My cat went missing and now is very nervous.

Hi there,

My cat female went missing on the 22nd of November and came back on the 30th of November, I was so happy to see her return home. She came back looking normal and nothing was wrong with her body, She did look like she lost a bit of weight but the strange thing was when she came back she was like she was afraid of something, she was very hungry and thirsty, I fed her and gave her some water but when she was eating/drinking she was contently looking around and was afraid of every little noise she heard around her??
She doesn't know if she wants to go out side or come inside the house, she's constantly eating and drinking water?
She's not close to me and my family as she use to be? she doesn't allow us to hold her or touch her unless she approaches you when she wants to. I don't push her I'm trying to give her time to allow us to hold her or pat her.
I also have a dog (Maltese terrier, female) which they use to get along very well with, my dog would lick her and they would play with each other but when she returned it's taking her a bit of time for them to approach each other which was not normal.
The thing that scares me is that she is a bit weird now, she's afraid and is taking a bit of time for her to allow us to hold her or approach her, I'm thinking maybe if she was stolen and she might of escaped because she is scared and taking time to adapt to my house again? I'm not sure.. I'm also worried and scared that she might go again..
I also forgot to mention is that i found her in my front garden, she was abandoned when she was a kitten, a few weeks old. So i'm assuming that she might of been born from a feral mother or her mother brought her to my garden and left her in between
the coach in our garden, i am not sure..
I would like to know what i can do to make her feel welcome and close to me and my family again? I don't want to loose her again or don't want her to leave us..
Can you please help me and explain why she would of done something like this and it may reoccur??

Thank You
Don’t worry your cats behaviour sounds completely normal to me. Every time my cat has been away for more than a day or so he always comes back extremely nervous and agitated and not his usual self. This I am guessing is because while he is out he is on full alert all the time and this level of alertness takes time to calm down again.

I assume your cat is spayed, if not then having this done will help to prevent her wandering off again.

However like my cats you don’t know what they get up to when they are out. They may have been trapped in a shed or something, a neighbour may have taken her in and kept her in or she may simply be a cat that is used to wandering a little further than normal if she has a background of being a feral cat. Usually as they get older this wander lust does ease up.

All you can do is to make sure she has a breakaway collar with a small name tag on to let other people know she is not a stray, make sure she is spayed and in the mean time keep her in for a few days and let her alone so that she can calm down.

She will relax again and let you pat her again but it has to be done on her own terms and timetable.

If her nervousness continuous then there are cat calming medications and sprays available that can help in the short term. Please see this page for more on these


You may also be interested in this page too

Best wishes Kate

Comments for My cat went missing and now is very nervous.

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by: Robin

My cat was stuck in the back of a factory for like 16 days. We just found her last night . She knows me and the rest of the family . I wanted her to sleep with me but she laid on a pillow on the floor. I think the need to hear every noise or watching around her is normal for them. I'm letting her do what she needs to to feel safe again. She is very exhausted. U just have to give ur cat time to get back to itself again.

I have a similar situation.
by: Morgan

I own two male cats, Perseus and Pegasus. They are brothers and have lived together since birth. My girlfriend and I live in a second story apartment with a screened in porch and usually let the boys out to watch birds. Today, however, Perseus, jumped straight through the screen while we were at work. He was missing for less than 12 hours, but when we found him he was rigid and traumatized. We haven't bathed him or treated him for fleas yet in order to keep from further traumatizing him, but now he and Pegasus aren't getting along. Pegasus will approach Perseus hissing and Perseus is VERY nervous around him. They're both still extremely friendly with us, but we're worried about their relationship. Is there anything I can do?

PS- I tried rubbing them both with nontoxic dryer sheets so they would smell alike, as recommended by animal services, but it hasn't seemed to help.

by: rebeka

Do what ever you can to make your cat comfy again. Expecially after being outside. My cat is a indoor cat and he was gone for 2 days before i found him. i brought him home and of course he wasnt the same. but he went back to normal but no matter what, different. Create high levels for your cat, provide hiding places that when she feels scared or upset she can go and you or any animals arnt allowed to touch her even though you can. give her random treats so she knows shes being punished for her life changing experiance. and for your dog. if she doesnt want to be around her just make those levels. Cats love to be high, there observent, and love to know whats around them. from a cat house. to making the top of the fridge a kitty landing shell love it. and eventually become more comfortable and to her old self. Cats are very to themselfs but she will show you how much she appreciates it. from a dead mouse to her tail rubbing against you!

Cat Will Get Back to Normal
by: Bob

I made the mistake of using a carpet cleaner in my apartment last summer. The noise and the wetness scared my cat so much she developed a real phobia about the carpet, and would hop around from high place to high place. I even had to put her food up, or she wouldn't eat.

In time, two months, she got over it, and is now just fine. Your cat will relax again, just be patient.

Reply to Kate
by: Sam (original poster)

Thank You Very Much Kate for your reply,

I did forget to mention that my cat is spayed, i got this done after her first pregnancy.

I think maybe she was also a type of cat that would stay very close around my house or back/front garden because every time she heard the door open or close or if I was to call her she would come straight away, that's why i was very worried. But if this eases up when she gets older I'm going to be really happy, Because i am really concerned for her safety.

I will also look into the break away collar even though she has a collar with her registration number on there but i might also put an address on there if incase some one does pick her up, hopefully they might be nice enough to return her home to me..

I will keep her indoors for a few days but i also didn't want her to feel trapped indoors because when she wants to go outside and even before she left, she would meow and sit in front of the door waiting and wanting me to open it for her, so i was a bit unsure in what to do in this situation.

I was also thinking of taking her to the vet to make sure that there isn't anything seriously wrong with her maybe physically or internally which i am unable to tell. But If her nervousness still continues after a few days, i will take her to the vet to get her checked out.

I thank you for your help Kate and wish you all the best and with your cats :)

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