Upon getting lost, Garfield finds his family and rediscovers where he was born.
Garfield wakes up but won't step on the cold floor. He jumps over to Jon for breakfast. Jon tries to give him cat food but Garfield has eaten Jon's breakfast. While wiping his mouth on Jon's tie when Odie comes up behind and barks giving Garfield a fright pulling Jon's tie. Jon becomes concerned about Garfield's behavior after he messes up the house while playing with Odie, he first thinks on giving them away to the supermarket, then decides a one way ticket to the city pound but then he decides to drag Garfield to the veterinarian. During the drive over, Garfield tries ways to get out of it until he falls out of the car and realises that there is no vet, no Jon and no Odie. Garfield at first enjoys being out on the town like being cool and trying to get girl cats but they reject his cool looks. He then decides fast that he is cold and that he misses his house. Back with Jon, he is worried about Garfield's absence to call Dr. Liz for advice but proves to be no help.
Garfield is lost and can't find anything to eat until he decides to eat from a trash can but as he rummages for food in a trash can, he rejects it after smelling it. Garfield gets attacked by a tough alley cat who claims to own the can. Garfield decides to leave but the alley cat calls him "puffball" making Garfield decide to fight him using shadow music fight. Garfield manages to hold his own at first, but the alley cat calls for an entire gang of stray pets to overwhelm Garfield and he is forced to run away. Garfield escapes by hiding in an abandoned building, where another cat suddenly approaches him. Garfield fears for his life until she reveals who she is... his mother. They both cuddle and Garfield's mother finds that he has gotten fat. Meanwhile, Jon has a "Missing Pet" poster made up in hopes that somebody finds Garfield but when he tries a lot of descriptions, he learns that it is expensive and makes it shorter.
The next morning, Garfield is woken up by his mother and at first thinks that it was a dream but then Garfield spends some time reconnecting with his childhood. He recognizes the building as Mama Leone's, an Italian restaurant where he was born and where he discovered his taste for lasagna. His mother then takes him to see the rest of his family who lives in the building, such as his sickly half-brother Raoul and his cousin Sly who is the security guard on watch for troublemakers. Finally, Garfield meets his tough maternal grandfather, who boasts that Garfield is descended from a long line of mouse-hunting cats (which Garfield isn't) and is ashamed at seeing how soft and weak his domesticated grandson has become.
Sly suddenly screams out that the building is under attack from a gang known as "The Claws", whom Garfield recognizes as his attackers from last night who had discovered him in the building before he was introduced to the family. The alley cat leader demands that if Garfield is brought out to them, then they will leave or if they don't, they'll level the whole building. Though his grandfather is sorely tempted to give up his "lardball" grandson as Garfield hides like a coward, he refuses and the Claws attack. Fortunately, Garfield's family proves resourceful in fighting back and the Claws retreat. However, due to Garfield's cowardice during the fight, his grandfather orders him out, to which Garfield has no objections. He then tells them to not ask him to stay.Garfield's mother tries to reassure her son by saying that not all cats are cut out to be mousers, but also that they all envy his easy life at Jon's home. Garfield pays his respects and excuses himself, and his mother tells him that she'll always be watching out for him and that she loves him. However, Garfield is still lost and unable to find his way home, and a rainstorm only adds to his woes. Suddenly, Jon's car passes and Garfield chases it until he passes out. As luck would have it, Odie spots Garfield lying on the sidewalk as he and Jon search for him in the car. Garfield wearily says "Home, Jon", before collapsing in the back seat.
The next morning, Garfield wakes up in his bed after Odie wakes him and wonders if everything from yesterday was just a dream. He suddenly spots a cat walking out of the house and follows, just managing to catch a glimpse of his mother as she vanishes from sight. Garfield thanks her for all her help and for everything.
- Girl Cats (voiced by Desirée Goyette and Allyce Beasley)
- Chef (voiced by Thom Huge)
- Liz Wilson
- Garfield's Family
- The Claws (one member voiced by Gregg Berger)
- "Just Another Crazy Day" performed by Lou Rawls
- "Startin' from Scratch" performed by Lou Rawls
- "Home Again" performed by Desirée Goyette
- "The Claws" performed by Desirée Goyette and Lou Rawls
- "Home Again (reprise)" performed by Desirée Goyette
- This is the only special to have been co-written by Lorenzo Music.
- This is the first special in which Thom Huge provides Jon's voice.
- The circular eye style for characters is featured regularly for the last time in this special. The style appeared one more time in the first few minutes of Garfield in the Rough.
Differences between the special and the book adaption:
- When meeting his grandfather, Garfield declares that he will try his hand at mouse-hunting, in an attempt to impress him. His Grandfather orders that he will face the "training mouse", a giant rodent that's larger than him. The arrival of The Claws cuts Garfield's training short.