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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:
DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 12/07/2017 07:14

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

Did you read how thin the cat is Toffee and how she didn't feed the cat immediately?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 12/07/2017 07:15

Wrt changing the name on the chip- I don't think that can happen without the vet contact the current owner. Pretty sure you can't just pay to get it changed.

Toffeelatteplease · 12/07/2017 07:50

Did you read how thin the cat is Toffee and how she didn't feed the cat immediately?

I'm sure my neighbour didn't either (they started about a year into us moving in), didn't make it any better.

There are plenty of reasons for a cat to be thin.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 12/07/2017 07:56

Yes,like not feeding it!

Toffeelatteplease · 12/07/2017 07:59

You also remind me of a 3 times my childhood cat got taken into a random vets by "helpful" busybody because seemed so clearly lost and under nourished.

In all cases she was actually 3 foot from the bottom of the garden and had eaten a good well. She was just a small lithe cat. It is a bit the nature of the breed. She just wasn't a big fat tabby.

Don't feed other people's cat. It is never a kindness

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 12/07/2017 08:06

That's simply not true toffee

SabineUndine · 12/07/2017 08:12

Toffe you're projecting your own experience on to every underweight cat in the country. Would you like them all to go hungry?

Toffeelatteplease · 12/07/2017 08:19

I'm afraid it is.

If you know nothing about a cat how on earth can you make an adequate judgement about its care. You can't

Plenty of people on this thread have given a medical reasons why a cat may be thin. That's even if they are overthin at all, which my experience says people get wrong.

It is never a kindness and can lead to cats being made quite ill by people that frankly know nothing. My childhood cat was opened up a second time to check if she was spayed. That at least is less likely with microchipping...

But if it makes you feel good that you are "saving" the cat crack on Hmm

Toffeelatteplease · 12/07/2017 08:21

If your worried take it to a vet. But chances are all you are doing it preventing the cat getting home.

charlestonchaplin · 12/07/2017 08:25

Toffee Your daughter's distress is entirely your fault. You acquire a cat and then send it out into the local environment to be a nuisance. Killing wildlife, including birds loved by many, fouling. And you have the audacity to say that no-one should feed your cat. If you want to have complete control over your cat, it should be a housecat. Cats which roam are free to be interacted with in whatever way other people deem appropriate, including feeding.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 12/07/2017 08:34

I agree, keep your cat indoors. If you don't want to do that then you run the risk of it voting with its paws and moving out!

We actually found out where our cat came from originally about a year after he came to us and the man said we'd done him a favour as he'd ending up with loads of cats as he hadn't had them neutered. He didn't want him back and was pleased he was with us. He was in a pitiful state- flea ridden , you could see his ribs he was so thin,very neglected ( multiple cat household and clearly bottom of the pile when food was out down)

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 12/07/2017 08:34

** put

Cakeahoy · 12/07/2017 12:10

I checked with the neighbours when we took her round.

She has no medical conditions, they said she was just like that. But since we had 'adopted her' she'd clearly put in weight and her coat is a lot better.

They were very reluctant to talk about her at all really. Though the husband did mention that he thought she'd chase some of the ants away from their chickens but she hadn't Hmm

She stayed in our out house again last night (yes, I sat watching) and was there trying to get in this morning.

I've relented and fed her again.

OP posts:
JamPasty · 12/07/2017 12:26

Cakeahoy I'm pretty anti people feeding other people's pets, but I can't help but think you are doing the right thing here. Can you call whichever charity they got the cat from for advice? Or visit the neighbour's again and say you're worried about the cat and would they like to rehome her to you? You never know, they might agreement. I feel bad for their daughter, but an animal can't be left to go hungry on those grounds

Justhadmyhaircut · 12/07/2017 12:33

How old is their dd? Maybe you could offer up a hamster as a fair swop!?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 12/07/2017 12:37

Seems like you have a new member of the family Smile

I wouldn't offer a hamster- they can't look after a cat they've already shown that. Hamsters need a lot of care one.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 12/07/2017 12:38


Rabbitnothare · 12/07/2017 12:38

She is not happy where she was and is thin. You did the right thing.

I always remember a thread on here years ago which made me cry, someone was urged not to feed this thin cat that kept coming in to their garden, they couldn't catch it to check a chip and they found it dead a few weeks later.

I think that the cats protection say to feed at least initially.

choochooo · 12/07/2017 13:20

Please stop feeding this cat. She has an owner and you are unintentionally creating a situation where you are stealing someone's property. She has an owner and it's not you.

Cats can be skinny and perfectly healthy, depending on build/breed. You know the owners and yet you are still feeding their cat, which is encouraging it to come back to you.

There are plenty of cats that roam or will take advantage of a free meal. It doesn't mean they aren't being fed at home, they are naturally opportunistic animals.

Go and get your own cat. I'd be so angry if you did this to my cat.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 12/07/2017 13:24

Cats can be skinny and perfectly healthy, depending on build/breed

This cat wasn't well cared for and wasn't being fed enough.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 12/07/2017 13:25

Cats don't go and live in someone elses shed when they are happy at home.

choochooo · 12/07/2017 13:30

I really the the RSPCA centre would be very upset if they knew a rescue cat wasn't being cared for properly. So much effort goes into preparing them for homing. I think you said you'd already spoken to them OP - if you genuinely think cat isn't being cared for properly is it worth having another word?

I honestly feel conflicted about this one. On the one hand I get so angry when folk feed other people's cats because cats are just so blasé about who feeds them and will go to anyone who feeds them. But if there's genuinely a welfare issue then I guess the cat is better off with you caring for it.


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SanFranBear · 12/07/2017 13:31

I get what a lot of posters are saying, but there is a distressed little girl at the neighbour's who clearly loves her cat. Her response when they were returned home says it all.

It's an awful situation and I don't know what you can do but that fact alone is making me quite Sad

hazeydays14 · 12/07/2017 13:50

Happy cats will go wherever they like if there is more food being offered.

Our neighbours feed my cat even though we have asked them not to. They think it's harmless but she's overweight now and trying to stick to her diet is difficult when they insist on giving her extra food, it's really unhelpful.

As for changing the chip details to yours I doubt it will be that easy but may depend what company it's with. My cat is registered in my name but lives at my mum's house (where I lived when I got her) so my mum can update some of the details on the chip but not the address, I have to call them to change that because I'm the named owner.

Cakeahoy · 12/07/2017 13:56

Sorry that was a typo, he said that he expected she would have chased off/eaten the rats that keep hanging around his chickens.

I did ask if he had been feeding her too but to be honest they were pretty hostile and we didn't feel comfortable questioning them too much.

I'm very torn. I do feel awful for that young girl, but I don't feel like I can just watch her sleeping in my outhouse and possibly getting underweight again without doing anything.

I've had rescue cats before. She wasn't 'just skinny'. She started off like that but was getting thinner.

We haven't let her in at all today or yesterday. She finished the food this morning and has been sat on our back step since then. I can still see her looking in.

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