How Long Can A Cat Be Missing And Still Come Home?

Owning a cat can become a whole lot problematic if your curious cat has a habit of venturing into the world to discover a cold, dark place of its choice.

If your cat hasn’t gone through with the running away process yet, it is more than likely that it will once it gets a chance.

It can be a concerning time for both the cat owner and the cat itself. House cats may not know the dangers of the outside world, and it is one of the reasons they venture out.

If you are wondering if you can expect the cat to come back, we do not have a correct answer. The situation varies from one cat to another.

One assuring trait of cats is that they do not like to go far from their house. This article will explore why they leave their comfortable abode and answer a few frequently asked questions related to the topic at hand.

How Long Can A Cat Be Missing And Still Come Home?


Statistically speaking, if a cat goes missing for 24 hours, you will likely be able to find the cat in 1 or 2 days.

However, you have to be notably active from the moment you realize that the cat is missing. You can put up flyers in the neighborhood, ask your neighbors, look for abandoned places, and post on the local pet shelter pages to make the process as swift as possible.

Cats generally find the fat in the first few hours of going missing. It can hide anywhere in the neighborhood.

If it does not get itself trapped, it is more likely that it will come back in time.

However, cats are coming back after weeks, months, or years of staying separated. Those cases are rare, and you have to do everything possible to find the cat once it gets missing.

Reasons Why Your Cat Went Missing?

While it is necessary to know what to do if your cat goes missing, it is also equally crucial for you to know the reasons that can trigger this behavior.

You can remove the problem entirely by staying a little careful about these potential causes:

  1. Cats have an astoundingly curious nature, and it calls for trouble when they find an open door. They cannot quench the thirst for exploring the outdoors. If you have an outdoor cat, the problem can be a little troublesome to control. If they find an opening, they will enter that place, and it is possible to get trapped in those spaces.
  2. If you have a non-neutered cat under your care, you are asking for more trouble. These cats can behave in an irrational way when they go through heat (mating seasons) and run away from home to look for a partner. It is one of the reasons for which you should neuter or sterilize the cat after adopting it.
  3. Cats are also territorial animals, and the territory can span multiple localities. They are also possessive about their areas. Cats can run away from the home to look for other localities under their domain. This problem is more prevalent in outdoor cats.
  4. Old cats pose more threat in these cases. They can have feline dementia and forget the path to their houses. You have to start the search faster if your cat is old. They cannot take proper care of themselves, and they are in more danger of being attacked by other cats. That is the reason you should call the nearby vets and shelter homes as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do Cats Come Back Home After They Run Away?

You are a constant source of nourishment, safety, and affection for the cat. So, it is quite natural for the cat to come back to the house.

However, the cases may vary a lot, depending on the situation. If the cat gets trapped inside an abandoned building, garages, and enclosed places, they will not be able to come back home.

In those cases, you should talk to the neighbors and pet shelters.

They can search their houses and let you know whether it got itself trapped inside their homes. Keep an eye out for any such news, and hope that it comes back to you safely.

What Happens When A Cat Doesn’t Come Home?

If your cat is missing for more than 24 hours, you should start making posters, contacting the neighbors, vet offices, and animal shelters in your area.

Stick the bills in all the crowded places and post them on the local animal search pages. The cat should come back on its own in a day or two.

However, if it does not come back, you have to wait for someone to respond to the poster or posts. If your cat has a chip inside its body, the company can contact you when the cat stumbles upon a vet or animal shelter.

You cannot lose hope in this scenario, as there are cases in which owners found the cat after two years in another city. For all you know, your cat might be a mastermind behind ruling the world.


Losing a cat in such an unforeseen manner is a difficult time. During the crisis, you have to make sure that the people know how to contact you when they come across your cat.

You can also remove the causes that might trigger such behavior in cats. You have to be patient and hopeful in these difficult times.

Related Reading:

  1. How do cats choose who to sleep with? Here’s the answer
  2. Know exactly what temperature is too hot for cats
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