My Cat Ran Away & Came Back Different: What to Do!

Recently, a friend told me, “My cat ran away and came back differently.” I thought about the instances in the past when my cats disappeared and returned to their homes. They also looked different; they all looked and behaved differently than before they went missing.

Changes in cats following being lost are commonplace, and the longer your cat has been lost, the more dramatic the changes will be. But it is possible for your cat to return to the blond fur you know and cherish! Releasing your cat to its former self requires some patience and time.

If you want to return your beloved cat, it’s in the best area. This article will cover the common changes cats undergo when missing and the best way to combat these changes. In a short time, your cat will be back to his usual friendly, fun self.

Expected Changes in Cats After Being Lost

When a cat is evicted, the environment changes completely. The cat no longer enjoys the security at home with food served on a silver tray and the available affection. Instead, missing cats must confront the elements, search for their food and enjoy time alone.

This abrupt environmental change results in changes to physical appearance and behavior

Changes in Physical Appearance

When your cat can find its way back, its physical appearance will become apparent. If your animal is in the wild, those changes become more pronounced.

A few of the more noticeable changes will be made to your cat’s coat. Their beautiful coats could now be wavy and unclean. They can quickly get knotted and tangled without having you present to brush their hair, particularly if you own long-haired breeds. Cats can contract parasites, and infections they catch from the streets can make their fur appear less tidy.

Weight fluctuations are another noticeable physical change in cats that escape. A majority of cats shed weight after being absent. They’re not accustomed to hunting prey and frequently avoid meals. This is especially true for those who are an indoor cat that is missing for up to 24 hours or more. They’ve likely never caught any food in their entire life!

Weight changes can be either way. When your dog is a master hunter, it might have caught a lot of small prey. Instead of losing weight, he has eaten more than usual and gained a few pounds while absent from the home.

Changes in Lost Cat Behavior

It’s not just physical changes that owners observe in their pets who escape. When my cat came home, and he was a bit more relaxed, his behavior changes shocked me. My friend was saying the exact issue – she was expecting physical changes but didn’t anticipate her cat to be a distinct personality!

Like physical changes, The differences in the temperament of your cat depending on the length of time she’s been absent or what she did being away, as well as the reason your cat escaped initially:

  • Insane and WithdrawnMy cat has become timider, staying away from social situations, refusing to be approached, and hiding underneath my furniture. If a scared cat is likely to hide when they are afraid, so if you notice that your cat is withdrawing and withdrawn, it’s expected that it’s been anxious while trying to find its way back home. Other signs of anxiety include the excessive grooming of your cat, the louder voice, and the refusal to go to the toilet.
  • My acquaintance’s cat was much more aggressive than before she disappeared. The most common reason for the aggression is that your cat had a rough time in the absence of their home quite stressful. Maybe your cat was involved in a fight with a cat, nearly involved in a car accident, or even had a close encounter with a predator. If your cat finds their living space stressful, it will likely last longer.
  • More affectionate: Other owners have discovered that their cat is becoming more attracted after returning home. The cats are excited to return home and try to find ways to compensate for the lost moments with their owners. They are enthralled by the security as well as the security and security that home offers. Overly affection and clinginess could also be a sign of stress. Your cat may be looking for comfort from you to soothe them.

What To Do When a Lost Cat Returns Home

If you’re lucky, your lost cat will be returned home if you let him go outside. However, since there are always differences when a cat is lost, it isn’t possible to behave as if nothing has occurred. Your cat is likely distressed, hungry, anxious, and stressed and has been through quite a bit!

So, following the steps listed below is essential when your cat who ran away is returning home. This will let your cat feel at ease, address the problems, and bring you a happy, playful feline back!

Introduce Food SlowlyWhen your cat is home; it’s natural to provide them with a large bowl of their food. There’s a high probability that your cat has yet to eat well in the past few days. If your cat sheds weight, the urge to feed it is more significant.

However, it is essential to slow down. If your cat has not eaten for a while, its stomach will be smaller. Feeding your cat excessively too fast can make it suffer from stomach discomfort, leading to health problems that last a long time and liver damage. Instead, slowly add foods (and maybe even water) while observing your cat’s reaction after each fare increase.

1. Give Your Cat a Thorough Groom

Cats are notoriously averse to water; however, it is worth bathing your cat after the return. Most cats come back looking different, with poorly maintained and unclean coats. Bathing can help remove the dirt that’s making your cat’s coat appear dull and any other stains lurking within the fur.

I suggest brushing your cat’s fur to help remove knots or knots. The grooming process also lets you look at your cat’s skin and hair in greater detail. Are you able to spot any eggs or flea bites? Are there any open sores on the cat’s skin? Do they have cuts on their own while they’ve been gone? This will help you identify infections or parasites that are responsible for the changes that occur in the coat of your cat.

2. Take Your Cat to the Vet

Always take any cat missing who has returned to its home vet. Cats are adept at hiding illnesses and pain. They could have contracted an infection requiring treatment, or they may have hurt themselves, which you’re unaware of!

Your veterinarian can conduct an all-over exam to make sure your cat is healthy and can treat any medical issues they spot. This can include a physical exam, blood tests, and an examination of fecal and urine samples to provide a complete image of your cat’s health.

Veterinarians are also excellent sources of advice. You can inform them of the behavior changes you’ve observed after your cat returned or any other issue you’re worried about. Your vet will advise you on how to handle the changes in behavior and might suggest using behavioral therapy in case your cat becomes aggressive.

3. Keep Your Cat Separate

Your cat will be able to recognize you upon returning to its home. However, it takes time for your cat’s mind to adjust. Your cat is used to being alone and must be accustomed to being with other people. If you notice your cat chasing you, show it some love! Make sure you move at their own pace.

It is recommended to provide your cat with an area of your home in which it can be at home while they adjust to its new surroundings. Once your cat has become more at ease, you can introduce your cat to the entire family. This will help reduce the behavior of hiding and aggression over the next few days and weeks following her return.

It is also essential to allow your cat to rest before introducing it again to other animals. It was likely too early if you noticed your cat escaping to her litter of kittens or other cats or even your dog. Let your cat go to the space they require. This is the only way to be calm enough to be their authentic selves again.

4. Be As Patient as Possible

The most important lesson from this piece is the need to remain patient. When my cat went off and returned with a different look, I wanted to return things as they used to be immediate. But that’s not possible and shouldn’t be your aim.

Instead, concentrate on caring for your cat’s well-being and reversing modifications to its physical appearance (healthy weight and a shiny coat). Give your cat time, gradually reintroduce them to your family, and observe their behavior. The most stressed cats will likely regain their original personality with enough patience.

The inability to walk at their own pace could cause a cat to be more likely to flee once more. If your cat doesn’t want to go inside during the evening since they’re exhausted at home, it will not! Again, patience is crucial.


Returning your pet home is a significant time. You’ve had your pet returned after a period, whether hours or days, weeks, or perhaps even months! But it’s common for lost cats to return with a different appearance, and the longer they’ve been missing, the more significant the changes.

Be aware of your cat’s behavior and observe the cues they give. If they’re scared and need to run away, allow them to. If they’ve been missing you and require lots of love, offer a gift to them. If they’d prefer to be by themselves, allow them that space. It would help if you made your cat feel at ease at their pace.

If they are patient enough with them, their previous personality will return!


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