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I Can’t Find My Cat In The Apartment – Is It Lost?

If you can’t seem to find your cat in your apartment you may be wondering why, and what you can do about it…

Why can’t I find my cat in the apartment?

Cats are not always social animals, so they might find a place to hide and spend their day inside your apartment. If your cat spends most of their day alone, they might try keeping to themselves. It is common to see less social activity in homes with multiple cats, especially when they have a complicated social hierarchy. The wider the age range between cats, the more likely 

A missing cat can sometimes be dangerous if they are gone for several days at a time. Find innovative ways to check on your pet frequently to ensure they are healthy. If your pet is not eating, drinking, or using its litter box, it might indicate your cat has gotten injured or out of the house.

What could make a cat hide away in my apartment?

What does it mean when a cat hides and doesn't eat?

A cat hiding.

Cats might hide in your apartment because they are scared. They become fearful of their surroundings, other animals, and unfamiliar humans. 

Cats might hide in your apartment if they find a comfortable and isolated spot that makes them feel safe. Remote locations in your house are great for cats who live with multiple pets. Cats might retreat to these areas if they feel unsafe around other cats, making them less vulnerable to attack.

Less social cats may hide in your apartment if they do not want human interaction. Cats are inclined to hide away in homes with high traffic, such as houses with increased visitors or young children. Socialize your kitten at a young age to ensure they will be social when they become a cat.

What could make my cat run away?  

Cats might run away from your home if they are curious about the outdoors or feel overstimulated by their current environment. Stress is a leading factor in overstimulation. 

How can I prevent my cat from disappearing from my apartment?

Prevent your cat from disappearing in your apartment by creating a designated safe spot for your cat. By establishing a safe space, you make an area where your cat may escape from pesky housemates and loud noises. You may also access this area and check on your cat frequently to ensure they are healthy.

How do you find a lost cat in an apartment?

The best way to find a lost cat in an apartment is by luring them from their hiding place using treats or cat food. The food will entice them to come out and make them feel less vulnerable if your cat is hiding because of a stressful situation. 

Using bells and trackers are two of the best ways to find a lost cat in the apartment. Bells will keep you aware of your cat’s presence at all times, making you aware of them when they move from one area of your apartment to the other. It will be much easier to find your cat in your apartment when they wear a bell because you can hear them every time they move.

What do I do if I can’t find my indoor cat?

If you can’t find your indoor cat, try luring them out from their hiding area with food. A timid cat still needs food and may be attracted to the smell or sound of a newly opened can of food. You can also check their location using the website associated with their tracking beacon, given your cat is registered with a microchip implant.

In the worst-case scenario, try searching around your neighborhood for your cat. Sometimes pets sneak outdoors when you are not paying attention. Post fliers around the community, including your cat’s photographs and your contact information, so you can find your cat promptly.

If your cat has gotten out of your apartment you may be wondering what you should do next and if you can get it back.

Do cats come back home after they run away?

Cats can come back home after they run away. However, you can increase your chances by proactively looking for your cat. The statistics say that 75% of the cats found are within a 500-mile radius. So, you stand a chance of finding it.

So, now you know some do come back. But, what can you do to increase your chances of its return? How can you prevent it from happening again? Should cats live in an apartment? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more.

What should I do if my indoor cat escapes?

My cat got out of my apartment.
Cat outside of an apartment.

If your indoor cat escapes you may be thinking of ways that you can get it back. In this section I will share some proactive measures that you can take to help you get your cat back:

01. Circulate a picture

It may seem simple but simply printing a picture of your cat, or having a picture displayed on your phone or tablet device can help.

This visual display may prompt someone’s memory easier than asking “have you seen my cat?”. A visual representation works many times better than just words, are you with me?

02. Check with your neighbors

As I mentioned earlier, statistically, there is a good chance that your cat is not too far from home. So, there is a chance it has run off to your neighbor’s home (Click here if it won’t come back).

So, it is worth checking there as soon as possible even if it is just to eliminate this from your list of potentials.

03. Look in your own home

As well as checking with your neighbor you should go one step closer and check in your own home. There is a chance that your cat has hurt itself in some way and may be hiding within your own home.

As unbelievable as this may seem it could be in a spot that you have never thought of before. Like, such as below your decking, in a high-up location above eye level, etc.

Why do you need to look everywhere?

I am a private person. And, I remember hurting my leg and for some reason, I had an overwhelming feeling to curl up into a ball and be alone.

Although this is not a smart move, because I needed help, it felt natural and how I felt. It’s similar to cats, they may need our help but tend to hide if they are sick or injured.

Therefore, you need to try and look everywhere, even if it seems obvious.

Is it cruel to have a cat in an apartment?

Cats are more concerned about being looked after well and being stimulated rather than the size of your home. So, as long they are well looked after it wouldn’t be classed as being cruel.

Think of it this way, would you think a cat in a large home with a bad diet and no mental stimulation would be happier? Well, that’s obvious, right?

Or, have you heard of the rich kid living in a mansion who is sad and lonely because they have a nanny, no siblings, and hardly see their parents?

Well, I am sure they would consider trading that for a smaller modest life with a loving and attentive set of parents, right?

So, focus more on your cat’s needs rather than how big your home is.

How do I stop my cat from escaping my apartment?

Some cats are either curious about the outside or are easily distracted by anything moving outside your door.

Whatever the reason here are some techniques that you can use to stop it darting for the door every time they see an opening:

01. Use a cat door

A cat door is a good way (Click here for my best one) to train your cat to not escape through any opening in your home. It will need some initial training but in time it will learn to use that door.

Also, it will make it less likely to dart out any other door or window if it knows it has its convenient door.

Another benefit is that it can be locked if you do not wish for your cat to go out at that time. Which gives you more control.

02. Train it to only use one door

Another tactic you can use is to train your cat to only use one door for their access to the outdoors. The best way to do this, in the short term, is to use a harness (more on this later).

03. Use a cat harness

Cat Harness and Leash Set for Walking Escape Proof (Medium, Green)

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As I mentioned earlier you can use a cat harness to control your cat and keep it from escaping. It may need a while to adjust but it does work.

Some cat owners like it because it gives their indoor cats a taste of the outdoors to satisfy their curiosity but keeps them in control.

How do you attract a cat back home?

Once your cat has escaped (would a Maine Coon get out too? click here) your apartment and you have searched in many places without success you may be looking for some ways to attract it back home. Here are a few suggestions:

01. Put food outside

Cats have a great sense of smell. And, when they smell their favorite cat food they may feel compelled to return home. Especially if they are nearby.

To get the best response you should use their favorite food. And, ideally, the strongest smelling food that they like to grab their attention.

02. Put up notices

Earlier I mentioned circulating a picture of your cat with your neighbors to get your cat back. But, the next level is to put up a notice to get more feedback.

This could be a simple poster, ad on a supermarket bulletin board, or a “lost cat” notice stapled to a poster.

03. Put litter outside

Van Ness Pets Odor Control Large Enclosed Cat Litter Box, Hooded, Pearl, CP6

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Similar to placing your cat’s food outside you can also put its litter outside. This will make it grab the scent and feel compelled to return to its territory.

Ideally, it has been used before so it has its scent on it. A fresh litter pan will not give you the same effect.

How long do cats usually go missing?

Cats usually return home within a day whenever they feel hungry. But, if they have a problem such as getting injured or feeling sick they may find it hard to get back.

If this happens they may hide away to try and get through it. Which is when they disappear longer than expected.

My first cat, Ajax, went missing for days and I was devastated. After several days we found him passed away. We believe he may have been hit by a car. Sad story, but a sad reality of what can happen to cats when they are outside.

Can a cat smell their litter box from a mile away?

It is believed that cats can smell their litter box from a mile away. However, there is no known evidence of this. Regardless, it is an effective way to attract your cat back if they are missing.

Can cats live in high-rise apartments?

Cats can live in high-rise apartments. Some cat owners say they are easier to look after in these buildings, especially when compared to a barking dog that tends to annoy neighbors.

Why do cats try to escape?

Cats try to escape because they are natural hunters and providers for their families. In the wild, they hunt for food and their mothers feed them this daily. So, a domesticated cat does not have this problem but still has the same instinct as their wild ancestors. This is why some owners use wireless cat fences (click here to see the best one).

Should cats be kept in an apartment?

Cats tend to do well in an apartment (what if your roommate wants one? click here). As long as they are well looked after, fed, and played with they are generally content in there. Unlike dogs who tend to prefer a bigger space and more access outside for walks, etc.

Lindsey Browlingdon