The Cat Conundrum

Yesterday we adopted two cats. They’re brothers, and they’re four years old. But now we can’t find them. Once they were let out of their cat carriers from their old owners, they bolted. We haven’t seen them in almost a day.

This was to be expected. Cats–especially these cats who have never explored the outdoors and have lived in the same house since they were born–need time to adjust to new environments, people and situations. Still, I am a little freaked out because I can’t find them anywhere in the house.

It’s unlikely they escaped and it’s nearly certain they are tucked away in some random, remote and dark spot in the house that I never knew existed.

I have never lived with a cat. You could call me a cat novice. So, I turned to my cat guru friend, Aleza, who told me they would eventually come out. But when? They probably came out last  night while you were sleeping, she said. They need to “sniff everything.” Well, OK, I’m prepared to wait. But for how long?

How long do you think the cats will remain in hiding?

Take this poll and wager your bet.

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  1. Marebo

     /  October 14, 2011

    They will eventually need to eat. And use the litter box. I’m sure you’ll see ’em soon! How old are they and what are their names? I love cats.

    • Marebo

       /  October 14, 2011

      Um, duh…just re-read that they are 4 years old.

    • Miss Marebo, they are four years old and they are really nice cats. At least they were nice when we visited them at their old owners’ house. Their given names are Tig and Fatty, but I think we’re going to change them. No one has agreed on that yet. One consideration was to name them both Dave, like in the Dr. Seuss story “Too Many Daves.” Love that book. Remember Flaco?

  2. It really depends upon how tame they are. Feral or semi-feral cats can pretty much hide forever. You’ll know you have them because they’ll eat the food, drink the water, poop (hopefully in the box) and shred a few things for you. But if they are used to human affection, they’ll miss it and be out looking to get that within the week.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks for the words of advice! They are not feral by any means, came from a warm and loving home. So I do hope they want to be seen eventually!

  3. Jan

     /  October 14, 2011

    I’m so sorry but I think you may have a real problem here. Cats are very individualistic. And surprisingly sensitive, given their poker faces. (They don’t seem to have the myriad of facial expressions dogs have, and yet they feel things keenly. Still waters run deep I guess!) Cats are particularly fond of places, maybe even more so than people. It is very traumatic for a cat to move from one place to another. They can be rather melodramatic about it. I assume you have a litter box set up. By now you should be able to tell if they’ve used it … if not, I would consider shoe boxes lines with foil & filled with kitty litter throughout the house! We do not want them getting into bad habits! The other thing might be bowls of tantilizing, stinky wet cat food placed close to the kitty litter pans. Eventually, a little head will stick out. Particularly if they are house cats. Keep the faith!

    But if all fails, don’t blame yourself. Cats will sometimes take up residence down the street for one reason or another. I have a male cat whom I rescued from a shelter, and does he care, no! He went to live three doors down. He stops by every other day or so to make sure my resident cats aren’t getting something extra delicious for breakfast, then he goes back to the house that backs up to his favorite place in the woods. The little ingrate!

    My house cat, on the other hand, I took home from the groomers when they almost shoved her into my face, and she is the cat I’ve gotten closer to than any other. She follows me, comes when called, and sleeps on me. She sits on my knee and swipes at the dogs when they get too rambunctious. She is Queen Chloe the Magnificent and my very favorite!

    Giving your two cats the same name is a bad idea. You want each animal to eventually respond to its name, so each name needs to be a distinct one they can learn. I once took home two cats and gave them long, grandiose names they never, ever learned. Once you find your cats and decide on names, then you need to use the names as much as possible. You are, after all, speaking a foreign language to them and it will take them a while to catch on.

    Good luck! As you can tell, I’m a nut for my pets! You have twins to keep you sane, but some of us without children get a little carried away!!!

  4. Wow Jan, thanks for all the advice. If we don’t see any trace of them in the litter box or missing food by tomorrow morning I will set up some tantalizing treats around the house and more litter boxes.

  5. Well, fingers crossed. if you ever see them again put butter on their paws. if they sit down to wash somewhere they usually settle, i have shifted cats often.. they will be ok.. hope you are using the same kitty litter and food as their last home..cats are into smells.. have fun! c

    • Thanks for the suggestions! I trust they will come out sooner or later. One of them is especially friendly, so he will probably be the first to emerge.

  6. I moved my cat from one apartment to another and got a dog the same day. (I was young and less wise than I am now.) When I let the cat out of the carrier, it looked like a sit-com. The dog escaped from the room she was supposedly safely shut away from the cat. She chased the cat through the apartment and they both ran out the back door as my roommate was bringing things in from the car. The dog returned in about 20 minutes. I was certain I would never see the cat again. He came home after 2 days. I figure if a cat is moved and then attacked by a sworn enemy who chases him out of the foreign new home returns–anything is possible. Good luck with the kitties!

  7. My mom’s cat came to live with me for 6 months while she was transitioning from Florida to Washington State. Our house had many nooks and crannies and we rarely caught a glimpse of him during the entire time he lived with us. He ate his food and used the litter box but that was about it as far as we knew. However, I think your situation is not hopeless; this cat hated me (and just about anyone who wasn’t my mother). I think your new guys will be fine once they have a chance to settle in and warm up to the lovin’ you have to offer.

    As for the names . . . How about Dave for one of them and Oliver Boliver Butt for the other?

    Good luck!

  8. It’s been so long since I had cats, I can’t remember what it was like when we got them! I hope they’re out and about in no time.

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