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Do cats not come home because they get lost or because they don't

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Do cats not come home because they get lost or because they don't want to?

My cat escaped from my apartment a few months ago, after I brought her from my parent's house to live with me. We eventually found her half starved to death. She's been recovering with my parents since, but I want to bring her back.

I don't know if she didn't come home because she didn't think of my apartment as home yet and was trying to get back to my parents, or she just got lost or stuck. At my parent's she goes outside but always comes home.

I'm obviously going to be very careful about not letting her escape again, but I'm pretty paranoid about it happening again. If I took her on a leash walk around the area would that help her come home if she did escape? I don't know what else to do besides buy a GPS tracker.
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Both. Sometimes they don't want to come back, sometimes they get lost, sometimes they get injured and sometimes they die
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If they escape from the apartment and have never been outside in the area they might get scared and lost. They probably don't know where they are and can't find home.

My cat was out exploring the stairwell of my apartment complex(under my supervision). He climbed up to the floor above, which looks identical except there are only 2 apartments there instead of 4. He heard a noise and got scared, but forgot where he was, and headed to the corner where my door would be, scratching on the wall. He had completely forgotten that he was on another floor and got confused.
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>>2317411
Next time put their litter tray outside they can smell it from really far away
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>>2317411
good on you for wanting to take care of your cat, but understand that moving her from her house into your apartment is a major change. She probably got lost, and doesn't think of your apartment as home

play with her lots, and be with her outside to show her around, but not letting her go unsupervised. Whether or not you have to use a leash depends on how much you know your cat and your relationship
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>>2317436
This.

Also just a heads up there's no internal GPS since it wouldn't be possible to charge it. There are collars but I imagine they'd be too bulky for a cat
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>>2317720
Yeah I looked some up and there's cat ones but you need to charge them every few days, and they're all pretty expensive. I think I'll try taking her outside to get her used to the area


>>2317436
I tried that but it didn't work last time
I had cleaned it just before she went missing though, so maybe it would've worked if it actually had something in it?
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>>2317411
they die and can go feral
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>>2317411
Normally a cat comes home. My indoor cat somehow got out the back door one night and nobody's noticed until the next morning where he was already by the same door waiting to be let in. He of course was shooken up but somehow knew to stay in the area and try again in the daytime.
Your cat probably was a bit confused as it didn't know the area at all yet let alone how to get back to you.
Our cat does get let out for a bit on the front and back porches while we get mail and such so he knows what the area smells and looks like to our home. It's probably a good idea to acquaint yours to its surroundings immediately by your doors so that in the future should it happen again it will be at least familiar with the area.
I know you've looked into gps collars but how about gps name tags? Those exist too.
I think at the very least it's a good idea to make sure she has tags with her name your address and phone number on it so that if anyone does manage to find it , they can alert you right away.
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>>2318162
Yeah, even if you just scoop out the dirty litter and leave that outside. It's really their own, familiar scent that they're recognizing. It would even help if you had a blanket or cushion that the cat sleeps in, or some dirty clothes from their favourite person in the house
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