Tucker here. I would like to opine about cats getting lost. Now, many of you may be thinking, “My felines are indoor cats, they’d never get lost.” If this is you, I want to tell you a cautionary tale about this indoor cat and some close calls I’ve experienced.
It’s Dangerous Out There
First, I must state that The Tribe is never allowed out without supervision. Still, sometimes, even the watchful eye of our humans is not watchful enough to keep us from getting away and becoming lost. There was that lovely summer day when The Female Human allowed me on the front porch with her. We enjoyed a nice afternoon and then, when it was time to go back inside, I decided I wanted a little alone time, wriggled out of her grasp and ran down the street like my tail was on fire. I led her on a merry chase through the neighborhood and then managed to hide myself away. Several hours later I decided it must be close to meal time and decided to head home. The only problem with that idea was that what I thought was home was actually the house next door. I howled and scratched on that front porch and no one would let me in. Thank goodness The Female Human heard my meowing and ran outside. She saw me on the porch next door but when she came toward me I freaked out and ran away from her again. You see, I am a very cross-eyed feline and my depth perception and vision is a little off. I get freaked out easily. The story does have a happy ending as I finally gave up running, hunkered down and let the Female Human pick me up and take me home.
Then there were the two plunges from the upstairs deck to the ravine below our house. We’re built into a hill in the woods and the distance from the upstairs deck to the bottom of the ravine is over 35 feet. We felines like to sit outside with The Female Human, soak up the sun and watch the birds. There is a nice wide railing around the deck and that’s my preferred place to sit, or used to be anyway.
My wacky vision and lack of perception caused me to use up two of my nine lives on that ledge. The cedar tree growing up from the bottom of the ravine is so tall its branches are way past the balcony. Birds like to sit on the tree branches and often fly by, sometimes just over my head. What’s a cat supposed to do when that happens? I jump up and reach my paw out to “extend the paw of friendship” to those birds. And, I tumble off the railing and down into the ravine. I don’t know who came closer to a heart attack, The Female Human or me! She ran downstairs and crawled sown the steep hill looking for me. Thankfully she found me both times, hunkered under the downstairs deck. I was so scared I didn’t run from her and so she saved me both times. If I would have run into the woods she never would have found me! And that ravine is full of lots of big, scary animals -no place for a sight impaired, pampered indoor kitty.
Now before you send accusatory comments to my Human, please note that none of The Tribe goes outside any more unless we are in our portable catio. My ledge lounging, neighborhood roaming days are over.
There is Good News!
I hope my experiences show you that spoiled indoor felines can get out and get lost and you humans need a plan for that. Everyone in The Tribe has a collar with our names and phone numbers embroidered on them but that doesn’t help our Humans find us. We’re all microchipped, but that doesn’t help our Human find us either. There is, thank goodness, a new product that does help humans find their missing felines. It’s called Cat Tracker
Tail It Cat Tracker
If I had been wearing a Tail It Cat Tracker device during any of the fur raising episodes I had, life would have been much easier (and less stressful) for me and The Female Human). And because the Tail it Cat Tracker will only update when you press “update location” in the app, the battery lasts a long time because it’s not used if humans aren’t asking for a location. And if all these wonderful aspects of the device aren’t enough, it also has a sound and light feature humans can activate to help them find us in the dark.
And with the “live tracking” feature of the Tail it Cat Tracker, The Female Human would have been able to see my location immediately, live on the app.
Lost Cat Facts
There is a wonderful organization called the Missing Animal Response Network. You can find a helpful section on the site with lost cat behavior. Kat Albrecht, the Director, of the Missing Animal Response Network, collaborated with the University of Queensland and other experts to produce a Missing Cat Study in 2018 that those with felines in their homes will find interesting. Here are a few highlights:
- Thirty percent of American households have a pet cat, and 15% of cat owners lose their pet at least once in a 5-year period
- Many of these animals are not reunited with their owner, despite the owner desiring them back. A common outcome for a proportion of missing cats is to be taken into a shelter or municipal animal control facility. Many are ultimately euthanized if not reclaimed after a standard holding period that varies among shelters but is usually between 3 to 5 business days
- Of stray animals entering shelters in USA and Australia, reported reclaim percentages for cats are typically 2–4% compared to reclaim percentages for dogs which usually range from 26–40%, but can be as high as 90%.
- Cats are 13 times more likely to return to owners by means other than a visit to a shelter For example, reunification may occur directly via the general public if the cat has identification such as an ID tag, or as a result of signage (e.g., lost and found posters). Alternatively, local neighborhood searches and owner-initiated trapping may be successful
Get Me My Tail it Cat Tracker
Meowza! We felines don’t stand much of a chance of getting back home using traditional search methods according to this study. This makes me think all the more that our humans should make sure every one of their felines has a lightweight Tail It Cat Tracker device on their collar.
We indoor kitties aren’t too street savvy (as illustrated by my experiences) and even felines who are comfortable roaming around outside of their home can get lost. Why risk losing us forever when you can put a Tail It Cat Tracker on us and find us quickly on the Tail It app?
The Tribe of Five gives the Tail It cat tracker two paws up and the only question I have is, “Humans, what took you so long to develop something like this?”