Outdoor access cats are those that live primarily indoors but are given time outside. The time outside can vary but usually these cats come indoors for the night. If an outdoor access cat disappears, there are several possibilities as to why.
A purebred or exotic that’s very friendly, wearing no collar, and living in a place like an apartment complex is at a higher risk than a dull-colored tabby that lives in the country. Are there indications that your cat has the high risk categories for theft? These include the cat being purebred, physical evidence to suggest theft, or revenge motives?
Has someone found your pet and assumed it was abandoned? Maybe someone felt your cat needed to be “saved?” Often these rescuers don’t make an attempt to find the cat’s owner and kept it, turned it into a rescue group, or gave it to someone else.
- Intentional Disposal
Did someone want to kill your pet or remove it from the area? Cats that defecate away from their owner’s yards are at high risk as they are known to upset neighbors. Also, cats that live in the area of bird fanciers, animal haters, and fighting dog ring members are at risk.
- Unintentional Displacement
Maybe someone accidentally moved your pet out of the area but didn’t know it. This most often happens to cats that climb into open car windows, open moving vans, or have crawled into an object like a couch that was moved out of the area. Some cats are known to climb into cars whereas others fear cars and open vehicles.
- Injury, Illness, or Death
Could the cat have suffered an illness, injury, or poisoning? These are always risks when a cat goes outdoors. Most cats, though, will seek shelter within its established territory. An injured cat often won’t meow when called by their owners. It’s best to obtain permission from neighbors to go into their yards and search for yourself.
- Wildlife Kill
If you’ve see or heard coyotes, foxes, or bobcats in your area, then your pet is at some level of risk. Terrain and frequency of wild animal sightings dictate the level of risk.
Cats are often victims of becoming trapped because they’re curious by nature. Whether inside a neighbor’s house, shed, under a house, up a tree, or inside a pipe, becoming trapped is a major reason cats disappear. Usually a cat will be trapped within its established territory.