do cats run away and come back

No pet parent ever wants to lose track of their furry friend, but there may come a time when you find yourself saying, “I can’t find my cat. Help, my cat ran away!” Unfortunately, cats can and do disappear from time to time. The good news is that most runaway cats safely find their way back home.

Your Cat Is Living A Double Life

Unfortunately, some cats do cheat on their owners. If your inquisitive cat notices a friendly neighbor, they might decide to spend more time at their house rather than yours. If they accept this person’s delicious treats, these outings might start happening frequently. Ensure that your cat wears a collar so that the community knows it is not a stray in need of a new home.

Pro Tip: Teach your cat to come home if you can’t stop them from going. Teaching your cat to come when called is a very useful trick, and many cats enjoy the mental stimulation that training sessions provide!

Your Cat Wants To Hunt

Although most cats enjoy cuddling up on our laps, it’s important to remember that they are innate hunters. Because of this engrained habit, some cats will enjoy hunting their toys at home, but others will always be on the lookout for potential prey to stalk and pounce on. Even with an abundance of food at home, your cat will still need to satisfy their innate hunting instinct.

Pro Tip: Give your cat lots of interactive or enrichment toys so they can hunt When your cat finds enough of a challenge, they won’t be drawn to go hunting outside.

Your Cat Is Being Territorial

Due to their territorial nature, outdoor cats will frequently mark off a particular area of your home as their own. If there aren’t many other cats in the area, your cat might begin to increase the size of their territory. Therefore, even though they might not be explicitly fleeing from their house, if they establish a larger territory, they might disappear for a longer period of time than you anticipate — before returning home!

Pro Tip: Keep them indoors. Not only do indoor cats have a lower chance of escaping to mark territory, but they also typically have longer lifespans.


What are the chances of a cat coming back after running away?

Of the 1210 study cats, only 61% were found within one year, with 34% recovered alive by the owner within 7 days. Few cats were found alive after 90 days. There was evidence that physical searching increased the chance of finding the cat alive (p = 0.073), and 75% of cats were found within 500 m of the point of escape.

Is it normal for cats to leave and come back?

It isn’t uncommon for cats to go missing for 24 hours, especially if they like spending a lot of time outdoors. In some cases, cats can even stay away from home for up to 10 days at a time. We also know of cats that leave home while their humans are away on holiday, returning soon after the family arrives back.

When cats run away where do they go?

Neighborhood search Indoor cats who get outdoors are typically found less than three houses away. Ask friends and neighbors to help with the search, and check under decks and porches, in garages and sheds, and other places where a cat could hide or get trapped.

How long do cats run away if they are unhappy?

When cats run away, it’s often just for a few minutes, hours, or days at a time. Most likely they will return. According to studies, cats usually don’t travel further than a one mile radius of their home.