It’s every cat owner’s nightmare: you get a lie-in because the moggy isn’t pawing at your face at 5am to be fed. In fact, you don’t see the cat for the whole day. Then two, then four. You start to fret. You worry that the worst has happened. Perhaps his death was mercifully quick? You decide not to give up hope and produce a series of posters and flyers with which to bombard the immediate neighbourhood. You try forget that your cat is basically a quadripedal ninja and can choose never to be seen if he wants. You go knocking on doors. You go for long walks with an empty cat carrier and a torch. You scour the web for advice on what to do when your cat goes missing. You tolerate smart alecs who tell you that you’re not doing enough because they found their dog after dropping 800 leaflets and never mind that dogs walk up to people whilst cats think it’s fun to hide from people.
You start to give up hope without giving up hope. Perhaps someone will find him and scan his chip? Why fight the inevitable: just wait for him to be found! Occasionally, your resolve breaks and you go back out for walks or try calling around vets. Then you give up again and feel bad for giving up. But it’s been 11 days, and with some of the hottest weather on record. How could he have survived?
Then one night, in the wee small hours, your cat comes home either like nonchalant teenager late home from a saturday night out or desperately happy to see you and all’s well again.
So my advice to you should your cat go walkabout for a few days, and assuming he’s microchipped, here’s what you should do: absolutely nothing.
See! They turn up when they want to!