Lost Indoor Cat Found 25 Days Later – Hiding Under Neighbor’s Porch

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)

This entry was posted in Coyote or Wildlife, Found after less than one month, Found Close to where s/he when Missing, Indoor-Only Cat, Kindness of Strangers, Posters or Flyers. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Lost Indoor Cat Found 25 Days Later – Hiding Under Neighbor’s Porch

  1. Jess says:

    Thank you for this post. Our cat got out two days ago and we maintain hope through stories like yours. We hope to be cuddling our cat soon.

  2. msakewitz says:

    Mine has been missing almost a month and I am very low on finances so haven’t been able to put up more than about ten posters if that. I do have ads in paper, but flyers are better. I do go door to door in the immediate area and spot check (go to some neighbors) in the outskirts. Very hard job for one person and I also do not own a car right now, so I ride a bike in wet cold rainy weather. I need to make more flyers and possibly bait cat out. Very worried as this is new area for me and the cat and could certainly use help. I’m in Keizer, Oregon.

  3. Lisa says:

    What a wonderful story! My cat went missing on 11/18/13, I traveled with her a few times to different places & never had a problem. I can’t sleep without her since she is the light of my life (even more than my husband) I went to visit a friend who lives 1 & 1/2 hrs. away from our home. We were there for 3 days until someone opened the window all the way up & she popped out the screen and escaped the home. I searched the whole neighborhood, posting daily Lost Cat ads on the Internet, putting up flyers everywhere & even offering a reward for her return but nothing. I been checking daily the shelters via online in hopes they caught her but again nothing. I cry & cry about her… She’s my little baby! I do believe in miracles & still have hope & faith I will find her! She is an indoor cat that never been outside by herself unless she’s with me & on a leash. I just wanted to reinforce my belief that I will be reunited with her again so I felt compelled to read about inspiring cat stories as support for me because doubt seems to love to pop up but I refuse to surrender to it! Your story gives me hope & inspiration! I am so distraught! Thank you for sharing!

    • msakewitz says:

      Yes, mine got out of the car after a relocation 50 miles away and it took me almost TWO months to get her back. She was an experienced xenophobic (fear of the unknown) and skittish cat. I was looking more N., and my phone fliers constantly got taken down and some were very mean to me while I looked. It’s easy to think the worse and people help you in that department too. Hence, your own persistence and proactiveness is what works. I used notice boards at Parks and she got out close to a wildlife reserve and she was raised close to the woods, so this is familiar setting for her. I relocated from Salem, South of Portland, and she was 1 to 2 miles away at Sellwood dog park. The flyer on the park notice boards and wildlife trails got me the most response. Also, I updated in handwritten notes on the flyers where she was last seen that she was last seen and where; this kept people involved. I read the missing pet forums and did not have to use a trap or trail camera, those these were tried. I put sardines in can in a bowl of water and if half eaten, most likely domestic; a racoon would knock it over completely and did this at the two places last seen to trail her whereabouts and see if she was backtracking. She looked tired, but okay and her collar had been around her neck and in-between her legs. She was even described by a jogger as feral, but when she heard my voice, she cried back and I picked her up and took her home.

  4. Deadoll says:

    I want to share my story because it didn’t end well in my case, so if it can help with your lost cat, it would’ve serve a purpose. My cat, Mini, a female of almost 2 years old, was a very beautiful and smart cat, but she was also very curious and adventurous. And she was a diva, but she was MY diva.

    One night in december, Mini didn’t come back, but as it wasn’t the first time she spent the night outside, so I didn’t thought much of it. In the morning, still no sign of her, but she often didn’t appear before noon came. On the evening of that day, when she still hadn’t shown up, I started to fear the worst. I called for her, went outside with a flashlight, but nothing. Started looking on the web on what to do when one’s cat is lost, and didn’t found much but to ask the neighbors to check their backyards. So living in surburbia, I asked the two neighbors to the left and right of my house. Not those across the streets, nor behind the house since it’s a park. No sign of her. So long story short, I did everything I could thought of : distributed flyers all over the neighborhood, plus the next two nearest ones, l paid a so-called pet psychic 90$ for nothing but crap, called an expert in animal rescue, spoke to a vetenarian technician, went to animal control to check their inventory, posted on facebook and in stores and finaly went 2 times a day, everyday, outside to look and call for her for 2 months. In march, our front neighbor across the street asked if we’d lost our cat (they were on holidays when I distributed my flyers). Mini had drowned in his pool. It was bitter sweet, because at least I could stop worrying what had happened, it’s not knowing that was the worst. Today, she is burried in my backyard, where I can still talk to her everyday.

    So based on my experience, and nothing scientific or proven, let me share with you what you can do when your cat is lost:
    Knowing your cat’s behavior, decide what is the best first step. And do it fast, don’t wait.
    A scardy-cat? He could be hidden. Check the perimeter with his favorite treats or toy in hand, several times a day for 5-10 minutes at a time.
    An adventurer? For a female, ask the next two neighbors on every side to check their backyards. Check every nooks and crannies, and pool for that matter. Bring treats if used, or anything making noises she knows (dry food containers, bowls, food cans, etc.). For males, do the same but over six neighbors. And if you’re shy, asks someone you know to accompany you. Think of your cat.
    A people lover? Post on your town and the one nearest Spotted pages, distribute flyers in your neighborhood streets and nearest stores. Don’t use scotch tape on your neighbors doors, some are mentally disturbed, I just folded it up and slipped it between the door and the door frame. Contact your animal control services in your area, along with vetenarian clinics, to let them know or check on new arrivals.
    Keep on calling your cat from your house, to let them know where home is.
    All of the steps above should be done, you just have to decide in which order.
    Accidents happen. I received a call one night, a cat had been hit by a car, and the person thought it was my cat, from the flyer. Got in my car and sped to the location, only to find a guy with a dead cat in his arms, walking away from the scene. It was a only closeby neighbor taking the cat off the street so he wouldn’t get roll over again or rot on the street. So a dead cat can disapear quickly.

    One last advice, again based on my experience, but three cats died in my neighbor’s pool (he has 2 house cats, so I’d like to believe it’s not on purpose). If only there was a piece of styrofoam large enough to help the cats off the water, they might have find a different ending.

    Don’t give up just yet, be ready to invest a lot of time and energy, and your investment will eventually be rewarded. It’s worth it all.

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