After disappearing for four years, K Bear the cat has turned up at home, acting like nothing has happened.

Living on her own on the streets and parks of Tauranga, Sharon Fisher's cat returned to her Welcome Bay home a couple of nights ago to the disbelief of the family.

"It was dark out and I heard a meow, meow at the door. I opened it and blow me, she just ran right in. I couldn't believe it.

"Then I was the one crying," Ms Fisher said.

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The 16-year-old cat had a history of skipping out and roaming the streets and reserves of Tauranga on her own, being a "fantastic hunter".

"She would go for a couple of days at first, then it was a week, then two weeks, then she was gone for a year. This time it was four years.

"As far as I was concerned she had died.

"You just don't believe they would come home after four years.

"It's just ridiculous," Ms Fisher said.

K Bear's whereabouts for the last four years is a mystery, though she returned home very bony and her once white paws a discoloured brown.

Ms Fisher thought she had perhaps gone out to their old house in the country, near Apata where they lived 13 years ago.

"She hasn't been outside since she's been back.

"The first night she slept in my bed and last night she was on my knee and being so smoochy. She's acting like she hasn't been anywhere," Ms Fisher said.

K Bear worked up a hearty appetite over the years she disappeared, "all she wants to do is eat, eat, eat".

"Every time I open the fridge she just comes running."

K Bear, named because she looked like a little koala bear when she was born, was a placid cat who loved to cuddle but was "bloody mad", Ms Fisher said.

Ms Fisher's 10-year-old daughter was excited to have the cat home.

Danika could barely remember when she left, being only 6, but recalled K Bear was her favourite cat of the four they have. "I was in bed when she came home. I didn't believe Mum," Danika said.

"She's really cuddly and follows us around."