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Feeling down about neighbour 'stealing' my cat

(27 Posts)
MokunMokun Mon 17-Nov-14 13:09:36

I took my cat in as a stray about three years ago. He is a much loved family pet.

A few months ago we went away for a few days and arranged with a neighbour to feed him.

It turns out a different neighbour took him in and fed him. Now he won't come home and spends his time in that neighbour's house.

I know I can confront her and ask her to stop feeding him and letting him in but I suspect he will just pester her and cry at her door all the time.

I feel so sad that he won't come home. I'm going to pack up the kitty litter and food bowls as there is no point in having them out anymore. I know I can look into adopting another cat but I just feel so down about the whole thing.

I just don't understand her mentality. She knows he's our cat. She knows he won't come home anymore. I'm just so angry towards her.

I know this is a very self indulgent and whiny post but I guess I needed to just let it out so I can let it go.

Feel free to give me a good kick up the butt as I think I need it.

UncrushedParsley Mon 17-Nov-14 13:12:47

I love my cat dearly, but I have heard of a few instances where the cat has chosen to leave, and live somewhere else, for reasons best known to the cat. It may be a combination of this and bad behaviour by the neighbour. I would feel sad if this happened, but there is another rescue cat out there waiting for you x

LaurieFairyCake Mon 17-Nov-14 13:14:48

Get your cat back, don't let it out for a month.

Buy loads of salmon and dedicate your life to head rubbing.

Cats are whores, if you want it back you have to Slave up grin

PhoebeMcPeePee Mon 17-Nov-14 13:18:44

Iif one of my neighbours started feeding my cats I wouldn't hesitate to knock on the door & ask that they stop (but I would also clarify that another neighbour was meant to be feeding in your absence NOT that you deserted him/her). As an aside, are you sure other neighbour fed regularly as it seems a coincidence that s/he has found a new home all of a sudden.

SuperFlyHigh Mon 17-Nov-14 13:18:49

I'd be tempted to do as Laurie says! grin

Have heard of lots of cats leaving to find a new home (including a neighbourhood one of ours who's a real tart, but also hates the 2 dogs he lives with who chase him), you can tell the people who feed them to stop but whether they/the cat want to discontinue this is another story...

When I had my white cat Snowy he used to go to an old lady's house a few doors down who'd feed him, after a while I had to have a nice chat to her adult DS who lived with her and ask her to please not encourage him as he was overfriendly, and that he had a sister. nevermind that the sister hated him! she did stop feeding him though and he was lured back to ours again!

OwlCapone Mon 17-Nov-14 13:24:26

Why are you angry towards her? She may have fed the cat whilst you were away but you have now abandoned him. Why on earth didn't you go round there and claim him back given he is a "much loved family pet" ? confused Have you really left it for months?

BrightestBulbinBox Mon 17-Nov-14 13:35:54

We had a couple of very friendly cats on our street (who moved in along with their owner into a household with a dog). For whatever reason, the cats were locked out of the house during the day, and were starving for human affection, often crossing a busy road to follow any pedestrians around.

Neighbors accused another neighbor of 'stealing' one of them, by allowing the cat indoors during the day and feeding it. Other neighbors pointed out how the cats follow strangers, had numerous close calls with cars, etc. and tried to gently suggest the neighbor who allowed one of their cats inside her home was trying to do the best thing for their cat - not trying to steal it.

Neighbors weren't happy til the 'theft' neighbor ignored their cat. It got run over a week later. :-(

Go talk to your neighbor. Maybe she's trying to do what's best for your cat.

MokunMokun Mon 17-Nov-14 13:42:04

Yes, I'm sure that the other person fed him because she feeds him regularly even when I'm here. She feeds a couple of strays in our neighbourhood so he likes to pop over too. I have no idea why. I feed him plenty BUT she doesn't let him inside and that's the difference. (note: I had explained I was going away and gave her extra food to feed him while I was away).

I know the anger towards the neighbour isn't rational and initially I thanked her for looking after him and thought she was being friendly but these last few weeks I've barely seen him at all and I feel sad about that.

She hears me calling him at night. I took him in last night and he was very happy and affectionate but in the morning he was miowing to go out so I gave in and let him out. He was just hanging out outside and then the cat-stealing neighbour came home and he was over there like a shot. I called his name and she looked up at me but then they went in and I haven't seen him since.

Initially I kept sending the kids over and asking for him to be returned but then I was sick and my daughter was sick. I guess I just felt defeated about the whole thing.

I am being a total wet blanket about all this though. You are absolutely right. I need to woman up and tell her not to let him in her house any more. He needs his vaccinations doing soon as well. I just felt so awkward about the whole thing.

MokunMokun Mon 17-Nov-14 13:46:50

Crossed posts. Yes, I do think she is trying to be nice but it's sort of gotten out of hand now iyswim.

We live in a very quiet neighbourhood but he did have an accident a few months ago

He is a very sociable fellow but mostly sleeps during the day. I was thinking about trying to get him a companion to play with and just keep him as an indoor cat. But I was worried it might back fire and he might hate the other cat. I'm a sahm but I do run errands some days so might be out for a while.

RustyParker Mon 17-Nov-14 13:53:08

If he needs is vaccinations doing then that's the perfect reason to go over (not that you need one seeing as he's your cat). Then definitely do as Laurie suggested upthread and feed him salmon and prawns to remind him where is bread is buttered.

Go over and let us know how you get on!

MokunMokun Mon 17-Nov-14 13:56:03

I am just totally over-thinking the whole thing too. It's like I'm feeling hurt and rejected by my cat but it's probably something simple like he likes their food better or she has a softer pillow or something ridiculous.

I guess I have been second guessing why he likes her more than me. It's ridiculous really. It's not like he was unhappy here.

I was nervous about posting here but feel a lot better for having done so.

Thank you!

Viviennemary Mon 17-Nov-14 13:57:16

If you've had the cat for three years then it's your cat. Go and knock on her door and say I'd like my cat back please. If she says no say you will call the police. When we had a cat she used to go down the road sometimes to an older couple who fed her as their own cat had died. I didn't mind at all as she always came back that same day.

RustyParker Mon 17-Nov-14 14:33:37

Ah MokunMokun I would feel the same. I get upset if DH is flavour of the month with our kitties and can be found wailing "why don't they love me anymore, you didn't even want them cos of your allergies" grin

Of course your cat loves you! They are just little tarts and he probably fancied a change.

bonzo77 Mon 17-Nov-14 14:41:48

Btw if he's not already chipped, get it done ASAP once he's home. Keep him in till its done, and for at least a month in total. If he's chipped then it's much easier to prove he's yours if you need to.

SuperFlyHigh Mon 17-Nov-14 14:48:15

OP - I wonder what would happen if the cat got sick and had to go to the vets whilst being cared for by the other neighbour? would she still be so eager to transport him/pay vet bills??

BrightestBulbinBox Mon 17-Nov-14 16:03:27

Don't take it personally....I have a cat who absolutely adores me yet should a visiting stranger be holding a tasty morsel in his hand, I'm dead to her.

SuperFlyHigh Mon 17-Nov-14 16:27:20

also cats are fickle buggers... as Brightest says

RubbishMantra Mon 17-Nov-14 17:39:18

Was a neighbour coming into your house to feed him? I can't tell from your post if he was locked out of the house while you were away.

Apologies if I've misunderstood!

AnotherEmma Mon 17-Nov-14 18:11:34

Simple, just ask your neighbour to stop feeding your cat. If she stops feeding him he won't have any reason to go - even if he likes it there he'll still need to come home to you for food.

And get him microchipped (if he's not already). But really you just have to (wo)man up and talk to your neighbour!

claraschu Mon 17-Nov-14 18:16:25

Just atalk to your neighbour. She may have no idea you are so upset. I'm sure your kitty was happy with you, but some cats do like to play the field. I would keep him in for a while and ask her repeatedly not to feed him.

MokunMokun Tue 18-Nov-14 21:20:34

Breaking news - he's back!

I had all mentally prepared myself for the chat. I was going to pop over in the afternoon and ask for him back then had a whole speech planned, thank you for helping but it's getting colder and I worry if he doesn't come home so please don't let him in your house anymore etc

In the morning, I saw him outside, I called him but he ignored me. Then neighbour's car pulled up and he darted over there but it was the dad not the woman (she's young, early 20s). He didn't let the cat in! So, he came over. I left him some food outside as he wasn't keen to come in the house and left the window open slightly so he could come in. When I got back he was in his basket and had used the kitty litter.

He slept most of the day, just came out for lunch and kitty cuddles. Then I let him out again in the evening wondering if he would come home but when I went to call him in, he was there waiting!! He slept under the duvet with me.

I'm hoping the neighbours have realised things were getting out of hand and won't let him in again but I have my speech ready just in case. Thank you all so much for your help!! I do really appreciate it.

I just wanted to explain, when I left him before. I had left a small window open so he could come and go as he pleased. We have a cat feeder but I left extra food with the neighbour just in case it jammed or something. I was only away for a couple of days and he would have been fine. I just worry about him. He's very spoilt! My in-laws actually don't mind me bringing him but he hates the cat carrier and car so much and just yowls the whole way so I was trying to do what I thought was best but I think I just got it all wrong.

claraschu Wed 19-Nov-14 06:00:26

Aw, that's great OP.

RustyParker Wed 19-Nov-14 11:35:02

Great update - enjoy your kitty cuddles! smile

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Wed 19-Nov-14 11:44:02

That's great! I really wish people wouldn't feed cats they know already have loving homes.

Mil and my mother have done this. What's more they both owned cats of their own in the past. I keep telling them not to do it hmm

UncrushedParsley Wed 19-Nov-14 15:19:39

Glad he's back!

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