When your cat is lost, you’ll likely do whatever you can to get them back. Lately, a graphic has been traveling around social media explaining that placing their litter box outside will encourage your lost cat to come home. The image claims that cats can smell their litter box up to one mile away. If this seems too good to be true, you’re probably right. While cats can smell their litter box from quite some distance, it’s more likely that this method will do more harm than good. Read on to learn why.
Attracting Wild Animals
A litter box placed outside is more likely to attract wild animals and neighborhood strays than your lost cat. Animals like coyotes and mountain lions are drawn to the smell of urine. These animals can scare your cat away if it’s hiding somewhere in your yard. They can also cause serious harm to your cat.
You’ll want to keep your cat safe until it comes home. This includes not bringing wild animals into your yard.
Most Cats Stay Close to Home
Research shows that most indoor cats are found close to home. This means that your cat has likely found a hiding space in your either front or back yard. The best way to get your cat back is by using a live animal trap (available at your local shelter or feed store), or waiting until your cat comes home on its own.
When you put out your cat’s litterbox, you run the risk of bringing wild animals into your yard as mentioned above. This puts your cat at risk and increases the chance that they will run from the area. The further away your cat travels, the less likely they are to make it back home.
Everyone likes an easy solution and it can be tempting to try everything when looking for a lost cat. However, you need to think about how your actions might affect the situation. It’s never a good idea to place the litter box outside. Consider getting a live trap instead. Your veterinarian, local rescue group, and/or groomer can provide you with more information about locating your lost cat.