Has cat owners, we like to care, love and protect our pets. Tracking their steps and simply adoring them, however recently I was puzzled has to where cats roam, they simply disappear, leaving without a trace. Then suddenly return after some time.
I learned that the average male cat wanders about 1500 feet while the females wander about 750 feet. Cats are most likely to roam around your home within your community, however, sometimes they may wander off much further then we realize. This search is normally for a mating partner, to hunt or to satisfy their territorial instincts.
No matter how far your cat may go it still finds its way back home. This amazes me, to realize just how smart these furry creatures are that no matter where their curiosity may drive them they are still able to head back home. It’s probably their excellent sense of smell, as we know that cats sense of smell is about twenty times as strong as humans.
Why do Cats Roam or Wander Off?
There are a number of reasons why cats roam and to understand it, you must realize that cats aren’t human. They are animals and their instinct drives them to function in an animal-like way. We cannot expect them to meet the demands of human beings no matter how domesticated your cat maybe. Normally domesticated cats are more reserved and disciplined, but let’s not forget they are still cats and are tempted to react like animals when opportunities present itself. Some of the reasons why cats roam include:
- Curiosity – Cats are very curious and are triggered by the external nature and temptations that lurk beyond your home. Cats love to discover and enquire new territory. Their intelligence is what makes them so nosy. They always want to fit in and be apart of what’s happening. They love interaction and attention. Most of the time cats always end up roaming in bushes and deserted lands hence they are apart of wildlife and are not accustomed to human standards.
- Mating – Often in the breeding season, domestic cats that are not neutred or spayed normally roam a lot in search for mating partners, however, cats can mate throughout the year. Finding a mating partner is very difficult, especially for domestic cats that live indoors. Naturally, the cat would have to leave its resting place and seek a partner that meet their needs. Their roaming journey stretches wider and further if the cat cannot find a suitable partner since cats are very picky.
- Freedom – So we’ve established that cats are apart of wildlife and cannot meet human standards, even though they may be domesticated. I know some cat owners, cling too tightly on their pets. They want to protect and care for their kitty at all times, not realizing that cats love their space. They need time to be unleashed and set free, therefore once the opportunity presents itself that cat makes a run. Sometimes the cat never returns since they enjoy the freedom that nature itself offers. Your aim is to take care of the cat and not entrap the cat to suit your personal needs.
- Food – You may be confused has to why food may be the reason your cat roams even though you provide it. You must understand sometimes cats want to go out and prey for their own food. They are excellent predators for a reason, so sometimes when they are provided with food without having to work for it, they miss out on the joy of having to sustain themselves. I remember my next-door neighbour, he had a cat. The most bubbly and energetic cat I’ve ever seen. Sometimes I would stand by my window in awe observing the way the cat goes around hunting looking for insects and jumping around. These creatures are brilliant, they thrive on the hassle. We cannot cage them no matter how much we may love them.
Is it Safe for Cats to Wander Off ?
Ideally its never safe for cats to roam, the danger may be lurking anywhere around. They could be accidents, poisonous snakes, attacks and other forms of dangers. We know that cats are very territorial, so if your cat is wandering around in another territory, rivalry may start. On the flip side, cats are good at protecting themselves. The fast, runners, good defensive instinct and are fully fitted with sharp claws. These felines are not to be taken for granted.
How can I Prevent my Cat From Roaming?
It’s never straight forward to simply just stop cats from roaming. Instead, they will make a way to wander off. Therefore you need to track your cats daily routine. Make sure you not trying to denature the cat. Allow the cat to be a cat. The aim is to make the cat feel so comfortable that it doesn’t find the need to roam. The following you can implement to start this process.
- Daily walks – I know that everyone leads a busy life and its difficult for daily routines but you could incorporate your workout within the walk. It doesn’t have to be very far, it’s just needed to get the cat away from its usual environment.
- Neutering/spaying – This is the removal of the cats sex organ which can prevent cats from roaming. Most of the time cats roam to satisfy their sexual urge in looking for a mate. Once this procedure is done, hormonal levels decrease and the sexual urges decline.
- Interaction – Join a club and meet up with other cat owners. Allow all the cats to interact and play around together with their owners. The park could be a great place since its safe.
- Attention – Give your cat personal time, one on one. Make them feel apart of your family. Include them in all that you do. Set up obstacle courses, come up with ideas that will spark their curiosity.
- Feeding – Make feeding time interesting, don’t just hand the cat food. Make the cat work for it. Hide snacks around in the garden make them look around for it. Reward them with a treat every time they get something right.
- Freedom – lastly, grant enough freedom. Don’t leash them or entrap them to a certain spot. Leave them to explore and do what they please, provided they are controlled and safe.
Do neutered cats wander? Yes, even though they neutered (sterilized) they are still urged to wander around since it’s their instincts. Normally neutered males roam more often and larger areas compared to females.
Can cats find their way home from miles away? Yes, they bond strongly to their territory / their home. Cats use their urine smell to scent their way back home, however, cats instincts still remains a mystery.