In summer, outdoor cats are out for a few hours. In contrast, young kittens come back to you only after a few hours. With unneutered cats, you can still hope after a few weeks that your cat will come back.
Outdoor cats often stay out for a few hours. Depending on the occasion and situation, your cat may not come home for several days or even weeks.
If your cat is outside more often in the summer enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, he will usually show up back home after a few hours and you should not worry. In winter, outdoor cats often get too cold very quickly, so they usually return to the warm home in the evening.
If you want to know which cat breeds are particularly well suited for outdoor use, you can read about this in our great article Which cat breeds are suitable for outdoor use?
It is the same with very young cats, they are very curious. This can often drag on for long hours, because everything must be explored and discovered in detail. How you best feed young cats and what you should keep in mind, you will learn in our current article How to feed young kittens correctly?
Especially small kittens are very curious animals and want to explore their environment very closely. This can take several hours until they come back home.
If you have an unneutered cat, you are surely already used to your cat taking off for a few days. Especially if she is in heat and on a mating season, your cat may be several miles behind. Here you can hope even after a few weeks that your cat will come back to you.
Cats often fight their territorial fights very robustly. If your cat has been scared away from its territory, you can still hope that your cat will come home after a few months.
If your cat has lost out in a turf war, it may take several months for him to come back to you.
What you should keep in mind when your cat is fighting for territory, we explain in a nutshell in our informative article outdoor cat turf wars – the facts and what you can do in case of problems.
On the other hand, it is more difficult when your cat comes freshly into the new environment, for example, by a move. Here the cat still lacks the sense of direction in the beginning and your cat can quickly get lost. If your cat does not come back after a few days, it is best to ask the neighbors or the local animal shelter for a found cat.
What should you do if your cat does not come home again?
Check the whole apartment as well as the basement and the attic and ask neighbors or the animal shelter about your cat.
If your cat has disappeared, it is important to stay calm and first of all search the whole apartment thoroughly. Especially in the attic or in old cupboards as well as in suitcases sometimes the little house cats hide.
You can also call out to your cat in the garden or at the front door and try to lure it with treats. Cats have a very good sense of smell and would immediately smell temptation.
It is best to ask all neighbors if they have seen or even picked up your cat. Many cats often seek out other homes to beg for a few small treats.
Search the surrounding area for your cat and also look for tall trees, bushes or roofs where your cat might be hiding. You should also do this again the next morning, cats dare to come out of their hiding places only at sunrise.
Check with your local animal shelter or animal welfare organization to see if your cat has been surrendered there. It is always a good idea to have a recent picture of your cat at hand.
Why does a cat run away?
A cat might run away from you out of hunger, curiosity, or because it has been mistreated. So could a territorial dispute among cats or another reason.
Cats might run away from home if they don’t like their owner anymore or have been treated badly. Unfortunately, there are still cases where cats are beaten or mistreated by their owner.
Also, lack of attention from their owner can cause cats to seek out strange homes and look for a new home. A lonely cat that receives no attention from its owner will then go looking for a new home.
Likewise, if your cat has run away, it may be that it has been chased away by other cats and is looking for safe shelter. This happens more often when the cat is very new to the area and has moved to a new neighborhood with its owner.
Another reason for your cat to leave may be simple curiosity on the part of the cat. Cats are very curious creatures by nature and want to discover everything.
What you should do if a strange cat keeps visiting you, you will learn in our great article Strange cat keeps coming back
Can cats find their way back from far away?
Cats have an excellent sense of direction due to their good eyes and ears and can find their way home even after several kilometers.
Your cat orients itself to familiar sounds such as traffic noises, water splashing or children’s noise. The cat’s brain is so specially trained that it can link the individual sounds with the respective location and find its way back to you without any problems.
At further distance, she can use the rough orientation by her eyes, for example, recognition of the church tower or the marketplace to move close to her home. The rest is done by the sense of orientation through the ears.
Cats have a very good sense of direction and can find their home even after a few kilometers.
So your cat can cover some kilometers without problems without getting lost.
Make sure that cats that come to a new environment are at home for the first few weeks and slowly get to know their surroundings. Without knowing the exact environment, it will also be difficult for your cat to find its way back home.
Summary – cat is away, how long hope?
In summer, outdoor cats are out for a few hours. In contrast, young kittens come back to you only after a few hours. For unneutered cats, you can still hope after a few weeks that your cat will come back.
If your cat is new to the area due to a move, it will be difficult for your cat to come home after a few weeks of waiting.
If your cat has not come home for an extended period of time, check the entire apartment as well as the basement and attic and ask neighbors or the shelter about your cat. Later, you could also post flyers in the neighborhood and check with the municipality about a dead cat.
A cat may have run away from you out of hunger, curiosity, or because it was mistreated. So could a territorial dispute among cats or another reason.
Cats have an excellent sense of direction through their good eyes as well as their ears and can find their way home even after several kilometers.