How to Help Your Indoor Cat Return

If you’ve ever found yourself sitting in your living room staring out the window, wondering where your cat went (and when they’re coming back), you might want to take a look at this.

Having your heartbeat quicken and palms become sweaty because of the absence of your furry friend is not a fun experience.

However, there are tricks that you can use to lure your curious kitty back home to you.


cats and owners photo
Photo by Moyan_Brenn

First of all, affection is key. Most cats love to be pet and caressed, so a big way to prevent them from leaving home in the first place is to gently say their name as you rub their tummies or scratch behind their ears.

According to Petcentric, this will cause your cat to associate gentleness and love with the sound of their name. 

That way, when your cat seems to not be coming back, they will remember the petting and affection they will receive when you say their name, and will come running home!

cats drinking photo
Photo by Monkey Mash Button

There are few things that cats love more than eating, according to Catsabout.

Having said that, a good way to lure your cat back home is to leave some food and water out around your house.

Any cat would be happy to gobble it up, and would know that this is a home to which they can always return to be fed and nourished.

cats and food photo
Photo by Sad_Catherine

According to Catster, a cat’s naval cavity contains 200 million scent receptors. Because of that, it’s a good idea to leave things with a pungent odor outside of your house, preferably scents that are familiar to your pet.

Petfbi suggests leaving out blankets or clothing that your cat may wear, or things that have their scent on them.

The scent of these things will draw your cat back to you and remind them of the comfort of their home.


Another way to ensure that your cat returns is to use your voice.  According to a study done by University of Tokyo (Independent), cats show significant responses when it comes to hearing their owner’s voice.

They measured different aspects of the cats’ body language, including tail, head and ear movement. They concluded that cats recognize a familiar voice.

cats and voice photo
Photo by Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue

Because of this, a great way to make your cat feel like it’s time to return is to do nothing more than speak.

However, it is not a good idea to scream your cat’s name in a scared, frantic voice, because that will not be the voice they recognize.  The best way is to talk normally, like sitting on the porch while talking on the phone.

Your cat will connect it with a feeling of safety, and will want to be back in your arms.

There are many ways to train your outdoor cat (or any cats who have a tendency to stray) to always return home.

It all starts with affection.  If you provide your cat with a feeling of love and safety, they will always return home to you.

While the big bad world may be exciting for a while, they’ll know where they can find safety and nourishment.

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