Hot weather can result in uncool cats. In the UK, when the weather is genuinely summery we are pleased but one downside for cat lovers is that their cat is more likely to go walkabout and not come back.
There has been a 13% increase in lost cats in the UK for the months of June, July and first half of August, so says the RSPCA.
The reasons for the increase are believed to be a combination of the following:
- Cats naturally roam more in warmer weather, a common sense reason. They want to get out more and explore. This might mean a cat goes further. Going further might result in getting lost. The argument that when a cat goes further he might get lost is against our knowledge of cats as good navigators. Cats can return home over long distances when moved to a new home. Clearly not all cats are good navigators.
- Roaming and exploring cats are also inquisitive. They enter garden sheds and get locked in. That is certainly a possibility.
- The RSPCA also think that cats will be more likely to meet people who are outside, for example having a barbeque. This may upset the cat, which may lead to becoming confused and lost.
- I wonder too if, as people are outside more, there is a greater possibility that cat and human are more likely to come into conflict. Some people are unhappy with strange cats wandering into the garden. The cat may pee on the person’s prized plants. The person may become upset and the cat may be hurt. I don’t know. This seems like a possibility to me in which case the cat may not be lost but dead (perhaps).
Both neutering tomcats and microchipping all free roaming cats are two steps that cat owners should take to help protect their cats from getting lost or being unable to return home. Neutering reduces the male cat’s desire to roam and male cats usually roam further than females. Microchipping identifies a cat’s owner if and when he is far from home and no one knows where he came from.