Request for advice on settling a found cat

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Tangent
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Request for advice on settling a found cat

Post by Tangent »

We would appreciate some advice on helping our cat settle back at home.

We found our cat on Tuesday after 6 weeks of him missing - he had escaped from a cattery and was in an unfamiliar area. Although he lost 1kg (he was 5kg, now 4kg) the vets say that he is doing well. We found him near the cattery so he hadn’t gone far, and at home he didn’t used to wander too far either (as far as we know).

It has been suggested that we keep him in for a couple of weeks but we’re wondering whether we can let him out sooner because he normally goes to the toilet outside and doesn’t normally use a litter tray. He has reluctantly used the litter tray these past few days but has been asking to go out today (48 hours since coming home).

Naturally we are nervous about letting him out but also don’t want to distress him by keeping him in longer than we should. We’d welcome some advice on what to do and tips on helping him settle (we have read the advice on this website).
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fjm
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Re: Request for advice on settling a found cat

Post by fjm »

How settled is he? Does he seem relieved and relaxed to be home, or is he hiding and only slowly reclaiming his territory? Have any new cats or dogs moved in while he was away, or anything else changed that might startle him and cause him to run?

I had a cat who was very bonded to me go missing for 10 weeks in similar circumstances to yours - it felt like my own small miracle when he was found! He settled back into his routine almost immediately, although he was anxious around food for a while. It is safest to keep them in until they know they are home and the cortisol levels have dropped, but if it is stressing him it may be counter productive. If you do let him out I would do it when he is hungry and you are there to supervise, and perhaps with a safety collar and ID tag just in case.
Tangent
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Re: Request for advice on settling a found cat

Post by Tangent »

He's very happy to be home, especially liking cuddles and attention more than he previously did. He is anxious if he wakes and we're not in the same room as him, and checks up on us a lot during the night (only 2 nights so far). His confidence is returning and his anxiety decreasing. Mostly he's sleeping on our bed upstairs.

He doesn't like using the litter tray so I wonder if his distress at not being able to go out is because he wants to go to the toilet outside.
alanc
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Re: Request for advice on settling a found cat

Post by alanc »

Didn't have your problem when I got my old Misty back after his being lost for 9 weeks - he wouldn't go out and I eventually had to carry him out only for him to shoot back in again! I would follow fjm's advice re only letting him out before meal times for a while.
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