Why do cats run away? 11 reasons and how to deal with it

Cats do run away from home. Whether they’re missing only for some hours or even for days at a time, most cat parents can confirm this type of behaviour in their felines. While cats have a very sharp sense of direction, many cat parents are still worried. Cat parents still don’t know the reasons why their cats are running away from home. Is kitty unhappy? Where does she go? Discover the 11 most common reasons why your cat is running away from home and how to best deal with this situation!

Here is an overview of the 11 most common reasons, why your beloved furry friend might not come home soon

  • 1. Reproduction
  • 2. Sense of Territory
  • 3. Hunting instinct
  • 4. Relocation
  • 5. Double Identity
  • 6. Unneutered cat
  • 7. Distractions
  • 8. New Family Members
  • 9. Second animal
  • 10. More comfortable somewhere else
  • 11. Cat got stuck somewhere

Reason 1: Your furball goes missing from home because of reproduction

Let’s face it: Cats are reproductive species. This means, whenever they are in heat or feel that other cats in the area are in heat, they will search for them. Their very sharp senses will detect cats in heat in the neighborhood and there is no fence high enough to stand in the way of your feline then.

Should they not find cats in heat in the area, some felines might go even further away in their search.

This could lead to your cat being gone from home for multiple days at a time.

Good to know: Some cats also go missing when they are due to give birth. They find another place, somewhere hidden, where they build something similar to a nest, to prepare for giving birth in a safe, undisturbed environment.

Reason 2: Your cat runs away from home because of her sense of territory

Cats have a sense of their territory and it may comprise of an area larger than your home. Sometimes felines include surrounding areas in their own “home perimeter” as well, such as your street, the neighbour’s garden or the entire neighborhood.

Interesting: Wherever your kitty feels comfortable enough, she will easily extend the feeling of “home”.

That’s why, seeing your kitty sitting calmly on your neighbor’s window, should not alarm you most of the time.

Good to know: Is your neighborhood filled with cats? Felines are known for getting into fights often. Some of your neighbour’s cats may even try to claim their territory in your backyard, which could easily cause your own kitty to try and find another quiet yard. If your kitty feels threatened in her own territory by another cat, she may not be around that much anymore.

Reason 3: Your cat runs away from home when hunting

We are all aware of the genetic heritage of domesticated cats, who descend from larger felines with a hunting instinct. Event though many cats are pretty tamed nowadays, they all have a more or less present hunting instinct. While your kitty appreciates the comfort of your home, she definitely feels the need to hunt, at least every now and then.

Should your feline fail to find any prey in your area, it’s very likely that she will travel further away, in her attempt to satisfy her hunting instinct.

what to do when your cat is running away from home

Reason 4: Your kitty runs away from home when you are relocating

Like dogs, cats are animals of habit. They don’t appreciate changes and this also includes moving to a new home. This situation needs to be treated with care and you should always prepare your kitty for a relocation. Many cats need more time to get used to the new location and might run away from the new home, searching for their old territory.



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