I moved apartments with my 2 year old cat. And after 3 days he got outdoors and went exploring. And suddenly disappeared. I've searched and called up and down the streets, put flyers, contacted local vets and all the neighbours. I've searched as many of their houses as I could. I've looked into any nook or cranny that I can imagine a cat hiding in.

Its now been 3 days without a sign of him.

I've read that cats that are displaced will usually hide and not respond to calls or come out.


Will he come out when he's hungry / desperate enough? Will his survival instinct kick in and force him out? I will keep searching for weeks if I have hope to find him.

What else can I try to find him?

Thank you

  • I am surprised to find that we do not seem to already have this question answered. We have the slightly related How long should you keep an adopted rescue cat indoors? and some similar suggesting that it is best to keep the cat indoors for weeks to months, but I don't see anything about if they get out in the first couple of days and you can't find them. Dec 21 '18 at 19:13
  • related pets.stackexchange.com/questions/14943/… Dec 21 '18 at 20:50
  • Have you posted a lost pet notice (and picture) on your towns' social media pages?
    – elbrant
    Dec 22 '18 at 22:37
  • 1
    @elbrant Yes, it's been shared on the town's sociall media. Dec 23 '18 at 6:57
  • 1
    He came back! Waltzed in like it was nothing. Thin and dirty. He ate, cleaned, meowed to go out again! Crazy animal! Dec 25 '18 at 20:01

Cats can try to return to their old home if not settled into the new one yet and they get outside. Cats also travel as much as 3 miles, possibly more, when surveying "their" territory, looking for a mate, hunting etc. The biggest concerns are traffic and humans, sometimes people will take them in as pets, among other things of course. This is why signs with photos, calls to vets and shelters as well as asking neighbors can be helpful. They can be gone for quite some time and return unexpectedly but because of the move, it could be difficult for them to find their way back so doing the above things was wise. Many places will take a description and watch out for the cat. They will come back when they get hungry if they know where to go but since they are hunters this can take some time as they eat birds and rodents they come across. Hope your cat comes back.

  • 4
    He came back! Waltzed in like it was nothing. Thin and dirty. He ate, cleaned, meowed to go out again! Crazy animal! Dec 25 '18 at 20:02

If you did not move too far from your old apartment, it is very likely you will find your cat there.

When an adult cat gets lost in a new area it will stay put for some time. Normally for 1-3 days after this he will try to find the way home to the old home of his.

I do think you will find your cat and the sooner you find him, the better for both of you.

I have some experience in this, I once adopted a feral cat and he got lost one of the first days I let him outside. I started in a new job so I had to leave him outside and the poor cat misunderstood the situation. He did probably think I had left him, so he was alone again.

I found the cat at the area I got him from, this was 6 km away from where I live; the cat had crossed two main roads and a river to get to his old area (he did not have a home). It did take him 7 days to get there, but he came running as soon as he did see me.

I do not want you to give up until you find him and I hope you will find him.

Your cat is probably scared right now, but the hunger is a stronger feeling, so your cat will come out of hiding soon if it have not already done so.

  • 1
    He came back! Waltzed in like it was nothing. Thin and dirty. He ate, cleaned, meowed to go out again! Crazy animal! Dec 25 '18 at 20:02
  • 2
    glad to hear it,i guess it is safe to say he knows the area now and probably many of the cats there too. Dec 26 '18 at 7:23

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