Indoor Cat Missing for a Week: What You Need to Know & Do

Key takeaways

If your indoor cat has been missing for a week, it's essential to take action and remain vigilant, as there's still a good chance of finding your beloved pet.

Over 70% of lost cats are found. However, the majority are located within 7 days. This is why it's essential you do all you can to find them after a week.

We offer our expert advice and tips for making your search as effective as possible. We'll also take a look at why cats run away and how to keep them safe in the future.

Quick Navigation

  1. Key takeaways
  2. What to do when your indoor cat has been missing for a week
  3. Why do indoor cats go missing?
  4. How to prevent indoor cats from running away and keep them safe
  5. FAQs
  6. Conclusion

What to do when your indoor cat has been missing for a week

When your indoor cat has been missing for a week, it's crucial to remain calm and focused on the task at hand.
By using a combination of search strategies and resources available, you can maximize your chances of finding your lost cat.
Expert Advice: Persistence is key when searching for a lost cat. Keep looking and don't lose hope - many lost cats have been found after being missing for weeks, or even months.

Actions to Take After a Week


Expand the search area: Your cat might have wandered farther than you initially thought. Broaden your search radius and explore new areas, including nearby parks, wooded areas, and other neighborhoods. Check out how to find a lost cat in the woods for useful tips in wooded areas.


Revisit previous search locations: Cats can be elusive, and it's possible your cat was hiding when you first searched the area. Recheck all previous search locations in case your cat has returned or come out of hiding. Learn more about how long cats may hide when scared.


Continue notifying neighbors, local community, and shelters: Keep your cat's information circulating in your community. Update your lost cat posters and provide new information to neighbors, local animal shelters, and veterinary clinics. Check out our missing cat poster template for helpful tips on creating effective posters. \

neighbors searching for a cat

Don't give up. Your persistence can make all the difference in finding your lost pet. For more guidance, read the comprehensive guide on what to do when you can't find your cat.

Search strategies for a week-long disappearance

Adjust search strategies based on weather conditions: Rain, wind, or extreme temperatures might affect your cat's behavior or location. Keep an eye on the weather and adjust your search tactics accordingly. Be aware that cats might behave differently in hot weather.

Search at different times of day, especially dawn and dusk: Cats are often more active during these times, so searching at dawn and dusk might yield better results. Learn how far cats typically go when they run away to guide your search.

Utilize social media and community forums to raise awareness: Post about your missing cat on local community pages, Facebook groups, and other online platforms to increase visibility and reach more people. Follow the lost cat Facebook tips on how to spread the word effectively.

Check local shelters and vet offices regularly: Regularly visit shelters and vet offices to look for your cat in person. Cats can look similar, and staff might not recognize your cat from a photo alone. Use this essential guide and checklist for reporting a missing cat.

local animal shelter
Fact: Cats are crepuscular, which means they're most active during the dawn and dusk hours. Keep this in mind when planning your search times.

Start a PetRadar search

We've managed to reunite over 10,000 missing cats with their owners by using paid ads on social media. When you start a PetRadar search, we create a digital missing cat poster for your kitty. We then distribute this on Facebook and Instagram to over 4000 of your neighbors to help spread the message.
This means when people in your area are simply scrolling through social media, an ad for your missing kitty will pop up on their feeds. From this post, they can report a sighting, send it to a friend, or save it for later.
You will be notified as soon as any sightings are logged so you can follow them up and stay proactive in your search. We also:

Send you a printable, expertly-designed missing cat poster for free

Offer constant support and guidance

List your pet on our missing pet database

PetRadar team

Lure your cat home

Understanding how your cat interacts with their environment can improve your search efforts and help you lure them back home. Consider the following:


Scent plays a vital role in helping cats find their way home. Place an item with your cat's scent, like a used litter box or their favorite blanket, outside your home to guide them back.


Leave out food and water to sustain your cat if they're nearby, but don't overdo it – you don't want to attract other animals.


Keep your windows and doors open. This will help familiar sounds reach your lost cat, helping them navigate their way back home.

cat being lured home by food left out

Understanding your cat's interaction with their environment can greatly improve your search efforts. For more information on how to find a lost cat, check out our complete guide.

Why do indoor cats go missing?

Indoor cats can disappear for various reasons, and understanding these can help you make sense of their actions and guide your search. After a week, your indoor cat might be more disoriented and scared, as they're not accustomed to the outdoors.
Additionally, the behavior of lost indoor cats may differ significantly from that of outdoor cats, so it's crucial to keep that in mind while searching.

Common reasons for indoor cats going missing

Curiosity: Indoor cats are naturally curious creatures, and they might sneak out to explore the world outside their safe haven. Learn more about the top reasons why cats go missing.

Fear or stress: Loud noises, unfamiliar guests, or changes in the household can spook your cat, causing them to escape in search of a calmer environment.

Accidental escape: An open door or window can be an invitation for your cat to venture out, and before you know it, they're gone. Read about what to do if your cat gets out.

Tip: To prevent accidental escapes, always check doors and windows before leaving the house. Also, consider investing in a cat-proof window screen for extra safety.
cat escaping up a tree out of fear

How indoor cats react to being lost for a week

Scared and disoriented: After a week, your cat is likely to be frightened and confused, making them more prone to hiding or avoiding human contact.

Hiding spots: Your indoor cat may have found a hiding spot, like under a bush or in a garage, where they feel safe from perceived dangers. Learn about the top hiding places for cats outside.

Unfamiliar with the outdoors: Unlike outdoor cats, indoor cats lack the skills to navigate their surroundings and find their way home, increasing their risk of getting lost.

Your indoor cat might be closer than you think, hiding in a safe spot near your home.

How to prevent indoor cats from running away and keep them safe

Provide proper identification: Make sure your cat wears a collar with an identification tag and consider getting them microchipped as a backup form of identification.

Regularly play with and engage your cat: Dedicate time to playing, petting, and grooming your cat, helping to strengthen your bond and keep them content. If you're struggling to engage with your cat, try some of our top techniques for locating your cat for fun and interactive games.

Monitor your cat's health and behavior: Keep an eye on your cat's overall well-being, and consult your veterinarian if you notice any changes in health or behavior. If you suspect your cat may be sick, learn about why cats run away when they are sick.

Advice: Regular interaction and playtime can greatly enhance your indoor cat's quality of life and reduce their desire to escape outdoors.

Never give up hope. Many heartwarming stories exist of pet parents reuniting with their indoor cats even after weeks or months of separation.

Cat looking out of a window


How long do indoor cats disappear for?

If your indoor cat has escaped, they will likely disappear for around 24-48 hours. This is because they will go into hiding because they are scared.

What are the odds of finding a lost cat after a week?

Over 70% of lost cats are found. However, the majority are found within the first 7 days. The odds of finding a lost cat after a week do decrease significantly.

Is it normal for cats not to come home after a week?

No, it is not normal for cats to not come home for a week. If this happens, they are likely lost or injured, and you need to search for them immediately.

Will an indoor cat come back home?

Indoor cats can come back home after escaping. Their strong sense of smell will help them locate their home. However, outdoor cats are more likely to be able to find their way back home because they have the experience and street smarts to navigate the great outdoors.

Why has my indoor cat suddenly disappeared?

If your indoor cat has suddenly disappeared, they may have escaped out of an open windoor or door. Alternatively, they may still be in the house but are sleeping in a good hiding spot, so be sure to check the whole house.

How often are lost indoor cats found?

Over 70% of lost cats are found, and many of these are indoor cats. Make sure you search for your cat, report them missing, and take steps to lure them back home.

Do cats run away if they're unhappy?

Yes, cats can run away if they're unhappy. Their fight-or-flight instinct can be triggered by ongoing stress, fear, and neglect.


So, cat owners, even after your indoor cat has been missing for a week, don't give up hope! Many heartwarming stories abound of pet parents reuniting with their indoor cats after weeks or even months of separation.
A strong support network can make all the difference in the search for your lost kitty, so be sure to engage friends, family, and the community in your efforts.
If you haven't already, start a PetRadar search. We'll guide you through the process and do all we can to reunite you with your furry friend.

Written by

Image of the author
Lauren Jeffries

In this blog, I combine my two areas of expertise: pets and writing. I share my personal experiences alongside plenty of animal behavior research to help owners look after their pets. I have always lived with furry friends and am now a loving cat mum to two orange kitties.

Language selection