Virbac USA

The Long Road Home


“I’ve been to Norway,” read Leo’s collar.  Norway? 


It was 1970 near the Port of Alexandria, Virginia.  Leo, the Siamese cat, was a fixture at the local dry cleaner owned by an elderly couple.  One day, Leo exited the store on what was presumed a daily prowl, but he never came home.  Missing posters were passed around as the neighborhood joined in the search.  Days turned into weeks and still no Leo.  Months went by and all of the sudden Leo walked through the store door with a note around his collar saying I’ve been to Norway.  He had managed to wander onto one of the sea freighters at the port and off he went on his adventure.

There are many stories just like Leo’s.  So how do animals seemingly navigate miles? 

Navigation by migratory animals may be by position of the stars or even magnetic cues, states  Scientists have long studied this behavior by such tools as radar and tracking devices.  But that still begs the question, does that explain a feline’s ability?

Animal Wellness suggests that for felines their homing instincts take the lead, but how, is still an unknown. Some suggest that this is a skill influenced by experience, others state the presence of young or a reliable shelter acts as its compass.  All simply theories. 

Those theories will no doubt endure with so many stories of “Extraordinary Cats” and their instincts.

  • Tigger made the three-mile round trip to his old home an amazing 75 times, quite a feat considering he only has three legs.
  • Ninja moved with his family from Farmington, Utah to Mill Creek, Washington – a huge distance. He left the new house and showed up in Utah one year later, after travelling at least 850 miles.

Much like a storybook fairy tale, the long road home will continue with new chapters for cats like Leo, Ninja and Tigger.