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AIBU?

To keep someone else's cat?

165 replies

Cakeahoy · 09/07/2017 10:18

Or not. I don't know what to do honestly and I'm posting here for traffic.

For the last few weeks there has been a very skinny and timid cat darting into ours and the neighbours house, I'm assuming looking for food.

I didn't feed it, told the dc's that it most likely had an owner and cats are like that.

However I got increasingly concerned when I realised she appeared to be living in our outhouse, and she was getting thinner and more desperate to get in the house.

I asked around the neighbours I could get hold of but no one had any idea whose she was. I checked lost cats posters etc. and she matched none of those I could find in our town.

I went out to get some cat stuff/food and started to feed her.

She hasn't really left since. She's either sunning herself in the garden, rubbing herself around the dc's legs and lying on her back in the living room for her tummy to be tickled. Honestly, she's more like a dog than a cat Grin

We appeared to have adopted an adorable cat without even really meaning to. So yesterday we bought some cat litter/tray and cat bed, toys, scratching post etc. Even talked about getting a new door so we could have a cat flap added.

Then a young boy from the estate told dd yesterday dinner time that he knew the daughter of a couple who are two doors down. He said they had had a skinny black female rescue cat from the RSPCA a couple of months ago.

Now I don't know this couple very well at all. They have been there for a few years but our only interaction has been the wife screaming at my dm to move her fucking car because her moving van couldn't park directly front of her house. And the smell of some strong weed that the dad is very fond of constantly blowing over.

They have a dog that's has never been out for a walk in the four years they've been there that I know of (disabled so I'm here all the time) and sits in their front window barking all day.

They have about twenty (not an exaggeration) chickens in the garden in a pen. It's not a large garden.

So true enough, I'm not predisposed to being fond of them, but I hated the idea of a young girl missing her cat so went round with a picture of Kitty Softpaws according to Puss in aboots mad dd our stolen cat.

I haven't had any answer, though I can see they are in. I tried looking at the back of their house last night to see if there were any lights on but there weren't when I looked.

I'm going to have to return her aren't I? If I take her to the vets she'll probably be microtagged and they can call them.

I don't want to though. I keep thinking about how she seemed to be getting skinnier and more desperate and how content (and less skinny) she looks now.

OP posts:
LollyGag2020 · 09/07/2017 10:22

They sound horrendous. I'd just see if she was microchipped by taking her to the vet. If not keep her you've tried very hard to find an owner!

silkybear · 09/07/2017 10:23

Take it to the vet to check chipping and report the neighbours to the rspca if you have concerns about their pets. You cant just take it.

pudding24 · 09/07/2017 10:26

I think you do have to at least get the microchip checked.

If the cat comes out as theirs, try again to see if they want her back. If they do and you're still worried, you could always get the RSPCA involved re: the welfare of all the animals. Even if they don't take any formal action, if they rehomed the cat in an inappropriate home, they should take some responsibility for that situation.

Sounds a really tricky situation though when you're willing to give her a nice home Sad

Cakeahoy · 09/07/2017 10:27

I'm going to guess she's been microchipped as the rspca would do that before handing her over wouldn't they?

I think the adults are, but they have a young daughter of about 11.

I don't know much about the adoption process, it's been years since I've done it.

But I don't know how someone came round the house, saw the poor dog, twenty chickens and the state of the garden and said 'yep sure, have the cat'.

The last time I adopted (quite a long time ago) my house was checked, and my garden.

But I suppose they are having a hard time at the minute. One of the rescue centres I called up (they are local and sometimes know of missing cats) said its kitten season and they are swamped.

OP posts:
MsMims · 09/07/2017 10:28

First thoughts are that she may be theirs or she may have become lost from a loving home and been wandering around for a while hence the weight loss.

I once found a very skinny cat in a car park. He eventually (had a chip but it didn't work when scanned) was reunited with his owners who were extremely grateful and he was miles from home when I found him.

At the least she needs to be scanned for a chip. If they adopted from the Rspca they will have been home checked and wouldn't have been allowed to adopt if there was any hint of animal neglect/ chaotic living conditions.

If she is theirs there's every chance she will come back to you, and the Rspca should also have powers to remove her if they've written their adoption agreement in a savvy way.

Please do get her scanned as she could be someone's much loved and missed pet.

Domino20 · 09/07/2017 10:28

Cats chose where and who they live with, if it had a nice life it wouldn't need to come to you. I doubt it is microchipped. Take to the vet to see and also check if it's been neutered.

MyNewBearTotoro · 09/07/2017 10:28

If they're not answering the door I would post a note through their door with a picture of the cat saying you have been looking after the cat as it appeared to be living in your outhouse. You'd been thinking about getting a cat and are very pleased to have found what you thought was a stray, however you have heard they have a black cat and just want to check she's not their's. if she is theirs could they please let you know asap otherwise you'll happily keep her.

Hopefully then if she is theirs and they miss and want her they will let you know, and if she's theirs but isn't wanted you've been very clear you're happy to keep her so they hopefully will either ignore the message or will offer her to you!

MsMims · 09/07/2017 10:30

Yep, so if the house is a state and the animals aren't in good conditions that supports the concern that the cat is nothing to do with them and could be someone's else's lost pet. I wouldn't jeopardise her chance of being with her family based on hearsay from a young boy.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 09/07/2017 10:33

That's how we got our cat, he was SO thin it was pitiful and he just refused to move from our porch. He was so neglected it took two months of feeding before I could get anywhere near him to take him to the vet. He wasn't chipped so I chipped him and now he's well loved and tame as anything and currently asleep on my bed Smile

BigDamnHero · 09/07/2017 10:33

They might not have had a home visit.

We adopted two cats from the SSPCA (Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), who I'm guessing have similar rehoming policies to the RSPCA.

They took our address and some details about us and said they'd check out the area online etc. and then they'd let us know if they needed to do a home visit. They didn't and we picked the cats up the next day.

Cakeahoy · 09/07/2017 10:34

I'll print off a letter with a picture and post it through.

I haven't heard anyone calling a cat in the time she's been here, but yes I know I can't really keep her if she is theirs.

I hope they don't just shut her in the house with the dog. She loves being outside.

OP posts:
Cakeahoy · 09/07/2017 10:37

Come to think of it I did see an rspca van parked on the road outside a while ago.

OP posts:
abbsisspartacus · 09/07/2017 10:42

Call the local rspca they should know if they rehomed a cat

Badcat666 · 09/07/2017 10:59

I wouldn't just hand it over because they say it could be theirs.

When my cats have gone missing I've done notes through doors on my road and flats at the back of my place, posters and knocked on all the doors on my road (and its a long road!) and was out calling for them every day and night. Even the neighbours would call for them!

Sounds like they don't give a toss about it IMO.

Get it checked for a microchip and if their isn't one then Ask to see evidence the cats is theirs (pics on phone/ camera). If no evidence you don't have to hand it back just on their word.

Cats will get up and leave somewhere they don't like or being neglected.

If it is theirs you may find kitty just comes back to you 😺

notapizzaeater · 09/07/2017 11:04

Cars will choose where they live, a happy cat normally stays at home.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 09/07/2017 11:08

Yes that's what the vet said to me, they get up and move if they're unhappy.

Cakeahoy · 09/07/2017 11:13

Does anyone know if the rspca automatically microchip cats before putting them up for adoption?

OP posts:
ilovesooty · 09/07/2017 11:43

I got my cat from them years ago and he was microchipped before I took him home.

lottieandmia · 09/07/2017 11:46

The problem with the RSPCA is that they won't do anything. I would keep the cat. Only because it sounds as if her owners don't care what happens to her anyway.

MsMims · 09/07/2017 11:53

Lottie the OP doesn't even know that the cat belongs to the neighbours yet. It could be someone else's cat that is cared for and missed. It would be utterly selfish to not check the cat for a chip (and it's rightful owners) before deciding to keep it.

RandomMess · 09/07/2017 12:00

So long as you don't keep the cat shut in and she can come and go as she likes I'd carry on feeding her as she certainly was neglected Sad

lottieandmia · 09/07/2017 12:10

Yes they should check to see if it is chipped I agree. I don't think it's selfish to feed a malnourished cat though.

Floralnomad · 09/07/2017 12:18

If she came from any rescue I would imagine she would be chipped , don't go to the neighbours , take the cat to the vets , if she's not chipped you get her chipped ,vaccinated , and get flea and worm stuff as the vets stuff is better than OTC . If you have concerns about neglect with the neighbours pets report them to the RSPCA .

ohhereweareagain · 09/07/2017 12:20

I'd take her to vet to see if she has been chipped which I doubt she has. Then keep her. I am a cat owner and wouldn't normally say that but do the cat a favour and keep 😊

Nefer795 · 09/07/2017 12:21

Please get her checked for a micro chip. She may well be lost, and very much missed. My girl went missing last August, not long after we moved. She's generally too scared of people to look for a house so we think she's out in the fields somewhere. Rural area, fields in every direction. I still dream about her coming home, still cry when I wake up and it's not real. She was chipped and we did everything we could think of to find her. I just want to know she is safe, well and loved even if it means she lives somewhere else. Please check just in case.

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