How to Find a Lost Cat

ginger cat - cat advice.co.ukIf you have ever lost your cat it can be an upsetting experience. Most cats don’t actually run away or stray from home. We all know cats like to explore new places, sometimes, though, this could end up with them getting trapped.

They can also get lost if they are investigating new territory, and even sometimes they can be taken away by circumstances not of their own doing. When a cat is ill or injured it may seek haven in a safe dark place but very rarely do cats leave their home, even if badly treated. Try not to panic too much if you can’t find your cat, but start a thorough search as soon as you realise as any delay could put your cat at risk.

It is sometimes advisable to take a minute to think like your cat; after all, you will probably know where it tends to be, and what it tends to do on a day-to-day basis. Cats are excellent at hiding so I would be advise that you look around the house carefully, then double check. Even in spaces you think that a cat couldn’t fit there is a chance that they can. Listen for any sounds of stress, as cats like to explore weird spaces and can be innocently drawn to dark places. If your sure the cat is nowhere in the house, then check your front and back gardens and in the shed or green house if you have one.

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Why Does My Cat Lick?

– Q – I adopted a domestic shorthair kitten about a year ago that had been abandoned near my sister’s house. She’s now a healthy, happy adult neutered cat, with a bit of a weight problem. We recently changed her diet to Science Diet Feline Maintenance Light, and she’s slimming down nicely already.

The problem that we’re having is that in the past two months, she has started licking things around the house. Her favorite targets seem to be a fossilized clamshell, a flowerpot coated with some sort of pebbly clay-like coating, and a ceramic tile. She will sit and lick them for several minutes at a time, and if I take them away, she tries to get back at them. Does this sound like OCD, or could she have a vitamin deficiency? Or is it something else entirely? Thank you, Janie

Janie V, Mobile, Alabama, USA

– A – Janie, My guess would be her diet. A Light blend is usually for older pets with different nutritional requirements than a growing young adult. My suggestion would be to consult with your Vet about the diet and start feeding her a blend more suited to her needs.

As for the weight, may I suggest getting a laser pointer? They project a red dot and cats love to chase the dot as you move it around the room.

Not only will this provide exercise for the cat but will reward you with some amusing quality time with her as you enjoy watching her acrobatics in pursuing this elusive “prey.” Our cats love this toy and come running as soon as they hear me pick it up (it’s on a key ring that jingles). Pete

Cat Wees in the House

– Q – My cat pees everywhere and on everything! He’s been doing it years now. I thought he would break out of it eventually, but he continues to do it. He pees on my clothes, my school papers, and now he’s peed on my records and I’m fed up. I seriously thought about throwing him out and leaving him to fend for himself. I am at my wit’s end! I’ve tried physically reprimanding him, I’ve tried isolating him, I’ve tried everything! Now I am just trying to keep from seriously hurting him; what do I do?

Karl, Toledo, OH

– A – Is he a whole male or has he been neutered? It sounds more like marking than normal peeing. Have you tried caging him with food, water and a litter box as a retraining method? If he is whole, you might try neutering which helps most of the time. You might also want to read the article at:

http://www.cfainc.org/articles/litter-box-problems.html

Throwing him outside will solve your immediate problem, but then you will have your conscience to live with. Have you taken him to a Vet to see if there is a medical reason? Please explore these alternatives before you do anything drastic; after all, if he has been doing it for years what’s another few weeks or months to try and correct the situation?

Coping With the Loss of a Cat

– Q – Hi. Yesterday we got some bad news from our neighbor. He had found our sweet, eight month-old kitty (Raul)dead in his bushes. We think maybe Raul was hit by a car, crawled in front of his house to rest, and just didn’t get up. His twin sister (Lupe) is also our kitty, and she has been very upset since yesterday, and keeps looking for him. She may have found him in the bushes before we did because she was trying to tell us something. (She’s a talker…)

Raul was a very special, loving kitty, and they had a very close relationship, so we were wondering if we should try to get another kitten for her to play with. …We thing that maybe she needs a playmate, but a friend suggested that she may reject the kitten and only further frustrate her emotional state. Please let us know what we should do! Thanks so much!

Claire Meadows, Austin, TX

– A – Claire, Lupe is probably grieving the loss of her playmate (yes, pets do grieve) but will soon forget Raul as she is so young. Just play with her and enjoy her to get her through this loss and she will soon be fine. As for getting another kitten, I have mixed emotions here.

It is my firm belief that pets enjoy life more, are happier, better socialized and live longer if they have a playmate of the same species to share their life. On the other hand, unless you are willing to keep the kittens inside to prevent another possible tragedy I would say no, do not get another kitten.

It’s not safe, or fair, to subject another kitten to the possibility of a similar fate. If you are not willing to accept that responsibility please do not get another kitten.

Feline immunodeficiency virus

– Q – I currently have a cat with FIV who I am having put down tomorrow.  How long can do I have to wait & is there any pecautions that I should take when I get another cat?
Christina, Essex

 – A –  “Feline immunodeficiency virus is fairly unstable outside the cat and will not survive for more than a few hours in most environments. In addition, transmission of FIV occurs primarily through bites, so a waiting period between cats is not required to prevent FIV infection.

However, FIV–positive cats are frequently infected with other infectious agents which may pose some threat to a newcomer, so precautions should be taken. Thoroughly clean and disinfect or replace food and water dishes, bedding, litter pans and toys. A dilute solution of household bleach (4 oz. bleach in 1 gal. water) makes an excellent disinfectant.

Vacuum carpets and mop floors with an appropriate cleanser. Any new cats or kittens should be properly vaccinated against other infectious agents before entering the household.”

The above was from the Cornell Institute website in an article concerning FIV; the entire article may be read by going to  http://web.vet.cornell.edu/Public/FHC/fiv.html

I know it is always hard to lose a cat that has been a member of your family and our hearts go out to you. I hope you find solace knowing your cat will be in no more pain or suffering from this debilitating disease. Also, understand this is a very sneaky disease, masking it’s symptoms until it is usually too late for treatment. Hope this helps.