Cats, Cars and Road Sense

by Liz Economou
(Sydney, Australia)

My 2 furbabys Eddie (B & W) and Missy (Torti - deceased)

My 2 furbabys Eddie (B & W) and Missy (Torti - deceased)

I am struggling to understand how one of my cats got hit by a car. She went out onto the street at a busy time when parents were picking up their kids from school. The next thing when I went looking for her a few moments later she was dead under a car(devastating!) What I don't get is that every time they hear a slight noise or see a car/person they run away. I don't get why she was out in the noisy street and how she got hit? I'm too scared to let the other one out now so I am keeping him inside and only take him outside on a leash with me. I'm also getting an enclosure built for him.

I know some cats have great road sense - is there a way to teach your cat road sense? I know my surviving cat does not have road sense - I've seen 2 near misses (but he was running to me at the time) and wonder how many I haven't seen!

Appreciate any insight you can give.
Many thanks
Liz Economou

Hi Mary
Well what can I say. I am so sorry for your loss, It is never easy to loss one of our cat friends especially when it is so sudden like this.
Animals have a natural fear of noise and strangers etc and so normally they shy away from these things. But they do not have any understanding about what cars are, how fast they can arrive and also how best to cross a road. A cat will simply think, loud noise, something coming, run. They don’t think i should stay still or move away from it until it passes. Unfortunately this is something we can’t teach them, they react by instinct.

What probably happened is that she was just taken by surprise and moved the wrong way and couldn’t get out of the way in time. An accident is an accident, no one’s fault just bad timing and situation, i’m afraid.

I think building a large enclosure for your other cat is a good idea if you live in a particularly busy area. This is a good compromise, as cats need to have freedom to go outside and roam etc.
You need to not blame yourself in any way, I know this is hard as it is often one of the first things we all do when something like this happens, even when there is absolutely no fault. Focus on your other cat and providing him with a good large safe enclosure to ensure his happiness and safety.

Again I am so sorry for your loss

best wishes kate

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