Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin, a dabber young cat at Second Chance Humane Society, would rather hang out with dogs. (Courtesy photo)

If you are a "strictly indoor cat” parent you should be prepared for the occasional dash to the door that most cats will attempt from time to time. And sometimes cats that do get outside aren't quite ready to immediately return to their indoor havens. Thus, Second Chance Humane Society and I, in the interest of keeping cats from becoming lost, share the following tips on capturing the evasive kitty.

Even senior cats that have spent a lifetime indoors may suddenly decide to seek a little fresh air adventure. A door that is blown open, a hole in the window screen, a visitor that thinks your cat is allowed out, there are always unknowns that tempt the indoor kitty to venture out, so it is good to know how to respond.

Do not ever chase your escaped cat. This will only serve in lengthening the time it takes for him to decide he is ready to come home. Calmly walk after your venturing cat, call them gently and try to herd them back toward the house.

If this does not work, calmly follow them until either you can reach out and grab them or them plant themselves in an unreachable spot. At least you will know where they are. Some cats can be enticed out with yummy treats while others will simply decide the safety of the home is preferable and return to it. Some may be too frightened to voluntarily come out from their hiding spot.

If your cat does not return home, you may have to resort to a humane trap. Second Chance Humane Society lends these out and can instruct you on proper use of them. It is important that you know how to correctly use the trap before attempting to engage it.

At this point you also should initiate the communication chain that is described on the Second Chance website's Pet Services page under “Lost Pet Prevention.” Getting the word out about your cat at-large is critical to getting your cat safely home. Posting recent photos and your contact information is also a step that has allowed many community members to return a cat to its home that has suddenly shown up at their front door seeking shelter.

Don't take it personally if your cat tries to escape, it is part of their nature to want to be out in nature. But you can be prepared, through microchipping your cat, which Second Chance offers at its low-income, low-cost clinics, and acting quickly if the situation does arise, is critical.


My name is Charlie Chaplin, for very obvious reasons. Yes, I am a funny guy, but I also am a two-year-young tuxedo cat with the best mustache in town. Although I don’t get along with other cats, I really don’t mind the company of a dog or two. I am not sure why, but I just relate to dogs better, it’s just in my make-up (pun intended).

So I am looking for a home where I can be the feline star of the house and continue my stunts and antics. Call today to schedule a time to come meet me!

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties for 27 years. Call 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about our Emergency Response, Community Medical, Spay/Neuter, Volunteer or other services. View our shelter pets and services online at