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Help! our cat is leaving us!

(7 Posts)
The2ndMrsSantos Sat 22-Aug-09 08:32:21

We have had her for 10 years. She is rescue moggy and was a bit wild when we got her. We have got woods at the back of the house and she goes there to burn off her aggro. We have two other cats which are smaller (she is a hefty cat! smile). We have lived here for 10 years. The only change recently is that DH has been away a lot. His mum is very ill and so he has been staying at hers. That has left me with two DCs and probably not much time for the cats though they still get fed. I am home a lot so they can come and go as they please. DH is back today and called the cat in and she just wants to go out again. She has a collar on which we did not put there with a sign saying "do you own this cat and a phone no". DH won't let me ring yet as he says its too early. Obviously neighbours we don't know are trying to do the right thing. Why does she suddenly not want to be here? She has gone AWOL before but only a couple of days and not for a long time. She is eleven. She is looking at us like we are strangers. I am getting totally bent out of shape about this but she is our cat and we do love her (feed her and pay her vets bills - annual boosters and various eyewateringly expensive trips to the emergency vet after scrapes she has got into)
any ideast?

clayre Sat 22-Aug-09 08:35:56

the person who put the collar on her is probably feeding her and thats where she is going and where she'll keep going if they keep offering her it, i phone the number and tell them she is your cat and they may back off.

shootfromthehip Sat 22-Aug-09 08:39:15

Aww how sad, I too would put a note back saying that she does have a home and can be a little 'quirky'. They will probably back off or you could ask them not to feed her.

You never own a cat do you? They really are fickle creatures.

The2ndMrsSantos Sat 22-Aug-09 08:40:17

Yes, I have a number of "suspects" She is partial to pouched food which I cannot afford. She sometimes tried to nick food from my friends' cat but they shoo him away (nicely). She is greedy but very lean (wormed regularly) so could give the appearance of being starving when she is not. I think the abuse she had when a kitten means if she sees food then she grabs it becasue she never trusts she'll get another meal soon. She is a great mouser (and birder unfortunately sad) We'll ask them not to feed her. I think their intentions are good otherwise why bother with the note?

beautifulgirls Sat 22-Aug-09 10:32:05

You definately need to tell them she is your cat - if she is getting fed elsewhere then she is going to take the choice of who has the tastiest options. She is your cat and you are right, you need to ask them to stop feeding her. Let them know she is well cared for and receives regular veterinary care when she needs it etc.
You are right too - their intentions sound good for the fact they have a collar on her asking too. I'm sure it will work out fine.

The2ndMrsSantos Sat 22-Aug-09 12:58:58

I rang them and they were really kind and obviously quite sane (unlike me who hasn't had a good night's sleep for months sad). They won't feed her any more and I will go out and buy some pouches of catfood (was trying to make do with Morrison's own brand biscuits grin but that clearly wasn't cutting the kitty mustard). Hopefully when her free food disappears she will spend more time with us - and the nights are drawing in too so she will want a warm place to sleep again.

WebDude Mon 24-Aug-09 09:51:02

Glad you've made contact. I guess it is an attention thing, but IME, cat's are pretty much opportunistic, and will 'explore' any open garage, door, etc, in case there's a chance of food round the corner, whether they're really hungry or not... Either that, or if they have eaten, they'll ignore exploring and curl up for a snooze... what a great life!

As it happens, these last few weeks, 'my' cat is hardly ever ready to stay in the house - unless it is actually raining, of course. She will curl up on my garden, or more often, on a neighbour's garden (better maintained lawn, nice and smooth, and a bush in the centre so she can lie in an area of shadow and not get too hot). When she comes in for food, she immediately goes back to the door to be let out (no flap) and while I've sometimes found her willing to come in at midnight, 9 of 10 times she comes to the door, and then, knowing she might be 'stuck in the house' all night while I sleep, turns on her heels without entering the porch.

As you say, the autumn weather may discourage staying out all night !

I think pouches a bit expensive too, but 'my' cat had eaten lots of the dry go-kat biscuits and seems to have few decent teeth left, and having tried various pouches, like Somerfield's own (5 for a quid until the bumped the prices up to 29p each) I found Poundland were selling 4 Whiskas pouches for a quid (they now sell 3 for a quid), and Iceland must have noticed a drop when they stopped doing 4x Whiskas for a quid, as that deal is back on (and despite 'my' cat being a mouser, she will 'come running' (she's 10/11 too) when she spots me at the window with a pouch in my hand!

I look after a cat (hence 'my' cat) - as someone else put it, you don't really ever 'own' a cat as they clearly 'have their own mind' - as a result of the cat becoming friendly with me where I used to live.

It was one cat of several living at one of my neighbours' homes (we got on well, both being cat lovers, though mine had died at age 16 in 1990, and I had not replaced her, as I live alone and wanted a chance to travel).

However, this cat was spending less and less time at home {they had an older cat who 'queened it' in the neighbourhood, but got on OK with the younger cat, so not a cat/cat problem).

Anyway, long and short was that after an operation went badly wrong, my friend went into coma, had strokes and other problems, and she could no longer cope in that property, so with compensation from hospital, a few years on, they moved away a few miles to a bungalow.

Some time before moving, the elder cat, Polly, died, unfortunately (age 15 or 16). The younger one had been spending less and less time indoors that summer but even after Polly died, didn't seem to want to spend time with the family - not sure why, Karen was upset about it.

Anyway, family moved, leaving cat with me (she knew me, knew neighbourhood, and the arrangement works well) Where they moved to, they knew there were some wild-ish cats, and foxes, and some busy roads, so if their cat tried to 'go back' to their old home, hence compromise, with option of her living with them if she seemed unhappy. (They now have a couple of dogs, so she's 'stuck' with me!)

I have since moved to about half way between where the family used to live, and where we had been neighbours. Cat went for a walk with me around the estate the first day (OK, some think walking a cat is unusual, if it's a problem, they can get over it as I'm happy to walk 'my' cat!) and never looked back. Second day, I popped out into the garden with her (so she had a familiar face nearby) and no sign of her thinking about going back the few miles to previous home. Sorted!

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