According to the ASPCA’s nationwide research on lost pets, 15% of people had lost a dog or a cat in the previous five years. Only 74 percent of missing cats were located, but the vast majority (95 percent) were able to return home on their own. And this complicates the search for a lost cat much more.
Imagine that after all these years, when there’s barely a flicker of hope that you’ll ever be able to hold your dear furry pet again, you witness something that can only be described as a miracle.
This list was prepared and includes some of the most heartfelt moments of missing cats reconnecting with their owners. Sometimes it feels like the longest year of their lives, other times it feels like a half-decade, and on rare cases, owners lose track of how many years they have been without their cats. But, no matter how long you have to wait, we prefer to believe in happy endings.
Cat, the cat, had been gone for more over two years. His owners were worried sick and beginning to lose faith in him. When they received a voicemail from animal control one day. It turns out that Cat was cared for by a man for a year. When Mindy arrived to the man's residence, she was greeted by Cat, who began purring as soon as she saw her.
"Update! Syd is adjusting beautifully. He's back to purring and making muffins on my arm. Things couldn't be better!" "She is even responding to her original name"
Despite the difficulty of estimating the number of lost dogs and cats, the ASPCA attempted a first-of-its-kind survey of 1,015 households on missing pets in 2012.
Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of shelter research and development at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said the survey revealed a few surprises. “I believe we have developed an assumption about stray pets at shelters—that they are lost pets with owners who are actively looking for them.”
"For the past year, I believe he's been feasting to his heart's content. He wasn't a huge eater before, but he had to eat rapidly to avoid his brothers stealing his food. He was undoubtedly relieved that he didn't have to eat with them this time. However, he now has a voracious appetite. He won't stop eating, so I had to leave him with a big bucket of food. We're not going to put him on a diet; he's just a little rounder, but he's a picture-perfect cat."
"My hypothesis is that she was taken in by another family who didn't care to check if she was owned. She came racing when the fridge door was opened today, which is not typical of a street cat! She's also in excellent health."
"We assumed she was dead, but our first cat has returned. This makes life very awkward."
"My wife and I moved about a 7-minute drive from our previous home a little over 6 years ago. A little over a month later, one of our two cats (my cat, Artimus, the first pet I had ever purchased for me) wandered away and never returned. I went looking, called area vets and shelters, spoke with the old house's neighbors, and waited for a phone call that never came. For a while, I checked in once a week, but no luck.
Then, just before my birthday in early December, I get a call from Animal Aid.
"Your cat is with us."
It was the most wonderful birthday present I could have had."
The cute kitten vanished years ago, just as Robert was about to relocate from California to Ohio. The bereft owner decided to cancel his plans and spend the entire year searching for his long-lost companion in California.
In a video uploaded on the Ventura County Animal Services website, Robert said, "I remember at one time I was praying and I said, "God, I'll do anything, just get my Chebon back." Robert had no choice but to move on because the cat seemed to have vanished forever.
Then, seven years later, a woman saw a cat that appeared to be sick and decided to catch it and take him to the clinic. Fortunately, the cat she discovered had a microchip, and they were able to identify the owner of the 19-year-old cat that had been living on the streets for years in an instant. That's when Robert got a call saying his pet was still alive.
Robert recognized his friend and burst into tears when he finally saw the cat. The two pals were reunited after all these years. The poignant event was captured by the animal sanctuary and went viral almost immediately, causing many people to cry.
"It's the best feeling in the world to track down a lost pet. To be honest, after a few months of being absent, my wife and I came to the conclusion that he had died. What a relief this is now!"
Janet Adamowicz, her sad owner, looked everywhere for a year before giving up. But then, 14 years later, she received an unexpected call from a veterinarian 40 miles away.
“I thought that was strange, but when I got to the veterinarians, they had her there and she remembered me, I couldn't believe it.”
“I have no idea where she was, I believe she was a stray, but she kept being fed by others or collecting her own food.”
We contacted Kim Freeman, the owner of Lost Cat Finder, a lost cat search and rescue organization. As a professional lost cat finder, Kim believes that the amount of cats going missing is under-reported.
“Not only do cat owners rarely report the occurrence (if the cat isn't chipped), but many owners assume the worst and don't conduct a thorough search,” she noted.
Cats, according to the cat finder, are much more difficult to locate than dogs. “Dogs rush out in the open where people see them and become concerned, whereas cats hide and, even if spotted, no one thinks twice about a cat out and about.”
“Adding to the confusion,” Kim added, “when people observe a new cat, they frequently assume the cat is either dumped, abandoned, or stray (rather than the more likely category of lost).”
"When I was out walking my Chorki (Chihuahua Yorki mix), Ozzy came up to me and mewed at me.
Ozzy was the only cat who would run to me when I called his name. So I dialed his number to see whether it was he. That was the case."
"She is even responding to her original name"
"He had barely been fed for a week or two by the family who contacted him. I'm not sure what his five years before that were like, but he was discovered somewhat distance from where he went missing, so I guess he moved in with a family at some point and then either fled or was abandoned. He's also a lot larger than he was when I knew him, so I'm guessing he was a house cat."
The findings, however, presented a different picture. “While some of those dogs and cats are actually lost, many of them are likely to be true homeless dogs and cats.”
Dr. Weiss recommends that pet owners microchip their pets and attach identification tags with easily readable information. “We recommend that the tag include the pet parent's mobile phone number, an emergency contact's cell phone number, the pet parent's land line, and, if the individual is comfortable doing so, the street address of their home,” she says.
If your pet goes missing, make sure you have a clear image of it to hand over to the authorities, and make sure you investigate all nearby communities and animal shelters. When social media is so active these days, it's always a smart idea to start your search there.
"I can't wait to see this guy again. T-Shirt, named after a character from the T-Bag television series, has been rumored to be living in an apartment building and being fed by the gorgeous residents. After he was hurt, one of the locals brought him in and wanted to get him repaired and cared for. Even though I wanted T shirt back, the guy and the cat had been together for a long time, so I agreed to let him have the cat... with visits allowed lol. Get a vet to scan the chip if you discover a cat!"
"Princess was primarily a house cat. I let her out a little more each day until she vanished one day. I'm guessing she was kidnapped because she was discovered today an hour away from where she was stolen. A veterinarian checked her microchip and dialed my phone number. She was taken to the vet by a wonderful lady who had only had her for ten days and had her cleaned up and flea-free. I obtained the lady's contact information, and she promptly returned my pet to me.
I'm grateful she's in good health and that my boyfriend was able to take her up today after driving an hour each way."
“As soon as I looked at that face, I knew exactly who he was. A little bit older, kind of like me!"
"When they initially go missing, it's a nightmare. However, no news is always good news. It's strange to see him in the house doing things he used to do three years ago. He also placed the litter tray in the same location as before."
"My cat ran away from home nine years ago, and yesterday we got a call from animal control saying they had picked up a red cat and scanned his chip, and it turned out to be my long-lost pet!"
Panther was transferred to a shelter in a city 15 miles away when he ran away, it turns out. A woman adopted him and raised him for a few years before handing him over to her parents. The woman's parents happened to be Nguhi's next-door neighbors, which was a happy coincidence.