My 5 year old moggie has just developed wanderlust. I moved house about a year ago and expected problems then. But she's been fine until about 6 weeks ago. Now she's gone missing twice in 6 weeks for about 12 days each.

She's been found and returned both times, after a poster campaign by me & the kids; the first time by someone about a kilometre away and the second time by a neighbour about 50 m away. I live in a city centre, so a 1 km radius gives lots of hiding spaces and lots of potential new homes. On both occaisions she's returned in good condition and well fed - in fact a bit too well fed. I suspect that she's found a second home somewhere.

I've had her microchipped mainly because she loses any collar I put on her within a week. In hindsight, I think that was pointless - there are so many alley cats around here that if everyone reported every potential stray, the RSPCA would be snowed under.
Does anyone have any suggestions to discourage her wandering? She's too old and to become a housecat, and to be honest, I've never had a housecat. I find it difficult enough to keep the cats indoors for a couple of days after they've been in the cattery. The fortnight I had to keep them confined to barracks when I moved house was sheer hell for me and I don't think they enjoyed it much either.
Any suggestions will be gratefully received.
Z
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My 5 year old moggie has just developed wanderlust. I moved house about a year ago and expected problems then. ... sheer hell for me and I don't think they enjoyed it much either. Any suggestions will be gratefully received. Z

Build an enclosure for her in your yard.
Build an enclosure for her in your yard.

I've thought of that, but I'm worried that it would be just as constraining for her as being a housecat. I don't like to see any animal confined. I'm beginning to think that I'll just have to try to find a new home for her in the sticks. I think it's a case of, "You can take the cat out of the countryside, but you can't take the countryside out of the cat."

Thanks for the suggestion anyway.

Z
51° 37' 23" N, 3° 56' 27" W
It sound like that it is time to let her go. Go to a home that she chooses. Cats know how to find a good home if they want. Chances are she will come back to visit on occasion.
It sound like that it is time to let her go. Go to a home that she chooses. Cats know how to find a good home if they want. Chances are she will come back to visit on occasion.

If I knew that she was going somewhere where she is safe and being looked after, I'd happily let her go. I suspect that's the case as she certainly doesn't seem to suffer any ill effects from her wanderings.

However, if someone does think she's a stray and wants to take her in, I would expect that they'd take her to the vet for a check up. if they did that, the vet would scan her and my details would be picked up from the microchip.
As that's obviously not happening, I'm not totally convinced that she's just not fending for herself. The balance of probability is that she's found a second home. For my own peace of mind, I'd just like to know for sure. I suppose I'm being too soft - cats are amazingly good at looking after themselves and that includes finding someone to feed them and let them curl up in front of the fire.

Z
51° 37' 23" N, 3° 56' 27" W
("Followup-To:" header set to rec.pets.cats.misc.) On 2004-12-17, Zythophile penned:
As that's obviously not happening, I'm not totally convinced that she's just not fending for herself. The balance of probability ... after themselves and that includes finding someone to feed them and let them curl up in front of the fire.

Does she wear a collar? Can you somehow attach a little note-vial?

Just a (weird) thought. I suppose a GPS unit would be too big for a cat to carry =P

monique, who is sometimes allowed to pet Oscar, a grey^H^H^H^Hblue-cream DLH with an attitude!
It sound like that it is time to let her ... Chances are she will come back to visit on occasion.

If I knew that she was going somewhere where she is safe and being looked after, I'd happily let her ... try letting her out again and see if she works, but that really doesn't sound like it would suit her.

Badger Badger Badger
Does she wear a collar? Can you somehow attach a little note-vial?

I've bought her yet another identity collar with my name & phone no on it. There's no reason why I couldn't attach a note vial, I think I'll go back to the pet shop in the morning. Thx for the suggestion.
Just a (weird) thought. I suppose a GPS unit would be too big for a cat to carry =P

I've thought about this as well; does this mean we're both weird :-) I remember watching nature documentaries in the '70s when tracking devices were attached to lions in the Serengeti. Surely they should have been shrunk to moggie size by now????

Z
51° 37' 23" N, 3° 56' 27" W
This might sound a bit daft but I dont suppose you could do some sort of poster to find out whos been feeding her, and then work out if they would like to keep her or just contact you every time she goes there.

Doesn't sound daft at all; it's a cracking idea. The only thing is, should I do it now or wait to see if she goes AWOL again?
The only other alternative i can see apart from finding her a new home is to start again as if ... again and see if she works, but that really doesn't sound like it would suit her. Badger Badger Badger

Last time I kept her in for 2 days. This time she's already been kept in for
2 days and I'm intending keeping her indoors until after Xmas, but I feelreally guilty when I let her sister out and she's mewing like crazy to join her.

Z
51° 37' 23" N, 3° 56' 27" W
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