Saturday 2 December 2023

Cat strays 530 miles from the Netherlands to Austria via Germany

NEWS AND COMMENT: This is one of those interesting lost cat stories with a slight twist and it reveals why lost cats that travel a very long distance always achieve this end result in the same way. In this instance, the cat's name is Milo. He lived in the Netherlands with his caregiver Marlijn de Wal. She lets Milo go outside unsupervised and is an indoor/outdoor cat.

The weather is cold in Holland at the moment and deWal was concerned when he didn't come inside. She admits that she is protective of Milo which by the way is a good thing but with the cold weather she really thought that he should have come inside and he hadn't. And so she became worried.

She admits that she started to live on adrenaline and had trouble sleeping for the next three days as she realised that Milo had gone missing. Like all cats he was a companion of routine and therefore predictable. She immediately realised something serious had gone wrong but couldn't imagine that he would end up in an entirely different country, Austria, in the town of Reutte (via Germany) which is 530 miles from her town namely Veendam.

Fortunately the story ends well although from the beginning to the end Milo lost one of his lives. It has transpired that he had jumped into a van with a trailer (or into the trailer), which was driven non-stop from Veendam to Ruette.

Map courtesy Google Maps.

Fortunately Milo is microchipped. It appears that he got out of the van or the trailer near or at Reutte and was hit it seems by a vehicle which left him in a critical condition according to the veterinarian who saw him. Fortunately a good Samaritan found Milo and took him to this veterinarian who is Dr. Johannes Hartling.

He was then in safe hands because being micro-chipped the doctor was able to scan him for a microchip, found that he had one and it was up to date. He was therefore able to contact De Wal and reunite them because we are told that he made a quick recovery from his critical condition. Perhaps it wasn't quite as critical as they first thought.


As mentioned, the story illustrates how domestic cats can be lost hundreds of miles from their home. The domestic cat, as we know, is invariably inquisitive sometimes to their detriment. And sometimes to their health and welfare. And if a van stops near their home and they are allowed outside and if the van driver opens the door or has a trailer open to the elements then an indoor/outdoor cat might just jump in and that's where the problem starts.

Unbeknown to the van driver and unbeknown to the owner the cat is then transported for what can be hundreds of miles and into a different, adjacent country.

Returning home

Sometimes, exceptionally, cats make their way back home on foot using, it is believed, the Earth's magnetic field to gauge where North, South, East and West are situated for guidance and they will use landscape markers for further guidance. It seems that domestic cats have an unerring ability to find their home range to which they are sometimes more connected than they are to their owner.

This is a cross-post from the main website.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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