Sit outside instead of looking for my cat?
In addition to doing a complete search on foot, try simply sitting. Spend a few nights outside NOT looking and your kitty may come to you.
The act of looking may appear aggressive to a frightened cat. Imagine that you are your cat and some creature 10 times bigger than you kept poking around shining flashlights everywhere making strange noises. .. you'd be pretty scared, too, wouldn't you?
Even if your kitty may not be brave enough to get right up close to you, being able to finally see a pet gives owners the confidence that their animal is INDEED nearby and they are using the proper techniques.
Which personality profiles is best suited for sitting?
The best lost pet candidates for sitting outside would be 1) an "In-Betweenie" cat a kitty whose personality is somewhere in between the Complete Cover and the Friendly Walkabout (see personality profiles); 2) a timid cat who has had some previous outdoor experience; 3) cats who may have had negative experiences with traps in the past; and 4) Feral Walkabout cats.
How do I Simply Sit?
1) Here's what you'll need:
2) Go out at night when everything is quiet. Pick a spot that is near possible hiding places, yet open enough so kitty won't feel cornered.
Spread out blanket sprayed with Feliway and place the plate of food on the blanket but not right next to you. Place a trail of food leading to the plate. Put heavy gloves on. Then sit there and read. Do not look up. Keep your eyes down. You must stay low to the ground, small, quiet, and make yourself as vulnerable as possible. If your pet approaches, look slightly lower towards the neck area not directly in the eyes, and only long enough to make an identification. Let kitty approach you.
Under NO circumstances do you stand up and chase. If kitty comes to you, try to gauge the sense of comfort and see how close you can get. At any time your cat backs off, you must also back off and freeze. Once your pet gets close enough, see if it will switch to pet behavior (instead of frightened behavior).
If you don't think your pet will switch to the calm animal mode and you decide to grab it, you must make that decision WITHOUT WAVERING! You cannot change your mind midstream. Once you grab your pet, you gotta hang on (that's what the heavy gloves are for)!! Frightened cats no matter how sweet and gentle they are inside may protect themselves with claws and teeth on the outside. So be forewarned, the sharp things may come out. If necessary you can put your cat in a pillowcase or cat carrier. If you think it is not afraid of a cat carrier (not normally avoided at home) you can put the plate of food inside the cat carrier and lure the cat in there.
how Suzanne is able to positively spot her kitty Toulouse by
sitting in this
thread (scroll down to post #130). While sitting quietly outside
did not bring Toulouse to her that night, it gave her the confidence
that Toulouse WAS close by and his likely hiding spot. With
this information she was able to continue her recovery techniques
and lure Toulouse into her basement-as-trap a couple days later.
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