Cats are exploratory by nature, but how far they travel depends on the individual cat. Some will enjoy roaming the house and exploring every nook and cranny, others will wander far and wide across the neighbourhood.
There’s a number of reasons why a cat may explore so widely, including fulfilling their hunting drive, assessing their territory, exploring new smells, seeking a mate, or simply out of curiosity.
A wandering cat can cause stress for cat owners, especially when our cat disappears for hours (or even days) at a time. Cats can be cheeky, and may have a ‘second family’ at a neighbouring house where they go daily to be fed. They may find a nice sun trap to sleep in, accidentally got stuck in a tree, or found themselves in many other situations where they’re unable to return home straight away. But at what point should you start to worry? When do you go searching for your kitty, or phone places like Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home? There’s no right or wrong answer to that. You will know your cat’s routine best, and if wandering far and wide is out of their character, then it will make sense to take action sooner.
Knowing that cats like to wander, there are actions we can take to make our cat identifiable. Giving your cat a quick-release collar can show others that the cat has a home, and will help them to get it back to you if they’re concerned. Ensuring it has an up-to-date microchip will help reunite you both if your cat has been rescued or injured. Keeping your cat healthy and groomed will show others that it comes from a loving home and is little cause for concern. Things like matted fur, weight issues or injuries may give off the impression that the cat is strayed or feral, increasing the likelihood that another person will bring it to a rescue, or perhaps even adopt it themselves.
If you’re concerned about a cat in your neighbourhood or are worried your own cat is missing, please call us at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home on 0131 669 5331 or visit out help and advice section.