I have stolen the neighbour's cat.

(89 Posts)
fullofregrets Sun 29-Apr-12 15:23:04

About three years ago a little tortie cat appeared and started trying to get into the house. She would get through open windows and sometimes pounce on us in the night. Occasionally we would return and find she had been in the house all day having snuck in the front door without is noticing.
At first I wasn't sure where she was from and she was scrawny. She was also riddled with fleas so I thought she might be a stray. We didn't actively encourage her by feeding her but we didn't spray her with water or anything.

Anyway as time went on she was spending more time sat outside the house and our bedroom window crying to come in. At the time I was heavily pregnant and on mat leave so was in a lot. In the end I flea treated her primarily because I did not want my house infested with fleas and also because she was twitching and scratching. I also wormed her and at this point we started to feed her.

Subsequently I found out from a neighbour where her owners lived. Apparently they had several cats and two big dogs which is maybe why 'my' cat moved out? Since she first started appearing she has now pretty well moved in, when we go on holiday my mum comes over twice a day and feeds her and the cat now has a cat flap blush.

My problem is that her owner's have split up and the house has now been sold. Do you think I should go round and speak to them or offer some money for their cat? I've kind of been at some weird halfway house with her the last couple of years where she isn't really mine yet appears to live here! I actually don't think she has been back to her owner's house for over a year.
Or should I just leave it? I'm fairly sure they know she has moved in with us and they've never said anything.

I am an awful cat stealing person. I never even wanted a cat.

ExitPursuedByABear Sun 29-Apr-12 15:25:10

Nah - don't say anything. The cat chose you.

grin

Methe Sun 29-Apr-12 15:26:09

Just leave it and enjoy your cat, she obviously likes you more than the previous lot smile

FannyFifer Sun 29-Apr-12 15:27:47

You basically stole someones cat, totally frowned upon.

fullofregrets Sun 29-Apr-12 15:30:10

I was hoping you'd say that! Her real owners are a bit scary! Shall I hope they just leave her? I have visions of them turning up on my doorstep reclaiming their cat!
She doubtlessly prefers it here, no dogs, bloody most expensive range gourmet cat food, lots of fuss, special cat bed, better name grin. There is a toddler, mind you but she tolerates him.

fullofregrets Sun 29-Apr-12 15:30:52

Ohh...I wasnt hoping you'd say it was frowned upon!

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sun 29-Apr-12 15:30:56

My cat was like that, progressively moved in (he did like my bird and my dad freshly fished trouts very much wink). Once he came back with a collar with and address so my mum took him back. They weren't nice people. When the cat reappeared without the collar and scare of the broom we just let it go...
Was my cat until he died at 15.

A cat can choose is home, sounds like yours chose yours. If they were concern they would have gone around the neighbours to ask if someone had seen their cat, surely?

Emmielu Sun 29-Apr-12 15:32:17

Wait & see if the owners know hes gone. If they dont notice for 6 months then keep him.

Rainbow Sun 29-Apr-12 15:34:09

If she has been with you for a year and her owners have not been looking for her, then say nothing. She chose to live with you and you have accepted that. Leave it at that IMO, especially as she was in such bad condition to begin with. smile

AKMD Sun 29-Apr-12 15:35:59

I would let them know. If my childhood cat had gone missing I would have been devastated smile

"A better name" grin - what was his old one?!

we were adopted by a cat too. DH took her back to her owners several times but by the time he got back she had escaped again and come back. we started feeding her and took her to the vets cos she was all scratty with sore eyes and in 6 months she turned into a sleek and beautiful and very loving animal. we had her for 5 years until she developed a cancer and had to be put down. we loved her and they didn't, cost us a fortune but we feel happy she had a good life in the end. They knew where she was and didn't care a jot Dh went to them and said shall we take her on now and they said ok.

fullofregrets Sun 29-Apr-12 15:37:29

Their house must be covered in fleas as can't imagine they would have treated their other cats either. 'My' cat is a dainty little thing and she was absolutely covered. As I was flea combing her I was finding several of the nasty little bastards every time I ran the comb through her fur. I did contemplate calling the rspca at that point as I didn't know whose cat she was but in the end just flea treated her myself.

New carpets for the new house owners perhaps?

FannyFifer Sun 29-Apr-12 15:38:04

But the cat didn't choose you, you encouraged it by feeding it etc so of course it would stick around.

There was a previous thread on here by a woman whose neighbours had stolen her cat, basically what you have done.

edam Sun 29-Apr-12 15:38:17

Hmm, sounds like her old owners weren't looking after her terribly well if she was flea-infested. And she does appear to have chosen you... although you never know where they've gone when they go wondering, she could well have been eating and looking for cuddles in both houses. Cats are tarts.

One of my BIL's cats left home when my sister got a dog. Don't blame him, tbh. When sister and BIL split up, and sister moved out taking dogs (by then plural) with her, the cat moved back in...

NatashaBee Sun 29-Apr-12 15:38:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Longdistance Sun 29-Apr-12 15:38:36

A cat chooses their owner, not the other way around. If they're not happy, they'll move on.
My cat wasn't happy, and ended up at a womans house half a mile away, twice. She now owns him, as he's happier there. I loved Bobs, but he chose her 2 be his 'mummy' sad
Still upsets me, but I had 2 let him go.

D0G Sun 29-Apr-12 15:39:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sun 29-Apr-12 15:39:42

I don't think you have done anything wrong. I thought there was some wierd law that said cats weren't property so you couldn't steal them, or something like that.

Cats do what they want to do, people take them on knowing they might bugger off somewhere else. If you want a pet that's going to stay put, get a dog.

perceptionreality Sun 29-Apr-12 15:40:33

I don't see why it's frowned upon! You didn't take the cat out of its home - it ran away because of neglet. If the cat goes with them now it will be neglected again so I would say nothing in the circumstances. Happy, well fed and cared for cats always go home - they don't look for a new one.

edam Sun 29-Apr-12 15:40:57

My childhood cats managed to persuade our elderly next door neighbour to feed them. Nice old lady knew they were our cats and wasn't trying to nick them, she just couldn't resist. They wanted their butter spread on both sides of the loaf! Our cats didn't move out, they just went round the neighbours when we were all at school/work. Cheeky so-and-sos.

fullofregrets Sun 29-Apr-12 15:40:57

AKMD I darent say in case I'm recognised! She never had a collar but when I used to walk my son round in his pram desperately trying to get him to sleep she used to come with me like a dog. As I walked down the road one neighbour said 'oh xxxx is going for a walk with you' or something like that and that is how I discovered her real name and where she lived.

perceptionreality Sun 29-Apr-12 15:41:53

It would be different if this was a specific breed of animal that needed a license but it sounds like this is not the case.

Fiendishlie Sun 29-Apr-12 15:45:25

My cat adopted me about 8 years ago. He was a full grown tabby, he's getting quite old now. The difference with me is that I do not know where he came from, I thought maybe someone had moved away and not taken him with them. I chose a new name for him and it took him ages to get used to it, I always wonder what hs first name was.
I love him dearly. You should keep your cat and say nothing in case they insist on you giving her back.

Mosman Sun 29-Apr-12 15:46:11

Our cat was microchipped, loved and well cared for. The bastard still moved in with the neighbours three doors down the road. No logic to them, he sees us in the street, says meow and then keeps walking. He knows what he's down. Neighbours are embarrassed but not their fault i tell myself through quiet sobs

OldGreyWiffleTest Sun 29-Apr-12 15:46:18

Of course you haven't done anything wrong, so please ignore fanny.

I am in the same situation at the moment with a young cat that keeps visiting. She keeps running away from home, and is currently sneaking into our hedgehog feeding station for peanuts, dried cat food, and sultanas! I am not actively feeding her, but it is clear she doesn't want to be with her 'owners'. We will see what happens.

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