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Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Two weeks ago we moved to a rural area, immediately above a state park. Last week a local found bear scat about 20 feet from our trashcans; later that week we found bear pawprints on top of our trashcans. You live in wilderness (ish) area, you deal with the animals that lived there first.

On Tuesday we had haulers in the house, and I forgot to lock the cat in a closet before they came. He's 11; in our previous house he was indoor-outdoor. We made him strictly indoor when we moved here, because bears, coyotes, mountain lions, and so on. He's a successful hunter of lizards, and he's very good at hiding. Anyway, he saw the haulers, he freaked, he ran away, and he ran straight out the front door that was open so stuff could be hauled.

I saw him again very briefly Wednesday night; I went out on the back porch and he streaked away. I haven't seen him since.

Stuff I've done so far:

* Human beings sitting out on the back deck a lot of the time, including after dark
* A box facing the back door (thus sheltered) with one of my T-shirts in it
* A cat litterbox next to the back door
* offerings of food during the daytime; removed after dark because animals of all kinds
* Asking the closest neighbor to keep an eye out

Most of the standard suggestions -- put up posters, ask the neighbors, check with the humane society -- don't apply to a highly rural area. Yes, he is chipped, but the only way anybody would read his chip is if they picked up his corpse on the highway (California 1) that runs by our place.

Are there other standard things I could do to help him reappear, if he's still alive?

God, this sucks.

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kw0134
Apr 19, 2003



Have you considered a baited small animal trap? Or are you likely to catch a raccoon/possum/etc.?

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





kw0134 posted:

Have you considered a baited small animal trap? Or are you likely to catch a raccoon/possum/etc.?

Guaranteed to catch a raccoon. The one time I left out food overnight there were raccoon paw prints on the dish.

jemand
Sep 18, 2018



You could get motion security cameras that send alarms to your phone, and then use a baited live-trap. You can shoo away the wildlife or release it quickly, and might get your cat.

Also you need to leave the exact same door he left open all night, so he can return on his own. No need to bait that door with food or anything, which will reduce the chance of animals coming in. But you need to make it most likely for him to be able to get back in if he tries on his own.

I'm living my own lost-cat nightmare right now, and the following has been useful resources:

https://www.missinganimalresponse.com/lost-cat-behavior/
https://petfbi.org/i-lost-a-cat/lost-cat-action-plan/

Not all of it is relevant to every situation, your rural area definitely has its own challenges.

jemand fucked around with this message at 17:24 on Aug 2, 2021

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





jemand posted:

You could get motion security cameras that send alarms to your phone, and then use a baited live-trap. You can shoo away the wildlife or release it quickly, and might get your cat.

Also you need to leave the exact same door he left open all night, so he can return on his own. No need to bait that door with food or anything, which will reduce the chance of animals coming in.
You have extremely optimistic opinions about raccoons. They are curious and like to explore. We also, as I mentioned, have a bear that might well take an interest. Both of them can smell the food scents in the kitchen, which opens into the living room without a door. For bonus fun, we might catch a skunk!

We leave doors open in the daytime, but there are mobile and hungry reasons not to leave them open after dark.

jemand
Sep 18, 2018



I was leaving my door/window open for weeks for my own cat. I did have motion cameras on everything, and had to shoo away or release raccoons from the baited live-traps, but they didn't get close to the window or doors. Of course, neither did my kitty, but it was definitely one of the most highly recommended techniques supported by the evidence. Would there be a way to restrict the opening of the door so a bear could not come in, or maybe leave a way into a garage, instead?

I'm sorry you're dealing with this. I couldn't eat or sleep for days and I'm still a miserable mess. It's been over 2 weeks now for me, but I really do think she's still alive out there.

All that said its been a week for you already, might be too late for that to work anyway.

jemand fucked around with this message at 17:39 on Aug 2, 2021

The Walrus
Jul 9, 2002




Did either of you find your cats? I'm sorry, this must be a very terrible thing to experience.

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Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Thank you. No, we never saw Jareth again, and we feel that we failed him. :(

After three weeks, we got two new kittens, who are adorable; it lightened the catlessness of the house. They won't be Jareth, but then he wasn't them, either. We are super careful about the doors and the cats. kitten thread.

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