Originally Posted by kana
Are cats smart enough to find their way back if they get lost or do they just lose their sense of direction?
Depends on how old and senile they are. Youre afraid of them running out, I was afraid of them running in! I had this cat who, once outside, would walk several streets over and harass this one homeowner. When the homeowner opened the door, he would always run inside, run up the stairs, and then run into one specific room. This room... ...used to be mine. Yep, several years and two houses previous, he lived there... ...and for some reason, started believing he again lived there.
I have another cat who once was outdoors, but we were forced to make him indoors. Once he jumped off the balcony, and headed towards a busy highway! (reason for being indoors) I had to run out to the iron fence, somehow squeezing between the bars and chase him! It was hard finding him because it was 1am, I didnt have my contacts, and there was tall grass. I caught him 5 ft from the street. Since then hes tried to run out. My fiance just happened to have a bowl of water with him, so he dumped the entire bowl on him, soaking him! He turned around, and slowly walked inside.
Then another cat we had would sit too close to the windows. One day the window was up, and he lend far enough that the screen popped out! He fell outside, and just stood there in confusement. He had never been outside before, and somehow, by going through the window, he ended up in a new deminsion. I was able to retrieve him easily.
When my moms cat runs out. She scolds at him "Saki! Get back in here, right now!" His ears goes back, and he walks back inside!
Most cats will stop fairly close to the door trying to get a feel of their environment. Sort of abosrbing the wild. If they see you chasing them, they'll run. If you stop, they'll stop. You then have to pounce on them, or they'll start running again.
Dogs however will just dart out. Thats how my aunts dog got hit by a car. Poor driver... ...you dont just expect to have an animal dart out of a house like that!