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Amissing cat that was returned to its family after five years is warming hearts on the internet.
“Five years went by and our hope was gone,” Carmen wrote alongside the pictures of the black and white cat.
“Then I got a call on August 16th, ‘we found your cat.'”
In the next shot, a now-12-year-old Elmo is being snuggled in Carmen’s mother’s arms.
Captioned “This is my reason to never lose hope,” the video has received over 190,000 likes and more than 1,800 shares.
According to the ASPCA, around 810,000 strays that enter shelters each year are returned to their owners, 100,000 of which are cats. In 2010, the ASPCA surveyed pet owners and found that 14 percent of dogs and 15 percent of cats were lost in a five-year period.
Although not much research has been conducted on the return rate of missing pets, a 2012 study suggested it was between 63 and 84 percent, while research conducted in 2018 said 61 percent. Studies also suggest that escaped house cats have a greater return rate than outdoor cats, between 65 and 71 percent, depending on the source.
According to research 33 percent of missing cats are found within seven days and 56 percent within two months, but after that the odds of recovery are low.
What are the most effective methods to locate a missing cat? A thorough physical search is your best bet, with most cats found within 500 meters of their home and outdoor cats more likely to travel longer distances than their homebody friends.
TikTok users were touched by the emotional clip, with sammy952012 calling it “beautiful.”
“I’m crying” commented Sher Bourne.
“All the stories he must want to tell you,” wrote Shae.
“I’m so happy you found your kitty,” LV said. “I don’t know what I’d do without mine.”
In a follow-up video, Carmen said that Elmo is “doing great” since his return home.
“Unfortunately, he has a broken tail and is slowly turning blind,” she wrote alongside footage of Elmo. “But he is getting strong and healthy.”
Elmo isn’t the only lost feline whose story ends with a happy ending. In February, a cat that had been missing for seven years was reunited with its owners, despite them moving across the country. Also, an indoor-only cat that disappeared in 2015 was returned to his family, after somehow wandering 1,400 miles away from home.