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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.

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Maddogs · 12/07/2017 13:57

I have three cats. Two are a healthy weight and one is very lithe. She is also the smallest in frame with tiny paws. She eats loads but stays tiny.

I think the biggest concern is the simple lack of interest by the owners. Why bother having animals if you don't look after them? Op ring the rspca again and log your concerns.

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DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 12/07/2017 13:57

There's a difference between a Six Dinner Sid and a hungry cat.

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Incitatis · 12/07/2017 14:01

Just keep her. Unfortunately you're not responsible for the actions of the parents and the little girl is their responsibility. The cat doesn't deserve to be neglected.

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Cakeahoy · 12/07/2017 14:01

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen I thought this was different. I won't let the dc feed other cats usually.

I didn't feed CakeCat (probably shouldn't call her that) at all at first. Only when I realised she was getting thinner, much more desperate to get in and living in our garden.

Usually cats just try their luck don't they, this girl hasn't really left our property at all.

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Incitatis · 12/07/2017 14:02

The cat will need worming though as worms can lead to poor health and weight loss.

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Cakeahoy · 12/07/2017 14:03

Dh said earlier that he thought maybe they weren't feeding her enough and try her to get her to chase the rats they've apparently got away.

Currently both deciding whether we should just leave the back door open as usual.

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DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 12/07/2017 14:06

I didn't feed our cat for over a week when it rocked up on our porch, but he howled non stop and so I gave it a little igloo type thing for shelter and he was in there all the time while getting thinner and thinner. Eventually my mum said "Dame, If you don't feed that cat I will!"Angry

She's very strict about not feeding cats but there is a big difference between a chancer and a neglected cat. His poor coat was in a dreadful state too Sad

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Floralnomad · 12/07/2017 14:07

Why should you keep your doors and windows closed , that's ridiculous . I would worm and flea treat it though as frankly it doesn't sound likely that the owners do it . I'd also get onto the local council about the rats they have admitted to having in their garden as that needs nipping in the bud .

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silkpyjamasallday · 12/07/2017 14:09

If the daughter of your neighbours is 11 then she is old enough to take responsibility for a pet imo and she clearly wasn't. I did everything for my rabbits at that age. They didn't even put up posters to say the cat was missing or contact neighbours to see if anyone had seen it. Ring the RSPCA and ask for advice, tell them the situation in full including the other pets the neighbours are neglecting. Even if they can't take the cat back or give it to you they can at least prevent them from ever adopting another animal.

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Floralnomad · 12/07/2017 14:12

More to the point they have not been to look for it again since you took it back and now they have no excuse as they know where it probably is . Let's face it they don't care .

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rabbitnothare · 12/07/2017 14:20

Of course they don't care, I find the posts defending them bizarre Confused

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Wallywobbles · 12/07/2017 14:24

Sounds to me like they think she should catch her own food. Just keep on as you were. They know where she is if they want her. No 11 yo is going to have the money to take care of her.

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Floralnomad · 12/07/2017 14:27

Absolutely agree , let's let the cat starve to death in the OPs outhouse just so she doesn't upset the sensibilities of an 11 yo and a set of adults that think cats survive by catching / eating rats . Ridiculous , the cat has probably got a fed up of the dog and general lack of appreciation and has spoken with her paws , that is what cats sometimes do . If you don't want any risk of your cat leaving home and finding a better slave then cat proof your garden or keep it indoors.

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Nonibaloni · 12/07/2017 14:28

Full disclosure I have house cats and am not a fan of free roaming cats in city's at least.

I know it's common to under feed cats who's job is to deal with vermin and some are excellent. My big boy cat is a rescue but clearly was taught to hunt young. I lend him to family as a mouser, he's terrifying with small furrys. My other cats though were never taught so are useless and absolutely couldn't feed themselves if needed.

If the cat was to keep the rat population down I can't imagine that's what they told the rspca. Rats are very different to mice. Can you leave a window open a little and let her vote with her paws?

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hazeydays14 · 12/07/2017 14:31

If the daughter of your neighbours is 11 then she is old enough to take responsibility for a pet imo and she clearly wasn't

To be fair to the girl if you don't have your parents support in doing this it's not really that easy. If she doesn't have access to money etc. how will she buy cat food. If the parents aren't leading by example it's a bit much to expect from her I think.

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JamPasty · 12/07/2017 14:42

They know where she is if they want her - in the mean time let her in and feed her, as they clearly weren't :(

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fuzzyfozzy · 12/07/2017 14:47

I'd leave your door open if that's what you'd normally do. If the cat chooses to come in and snuggle....

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Soubriquet · 12/07/2017 14:52

I would keep her and I'm not one who usually says that

It's obvious they don't care

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terrylene · 12/07/2017 15:05

I think if you want one to keep the rats down, you need a feral one from a farm that has been born into it.

One from the RSPCA will have been socialised and taught to be a good pet, and knows that is where its food comes from - like this one!

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rabbitnothare · 12/07/2017 15:08

And in an area with no rat poison Sad

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MikeUniformMike · 12/07/2017 15:17

My cat isn't microchipped but that's because there are good reasons not to. The cat is mine in a similar way to how my DC are mine. There is no way that DCat would go of his own accord.
Dcat is thin but eats like a hound. He is thinner in the summer.

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Badcat666 · 12/07/2017 17:18

As I and others have said, cats will vote with their paws if they don't like where they live. I had one that moved next door as didn't like the other cats and I didn't moan (poor thing was thrusted on me by a relative who just dropped it off one day).

Next door were happy to have her and she was happy so I was happy. I did try and get her back loads of times but she kept going back.

With regards feeding other people's cats this doesn't mean they will move in ffs. I've been around cats all my life and some of my mums would bugger off and be fed by our neighbours but they ALWAYS came home for snuggles and sleeps every time because we looked after them.

Same with the cats that come into my place. They snack and go home. I did see one once lying in a sun beam in a neighbours window and he is well known as a complete tart when it comes to eating elsewhere. The old couple down the road even get him a chicken breast and one of my mums cats used to spend Friday afternoon with an old couple a few doors down as they always got her a bit of cod when they had fish and chips and we didn't know until she passed away as they knocked and asked if she was ok. My mum didn't throw a hissy fit, she thought it was lovely as she had bought a bit of joy to them every week.

Just because a child loves the cat doesn't mean it's being treated well. Cats don't go to sleeping outside and begging for food just because they want to.

Also cats will only hunt for food if they know how to from an early age. A cat from a rescue place is a home cat, not there to keep a rodent problem in check. Hell I've had rats in the house and My cats were useless so had to get traps.

Mine used to bring in mice but only as gifts, not to eat!

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kali110 · 12/07/2017 19:51

Op shouldn't be fleaing or worming the cat.
By all means leave food for it, but we don't know if the actual owners will have flead it!
(They may not have) but i certainly wouldn't risk it.

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HipsterHunter · 12/07/2017 20:02

Oh they clearly don't care enough, just leave the back door open and feed the cat.

Poor cat!

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user1468353179 · 12/07/2017 20:40

My neighbour in the flat we lived in just left her cat behind when she moved . The cat was pregnant and I took her to the vet and had the kittens aborted and she was spayed. Some people are just bad owners.

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