My cat is lost in the woods. How do I bring her back home?

A few days ago I bought a harness and a leash to take my cat on a walk. Now she’s an indoor cat and had always been fascinated by the outdoors so I thought that she would like it. Not the case. I know I should’ve brought her back into the apartment building we live in but I kept on going, thinking everything would be okay. She was meowing and trying to get back inside. I have no idea what I was thinking…

She got loose and started to run, me and my sister going after her. We chased her into the woods and then lost sight of her when we got to the stream that runs along the middle.

On the other side of the woods (it’s not that big, you could cross it in about a minute) is another apartment complex and on the left is a road that splits the two halves of the forest and connects the two complexes.

Where would she have gone? We looked and looked on the side she ran into but what if she’s not there anymore? I read that they tend to go to the place they find most safe but what if safe isn’t towards us?

Please, I want her to be safe and back home. Is there anyway I can do that? If anything happens to her out there I know it’ll always be my fault.

-She’s also declawed but please don’t tell me I was cruel to do that to her. It wasn’t my choice and I was almost as worried as I am now when she went to the vet to do it. I love her very much and I don’t want her to get hurt.

Thank you.


We laid out some tuna and cat food around 7:00 and we put up posters in all the buildings as well.

We laid out some tuna and cat food around 7:00 and we put up posters in all the buildings as well.

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Well, If she has been out there for a few days she is probably VERY hungry. Get some tuna or better yet, sardines…they both have a very strong smell. She should be able to follow her path that she went into the woods so place a can along the same path you were able to track her.

    It sounds like she just freaked out, got scared and ran. If you were to just sit on the ground, with the can of “smelly” food, a cat carrier in tow, and calmly call her name you may just have great success. You may even want to bring along a book or something to help pass your time…but ultimately, plan to patiently wait. She may just be to frightened to venture across the woods alone especially if she isn’t accustomed to the outdoors…way to many unfamiliar sights and sounds out there in the big ol world. Chances are she didn’t cross the stream. Most cats would rather avoid water.

    I hope that you are successful in finding your kitty.

  • x x Loopy-Lauren x x
    1 month ago

    Well, if she is lost in the woods is, if she has a favorite toy or a favorite flavor of cat food. get some treats and make piles in the wood, watch the piles from day-to-day and see if there going, if they are she is close. If you cant find her you may have to call the RSPCA and they will track her down. Does she have a collar or not, because she will end up hungry and she come running home, if she goes into another home they will look at the collar and bring her back home!

    Hope this helps,


  • Mahtahild
    1 month ago

    Go looking for her with a jingly toy and jingle it, but don’t yell her name or be screaming, the toy will entice her to towards it because its fimilair and safe, but yelling and stomping through the woods will just scare her more and make her run away from you. Calling her name in a happy tone like you do when you first get home should be fine, just be aware that any loud or scary noises will drive her away

    Maybe try putting treats or her cat food in a trail back to your house; although if there are other animals in the woods, which is likely, then its a kinda slim chance she’ll get to them before something else does.

    But don’t wait too long before thinking about calling animal control or something; they would probably help you catch her.

    Also put up flyers in the other apartment complex with a description/picture and phone number, she may have run in there thinking it looked fimilair

  • Katelyn
    1 month ago

    Something that no one else said is to put some type of clothing of yours outside. Something that smells like you, or someone else in the family. She will be able to smell it and go towards it. Something that will remind her of home. I know how you feel. Over summer I got another cat and introduced her to my other cat. She didn’t like the other cat and ran away, or got lost, but I feel like its my fault i’ll never see her again. I sat outside for hours a day just hoping she’d come back. Walk around in the woods and call her, don’t scream or run, she’ll probably run the other way. Put up posters around the apartment complexes also, maybe someone will see her.

  • ?
    1 month ago

    She may come back. I know that most outdoor cats know where home is before they set off on a journey. Being a housecat out for her first time, she may or may not know where home is. Does she have a favorite toy that makes noise? Perhaps some catnip set out may even draw her back. Since it wasn’t your choice I’m not going to bother chastising you on having a cat declawed, but just to clarify declawing isn’t just the removal of toenails – it removes the last joint of the cat’s toes (think of removing your finger below the joint under your fingernail) and is therefore very painful for the cat (and of course lessens its defense). I’m not saying this to lecture you, but to just clarify on a comment I saw earlier saying that declawing wasn’t cruel or anything. If you need to protect your children from your cat, then you’d do better getting rid of the cat. Spaying and neutering helps to keep down the ever growing population of cats out on the street who often end up getting euthanized at the pet shelter anyway since there are just so many of them. Cats breed like rabbits, you know, and spaying and neutering simply keeps further suffering from happening in the form of unwanted kittens. It also can provide a boost in health for the cat. Just an FYI~

  • Anonymous
    5 days ago

    If he’s not an outdoor cat, the sooner he gets home the better. You can usually borrow human traps from your local animal control office, though sometimes they require a small deposit that you get back when the trap is returned. Try leaving out some food and water, or putting food in a trap if you can get one. Its possible he’s afraid and is having trouble finding his way back; I would definitely put up some posters, call your local animal shelters and put ads in any free classifieds in your area. If possible, leave not with all the shelters so they can call you if any cat that looks like your is found.

  • Reneemiss [suspended]
    1 month ago

    Well I had the same problem yesterday and this morning with my cat. What we did was get two small plates and clap them together (like the sound of when your getting the wet food) Then its possible they can hear that and fellow the sound home. but don’t give up on your cat we looked for are cat since 3pm-5am this morning and found her with two other MALE cats (lets pray to god she isn’t pregnant.)

  • jenny♥ kittylover
    1 month ago

    hello sweety

    cats are intelligent. She may sense her way back home. it will take some time for her to find her way though. Well i suggest u go 4 a long walk in the woods calling her name n looking around. She may come to u. U need to find her quick so she doesnt go to far. But u no if she had her claws, they cud hav helped her in a protective way against any problem she cud hav faced.

    ill pray 4 ur cat 2 come back

    c my cats 4m my profile pg



    jenny xxx

  • Chelsea
    4 days ago


  • eugene65ca
    1 month ago

    Post posters of a lost cat and hope the finder returns her.

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