You can find even more inspirational stories of lost and found cats by visiting the testimonial pages of lost and found pet groups and pet detectives.
Here are a few:
You can find even more inspirational stories of lost and found cats by visiting the testimonial pages of lost and found pet groups and pet detectives.
Here are a few:
Cosmo is an outdoor-access cat that had been living at his current home, an apartment in the greater Boston area, for 5 years before he went missing. This story is as told by his owner who would like to remain anonymous.
Lost 12/6/11 Reunited 12/24/14
My cat, Cosmo, went missing after he got out during a thunderstorm. I put out over 700 posters, I got a few sightings but you never know if they are your cat. Then a woman called saying she thought my cat had gotten into a fight with hers. I went over to her place and looked at the fur on the ground; it matched my cat’s. I hired a search dog. We went to the fight spot and the dog immediately picked up Cosmo’s scent. First, it told me my cat was alive (which was a joyous relief) and then the dog mapped the path that Cosmo had been following.
I ran into someone I knew in the area and he said I could put a camera and trap in his yard. His yard was down the street from the cat fight and on the search path. I got a picture of Cosmo the first night. Everything looked like it was going to work out and then I couldn’t get him to go into the trap. He came only late at night or at dawn, and would not go into the trap.
No matter what I did and yes, I tried sardines. I trapped eight cats and a possum and did this for six weeks, checking the track every two hours. I also walked the track path each morning and evening, about two miles each day. Everyone in the neighborhood of the trap was also looking for him. No one saw him, even though I got him on camera almost every night. In addition, I started a treat, fur, and catnip trail home to my house, which was about five blocks away. I also tried a drop trap, with no success. Finally, after six weeks I really didn’t feel I could stay in their yard anymore and trapping simply wasn’t working. There were other cats that came by who also wouldn’t go into the trap. They would eat the food up to the trap, like Cosmo, but not go into the trap. And I could tell they were really hungry.
I asked two retired ladies who lived next door to where I was trapping if I could put some food and a camera out in their yard. They were home all day and they would keep an eye out for him. He found the food immediately, but so did the rest of the cats in the neighborhood. The food would usually be gone. Here he is sad and limping, so I knew he had been attacked (see Video 03 below). He came to this location every night but they never saw him. I did this for two weeks.
I laid the treat trail every night and had another search dog track. This time I shared the expenses with a couple who had been looking for their cat for months. The search dog found their cat four houses away. It was just too afraid to come out. They had walked past that house over 100 times calling for it.
With the second search came good news. The path Cosmo was following was closer to home and I felt like he was making his way back. After this track, I put out new posters around the new path, put posters in every single person’s house along the way and talked to as many people as possible. But when your cat only comes out late at night posters, CraigsList, and other places are just wastes of time. No one sees him, but people will continue to call with sightings of other cats. I came to realize that I was spending all my time chasing other people’s cats.
Then finally one of my neighbors saw him one night in my yard looking at the house so I knew he was back in the neighborhood and could stop leaving the trail. Then I put cameras and food around my house and on my porch. It took a long time, but I finally got him on camera again. Here he is in my backyard (see Video 04 below). But he was so scared he would just come by once late at night and then I wouldn’t see him again for months. Then I got a picture of him on my front porch. Watch when he turns his neck. As you can see, he survived a pretty bad attack (see Video 05 below).
Finally, about a year ago, I heard a cat fight on my back porch. I went out in time to see two cats run away. I called out but no luck. I looked on the camera and saw that it was Cosmo and also saw that he had gotten chased away by the same cat that I believe beat him up and chased him out of the yard three years go. Here he is right on my back porch just about to go into my back porch door when Cosmo senses the cat coming up the steps and tries to hide (see Video 06 below). The cat appears (see Video 07 below) and they run away fighting (see Video 08 below). It was a non-neutered cat and they don’t like any males around. I decided I wouldn’t leave food out so the other cat would go away but he still hung around; he was so hungry I saw him eating frozen cat food in the snow so I couldn’t let him go hungry; I decided I would get him into the house and adopt him. Unfortunately, the next week he showed up sick or wounded. He could barely get up the steps. I thought he had been hit by a car. Animal Control took him to the vet and it turned out he had water on his lungs and there was nothing they could do. It was really sad because he was so friendly (towards people, anyway). I kept the camera, catnip, and treats on my porch hoping that Cosmo would come back after the cat’s scent dissipated.
Anyway, I have since kept the camera up and the happy ending is I have my cat back. Someone picked him up (I think he must have gotten so weak from starvation that he eventually let someone come near him) and brought him home to his house as a pet for his father. Fortunately for me, his father was allergic so they brought Cosmo to Kitty Connection in Medford. After all I had done, if he hadn’t been allergic… Anyway, he’s lost about half his weight and has kidney failure. Used to weigh 12 pounds, now about 6. He didn’t know me and wouldn’t even look at me. Just crawled into a corner at Kitty Connection and refused to look at anyone. They said he hadn’t even meowed since they got him. It was so sad. But then when he walked into my apartment, he knew he was home. He became really animated and started walking around, smelling his bed and the place where he once found a mouse. And then when I took out some chicken (his favorite) he gave out a loud happy meow and did what he always does when I give him something he likes–rubs his head against my hand and purrs loudly. I was supposed to give him an IV but he’s been drinking pints of water since he came home and looks really good. He came home Tuesday, Christmas Eve and by Thursday he had eaten half a roast chicken and three cans of tuna. I don’t know where he put it. It was a nice Christmas present! Here is a picture of Cosmo from Kitty Connection’s newsletter.
Dear pet owners,
I wanted to share my missing cat story with some helpful tips, so that I can give both hope and direction to pet owners who are in the situation that I was in, as I am fully aware of what a distressing situation it is to be in.
We are a family of 4 and we had our beloved Siamese cat, Fudge for approximately 14 years before one day he suddenly went missing. We live in a house on the outskirts of London, where there is plenty of open space, and he was a cat who enjoyed playing throughout the neighbourhood gardens. He lost his eye sight due to a genetic problem when he was 11 years old, but this did not deter him from roaming the gardens and he could navigate very well. In fact, it had taken us a while to realise that he had lost his sight because it was almost as though nothing had changed for him. Although he was rather timid, he was a very intelligent cat with an excellent memory and losing his sight heightened all of his other senses.
Each evening after his daily adventure, without fail, he would come home to have some dinner and to relax in the warmth of the house, but one evening he did not come back. We thought he may have got stuck in somebody’s house, so we decided to wait another day before taking action. After another day without him showing up, we feared the worst.
We decided to take action with a number of approaches to get him home safely. Time is of the essence in these situations, and I have put an action list below to help all pet owners trying to find their loved ones:
1) Create a ‘Missing’ poster – ensure that key information is put on the poster, including:
After you have designed your missing poster, print off several 100 and post them through the letter boxes of the surrounding houses in your neighbourhood. It is also worth posting them through the houses on streets adjacent to you. Additionally, you should post posters up in areas that lots of people are likely to see, such as lamp posts, post boxes etc. It is also worth asking local shops and vets to put the poster up in their shop.
2) Post an advert in the local newspaper – ensure that key information is captured from the missing poster and this will be an effective way of raising awareness. The cost of placing an ad for us was £50 and we did get quite a few calls with people thinking they had seen Fudge. If you have pet insurance then contact your provider, as they may provide financial assistance on advertising for your pet.
3) Inform local animal organisations, such as the RSPCA. If anybody calls their local animal authority it is important that they are aware that your pet is missing. This can be an effective method of retrieving your beloved pet, so please make sure you have done this. If you are unsure of the contact information of your local RSPCA, then enter your location with ‘RSPCA’ on a search engine to find out.
The RSPCA can reach a wide audience quickly to help you find your pet, as they often tweet to raise awareness to help bring pets back to their owners.
4) Search, search and search. Search your pet’s favourite hiding places, search your garages and sheds, search high and low in your local area and don’t give up hope. Leave items of your clothing in your garden – this will help your pet navigate home through their strong sense of smell.
5) Microchipped Pets – Although Fudge was not microchipped, if you are lucky enough to have had your pet microchipped then contact your providing company and inform them your cat is missing – make sure your contact details are up to date, so that they can easily get in touch.
After we had carried out all of these tasks, we got lots of phone calls about Fudge’s whereabouts. A lot of them proved to be false sightings, but we did not give up hope. Each day before work I would set my alarm 1 hour early and walk in the surrounding roads and parks in search of our beloved pet.
After 10 days of Fudge being missing, it was difficult to keep on going with the search and although we had read other stories of pets being missing for months before showing up, we thought that it would be extremely difficult for him to survive with no food and no water, since he was blind. When all seemed to be lost, we received a call from someone saying that Fudge was in their garden. I did not want to get my hopes up until I had seen him, so I left work and went to see whether it was really him.
I was greeted by a very friendly lady, who lived half a mile down the road from our house. She said that a Siamese cat had been in her garden for a few days and that she had heard about the missing poster through some of her friends who had seen it. I can’t explain the feeling of joy that I got when I saw that it was him! She informed me that she didn’t feed him in case he was someone else’s cat, which is understandable. I offered the reward money to her, but she politely refused despite all my best efforts to hand it over – this act of kindness truly warmed my heart. Fudge was very very thin; a shadow of his former self and to this day, I have no idea how he managed to survive without easy access to food or water, let alone how he managed to safely get into this lady’s garden, as he had to cross at least two roads!
I gave Fudge a big hug and lots of kisses, hugged the lady who had found him and then rushed him home and cooked him chicken breast (his favourite dish). I then informed all of the local pet authorities and places where his poster was that Fudge was found and then I dashed back to work.
From this day Fudge became much more relaxed around everyone; opting to become a sweet indoor cat surrounded by his loving family. This day changed all of our lives for the better and taught us to never give up. Fudge lived 2 more happy years full of love, before peacefully passing away from old age on 15th February 2014.
I have written this post in loving memory of my little prince and I hope that Fudge’s story helps illustrate the importance of generating awareness in the community and word of mouth when trying to find a lost pet. I hope that his story will help other pets find the same happiness in being reunited with their owners. Thank you for reading.
~ Story shared by Andy in London
For those needing a story with a happy ending despite all odds stacked against you! I still cannot believe it. This is a miraculous story that has to be shared with all who have lost their kitty and have given up hope and need inspiration.
My little Spot, a neutered black male who had megacolon went missing whilst I was in Australia. I was devastated. I even paid for an earlier flight back to Italy to try and find him. He needed medication and a special diet in order for him to poop, so to find him a.s.a.p was crucial.
I searched for nearly a month, in the rain and cold. Every day and every night. Near and far. Put up notices. Posted on the internet. Asked every neighbor in a radius of 2 km. I even went around the area the plumber (who was working on our boiler at our house the day Spot went missing) lived. I also searched the area around our bar where the plumber went immediately after finishing up at our house. Nothing. I was an emotional mess.
Then came that dreadful day, about 3 and 1/2 weeks later. I had discovered a black furred piece of skin hung in a tree down the bottom of our property , with fur torn out in hunks a midst the leaves and dirt immediately below the horrible find, indicating a struggle. The piece of skin was quite large, seemingly the stomach of my beloved Spot. There were no other black cats around our property, and Spot had a spot of white on his stomach, hence his name. The pelt I had discovered had even a little white patch of fur on it. I had taken the piece into my vet to confirm it was the pelt of a cat, which she had confirmed. I was inconsolable.
The weeks that followed were just as terrible, I still couldn’t believe he had gone. It’s spring here now, the weather is warm and the grass long. There are birds everywhere.. .the first time in 3 years because Spot unfortunately was an avid hunter…although the last 6 months had sported a collar heavy with 3 bells and since caught very few birds(if any) but he still scared them from feeding around our house. I am working in the vegetable garden now, and I have periods of sadness because Spot used to roll around in the dirt next to me whilst I worked. In fact it was only last week I was still calling his name while I was in the fields, hoping stupidly he would reappear.
Yesterday my partner got a call from our vet. She wanted to see me. I thought it strange. I thought maybe she had a little kitten that needed a home. I couldn’t believe my eyes when she brought out a cage and inside was a little black cat. It was Spot!!!!!!!! I was in shock. I still am. It was impossible. More than 2 1/2 months had passed. Everyone thought he was dead, even I! Incredible!! He was skin and bones. Our vet had had him since Friday. Apparently he was in a very bad way when they brought him in. She had operated, opened up his stomach and removed a huge blockage of feces, that obviously couldn’t be manually extracted. She had kept him there, not calling myself or my partner until today, because she was unsure whether he would make it. She performed the surgery free of charge. She didn’t want the money. I feel like I’m in a dream, I still can’t believe it!!!!!!!
It turns out that Spot was hanging around several cats that belonged to a man (unsure whether they were his cats or he was just feeding them regularly). Can you believe he was the father of someone we know quite well, and his son and his girlfriend both knew my cat was missing?!) He lived about one kilometer from our bar, and about 7 kilometers from our house. Apparently Spot had been hanging around there for a while. Obviously the man saw Spot was in a bad way (unsure how long he was unwell for) and THANK GOD he took him to OUR VET! How amazing!
How he got 7 kilometers from our house remains a mystery. I think probably the more likely scenario was the plumber…going from our house to the bar the day Spot went missing. He ended up only about a kilometer from the bar. The other absolutely mind blowing thing is that he has megacolon! He wouldn’t go for more than 3 weeks without a vet visit. He was on daily medication and a wet food diet. He must have pooped during his adventure otherwise, as the vet echoed, he would have died. He must have been sick at least the last few weeks according the the amount of feces that was blocking him up but the fact remains he survived relatively well without anything for at least seven weeks!
I was convinced my little buddy was dead, and I wasn’t the type of person to believe so readily, but with all the facts stacked up in front of me, his long absence, his state of health and especially the hideous discovery of the pelt, I was finally sadly convinced that he was gone forever. I had ceased to search. Now just imagine if Spot WAS WELL. A healthy cat. That man would never have brought him to the vet. I would probably never ever know that he was actually ALIVE. Alive and living a kilometer away from the bar we work at nearly every day. SO even if your kitty is missing, and you don’t find him/her. It doesn’t mean that they have met a horrible ending. Strange things happen, don’t give up. You could still find them even though it seems impossible. Even in the end if you don’t find them, believe in the possibility of miracles, your kitty could be well and may even be in a new home, because think about my story. If Spot had not had megacolon he would most probably be living years a relatively happy life just a mile from my work and I would NEVER HAVE KNOWN. He would have been just a sad memory, my little buddy who died when I was 20,000 miles away. Have faith. Miracles do happen.
Love Megan…and Spot!!!!!
Originally shared on the Missing Cat Assistance Yahoo! Group and re-printed with Megan’s permission.
These are all stories of cats that were lost away from home and were able to use their homing instincts to find their way back home.
If you are interested in learning about research on cat homing ability, check out Lost Pet Research & Recovery. Since there is so little information available on the homing behavior of cats, I also created a survey to collect data on cases of homing in lost cats. If you have ever had a cat travel home from an unknown location (even a few miles), please consider taking this very short survey. For more information, see the Cat Homing Behavior Survey or click here to take the survey.
Many of you may have heard about the tornado that tore through Springfield, MA, and surrounding towns on June 1, 2011. One man, Michael Roescher, was home with his step-daughter and their seven cats when the tornado leveled their house. Initially he was convinced that none of the cats had survived, but then he miraculously found their goldfish still alive in the rubble. With renewed hope and the help of many friends and strangers, Roescher persisted in his search, and he was able to find all seven cats over the course of five days and none were seriously injured.
Read the full story on Masslive.com
If you haven’t seen the footage of the tornado, check out this video.
After doing everything possible to find my missing (indoor) cat, turns out she was under a neighbor’s porch just two doors away! My next-door neighbors found her this morning (April 8th) — the woman who lives there had been giving her treats — and with their assistance, they caught her and brought her home and said “Happy Mother’s Day!” I burst into tears. Don’t give up; it’s true what they say about indoor cats; they can be hiding nearby and won’t make a peep. I was out on our street last night at 2 a.m. and I was outside that neighbor’s house calling for her (and jingling one of her toys), but heard nothing. I honestly couldn’t believe she was hiding nearby; there has never been a single sighting of her. Some people told me she’d probably been attacked by coyotes (and there are coyotes near us). And I tried to trap her but only caught raccoons.
Dinah is thin as a rail, you can feel every bone, but otherwise she seems fine. She doesn’t appear to be dehydrated (we’ve had a lot of rain and there’s a stream/small pond nearby so I think she was OK for water). I’m not sure how much longer she could have gone without food; I doubt she’s had any. (She only weighs 5.5 pounds now and was 7-8 before.) After scarfing down a dish of food, and meowing constantly for 15 minutes to demand lots of back scratches, she curled up in her favorite bed under a lamp, as if she’d never been gone. She did try to sleep but she’s very agitated and got up again almost right away. I think I’ll take her to the emergency vet just for a checkup.
One month later:
Dinah had two trips to the vet, mostly because she needed fluids and for tests, but she’s fine now. It took her about a month to regain most of her weight (she was down to 5 pounds), and she was exhausted. But she recognized home as soon as she came in the door and was obviously very happy to be back. For the first few days she wouldn’t let me out of her sight.
Looking back at all the things I did to try to find her (from setting out raccoon traps to posting newspaper/Internet ads and checking local shelters), the most effective was simply putting up posters/flyers in the neighborhood and making sure all my neighbors were looking out for her. And not giving up!
Later I found out that one of my neighbors a little farther away had seen her right after she went missing, but didn’t know at the time that I had lost a cat. They called me after they saw one of my posters, but she was gone by then (chased by a dog).
Deborah from Ontario
(Originally shared on Missing Cat Assistance Yahoo! Group)
There was recently a story in the news about a woman near Boston whose apartment burned while she wasn’t home and whose dog was assumed dead. However, nearly one month later, her dog was found living in the burned out apartment (full story on AolNews.com). While this certainly is a miracle, a short search on the internet revealed that there are many similar miracles taking place with cats in house fires. Here are a few of my favorites:
Smoka, Miracle Cat Survives Blaze & Fire Debris: This 16 week old kitten survived 26 days trapped beneath sixteen feet of rubble after a house fire. She was found by the construction crew conducting the clean up and survived her ordeal. (Source: Love Meow blog)
Tally the Cat Survives Explosion, Fire: This cat survived a fire caused by a gas line explosion that took the lives of five people and destroyed an entire row of homes. (Source: The Anipal Times)
‘Miracle’ Cat Survives Deadly Apartment Fire: This family was saved by their cat from an apartment fire that killed several other people. Sadly, the cat panicked and hid in the apartment when they tried to leave. One month later they received a call from their landlord that he had found a cat living in the apartment. They rushed back only to find that it was not their lost cat but another cat that had survived the deadly apartment fire. They later found that the cat’s owner had perished in the blaze so they adopted her and named her ‘Miracle.’ (Source: PeoplePets.com)
Cat Survives Fire by Hiding in Couch: (Source Itchmo: News for Cats & Dogs) There are actually many stories of this kind where the cat is found after the fire and hiding somewhere in or under the house. To find more, just do an internet search with key words “cat survives fire found.”
You may get to the point where you think that you have tried everything possible to find your missing cat. However, few people have tried methods as creative as those used by one woman in New Zealand to find her missing cat, Darwin (a.k.a. Mr. D). Visit the Catnip Chronicles, October 2008, to read Darwin’s story. Note that even though Darwin was missing for six months, he was still found only 1 mile from home. For more great cat stories and other useful information, check out the most recent edition of the Catnip Chronicles.
Here is the news story that covered Karyn’s efforts before she actually found Darwin.