The elderly cat from next door appeared in our garden last night looking very sickly. I gave it some food and it woolfed two bowls, and it's still there this afternoon. It's all skin and bones, and looks like it's on its last legs, poor thing. Trouble is, neighbours are nowhere to be seen. They're a nice couple, but we've not seen her for ages, and him only sporadically. We think they may be splitting up or dealing with illness or something. Am scared that if I take their cat to the vet in their absence it might get put down and I'd have made that decision for them. The cat doesn't seem to be in pain - it isn't crying or anything, and seems happy to be stroked. It's just very listless and won't leave our patio. Do I wait for the neighbour to reappear and keep feeding and watering it, or do something more drastic? Help!
You could keep feeding and monitoring it for a day or two perhaps and then take it to the vets if the owners don't appear. But I would probably call the local vet explain the situation and ask their advice.
I wouldn't take somebody else's animal to the vet - if he is an elderly animal he will die when the time is right. Particularly if he doesn't seem to be in pain or anything I would just give it as much affection & care as you have time for and continue feeding it when it seems hungry. Although you want to do the best for him, you could really annoy your neighbour if you have their pet put down!! (and of course you would have to pay for the vet!)
I would stick a note through their door - see if you get any response in the next couple of days. Keep an eye on the cat and yes, perhaps phone the local vet for advice - the cat may be known to them.
Years ago, a much loved cat of mine was slowly dying. I kept taking her to the vets, asking if it was time, only for them to say she was happy, and in no pain, albeit frail and painfully thin.
One day she went missing - I spent hours combing the neighbourhood and someone eventually told me that some new people moving in a couple of doors down had taken a cat to the vet.
I spoke to them - they thought my poor girl (Siamese) was a stray and ill, so when they found her investigating their removal van, they cornered her (he got scratched and moaned at me - I wouldn't apologise because they were stupid unfeeling, insensitive f*ckers - and they took her to the RSPCA centre. RSPCA wouldn't take her in as she was sick, so they took her to a vet on the way back to pick up more stuff whilst moving - 20 miles away. I was livid when I found out - why on earth couldn't they have knocked on a few doors - everyone local knew my cat and knew the situation.
I phoned the vets, picked her up after a grilling about her condition, she was delighted to get home, but the shock had made her worse and we had to have her pts on the Monday morning. To this day, I seethe when I think of those interfering, unthinking do-gooders who hastened her death
Sorry for the rant - not sure why, as this was years ago - but a tale of why you shouldn't take action without checking, even when you think a cat is sick or neglected
Thanks all. I put a note through the door and then a few hours later the neighbour's mum called round - she's popping in to feed them. She said he (Tigger, apparently) is very old and just likes company. She took him home and fed him. 20 mins later he was back in our garden! But at least I know he's ok now. Phew!