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Worried about a 'neighbours' cat

(35 Posts)
redrubyindigo Mon 03-Feb-14 18:47:57

A couple of years ago long haired beautiful cat would wander into my garden all groomed with a collar with a tag that said 'Do not feed me. I am on a special diet'. I think she is a Maine Coon. She was always beautifully groomed and gorgeous.

She would have hugs and scratches and go on her way. Now she clamours to get into my house and runs past me to get to my cat's food. I pick her up and put her out mindful of the collar.

She now has no collar, she has lost weight and her coat is getting matted.

This is over the last two weeks. I want to pick her up and take her to my vet.

Can I do this if she has an owner?

I have a very elderly cat of my own so cannot take her in.

Sparklingbrook Mon 03-Feb-14 18:51:55

sad Have you any idea where she lives?

cozietoesie Mon 03-Feb-14 19:00:59

I also think I'd be wanting to check where she lived - and to see that her owner was OK. If you don't know off hand, you could always take her to the vet and see if she has a chip.

redrubyindigo Mon 03-Feb-14 19:02:32

She lives somewhere in the street behind us. She once arrived with a written note attached to her collar in a plastic bag saying she was being fed by several people and could they please stop.

I picked her up the other day and she hissed and jumped away when I felt the mats of fur on her back legs. Usually she is very cuddly so I know she is uncomfortable.

Sparklingbrook Mon 03-Feb-14 19:02:43

It sounds like there may be a sad back story to this.

cozietoesie Mon 03-Feb-14 19:06:27

It does indeed. I'm wondering if something happened to her owner and she was turfed out or not found - or something.

Why not get her to the vet and see if she has a chip? I can't remember the precise protocol on this but as a clinician, the vet should be able to find out where she was registered to if she has one.

You could also give the Maine Coon Rescue a buzz and ask for their advice.

redrubyindigo Mon 03-Feb-14 19:29:48

She turns up at odd times now, she used to saunter around at about 6ish for a cuddle . Now it is 11pm, 3am or late evening. I work odd hours.

I would have to keep her indoors overnight and get her to my vet in the morning. I might try keeping her in just to work out the mats in her coat if she will let me.

I have a slicker brush and she will let me brush her to a point but hisses when I reach the matted parts. The back legs seem very bad. Could I cut them out gently if DH helps?

Sparklingbrook Mon 03-Feb-14 19:32:01

That doesn't sound right. Something must have happened. I think I would take her to the vets for advice and to check for a chip to begin with. Poor cat. sad

gamerchick Mon 03-Feb-14 19:32:19

i wouldn't do anything until it's been seen by a vet.. even if it's to see the sorry state.

I would probably feed it though.

redrubyindigo Mon 03-Feb-14 19:41:32


Thanks for the link. She is definitely a Maine Coon judging by your link. Pale brown and cream stripes with HUGE paws and very, very affectionate. Obviously used to being handled and about three feet from nose to bushy tail.

cozietoesie Mon 03-Feb-14 19:44:53


I'd just feed/water her and make her comfy for the night - a warm bed and a tray if you can rustle them up and keep her apart from your old cat. Then vet tomorrow morning.

Come back and let us know how things go. There will be people around here tomorrow.

Best of luck.

cozietoesie Mon 03-Feb-14 19:50:31

PS - if your vet is local, they may in fact know her already. My instinct is that getting some food and water into her is more important right now than any medical issue with diet - but you could always just give her something bland like chicken meat tonight.

cozietoesie Mon 03-Feb-14 19:57:27

It's a kind thing that you're thinking by the way.

Bonzodoodah Mon 03-Feb-14 20:03:43

Good on you - I hope the neighbour is okay. Sounds worrying doesn't it?

Bonzodoodah Mon 03-Feb-14 20:04:02

I wonder if they moved and she ran away back home?

IBelieveInPink Mon 03-Feb-14 20:07:00

I have a Maine coon, who also has a sensitive tummy. He will get v ill if he has 'normal' cat food. When he was a kitten he was on a diet of chicken and rice, so you could give the cat that if you're concerned about not being fed.

It is quite common for Maine coons to get a couple of small matts, and they don't like them being tugged at (mine dont anyway!) but I would have concerns like you about the large mats.... Even if the owner is still around they shouldn't be left with them as it makes the skin around it uncomfortable. (Or seems to on my boy anyway).

Good on you for looking after her. smile

Headlikeafuckingorange Mon 03-Feb-14 20:14:58

I would take her to the vets definitely. I wonder if something has happened to the owner as it really don't sound right. Similar happened to my old rescue cat, his owner had died and for whatever reason the cats ended up on the street sad

Have you checked to see if any of your immediate neighbours might know where she lives?

LEMmingaround Mon 03-Feb-14 20:21:22

poor old cat - but do be careful before you start jumping to conclusions - if the cat was on a special diet before there may have been medical reasons for this. Her coat condition could now be due to kidney problems which sometiems causes cats hair to become "starey" which is sort of greasy and stickyuppy - can lead to weight loss and hunger. She could have thyroid problems.

Or it could be that the owner is strugging for some reason

Maybe you could try and find his owner? or possibly attach a note to his collar (but how would you do that?)

See, if this were my cat and someone took him to the vets i would be pleased that they cared, but some people can be very funny about this. Someone down my road called the police when someone else took their cat (who to before was just getting old and senile) to the vets for similar reasons to yourself. The person who took cat to vets was only trying to help and was concerned that cat was a stray - it sort of was, straying due to old age and gettig confused, but the owners took deep umbrage. It was very awkward as both neighbours moaning to me about it but i didnt feel i knew them well enough to bagn their heads together smile

redrubyindigo Mon 03-Feb-14 20:21:27

She hasn't turned up yet but DH and I will wait because she usually does. I have some minced up chicken and the slicker brush and small scissors at the ready. She allows me to pick her up and cuddle, scratch and comb her. Fingers crossed for cutting out mats.

I am a bit concerned because I once lived next to an OAP home and the old folk fed my cats endlessly to my annoyance! They turned up their nose at normal cat food.

redrubyindigo Mon 03-Feb-14 20:26:17

Meant to add.

Will try and tempt her in tomorrow morning if I can see her (stop a frantic owner going out of their mind if I keep her overnight) and get her to the vets to check for a microchip check.

timtam23 Mon 03-Feb-14 20:44:35

Poor cat, I hope you manage to find out what her story is

Just to say, there may be a totally innocent explanation...I used to have a beautiful female cat who I think may have been part Maine Coone (pic on my profile) - she was enormous, long haired and her coat was surprisingly un-matted given the length of it and her dislike of being brushed. As she got older she became arthritic and could not groom herself properly, she also lost weight due to kidney failure so as she got older she could look a bit of a state at times with the combination of mats & weight loss - when looking her worst, if she had got out of my yard (which fortunately she couldn't, due to the arthritis), people might have thought she was abandoned or not cared for. I used to have to pick my moments very carefully and cut the worst of the mats off so that I could comb as gently as possible through what was left - she absolutely hated it and would hiss!

redrubyindigo Mon 03-Feb-14 20:53:49


Yep, second photo down in your profile is the exact copy of the cat I know and everything you say makes sense. She used to be almost 'perfumed' and perfectly groomed. Maybe she is just getting old. My cat is 'woolly' around the ears and chest because she hates us brushing her there.

Will keep a sharp eye on the Maine Coone though and get her checked out at the vet.

timtam23 Mon 03-Feb-14 22:12:52

redruby I do miss my old furry girl (she died in September aged 18) & it's very kind of you to be looking out for this cat & concerned about her. There may be a reason for the change in her appearance but hopefully she still has owners around. Keep us updated smile

MissHobart Mon 03-Feb-14 22:40:21

I hope there is a happy outcome to this, we've had a similar situation with strays/ill looking cats coming over and been unsure of what to do. We have three of our own cats so been unable to just "adopt" the ones that come by.

On the flip side one of ours has allergies and other problems which end up with bald scratched bits which are treated (expensively by the vet hmm ) but make him look a bit unloved and scruffy and I worry what people must think when he's out and about! blush

Keep us updated!

teenagetantrums Tue 04-Feb-14 08:58:40

We called the Rspca when we found a thin manky Siamese in my friends garden she had just moved in, turned out to be a very old cat that lived down the road the owner was not impressed with us, but to be fair it was vomiting everywhere and looked on its last legs. hope you find out whats happening with your visitor.

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