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Neighbours feed our cat Dreamies

(21 Posts)
AnotherEmma Sat 01-Aug-15 09:38:39

I'm upset about this and need the advice of some fellow cat owners please!
We have some neighbours who own cats themselves and are friendly, they always chat when we see them. They've taken a big liking to our cats, totally understandable because they're a beautiful pair, and were kittens when we got them (they're nearly 1 now!) The neighbours often talk to us about our cats. The last few times we spoke they said Boycat has been going into their house and eating the food they leave down for their cats. They said it like it's funny, and they clearly like him, so I don't think they mind - in fact I think they probably encourage it. This in itself bothers me (we don't let other cats in, and if they did get in we'd never let them eat our cats' food). But what has really got to me is that they've asked a couple of times "have you tried giving them Dreamies? They LOVE Dreamies". At first I gave them the benefit of the doubt and thought they just meant their own cats, but last time the neighbour said "our cats love them.. and Boycat does too". I'm really upset, I realise I may well be overreacting, but I feel like they've crossed a line. Feeding someone else's cat is bad enough but giving them treats is really cheeky. Sometimes Boycat has liquid poo (recently we noticed blood in it) - it could be a coincidence but I do wonder if it might be because he's eating crap other food at the neighbours' house.
AIBU or are they taking liberties? I understand cats will do what they want - and ours do like playing in their garden apparently - but I think letting our cats eat their food, and giving them treats, is a step too far.
I want to discuss it with them but don't want to fall out over it. As I said they're friendly, probably the friendliest neighbours we have. Now I'm suspicious about their motives which is probably ridiculous!
Any suggestions about what I can say to them without creating an issue?

FuckOffPeppa Sat 01-Aug-15 09:57:10

It sounds like you're being a little bit precious tbh, but if you have a problem with it just say they have a medical condition and are on a special diet so please don't feed them. I'm not a cat owner so I may be wrong but dreamies are made for cats, aren't they? Why would they cause blood in stools?

AnotherEmma Sat 01-Aug-15 10:04:49

I was hoping for advice from other cat owners which is why I posted here and not in AIBU! But yes Dreamies are made for cats. The point is that I choose the food and treats I give my cats, and I don't want other people feeding them. I didn't mean that Dreamies are causing the blood. But if he does have health or digestive problems it is important that we control what he eats. It's the principle of the thing though. When they talk to us they are friendly but when it comes to the cats there's a bit of a competitive edge, implying that our cat prefers their house/food/company. It might be "precious" but it's my cat FFS.

happymummyone Sat 01-Aug-15 10:10:58

My mums cats have been doing this recently, going off to another house who would give them food. Mum just straight out asked them not to, in as nice a way as possible and they seem to have stopped because mum is seeing far more of her cats now. Just assume they are just being nice to your cats and not trying to steal them and say, my cat has been having some digestive issues, fib and say you've taken him to the vets and they have given him a special food and out of an abundance of caution you have decided to feed them both the same diet. Any reasonable person would understand and stop feeding them. Just be super friendly. Hope that's some use to you!!

Poppiesway Sat 01-Aug-15 10:11:41

I have this issue with my neighbour. She actually encourages me cat to go in to hers. He does have dietary problems and I've told her before not to feed him. I know when she has as he then has the effects of it..

On occasion I call him in for the night.. He doesn't appear.. Then my neighbours back door opens and she shouts over the fence... "He's
Now coming" it's ridiculous. My son gets upset over this and I've asked before not to encourage him in. But she's a stereotypical mad cat woman..

Sometimes talking to the neighbour gets nowhere op, but I have every sympathy as I have it also. We've lived here 16 years and she's only been there 6.. She probably wonders how the cat managed before she moved in hmm

gamerchick Sat 01-Aug-15 10:12:46

Have you taken him for a check up if he's bleeding from the back end?

I agree just go down the health route and say he needs a special diet and he's costing a fortune in vet bills and can they not feed him.

Kills 2 birds with one stone about your cat preferring their house and not feeding him treats.

TheMoonOnAStick15 Sat 01-Aug-15 10:15:13

I don't think you're being 'precious' at all. I'm surprised, as they already have cats, that they don't realise that encouraging other cats inside and feeding them isn't what you do.

We used to have one come in and try to do the same, she was lovely, and my two just used to stand there and let her hmm. I never understood why because usually they're very territorial confused. I never encouraged her or gave her treats though.

Try to get them on side by saying you need their help in trying to get your cats not to pinch food and eat extra as its makes them ill and they've both been quick sick at home lately. Maybe the prospect of one of your cats chucking up indoors might get them ushering them out.

Too many treats are not good at all for cats. Ours have a dreamie once in a while. Their Christmas packet lasts for most of the year.

AnotherEmma Sat 01-Aug-15 10:39:48

Thank you all. It is reassuring to know I'm not going crazy! Not sure why it's upsetting me so much.
I'll follow your advice and use the health / "special diet" argument, I'll try and be super friendly as well so they don't take it the wrong way.
They have now gone away but I don't know how long for... We're going away soon, so I really hope they're back before we leave. Hate the thought of not being able to say anything for ages.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 01-Aug-15 11:12:36

My BIL had this and when he moved house, the neighbours reacted quite badly as if he was taking their cat away from them. Going into the house is one thing but feeding does feel like it's crossing a line about ownership.

FuckOffPeppa Sat 01-Aug-15 16:11:18

I hope my suggestion helps

AlwaysOutnumberedNevrOutgunned Sat 01-Aug-15 16:26:31

My neighbours at my last house did this and cat kept coming home and puking all over the floor (runny poos also). I asked them to stop and they just kept doing it, started keeping him in their house (he is v well trained and usually comes when called but not if locked inside someone's house).

Was really frustrating and eventually I had to keep him in for the sake of his health because he went really downhill - lethargic, mangy coat etc. He was not impressed with that but got stronger again and then we moved and he got out again.

Now he is a regular happy healthy in and out when he likes cat again.

I just hope nobody here does the same, I am not sure if people understand how totally irresponsible it is to feed an animal that doesn't belong to them. It can really ruin good training and teach bad or dangerous habits as well as making an animal ill.

AlwaysOutnumberedNevrOutgunned Sat 01-Aug-15 16:29:40

Anyway OP I would go and see these people and be extremely firm with them - it is dangerous to teach/encourage other people's animals into the house because they may one day end up in an unfriendly house trapped and vet says no feeding or they will have to stay in permanently and that is just unfair and ruins cat's happy life etc

AnotherEmma Sat 01-Aug-15 16:41:11

"I just hope nobody here does the same, I am not sure if people understand how totally irresponsible it is to feed an animal that doesn't belong to them. It can really ruin good training and teach bad or dangerous habits as well as making an animal ill."

Completely agree with you.

Thanks again, I will definitely talk to them. When mustering up the courage (and words) I will remind myself that you lovely MNers are on my side!

Just need to find out when they'll be back, I'll look out for their son (who is house/cat sitting for them) and ask him. Fingers crossed it's before we go away.. We will have house/cat sitters as well, I don't want them having to clean up sick or runny poos angry

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 01-Aug-15 19:39:04

Hope it goes well, you are totally right to talk to them.

pandypoos Sat 01-Aug-15 19:48:40

I'm not a cat owner frankly I don't even like them but I would be annoyed too, people wouldn't walk up to an owner walking a dog and feed them, but think it's ok with cats because the owner isn't with them. It's cheeky, it's your pet and up to you to feed it.

jeanswithatwist Sun 02-Aug-15 20:53:51

bang out of order, feeding someone else's cat, that would really piss me off. i would be straight over and (politely..) say something although i would be blunt/firm at the same time. my cat/my food. get/buy your own bloody cat....sick of people helping themselves to someone elses cat as if they are open bloody season

nefikan Sun 16-Aug-15 23:00:51

Hi, just been reading this post.

Word of advice, nip this in the bud as soon as you can!

Speaking from experience, currently in the middle of a bitter row with our neighbour over the exact same thing for the last 18 months. She point blank refuses to stop enticing our cats in with dreamies and then locking them in.

Started off with friendly requests, all ignored - currently going through a solicitor.

We were too soft early on as didnt want to fall out with our neighbour but looking back we should have been firm.

Also, put it in writing, keep a copy and start recording dates and times of recurrences.

Good luck

shaska Tue 18-Aug-15 10:26:14

If your cat has blood in his stools he needs vetting, pronto.

Once that's sorted, you can discuss with your neighbours any dietary needs, but its very very unlikely that the occasional meal of cheap cat food is causing bloody stools, and far more likely it's something going on with him that needs looking at.

Mimigolightly Tue 18-Aug-15 10:29:47

If you don't like it then keep your cats out of their garden.

code Tue 18-Aug-15 10:42:03

I'd take him to the vet for a check to rule out a parasite or food poisoning. If that's clear then you need to talk to them about getting a microchip cat flap / not feeding your cat.

I have a similar situation and just spent £160 on emergency vet bills (I'll get half that back from insurance) as mine developed horrible diarrhoea. Stools negative so can only conclude it is because neighbour leaves his door open constantly and my greedy sod sneaks in and eats the cat food he leaves lying around all day. I know he has a sensitive gut anyway and I keep it under good control with the same expensive food. So I need to ask neighbour nicely if he'll let me know when he leaves his door open so I can get the cat in.

MokunMokun Tue 18-Aug-15 10:43:05

Yes, first take him to the vet and get him checked out. Then tell the neighbors the vet told you he has to go on a special diet so no more feeding him and if he comes in their house, they are to turf him out immediately. I have no idea whether they'll listen or not though but be firm and blunt. Don't dance around the issue.

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