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Cats/Cat Living in street Drain, won't come home


Hi kate
I am sorry to bother you, but I need some help please or if you can
recommend an organization for me.
My male cat went missing on the 8th of October, I phoned all the vets and
SPCA's in the area and have put up posters and contacted kittycat and SA pet
Lovers and posted pictures on their web sites. He is two years old and never
has wandered off ever. He has also been neutered. We used to lock the 4 cats
inside at night when we went to bed, but my one female cat refuses to use a
cat box so she started  using our bed as a cat box. So the decision was made
to leave a window open. The window was open already for a week, then on the
Monday morning  I got up and Binksy was gone, I knew immediately he was gone
because he has always loved his food and meows of note for his food. Any way
we looked every where, then on the Tuesday night in the early hours we heard
a meow, not a normal meow but the howling meow that male cats do, any way we
did not see anything, then in the early hours of Wednesday morning we heard
it again, and it was him but we called him and he just ran away. Anyway we
heard nothing for weeks then on Sunday morning I heard him again, but I
could hear he was in the street. Then My husband came home at 11 o'clock on
Monday night and he was sitting on our 8 foot wall, but as soon as my
husband pulled into the drive way, he jumped off the wall and ran into the
drain in the street. Well we have established that he is living in the
drain, but he seems terrified to come home. I have been putting out food for
weeks, I started leaving it at the gate and slowly moved it so now it is in
the far spare room in the house. The food is eaten every morning and the
room smells of cat urine, so something is spraying in there.We are not sure
if the other cats are eating the food, but I know for sure that it is not
them spraying. Also when we let our one dog out he goes mad in the garden
smelling and sniffing every where. I also think the cat is scared of the
dogs now, even though he grew up with them. Help!!!! how do I catch my cat.
How do I get him to  stop being scared of me, I really don't understand it
as he was my baby and always with me, also there has been no traumas in our
house,we do not have children and our animals are our babies, our whole
world evolves around them, so you can imagine this has really got me so
stressed. Please help.
Thank you for your time

Julie Van Viegen
Nashua North East
Tel : (011) 458 - 7098

Hi Julie
I am so sorry at your upset, i know this feels as i too years ago had a female cat who out of the blue decided she wanted to live with another family down the road.

I'm afraid there are no easy answers to this one. Obviously your male cat now feels happier outside. It may be that the house was too crowded for him with the other cats and dogs, cats do have issues over space. It also be that something happened that you were not aware of that initially caused your cat some stress, sometimes just a little thing ca cause a cat to become afraid of something.
The fact that one of your other cats was urinating on your bed also suggests territory issues in the house for your cats, it may just be that your male cat took it upon himself to leave the house to make more room.
It is a good sign though that your male cat has stayed close by as he still realizes that he can get food there. You are doing everything you can by leaving food for him and keeping an eye on him. He may over time overcome his fears and start to return to you or you may just have to accept that he is your outdoor cat now.
One thing thats different about cats from dogs is that they never loose their wild instincts and can revert to fending for themselves if need be. So as sad as you may be about him not living in the house with you all, be assured that he can look after himself. But hey lets keep our fingers crossed and hope that whatever upset him is soon forgotten. Keep putting food out for him, call him and you never know he may come back.

I'm sorry i can't offer any other advice as cats make up their own minds about things most of the time. As long as he appears to be in good health and is eating you should stop worrying. If he does become sick then I'm sure one of your animals charities would be able to capture him for you.

Best wishes



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Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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