We make sure that our cat, Dakota, never makes it further than the staircase outside our apartment when he tries to get outside.  Now, we've got a bigger reason to be so strict with him.

The Idaho Statesman published a story this weekend about a Facebook page called "Catch The Boise Cat Napper" that has become active again in recent weeks.  The page was started by a woman who lost two of her five cats last summer before finding her third cat dead on her lawn.  She found the occurrences strange and realized that a significant amount of neighbors had posted about lost cats in the same time frame. The page was active for a great deal of time in the summer of 2015, but settled down.

This spring, Facebook users living in Southeast Boise started posting to it again. Some Facebook users reported letting their cats out for a few minutes while they enjoyed a morning coffee only to find both of them missing moments later.  Another has spent day after day since early August looking for her mom's cat off Wright Street.  That user reached out to the creator of the "Catch The Boise Cat Napper" Facebook page and together they put together a map showing the location of missing cat reports from Facebook, Craigslist and missing cat posters that have popped up over the summer of 2016.  The number of reports (over 30 this summer) are startling and suggest the cats aren't vanishing because of a fox, bird of prey or other predator.  As a cat owner, it terrifies me because the map shows a lot of missing cat activity in our neighborhood and I'd be crushed if someone took Dakota from us.  You can see that map HERE. 

So where are the cats going?  Some users on the cat napper Facebook page have suggested that the cats are being sold to new families at high prices, taken to dog fighting rings, being used to train hunting dogs or sold for their fur on a black market.   Others think unfriendly neighbors have trapped cats that wandered into their yards and taken them elsewhere because they found them a nuisance.

The Idaho Humane Society and Simply Cats suggest making sure your cat is microchipped and that their information attached to the chip is current.  If your cat ends up at one of the shelters, it's the easiest way for their staff to reconnect you and your pet.