A few weeks ago, my cat disappeared in my house – again!
She was under a dresser, and it just happened to be one of the last places I looked.
It sounds crazy, I know.
How can an indoor cat ‘disappear’ in the house somewhere, right?
Well, if you’re reading this there is a good chance it’s also happened to you, so this probably doesn’t sound so strange or impossible.
If you’re anything like me, you probably started panicking and questioning if it’s possible that your cat has gotten outside – I know I always do.
There is often someone leaving a door or window open, not to mention more hiding places that I’m sure I am aware of where my kitty can hide out.
If you’ve currently got a cat that’s MIA, or maybe you want some tips on finding a cat that you know is hiding indoors somewhere, hopefully, this post will help:
How to Find Your Cat Hiding in Your Home
If you’re trying to find your cat in your home, the first thing is not to panic.
That’s easier said than done, I know.
But you’ll be much more effective at searching if you don’t panic, and you will also make less noise and not spook your cat.
Here are some tips to help you find your cat:
Shake Their Food Container/Bowl
If there is one thing and almost universally motivates cats to appear, it’s food.
You may have to wait until they’re hungry, or just good and ready to appear. It probably depends on whether or not they’ve been spooked by something.
But I’ve known a lot of owners – myself included – who were able to put a quick end to searching for their cats by simply shaking their food containers.
Gently Call Their Name While Walking Around
No matter how responsive your cats usually are when you call their name, you should walk around your home softly calling them.
Kind in mind that cats are able to pick up on panic and stress (they have a sixth sense), this is why I mentioned off the top that it’s important you keep calm.
I always take a moment to take a few deep breaths when I think my cat has disappeared. This helps me clear my mind and lower my racing heartbeat.
Related – Reasons why cats sleep under beds!
Make Noise With Toys and Other Familiar Things
If your cat has a favorite toy that they just can’t resist chasing or playing with if it makes a noise then carry that with you when you’re looking for them.
If they’re not hungry, they may be in the mood for some playing. I had a cat that loved one of those feather Marabou things on the end of a wire and used that to coax her out before.
Be Methodical and Thorough With Your Searching
The last thing you want to do is trace back over the same steps and check the same places. There is a small chance that your cat will actually move spots while you’re looking.
Set out to check each room one at a time, and close the door once you’ve cleared a room. Keep your ears open for any noises your cat may make while searching, too!
Some Hiding Spots for Indoor Cats
Every home presents its own unique hiding places, but I thought I’d share with you some of the most common and sneaky places I’ve known cats to hide are:
- Under dressers and other furniture – This is where I found my cat last time, under a dresser. My dresser is flush with the floor at the front, but actually has a huge gap at the back!
- Laundry baskets – This is a classic hiding place for cats. Cats love the smell of us, and this often leads them to our dirty or clean washing.
- Washing machine – Washing machines are usually the ideal height and provide a nice secure place to hide out – which is even more snuggly if there are dry clothes inside.
- Boxes – Cats love boxes. No matter the shape, size, or where they are, most cats just can’t resist jumping into a box.
- Under blankets – Most cats don’t like being under blankets, it goes against their natural instincts to keep a clear line of sight when sleeping. But don’t rule it out, some cats will curl up under a blanket.
- Behind everything – You’re going to have to look behind everything to perform a thorough search. This means curtains, doors, furniture, cushions… everything!
What Do You Do if You Can’t Find a Cat in Your House?
If you’re 100% sure you’ve searched everywhere in your home and you can’t find your cat, you have to start considering if they’ve escaped outside.
You should start by putting some of their favorite food outside of your door, as well as inside.
It depends on how long you’re comfortable waiting, but if your cat doesn’t show up you should also go down the traditional route of putting up some missing flyers.
More often than not, however, in this day and age, you’ll be able to find a Facebook group for your area where people look out for one another.
Post something in there, along with the cutest picture you have of your cat as well.
If your cat isn’t currently microchipped, this is something you should consider when they’re found.
Even for an indoor cat, it makes sense to get them chipped and it’s better to do it before you have a scare like this with your cat going missing!
Related – Here’s how to feel for a microchip in a cat.
How Long Do Indoor Cats Go Missing For?
Whether we’re talking about being missing in the home or having escaped outside, it’s hard to say how long an indoor cat will go missing.
Assuming there hasn’t been any trauma or something spooking them, and they’re not trapped or locked in somewhere, most cats will return within 24 hours.
It’s hard not to panic and think the worst, but I always wait at least 24 hours before sending out a search party outdoors for my cats.
They always return when they’re hungry, and there is always a nice bowl of food waiting for them!
Having a cat disappear in the home is a scary and stressful experience. However, as long as you keep a clear head and thoroughly check your home, I’m sure you’ll find them.
Having to find a missing cat is a good reminder to think about microchipping your cat if you haven’t already.
As well as making sure you’re familiar with all the possible hiding places in your home and securing any possible escape route if your cat is an indoor cat.
Image credits – Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash Save