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AIBU to want to adopt my neighbour's cat

(66 Posts)
Twixes Mon 11-Mar-19 15:46:02

My neighbours got a beautiful kitten last summer who has been left outside all day while they go to work. It's incredibly friendly and has been trying to make friends with everyone on our road, including me who's kind of fallen for it. It miaows and miaows outside my house and it's sometimes soooo cold that I have been letting it in to sleep on my sofa, or on my lap.

I was talking to the owner recently saying how cute it was and she was saying they now have a house for it outside. Anyone else think it's a bit mean for a cat to sleep outside? She knows I let it into my house, but I'm not sure if they let it in to theirs at all. In fact, they went away for the weekend and the poor thing was outside the whole time, he pretty much sat outside my door for the weekend, poor pet.

I'd happily continue this cat-visiting arrangement during the day, but I recently learnt that he hasn't been neutered, what if he sprayed all over my house?! yuck! I'm thinking my options are to either:

a) ask her can I adopt him and then get him neutered, hoping he hasn't learnt the habit of spraying
b) just get over it, never let him back in again and just get my own cat ... but what if unneutered neighbour cat took offence to this and tried to get at my own cat(s) and subsequently sprayed all over my house?
c) just get over the spraying thing and get on with my life

but no, I love this cat and he clearly doesn't like being an outdoor cat! help...

HarrysOwl Mon 11-Mar-19 15:47:57

Definitely ask if you can adopt him. Seems he has adopted you grin

10IAR Mon 11-Mar-19 15:48:57

Call the RSPCA/SSPCA if you're in the UK or local animal welfare if not.

Leaving it outside while they're away without food is abuse. I had outdoorsy cats but they had a cat flap and a wee den outside but also full access to the house day and night with plenty fresh water and food.

Horrid people, why even bother getting a cat?

Twixes Mon 11-Mar-19 15:50:22

well apparently the neighbours on the other side were feeding him so I think he had food. I haven't been feeding him at all...(ok, just once a couple of weeks ago I gave him chicken)

Yes, I agree, what's the point in a pet that you don't ever let into your house?

10IAR Mon 11-Mar-19 15:57:32

I can't understand it at all.

Had they arranged for your other neighbour to feed the cat or just left and hoped someone would?

Twixes Mon 11-Mar-19 16:00:32

Yeah they had, to be fair. But he's clearly not happy being out, and this morning he was miaowing for 2 hours outside my house looking for food (which I didn't give), I sent her a text and she said they tried to find him when they got in last night but he was nowhere to be seen. Poor thing obviously didn't get dinner last night either!

She seems very nice to be fair, I just don't think she's looking after him very well!

10IAR Mon 11-Mar-19 16:01:29

In that case I'd totally catnap him (yes I know that's not the real meaning of that word 😂)

FamilyOfAliens Mon 11-Mar-19 16:02:52

If you really want a cat, get one of your own.

smartiecake Mon 11-Mar-19 16:04:56

Yes feed the cat, even if you dont adipt him. Poor little thing

Twixes Mon 11-Mar-19 16:05:42

My husband says the same FamilyOfAliens, but is it not massively irresponsible of them to let an un-neutered male cat roam around?

ChodeofChodeHall Mon 11-Mar-19 16:05:45

I did this and have zero regrets. My neighbours didn't even have a house for their cat, they just stopped letting her in the house when they had kids. They put food out for her but we could hear the poor thing yowling mournfully in the back garden at night. The cat moved in with us one day and that was the end of it. She is free to leave at any time! Cats choose who they want to live with. It makes me chuckle to see the neighbours scowl when they see her sitting on our windowsill grin

Pk37 Mon 11-Mar-19 16:07:11

My dads neighbours had 2 cats they never let indoors.
They were dirty and matted so my dad set them up a shelter in his garden and left them crunchies .
Fast forward and the neighbours moved and my step mum asked if they could have the cats as didnt like the thought of them left to fend for themselves with the current owners .
Long story short , my dad now has 4 cats !

alwaysthepessimist Mon 11-Mar-19 16:12:51

cats choose their owners, we had 2 cats when DD was born, both stayed till she was walking, cat 1 then promptly left & went to live with a neighbour, we were very amicable about it and cat 1 used to come and visit every so often but never stayed, cat 2 never left, she loved kids, both cats died of old age in the end - speak to your neighbour, explain the cat has adopted you and you don't mind taking it on but if you do then you will need to have it fixed so it isn't spraying and is that ok? If they kick off and say no then contact the local cat charities, explain the issue & ask them to tackle the problem. I don't ultimately think it's cruel for a cat to be outside providing it has a heated house and shelter and it is fed properly & loved by it's owners but sadly this one sounds very sad

EntirelyAnonymised Mon 11-Mar-19 16:15:36

Putting a cat out during the day whilst you’re at work is perfectly normal behaviour. Not everyone has a cat flap or is in all day to act as a cat slave.

The weekend thing is unkind. Are you sure someone wasn’t feeding the cat? We go away for weekends frequently and a friend pops in once a day to feed the cat.

Hockneypool Mon 11-Mar-19 16:16:19

My NDN cat is asleep on my sofa. He pops by most days and especially when the weather is bad. I work from home and they are out all day. I like cats and I’m not sure they knew what they were doing when they got him. It seems to work for us but I don’t have him in over night.

Hockneypool Mon 11-Mar-19 16:18:40

Meant to say to to your neighbours too they may be keen to give him up

adaline Mon 11-Mar-19 16:21:45

If you want a cat, get your own.

Outdoor cats roam, that's what they do. By all means approach your neighbour about it, but why not get your own pet?

Vehivle Mon 11-Mar-19 16:24:39

I agree with alwaysthepessimist. If your neighbour is as nice as you say, then just let her know the cat has been coming into your house during the day when the weather is poor and when they've been away and you don't mind the arrangement. However you would think it's best the cat is neutered to avoid spraying behaviours. Hopefully your nice neighbour will see the benefit of having you to rely upon as additional cat guardian whilst they are away and agrees to neuter. If not - then frankly it's up to you whether you continue to let it in or not. You could get your own cat. But that may cause territory fighting with the neighbours cat just so you're aware.

Easterbunnyiscomingsoon Mon 11-Mar-19 16:25:07

adaline the poor dcat doesn't want to be an outdoor cat!!
Ime dcats choose their own home.
It's up to the individual to ensure he is loyal....
To whom is up to dcat!!

Twixes Mon 11-Mar-19 16:27:06

Territory fights are my exact worry Vehivle, particularly since he's un-neutered. I'd of course neuter my own, but his dcat now thinks this is his home!

DontCallMeShitley Mon 11-Mar-19 16:32:24

Some cats are happy to be outdoor cats, most, however, prefer to have a comfortable warm place to sleep and regular meals. Many will look for company which is why I have one sleeping in my cat bed which is not mine. He gets taken home and within an hour is back with us. They know where he is but don't come to fetch him.

If the kitten is old enough to be neutered he needs to be taken to a vet, or Cats Protection issue vouchers sometimes. If he wants to be indoors with someone who cares about him he will keep trying, until his hormones make him wander and he goes off forever or gets killed by a car or the UK Cat Killer or maybe taken for dog bait.

Ask in the Litter Tray or @thecatneuterer for advice.

adaline Mon 11-Mar-19 16:39:34

adaline the poor dcat doesn't want to be an outdoor cat!!

That still doesn't mean you can steal someone else's pet hmm

If the cat is unhappy by all means approach the owner with your concerns. It could be that they don't want the cat and would happily allow you to adopt him. But you can't just take someone's pet and keep it because you think it'd be better of with you!

And every cat I've ever known does a great impression of looking starved to death if they think there is food on offer, especially at a home where it's already been fed once!

SabineUndine Mon 11-Mar-19 16:51:13

Adaline, the OP isn't talking about stealing the cat, stop adding your own narrative to this.

OP, I would talk to your neighbour. An unneutered tom is likely to stray in search of romance, so he should be 'done'. It's a shame to leave a cat out all the time.

LetheBiscuit Mon 11-Mar-19 16:59:21

My family always had mostly outdoor cats, but then we did have a farm and they had barns etc to shelter in. (Although it seems they have given it a shelter if there's a house for it outside?)

It's a strange arrangement for sure, given that it's hard to see the motivation for getting their cat at all (this was slightly more clear on a farm - they had a job to do catching pests ;) )

FamilyOfAliens Mon 11-Mar-19 17:50:50

My husband says the same FamilyOfAliens, but is it not massively irresponsible of them to let an un-neutered male cat roam around?

Then tell them that.

But in your OP you talk about wanting to adopt the cat because you think it’s cute. That’s an entirely different thing to being worried about its welfare.

Would you be so keen to adopt it if it was 15 years old with kidney disease or is it just the cuteness that’s making you feel like you’re its saviour?

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