Neighbourhood cat coming into the house - how do I stop this?

(21 Posts)
shovetheholly Mon 18-Apr-16 10:05:09

I have a lovely old 14 year old male cat, very clean and housetrained, who has recently become anxious and scared to come downstairs.

Yesterday, DH and I came in to find cat wee on our sofa - it absolutely stank. I am absolutely certain it isn't our moggie, as he seemed upset by it (and, as I mentioned, is very particular about going to the loo outside). I disinfected and steam cleaned and started to get the idea that another cat might be coming into the house.

I just got back from a run to catch a strange orange and white cat in the act of eating my cat's food in the kitchen!! It clearly has a collar but looks in a bit of a state.

How do I stop it coming in? I know the obvious answer is a microchip-operated cat flap, and I will install one of these in the near future. However, I'm gearing up to have some work done on my house and will probably get two flaps installed (for insulation reasons) as part of this- one on the wall coming into a cupboard, one on the cupboard door, thus creating an airlock because the current flap lets in a ton of cold air in the winter. I'm not eager to spend a lot of money now on a new flap that I can only use for a few months.

If I scare it/chase it off, will that be enough to stop it coming in for now? Any other ideas??

cozietoesie Mon 18-Apr-16 11:32:07

You don't know that it's only one other cat though, do you? (For all you know, half of the neighbourhood cats are coming in while you aren't there or aren't alert.)

In my own experience, chasing off isn't going to work if the rewards are too high and it's established behaviour. (And you're going to have to sleep at some point.) I'd go for controlled access and egress if your current boy is outside-going.

MorticiaLiverish Mon 18-Apr-16 11:34:06

Can you get a magnetic one instead, they are not as expensive as microchip ones. Your cat would need to wear a magnet on his collar though.

shovetheholly Mon 18-Apr-16 11:38:29

Good point cozie - I hadn't considered that.

Morticia - I have a magnetic one. Trouble is, this cat must have a collar too!!

LyndaNotLinda Mon 18-Apr-16 11:45:55

I've just swapped my microchip cat door over for a new one and it was really easy to fit. If you've already got a cat door and are planning on getting another one, it will be v easy to install it in place of the existing one and move it to its new position once you've had the work done.

I don't think you've got much choice really - your cat is traumatised and unhappy. Or as Cozie said, make your catflap exit only and let your cat in manually

cozietoesie Mon 18-Apr-16 11:53:22

You should be able to transfer an existing flap to a new location with ease I would have thought. It would only be a couple of months old.

NoSquirrels Mon 18-Apr-16 12:05:27

I think if you're going to need a new microchip catflap anyway then just get it and install now, and move it when you do your building work. If you save the existing flap too you can use it as your second flap for the cupboard - we have a similar system to stop draughts too.

Cat pee from other cats and stressed out mogs are no fun at all for anyone so just bite the bullet I reckon.

cozietoesie Mon 18-Apr-16 12:12:14

If it 'absolutely stank' by the way, it's more likely than not that it was an unneutered Tom that did the spraying. (Neutered cats might still spray but it's unlikely to be so rank.) Did you happen to notice whether the interloper that was eating the cat food was an entire tom?

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 18-Apr-16 12:12:35

Do you think it's an abandoned/lost pet? Well cared for cats don't tend to look in a bit of a state.

You might be feeding a starving animal here.

cozietoesie Mon 18-Apr-16 12:49:03

That's true.

AnotherEmma Mon 18-Apr-16 12:52:22

Get a microchip cat flap now. You may well find it's less draughty than your existing cat flap, as the microchip ones obviously stay closed when your cat isn't going in or out. But if you still want to put it somewhere else, you can always move the new cat flap - you wouldn't have to replace it.

steppemum Mon 18-Apr-16 12:59:39

The microchip flap is very easy to install if you already have a flap, and you can just move it to the new place when you get your work done.

We have one, was the best pet based money I have ever spent.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 18-Apr-16 13:40:16

shock

But he might have lost his mommy. I'm going for trapping and scanning at the vets. That way if he has an owner they have to fetch him.

AnotherEmma Mon 18-Apr-16 14:00:08

I agree that if the other cat turns up again it would be a good idea to take him to the vets for a microchip scan. If he looked healthy I would assume he was just being cheeky and stealing food, but as he looks in a bad way he could well be lost.

cozietoesie Mon 18-Apr-16 15:04:40

I seem to recall that that situation actually happened here a few years back. (Cat from the other end of a very very long village who had become lost. )

cozietoesie Mon 18-Apr-16 15:05:26

I seem to recall that that situation actually happened here a few years back. (Cat from the other end of a very very long village who had become lost. )

cozietoesie Mon 18-Apr-16 15:06:00

That was the app's fault! grin

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 18-Apr-16 15:08:19

Of course it was.

stealthsquiggle Mon 18-Apr-16 15:11:56

Definitely microchip cat flap. It restored our cats' confidence completely - turns out our big ex-stray is a complete wuss and can't/won't defend his turf, so he and girlcat need a safely locked door to hide behind.

Cat flaps are pretty easy to move, so I wouldn't worry about that aspect.

I would be surprised if a stray still had a collar on - but maybe that is because we can't get ours to keep collar on for more than a day before they manage to "lose" them...

cozietoesie Mon 18-Apr-16 15:18:29

My Siamese boys wouldn't do with collars.

The Lodger keeps one on for a day but then appears without them. (I suspect him, though, of having a market stall somewhere and saving them up to flog to unsuspecting punters.wink)

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 18-Apr-16 15:21:25

If it's a buckle collar it's harder to get off.

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