Next door's cat coming in to ours ...

(24 Posts)
Lovethesea Tue 12-Mar-13 21:06:14

We've a lovely rescue cat, about 2 years old, had him nearly a year. He is totally relaxed with us (including 2 DC and their friends all preschoolers), loves being out and about and brings us birds/mice/pigeons all summer. No cat flap so he's in and out all day.

Next door's cat has no catflap either and is often hanging out with ours. Recently he's started to come in our front door when I'm unloading the kids, I've found him upstairs when bringing shopping in, and today he came in the back door while I was sorting the bins and started snacking on the cat food in the kitchen. Our cat took it all in his stride and jumped up to eat his wet food while next door's cat ate the dry food in the bowl 2 inches from it!

My dilemma is whether to chase out next doors cat or just let him come and go as he pleases.....

Next door work fulltime and are out a lot more than they used to be in the evenings and daytime. In the recent freezing weather their cat has been sleeping in our summerhouse which we leave open for our cat to use whenever we are out (if he's not asleep on my bed as usual!) I think they are home overnight nearly every night.

I don't want to steal their cat, I don't want to stress our soppy hunter out, but I do feel a bit sorry for their shorthaired tabby in the snow when our longhaired tabby is refusing to go out as it's too cold.

Anyone any experience of this?

cozietoesie Tue 12-Mar-13 21:13:49

< Shudders at thought of Catgate 2 >

What sort of terms are you on with next door?

Lovethesea Tue 12-Mar-13 21:21:21

It was a couple with a kid, but the woman and her daughter have moved out (or are on the longest holiday EVER, months and months with no sign of them or their car). So now it's the man and occasionally his son is there too, but an older teen.

We wave and say hello, but that's it. He never mentioned his partner had moved out. We've commented on the weather, the cats etc on occasion. I've seen him cuddle the cat on the doorstep when he gets home so I know he's very fond of him, and his mum has come to feed the cat when he's away before (and I've offered to do that for him anytime too if needed).

It's just his new life is clearly busier and more away from the home than before. There is no partner there coming and going at lunchtimes as before and no child there so no longer in every evening and in and out for the cat in the daytime as we are.

Lovethesea Tue 12-Mar-13 21:23:02

I guess I could just say he's coming in sometimes and does he want me to chase him out or just let him?

What was Catgate 1!!??!!

cozietoesie Tue 12-Mar-13 21:28:29

So a split up. I'd be tempted to enquire in a jolly way if he's OK with his cat coming in to yours in bad weather - if you're OK with that. (Sounds as if your boy is all right with it and I'm guessing they're both neutered.) He might be much relieved by the thought.

You could drop a quick note if you don't feel like talking to him about it and couch it in a 'my cat has made friends and they're acting like mates' way so that he doesn't think you're criticising.

cozietoesie Tue 12-Mar-13 21:28:57

Oh Lordy - Catgate. Give me two minutes.

cozietoesie Tue 12-Mar-13 21:30:51

This is the most recent instalment. You'll get the idea, I think.

catgate

Lovethesea Wed 13-Mar-13 10:37:38

Oh horrors, I had seen that thread a while ago. Next door cat came in again this morning when the back door was open, stole some cat food and pottered off outside again. Our cat wasn't even aware he was too busy snoozing on the sofa.

I'll talk to next door when I see him and ask what he'd like us to do - scare off cat or allow it to come and go. I'll be careful not to criticise!

They are both neutered toms who seem very chilled out in each others company, outside I've seen them sharing a dead pigeon and letting each other examine mice mine has killed without any feline aggression.

cozietoesie Wed 13-Mar-13 10:53:53

Sounds good. Ideally, he should install a cat flap but circumstances may not permit (eg if he rents and the landlord won't allow it.) In any case, his cat may be an ultra sociable beast who likes the company of your family and cat as well as looking for some occasional nosh and shelter.

Good luck with it.

smile

Lovethesea Fri 15-Mar-13 17:47:37

Right, saw the neighbour's car so popped over and told him the cat was following ours in. Said we didn't mind him coming and going but did he want us to chase him out so it didn't become a habit.

He said immediately he was worried the cat would stop coming to him if it started to hang out at ours. So all sorted - we will chase his cat out and discourage visits.

Bit sad though, the cat came in tonight with mine when I opened the back door, they had been in the summerhouse together and it was pouring rain.

Ah well, must remember it's a cat, seems in great health and won't be hurt by cold or rain, or solitude! Nothing to stop him sheltering in our summerhouse still and he and ours can hang out together outside still.

Now I might just wander by the cats protection site tonight ...... that image of two cats eating together touching sides and very happy has triggered a NEED to at least consider another rescue ... new thread to follow!

QueenStromba Fri 15-Mar-13 19:14:47

That's a shame. Did you suggest that he put a cat flap in? I'd have big problems trying to drive him away when all he wants is somewhere comfortable and warm to spend his days. I am a big softie though.

I'm happy to hear that you're thinking about another rescue cat though. At least you know that your cat will get on with other cats now. We've just got a rescue cat and had vaguely planned to get another one in six months or so but she's happy being the center of attention so I doubt we will get another cat.

Lovethesea Fri 15-Mar-13 19:22:20

Given we don't have a cat flap either I felt it wasn't my place to mention it! I think it's just we are in and out all day as have preschoolers so our cat goes in and out regularly and in the summer the back door is open while we are home so he has a lot of free movement (and just meows pathetically at the french windows if he wants in). Whereas next doors cat USED to have that as the partner and child were there and she came home at lunchtimes, but now he's out more or away.

Ours is ridiculously chilled out for a real hunter though. I think he might even like company. And the website is full of needy cats. Just need to do the sums and work out if we can afford another lot of vet bills, pet plan, food.

Delighted to read of your new arrival :-)

QueenStromba Fri 15-Mar-13 19:36:11

Thank you. Ours is really chilled out too - the only things that really bother her are closed doors and not using both hands to pet her. She had a bit of a dodgy tummy so we took her to see the Battersea vet and she wasn't really bothered by the whole experience.

I think you should suggest a cat flap. Being in and out all day and not having a cat flap is completely different to being out long hours and not having one.

Lovethesea Fri 15-Mar-13 20:27:04

I know, but I don't know if he rents or owns, I don't know how his finances are and another back door isn't cheap. He did say the cat had also been going into his other neighbours house.

Back to glancing at cat rescue sites and bank balance ...

cozietoesie Fri 15-Mar-13 20:42:00

I'd let things sit for a few days, Lovethesea. You've raised the topic and got him thinking about things. Who knows what he might decide to do.....

TheSilveryPussycat Fri 15-Mar-13 23:42:51

Where I come from (Sarf London) it is quite routine to let neighbouring cats into the house. I don't live there now, but DF is still there, and it's still the case. There is the added advantage of being 'cat-feeding' buddies if either of you has to be away for a day or two.

Lovethesea Sat 16-Mar-13 20:51:46

Am sitting but it's hard. DH said cat came in again tonight with ours while I was out. I think neighbour is not going to be a happy bunny.

cozietoesie Sat 16-Mar-13 21:12:40

You've spoken to the neighbour which is the decent thing to do - so he can't be a really unhappy bunny. Is he in this evening?

Lovethesea Sat 16-Mar-13 23:11:59

Yes car's there tonight and just ours came in half an hour ago. I won't encourage the cat but I don't want to be cruel to him :-(

TheSilveryPussycat Sun 17-Mar-13 00:09:28

I perhaps should add that it tends to be day-time that the cats have a free pass to cat-friendly houses, returning to their own (or being put out) at their feeding time if not before, and usually spending the evening and night based at their true cat home (the one that feeds, shelters and pays the vet's bills!)

cozietoesie Sun 17-Mar-13 08:03:46

I think that that's the right note to strike - especially if asked. You won't encourage him but you can't be cruel to him.

smile

Lovethesea Sun 17-Mar-13 11:18:58

Silver that sounds ideal, I'd be happy if my cat was pottering about with his cat friends even in and out of houses. My old flatmate had a similar area and people were forever coming home to find a posse of cats in their house not just their own one or two. Sounded fun.

The odd thing is next doors cat seems far more jumpy and nervous than our cat, even outside he never comes over to see you and leaps away when you move, yet here he is investigating our house and going upstairs quickly. Mix of very cautious yet curious I suppose. Maybe the kids in and out of the garden more in good weather will put him off naturally.

Lovethesea Tue 19-Mar-13 14:43:16

Oh this is hard. NDC (next door's cat) snuck in the back door earlier, spotted the preschoolers and legged it. Then when I came home without the kids later he was waiting by my front door .... I shut it quick when I went in but feel mean. It was raining.

Freyaee Tue 19-Mar-13 16:00:55

Aw well, I have to say both cats sound very friendly smile I would also find it very hard to kick out a cat that was looking for company and shelter, but on the other hand if my cat was out getting love elsewhere I would be more than a little jealous and worried he would end up staying there. You did the right thing talking to your neighbour, it is really his decision of course. If he doesn't make better arrangements for his cat (i.e. keep him in when he goes out, or put in a cat flap) then he can't blame the cat for coming over to yours. Good luck with this one...

As a complete aside and irrelevance, a small, young cat once followed me and DH home over several streets. We couldn't lose her! Then at our house she just sat outside. I tried inviting her in but she got scared (and my cat got a bit huffy), so she left again and sat by my front door. I caved and fed her, but I couldn't let her back in. She was gone in the morning, so I hope she found her way home safely.

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