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How to find a lost cat.  Suggestions and tips by pet psychic Hilary Renaissance

Can putting out used cat litter with the lost cat's urine guide a lost cat home?

by Hilary Renaissance © 07/26/2022

Can putting out used cat litter with the lost cat's urine guide a lost cat home?

As a pet psychic who works with many lost cats, I often get asked how effective is putting out a lost cat's used litter to help a lost cat find his way home. One of my clients who was searching for her lost cat told me that she had been advised by a cat rescue group to put her own cat's used litter that still had urine in it outside her home as a means of guiding her cat home. My client wanted to know my thoughts as a pet psychic on the used cat litter method. Is it a good idea or a waste of time?

I explained to my client that I think used litter can work if a cat is just lost and is looking for scent clues to which direction is home. However, I do not think it will work if the cat is not just lost, but is also scared and thinks there is still danger in the area. For example, if the lost cat ran off because he was attacked by a local dog or frightened by children playing with loud toys. In that case, the cat is not trying to find his way home. Instead, his motivation is to stay away from the site where he originally experienced the danger, to stay out of sight and to not move around too much, which might cause him to draw the attention of the predator.

You also need to think about the fact that cat's brains act on two primary impulses including;

1) Signals from reactive limbic system which is also referred to as the “fight or flight” part of the brain. According to the University of Australia, Queensland Brain Institute, "The limbic system is the part of the brain involved in our behavioral and emotional responses, especially when it comes to behaviors we need for survival: feeding, reproduction and caring for our young, and fight or flight responses."

2) The emotional connections part of the brain that desires comfort and family connection and good feelings.

The two parts of the lost cat's brain may be sending him conflicting messages. One message is coming from the limbic part of the brain which says stay away from danger. This survival oriented part of his brain is directing him not go back to where he originally experienced the danger. Thus, he is being directed to stay away from your home or yard if he saw, for example, a scary dog or child there. The second emotional part of the brain is telling your cat to come home to where he knows he can find love, happiness and family.


So the cat's brain is telling him to do opposite things:

Limbic brain message =“Stay away from home.”

Emotional brain message = “Come back home.”

The two conflicting messages above are why you often find that lost, scared cats are not far away from their homes and the cats do not move farther away from their homes unless provoked by a new scary occurrence. You could refer to this as lost behavior as “run, hide and stay hidden.” The lost cat's brain is caught in the middle of two competing directives and can not figure out which is the better option. Plus the cat is frightened and does not have good reasoning ability. You might call this state as “deer in the headlights” syndrome. So, it is one of the many reasons why a fear motivated lost cat stays in hiding after running out of their yard or normal territory.

Now we get to the question of whether putting out used cat litter will help guide your cat home.

The answer is that animals look for signals in urine about what the urine means emotionally. Cat's brains are hardwired to think of urine as a marker of protection in good ways or bad ways or neutral ways.  So if you put out your cat's urine, he is going to smell himself in his urine.  If your cat believes he can not protect himself from danger and is currently hiding from danger because he feels that he can not protect himself by any other means than hiding, then putting out his urine does nothing to show him that he is safe to come out. He believes he can not protect himself, so putting out his urine and litter box is a neutral protection or bad protection message. In sum, I don't think that putting out a cat's used litter box will cause any damage, but I don't hear about many cats coming home to use their litter box either.

The one thing you do need to monitor if you do put out your cat's used litter box is if other neighborhood cats start using the litter box. If another cat pees in the litter box, then that will send a scent message to your cat that your home is the other cat's territory. If your lost cat is already scared, the smell of another cat's urine might frighten him away. So if you do put out a litter box, make sure to monitor the area to make sure other cats are not hanging around the litter box. If you notice other cats, then remove the litter box.


The good news is that there are other ways to get a lost and scared cat to come out of hiding depending on what is motivating your cat to stay hidden. As a pet psychic, when I communicate with lost cats, I ask why they are not coming out of their hiding place. For example, is the reason they are hiding is because they are trapped or stuck or afraid of nearby predators or loud noises? Once I know the reason a cat is hiding, I can create a customized plan of action to help you find your cat.

Thank you for reading.

Please note, the information in this article may not be used or shared without permission of the author.

Copyright © 07/26/2022 to current


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