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Can you stop a (neutered) cat from wandering off?

(25 Posts)
TizzyDongue Thu 25-May-17 23:16:03

Weather's got nice, so he's off out a lot. Yesterday out at 5am not home till 10pm.

Out at 5am and he's still not home.

I tried small about of food in the morning then nothing till evening but to no avail (in fact he seems to have stopped eating here completely.

Is it possibly to stop this behaviour?

MsMims Fri 26-May-17 00:20:52

Are you sure he's not being fed elsewhere and taking up residence there for the day, hence no interest in food at home? Perhaps worth putting a paper collar on advising he does have a home and please don't feed him?

Then I'd try no food in the morning but feed him as soon as he comes home as a reward. Ours always have a smaller appetite in the warmer weather too but still eat most of their meals.

Feel for you with the hours he's gone - it's a long time. Ours would go off for several hours but never that long and would pop back once or twice in the day.

TizzyDongue Fri 26-May-17 05:17:24

No can't be sure. I wouldn't be surprised if he is; he sometimes comes home smelly, literally, fishy.

One of DS's friends on out estate said he saw our cat coming out of the cat flap that's in the front door of the house round the corner. Said friend is prone to tall tales so I can't be sure.

I've had my cat at the vets three times in the last year for bite marks. There's a lot of foxes here, so I worry when he's out after dusk.

He's still not back.

TizzyDongue Fri 26-May-17 05:18:07

I'll try a paper collar if he does come back - thanks for the idea.

MrsPnut Fri 26-May-17 05:54:59

Foxes don't usually bother cats, the bites are more likely from fighting other cats.
Does your cat have a flap so they could come in during the night?
I also second the paper collar so other people are aware not to feed him, you can always say it's because of medication.

NotYoda Fri 26-May-17 06:07:06

Oh it's hard to have a wanderer. One of our cats (also male; don't know it it's more common in males. even castrated ones) was like this and eventually ever came back - was being fed by 2 other people and settled with an elderly couple.

Good ideas above

Sounds like he's a man about town

MrsJamin Fri 26-May-17 06:09:47

One of our cats has been gone for nearly three weeks after being away for longer and longer periods. I think we might cancel his vet insurance, it's clear he doesn't want to be our cat anymore sad It makes us feel sad not to be wanted but perhaps three is a crowd when it comes to cats. We have put a "don't feed me" collar on before and he's managed to get it off- or it was taken off. sad

TizzyDongue Fri 26-May-17 08:12:50

Sorrry to hear that MrsJamin it's upsetting.

Ive heard that before about foxes. My cat is big (6kg at last weight but he's still not a fatty) and the vet has thought judging by the size of the wounds it might have been foxes (and there's a lot round here).

Yes there's a cat flap - I've it on in only.

MrsJamin Fri 26-May-17 08:18:24

It is, he's such a beautiful cat but not particularly affectionate or characterful!

TizzyDongue Fri 26-May-17 08:24:12

"he's such a beautiful cat but not particularly affectionate or characterful!"

This is my cat too.

A total beauty, wouldn't sit on your lap, rarely snuggles up but loves a chin and ear rub. Docile as anything.

ifonly4 Fri 26-May-17 08:36:05

He's probably having the time of his life enjoying the decent weather, it doesn't stop you worrying though. Our boy would take himself off for a little holiday for two days every year, always during good weather. Eventually I found he'd been soaking up the sun in the neighbours house opposite and carried on sleeping in there during the night (neighbour was used to this and would go and check on him!)

NotYoda Fri 26-May-17 08:43:25

They do eat less in the heat, it's true

Checklist Fri 26-May-17 10:17:03

Two cats used to live in the house at the back of us - the family had three children under five. The cats used to come in our house first thing in the morning, eat our cat's food if they could, spend all day asleep in our house and go home around 8 pm, when we assume the children were in bed. Most visitors thought the cats were ours, because they were such a regular fixture in our house. We know they also visited most of the neighbours' houses, asking for food. One day, the female cat disappeared. We went and asked the owners what had happened to her - they told us she had gone to live with some people down the road, of her own volition, because she did not get on very well with her brother! (Actually, they got on fine in our house, so it was news to us!)

We had another cat previously - some people came and asked if they could have him, because he moonlighted to their house regularly and they loved him!

MrsJamin Fri 26-May-17 10:20:01

They really are their own beings aren't they, you can't make a cat love you! We've tried Feliway but to no avail. Our other two cats (one which is the roamer's brother) adore each other so I think he just feels pushed out.

Tokelau Fri 26-May-17 10:21:58

This has happened to us. We have a 15 year old male neutered cat. He's always been an outdoor cat, not particularly affectionate - he preferred to be left alone. He seems to have moved in with an elderly lady around the corner. I think she feeds him and he lives in her garden. Perhaps he got fed up of being with our other cats and dogs.

He comes back every few weeks and we give him some food, and he leaves again. He seems happy.

MrsJamin Fri 26-May-17 12:48:23

They sound so similar in temperament, I guess some cats are like that and Don't need their owners that much. Our other two are so sociable, generally in the same room as us, the other one is so aloof in comparison!

ppeatfruit Fri 26-May-17 15:30:07

We own 3\4 cats . 1 is a mainly house cat female who came here with us, the others are male strays. We had the fluffy one neutered and he is very much a homely cat (our female hates him) but he stays around, he bullies the others though . The 2 others aren't neutered by us, but there's no smell from them. One of them comes back here every 2 or 3 days.

They ALL go off their food in the hot weather and it seems to me that like some of the OP's cats they don't like homes with small children in them.

TizzyDongue Fri 26-May-17 18:15:09

Well he came home. Briefly.

Too briefly to get a paper collar on him.

TizzyDongue Fri 26-May-17 18:16:17

Youngest in the house is the cat; he's not yet 3.

MrsPnut Fri 26-May-17 21:52:28

Our cat who is usually very docile has been behaving very oddly this week. She would usually choose a cuddle from dd2 but this week she's been running away from her and is much more skittish than usual.

StillMedusa Fri 26-May-17 23:02:26

I have a wanderer too. He is stunning to look at, but frequents at LEAST 3 houses that I know of, pops home every couple of days for a nap and more food, and is not in the least affectionate to us sad I think he wants to be a sole cat and he dislikes his sister and our other cat.

My other two are home lovers and affectionate! It makes me sad but there is nothing I can do. Bugs me that I get all the vet bills and none of the love tho!

MrsJamin Sat 27-May-17 07:59:03

What do we do about vet insurance though? Seems ridiculous to pay for him when we haven't seen him for 3 weeks and he hasn't freely chosen to come through the catflap for at least 2 months. Would th see other owners actually take him to the vet?! His microchip says that he's ours so if he got run over we'd be the ones to be called. Would be very annoying to have the bills but none of the time and affection! Cats, eh?!

NotYoda Sat 27-May-17 08:23:33

Do you think/know whether it's males that are more likely to wander?

Certainly it's been my experience (childhood) so when we went to choose our own cats from rescue I wanted females

MsMims Sat 27-May-17 18:00:43

MrsJamin Unless you formally rehome him he remains your responsibility and vet bills will be down to you. So I wouldn't cancel any insurance, if anything he's more likely to need emergency vet care than a home loving cat.

Laniakea Sat 27-May-17 21:46:54

All of our male cats have wandered far & wide (most recently one went AWOL for 5 days, another one turned up 15 miles away) and are always scrapping (all neutered well before they were allowed out). It isn't a problem we've had with the females. We live in a very safe area as far as traffic goes so I don't worry too much but it is stressful when they don't come back for dinner.

Our newest cat is a girl for that reason. I have a soft spot for the adventurous boys though (the 5 day missing one perfected his squirrel hunting while he was away, much to the delight of the girl kitten who loves to play with the bodies).

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