To be cheesed off with this but not know how to address it?

(16 Posts)
WelshMaenad Fri 13-Jun-14 21:40:04

I have three cats. They are outdoor cats and use a window to get in and out. We have an all glass back door that've can't put a cat flap in, we can't really afford to replace the door currently and also plan to put the house on the market soon and don't want to go to the expense of fitting a new door just for a cat flap when we plan to move soon.

I seem to be feeding the entire local cat populace. This includes one slightly sorry looking cat that I believe to be feral and I don't mind that, if I can get it's trust and capture it I will arrange a vet check and free neutering at the least. I also don't mind the odd local cat popping in for a tiny munch on cat biscuits.

However, our neighbours down the road have four cats, and they are becoming a problem. They're nice people, but seem to acquire an awful lot of animals given that they have a very tiny house - I think they're at 4 dogs, 4 cats and a couple of tarantulas.

The cats come in and eat a lot of cat food. They also eat literally anything else they can get their hands on. Leftovers waiting to be scraped. Ingredients I've prepped then stepped away from to attend to a child. If I don't put bread away in the bread crock they will rip the packaging open and eat the bread. Teabags left on the side of the sink. Anything.

It's becoming a nightmare, other neighbours have said they now feel unable to leave windows open at all as they have the same problem. It's summer, aside from needing access for my own cats , I just want my fucking windows open! Clearly the cats are not being fed enough, I can't imagine a cat would choose to chew on tortilla wraps out if the packet unless it was hungry! But I dont want to sour relations with my neighbours, I get the impression they could be really funny with me if I upset them, nice as they are. Wtf do I do?

WooWooOwl Fri 13-Jun-14 21:46:07

I think I'd get a cat box and take them to a rescue far far away. I couldn't cope with other people's animals in my house at all, you are being incredibly tolerant.

RedRoom Fri 13-Jun-14 21:47:07

What a nuisance. Could you put their food in a room with a closed door and put one of those flaps in the door that only open for certain collars? Not sure if that makes sense!

WelshMaenad Fri 13-Jun-14 21:48:57

Unfortunately my downstairs is all open plan, the only doors are upstairs in the bedrooms etc and I don't really want to be putting food in bedrooms - otherwise I'd give it a go!

SixImpossible Fri 13-Jun-14 21:51:19

Water pistol. Shoot the unwelcome cats as soon as they set foot in your house. It won't harm them, but they will probably hate it and learn to stay out.

cerealqueen Fri 13-Jun-14 21:54:26

Short lived problem if you are planning on moving house? how soon is that?

unrealhousewife Fri 13-Jun-14 21:58:29

Don't let the other cats in by leaving the window open. We don't have a cat flap, it's simple. They go out in the day and come in at night. We let them in and out when necessary.

Szeli Fri 13-Jun-14 22:01:54

Can you put water and a little food outside for the time being and bring your cats in to feed them properly when you're in from work?

As it's short term just listen out for the cats to let them in/out, keep windows shut when you're out and shoo away instantly any unwelcomes that come in when you are home

If you know the neighbours have a word and say "I think your cats are having a bit of a growth spurt - been sneaking in ours for extra food. I found when 'our cat' did the same a couple of extra spoons of food sorted her right out'" non confrontational, more 'friendly neighbour and fellow cat lover'

eltsihT Fri 13-Jun-14 22:22:18

So apart from the fact I have 2 cats, my boys could be your neighbours cats.

Mine are rescue cats we have had then for 11years and they eat everything, pizza, bread, meat, anything left out in the open. They are on very regulated diets as they can easily become overweight with their see food eat food diet.

I would just let your cats in when they ask and keep downstairs windows shut or not open wide enough for interlopers. Or just get practiced with a water pistol

unrealhousewife Fri 13-Jun-14 22:24:41

I never wanted a cat flap because I like the interaction I get with the cats. They are free agents in all other respects.

WitchWay Fri 13-Jun-14 22:32:03

Teabags hmm

Are the visiting cats being well-cared-for do you think? Would the RSPCA be interested?

Cats are carnivores - to choose vegetarian food sounds odd - I know ex-rescue cats in particular eat some weird things

Hassled Fri 13-Jun-14 22:36:23

I think you're going to have to do the nightmare "windows closed, letting your cats in when they shout" thing for a while. Hopefully it needn't be long - try it for a few days, and maybe by then the gutbucket cats will have found another house to steal from.

WeddedBliss Fri 13-Jun-14 22:47:40

* I also don't mind the odd local cat popping in for a tiny munch on cat biscuits*

You're encouraging it by not minding.

I started to have this problem a while back. We have a cat flap and one evening I looked up from the sofa to find a random cat casually stretched out on the rug. I encouraged it out gently and did the same again a few days later.

Then it started to get more frequent, and it seemed to want to bring it's mates with it, so there were about 3 cats that would come in, Lounge around, eat the cat food etc.

Gentle encouraging did nothing, so I gradually got more stern in shooing them and nothing. Couldn't give a fuck, would look at me with disdain, look away and carry on as they were.

Now, if a cat comes in I jump up, make a lot of noise and movement whilst chasing it out (very loud 'ssshhhhhhhh' noises), and generally scare the life out of it.

They don't come back more than once.

pinkie1982 Fri 13-Jun-14 22:48:05

You can get people in to put a flap in the glass door. My friend has French doors in her new house and had it done

WeddedBliss Fri 13-Jun-14 22:51:36

And just to add, I do feel mean doing it, but there's not really an alternative.

We haven't had a random cat in in a good while come to think of it. I think word must have gotten out to stay away from the house with the mad woman who jumps around shouting when you visit grin

AuditAngel Fri 13-Jun-14 23:05:01

If they are stealing bread they may be yeast deficient. I had a cat like this years ago. I gave him cat vitamins, but was told brewers yeast would work too. Perhaps you could tell their owners?

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