Accidentally stolen a cat...?

(42 Posts)
CrabfishEverdeen Mon 31-Aug-15 19:24:49

So, we've been in our new house for around a month now and a cat from the neighbourhood seems to have adopted us.

He (I think is a he) initially came to the door a few weeks back, while I was having a cigarette outside, was really friendly and invited himself into the house, I'm a big softy when it comes to animals so I just let him stay in for about half an hour, OH came home and put him out immediately.

Since then, kitty has been a permanent fixture on our doorstep, he's there every day when I get up at 4:30am and when OH gets up at 8:30am and is there waiting when we get home from work, I've given him a bit of attention but refrained from feeding him until yesterday because he seems to have lost weight and is getting pretty skinny.
I've let him in the house a few times as it's been raining and he just sits at the patio window getting soaked and my heart melts a little bit.

The thing is, the last thing I would want to do is steal someone's pet, I'd hate to think someone was missing him but at the same time, I can't see him sitting out in the rain and getting all skinny all day and night. He's a lovely cat and we'd gladly keep him but don't want to be a catnapper!

He's not wearing a collar so I can't get in touch with his owners and our area can be a bit rough and don't know how well they'd take it if we did get in touch with them. ive checked all the lost cat posts online for the last week and nothing's come up. I'm not really sure what to do, I guess we should get him checked for a chip, I just worry that his actual owners might not look after him so well and that's why he's looking for a new home sad

Any words of wisdom or guidance are much appreciated smile

catzpyjamas Mon 31-Aug-15 19:32:06

You should ask a vet to scan him for a microchip chip. You could put a paper collar on him asking for any owner to get in touch, put a found notice on pets websites and let RSPCA, Cat Protection and local vets know he is hanging about.
The worry is that if you feed him, he might never go home. He also could have food intolerances or be on prescription food so always best to check ownership if possible.

Micah Mon 31-Aug-15 19:33:01

I'd take him to the vets, check for a chip, and general condition- do they think he's well cared for, or on the neglected side?

Then I'd take him in, but put posters up locally, Twitter, fb etc.

AlwaysOutnumberdNeverOutgunned Mon 31-Aug-15 19:34:28

Never feed an animal that does not belong to you.

Micah Mon 31-Aug-15 19:35:09

Didn't someone who works for a cat charity on here recommend feeding, as there's always a chance the cat is homeless and starving.

If the cat has conditions and on prescription food I'd think a trip to the vet will clear that up quickly. A cat like that would be microchipped or known to the vet already.

AlwaysOutnumberdNeverOutgunned Mon 31-Aug-15 19:37:19

Also shut the door of your house so he does not have the option to "invite himself in" hmm- not your animal, get him scanned and return him if you must but do not steal someone else's pet, it is a horrid thing to do and you are undoing his training.

AlwaysOutnumberdNeverOutgunned Mon 31-Aug-15 19:40:20

You should not feed an animal that doesn't belong to you unless you are a vet or professional who can actually knowledgeably verify that the animal is 'starving' - most animals will take food when given and that is how they are trained - doesn't mean you should give it and encourage bad behaviour.

catzpyjamas Mon 31-Aug-15 19:44:36

No animal charity I know of recommend feeding strays other than to catch them to take to a vet or rescue centre.

Toughasoldboots Mon 31-Aug-15 19:45:48

Horrid? Training?!
It's a skinny cat, in all likelihood , it's just not being looked after properly. It's not six dinner sid getting fat and sleek.

Its kind of you op, maybe take it to be scanned for a microchip? Especially if it is left out in all weather, would be good to clarify if it has an owner.

CrabfishEverdeen Mon 31-Aug-15 19:47:14

I already said the last thing I want to do is steal someone's pet, but thanks for making me feel like the feline child catcher! hmm
I was asking for advice, not the third degree.

CrabfishEverdeen Mon 31-Aug-15 19:48:53

Thank you everyone for your advice, it's my first time posting on here, but wasn't sure what to do. Think a trip to the vets is in order for this kitty smile

Lancelottie Mon 31-Aug-15 19:49:45

Might not be neglected even if skinny. Ours is skinny because it has a (very much medicated) thyroid problem and does indeed have a special diet for it. And it keep leaving home because it's in a huff about the new kitten.

Toughasoldboots Mon 31-Aug-15 19:50:11

I just googled cat rescue advice, won't let me C&P for some reason but the first hit for rescue says to feed if it looks skinny and take to a vet.
Sanctimonious load of unhelpful posts.

Toughasoldboots Mon 31-Aug-15 19:51:24

Yes, hence the caveat 'in all likliehood'.
Why do people have to be so nasty on here?

catzpyjamas Mon 31-Aug-15 19:53:30

You might find the staff at the local vets have a list of missing cats in the area and he could be on it. Fwiw, our pyjamacat is very slim, won't wear a collar, has a bent ear and does a good impression of a bedraggled stray. The neighbours have all got wise to him eventually wink

CrabfishEverdeen Mon 31-Aug-15 19:53:57

I know, I was dreading posting because I knew I was going to get told off by someone!!
Thanks for your advice and understanding smile

catzpyjamas Mon 31-Aug-15 20:02:05

Tough, if you feed a stray pet then our local rescue consider that you have accepted ownership and liability for it. This can be a problem if you want them to come out if the same animal gets ill or injured or outstays his welcome

nicestrongtea Mon 31-Aug-15 20:02:47

I think the recommendation from Cat charidies is to put a paper collar on the cat with This cat keeps coming to my house and asking for food, if he is yours please contact me on 123456789< insert number or address> and let me know so I can send him home

Cats do a very good "no one feeeeds me" look.
My cat is on special food so has a "do not feed me" quick release collar as she loves going out but would get very poorly if fed the wrong food.

Lancelottie Mon 31-Aug-15 20:05:00

Oh, don't worry, Crabfish, your visitor may well be a hungry stray. I'm just sore about being lectured by our neighbour (again!) about how thin our ancient moggy looks, and how pleased it seemed with the tuna she gave it. She can't believe that the vet can have been so cruel as to recommend a low-protein diet. Nor can the cat...

Toughasoldboots Mon 31-Aug-15 20:06:37

There are lots of local rescues with different policies, the op said that she hasn't been feeding it and has done once as the cat is losing weight.
In my opinion, it's better to feed it once and take it to a vet.
You don't have to tell a rescue that you fed it after all and it sounds a bizarre policy and on what legal basis I don't know.

This is the first time that the op has ever posted on mn- pretty unhelpful and not very nice responses. Great welcome to someone who is trying to help an animal.

Moln Mon 31-Aug-15 20:06:58

Had to double check this was the litter tray after reading some of the responses.

Try a paper collar; www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/cats/straycats

My cat is fed elsewhere, I know he is because he comes home smell, quite literally, fishy. He still comes home though.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 31-Aug-15 20:08:42

Cats do do a good feed me face but a skinny cat who is visibly losing body mass needs food.

I would get him scanned and I would feed an obviously hungry cat.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/the_litter_tray/2138803-If-in-doubt-feed

This thread is the one with the starving cat because everyone was worried they would be feeding an owned animal, even when it was obviously starving to death.

Shame on anybody turning their back on any domesticated animal in trouble.

Toughasoldboots Mon 31-Aug-15 20:09:42

Yes smile and I am coming at it from the angle of someone who took in a cat who was left to starve because no one wanted to get involved.
Her kittens died and she was skin and bone (in an area with houses).

<sob>

coffeeisnectar Mon 31-Aug-15 20:12:40

Cats are sneaky little bastards and will attempt to get extra dinners by any means.

We had a cat visitor, no collar and no chip but clearly a pet belonging to someone. Eventually found its owner via a spotted page on Facebook. I came home one day to find cat biscuits all over the kitchen where they'd Bern knocked over and the fat furry bastards asleep on the rug. While my boy cat sat on the windowsill out in the rain looking miserable. I started taking fat furry git home in my car where he would happily sit on my shoulder looking out the window.

My girl cat is extremely skinny and small and doesn't eat much but is healthy. It might be your visiting cat is female and a quick scan and a check over at the vet will let you know all you need to know.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 31-Aug-15 20:12:41

We got our last male cat because he moved in with us when he was locked out of his home in -5c and not being fed, there was no flesh on him. He also had an open wound on his leg where the family dog had bitten him.

Obviously we should have just left him out there, we should have left him with his "owners" who had been banned previously by the rspca for animal abuse and neglect.

I must remember that sterling lesson in animal care for future reference.

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