Why Do Cats Go Missing For Days – Is It Normal?

A missing cat can be a pet owner’s worst nightmare. After all, everyone is aware of the famous saying, “Curiosity Killed the Cat.” Moreover, with more and more missing cats being reported, a legit question is why you are bound to ask, why do cats go missing for days?

Cats go missing for days when they have lost their way home and are unfamiliar with their surroundings. An unneutered or unspayed that is in heat may go missing for days seeking a mate. Most cats return home within two days.

So, let’s get started on why these curious cats go missing and other frequently asked questions about the missing cats.

Reasons Cats Go Missing For Days

Take a look at the main six reasons your cat goes missing below. If you know the reasons, you can surely take some preventive measures to ensure your cat does not go missing.

Your Cat Is In Heat

This is the main reason that cats go missing. If an un-neutered or un-spayed cat is in heat and sniffed the scent of the other gender’s cat, it will follow the smell and go missing from the pet owner’s house.

Cats can travel miles following the smell, and they can remain missing for almost a week.

Your Cat Might Be Distracted By Prey

Cats have a natural predator instinct. Hence, if your cat spots a prey outside, maybe a mouse, then it can act on its instinct and follow the prey.

You can expect your cat to return once she is done with her hunting.

They Have Found A More Favorable Environment

Cats do not like changes. Hence, if there are some significant changes in your lifestyle or your home, your cat will lookout for a more favorable environment and can disappear.

For instance, if there is a significant renovation going out at your house, your cat might get stressed with many people coming in. Similarly, if there is a new member in your family, your furry friend might not like it. It will go in search of a favorable environment.

Someone Else Is Feeding Your Cat

Imagine an old, kind lady in your neighborhood who feeds your cat with all the delicious foods that are your cat’s favorite! How can your furball not be bribed?

If someone else in your neighborhood is feeding your cat, you can expect her to disappear for a few hours to relish food. Once done, she will return to you.

Fending Off Another Cat

Catfights are infamous, aren’t they? In all possibility, your cat might have disappeared to fend off another cat who has entered her territory.

Your Cat Might Have Met With An Accident

Your cat can get hit by a car while busy exploring the environment, or it might have eaten an infected rodent. This can be fatal for your cat.

Why Do Cats Disappear For Days

Cats disappear for several days as they love exploring and are curious and inquisitive creatures.

A cat’s instinct is hunting, as they are predators by nature. Hence, your cat might want to explore the surroundings and the outdoors, look out for prey and satisfy its instincts.

How Long Do Cats Usually Go Missing For

Cats can go missing from anywhere between 24 hours to even 10 to 12 days. Some cats go missing for days together when her family is on vacation.

Many times, if a cat has been missing and is searching for a mating partner, it will not return home till the mating is done.

Is It Normal For A Cat To Be Gone For 2 Days

It is normal for a cat to be gone for two days and then return to its owner. In many reported cases, cats gone missing for many months have also returned to their owners.

So, going missing for two days and then returning home is like a cakewalk for a healthy cat.

Do Cats Come Back Home After They Run Away

If your cat has run away simply because it wanted a little adventure or wanted to mate, it will come home again. Moreover, if you have already experienced your cat going missing once and then coming back home, you can be assured that she will come back home again.

However, in some instances, like if your cat has run away due to changes in home’s environment, or worst case, they have met with a fatal accident, they will not come back.

Where Do Cats Go When They Go Missing

Depending upon why the cat went missing in the first place, they can go to another cat for mating or to a neighboring house that feeds it. 

You can expect your cat to go anywhere. Since they are mischievous, they also tend to hide at the most unexpected places like sheds and garages.

Can Cats Find Their Way Home If Lost

Even though cats have natural homing capabilities, young kittens who are always accustomed to living indoors will not be able to find their way back home.

However, for adult cats, the homing sense is a bit better, and they can find their way back home if they are in a vicinity of 3 to 4 miles from their home. If the distance is more significant than that, cats cannot know the directions to home.

When Should I Be Concerned About A Missing Cat

Your cat can go missing in action for a few hours and be back. You should not be concerned for the first 24 hours.

However, if your cat does not return even after 24 hours, you can start looking out for her. It would help if you considered here that some cats go missing for days together before returning home.

What Should You Do If Your Cat Goes Missing

If your cat has gone missing, you can start looking out for her and follow the below suggestions:

Immediately Inform Your Vet

You should inform your vet if your furry friend has gone missing. A passer-by might pick up your injured cat and take her to the vet for treatment.

Inform Your Local Animal Authority

It would help if you let your local animal authority know about your missing cat. So, they can let you know if someone informs them about a pet cat being found on the streets.

Go Looking Around in Your Neighborhood

Often, cats wander around in the neighborhood and hide at the most unexpected places, simply because they like it! 

You can look around in the neighborhood by calling out your furry friend’s name. You can also ask your neighbors if they have spotted your cat.

Put Up the Missing Posters

Put up the missing posters of your cat with a good photo for identification and a contact number. Please make sure you put it in your surrounding areas.

You can also distribute flyers in your area.

Publish a Missing Report on Missing Pet Websites

In this age of social media, you should not hesitate to use social media as a means to find your cat. Post the missing information on all the relevant social media platforms and put the missing information on the websites that help find the missing pets.

Things To Consider

If you do not like the idea of your cat going missing on you, follow the below few tips to minimize the chances of your cat running away.

Consider Spaying or Neutering Your Cat

If your cat has been spayed or neutered, it will not yearn to go out for mating. Hence, you can expect that your cat will stay only with you.

Train Your Cat to Respond to Click

Often known as clicker training, you can train your cat to respond to your click. Once she responds, you should give her some of her favorite food treats. By practicing this exercise, it will become easier for you to find your cat hiding somewhere in the neighborhood.

Use a GPS Tracker

This small and efficient device will help you locate your cat if it gets lost. You can attach it to your cat’s harness.


Welcome to FAQCats! We are a team of cat owners and writers who love to write about everything related to cats. We strive to provide the most accurate and helpful information about cats through extensive research and caring for our own fur-pals!

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