of successful recovery, but no single method is meant to be
used exclusively.. . simply, if your energy is limited (and it always
is) then concentrate more energy on methods listed first, and less
on the latter. You should do as much as you can because any of these
methods might be the one that will reunite you with your pet.
Complete Cover Cat
Completely relaxed at home. . .completely freaked out outside.
CLASSIC COMPLETE COVER CAT:
This is an indoor-only cat that thoroughly adores its special
people (or special cat friends), and pretty much could let the
rest of the world disappear if it had the choice. It has shown
fear of the outdoors, runs from strangers and new cats. When outside,
this type of cat will find the surroundings overwhelming, will
not be very resourceful in getting food and water, is least likely
to show itself, not likely to approach a stranger. If this description
fits your cat the best, it has the highest chance of going into
the complete cover mode. Read Understanding
Indoor-Only Cats to understand why cats in this profile behave
the way they do.
Best Methods: Trapping, Foot
Distance: Very Close, 1-5 houses away
Case Example: Sage
FRIENDLY WALKABOUT CAT:
This is an indoor-only cat that thinks the world is all good.
There is very little that it fears. It is friendly with a wide
number of humans and cats, and maybe even dogs. Calm, easy going,
and inquisitive by nature, has not shown fear of the outdoors
and does not run from strangers or new cats. While this type of
cat may be somewhat uncertain once it gets outside, it may become
very resourceful and has the highest chance of making its presence
known and even approaching another human.
Best Methods: Flyers, Talking
Directly with Neighbors, Foot Searches
As the name suggests, there is a chance this cat may wander the
farthest. 0-2 miles ?
Case Example: Alex
FERAL WALKABOUT CAT:
This is an indoor-only cat that is extremely timid with humans,
and seems more comfortable around cats. This cat may have been born
of a feral mother, may be more likely to be a spayed female rather
than neutered male. This cat has shown interest in being around
other cats, shown interest in the outdoors, but runs from strangers
and is not very bonded with its people. While this type of cat will
likely be resourceful in getting food and water, and may show itself
from afar, it is less likely to approach a human and may run if
Best Methods: Feral Rescue Techniques,
Sitting Outside, Flyers
This cat will likely develop a range, or home turf that it is familiar
with. If there are existing feral cats in the area and plenty of
food, most likely it will stay within the same range, farther distance
than the Classic Complete Cover Cat but probably closer than the
Friendly Walkabout Cat.
Case Example: Gidget
case examples are the very extreme form; most cats will be a little
of one profile and a little bit of another profile. At any time
in your cat's adventure, there could be triggers (injury, illness,
dog or predator etc.) that push it into more of one profile and
less of another profile. The distinction between these three types
of behavior within the indoor-only category is very new and still
being developed presently. Info here may change or be added to as
new patterns emerge. Thanks to MoniQue for comparing notes with
me and contributing her knowledge of feral cats.
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