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When you are adopted by someone else's cat

23 replies

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed · 12/10/2012 10:29

what is the etiquette? Over the last three or four weeks a little cat has started visiting us. It meowed outside for days and took any opportunity to slip in and head for any food. It would be there all day in all weathers.
We asked our immediate neighbours but no one knew it. Then a neighbour around the corner said it belonged to his next door neighbour and waved vaguely down the road. They were on holiday and he was feeding it and their other three cats.
Presumably they are back but the cat has now navigated it's way over our high back wall and is quietly entering theteat flap. I have ejected it many many times even into torrential rain just to let it know it must go home. I have taken it into the area it's house must be.
Do I need to find the owner and talk to them and what do I say?

OP posts:
Schlock · 12/10/2012 10:32

So long as you're not feeding it I expect it will make it's way home eventually.

A local cat tried to move in with us one day to the point that every time I put it out it ran back in before I could shut the door. I eventually found where it lived and got the owner to come and take it home. It turned out that it was the first day it had been left alone all day, it does seem to understand now that it doesn't live here although it may need a lesson or two in not rolling around in the middle of the road Hmm

My mind is boggling at a teat flap Confused Grin

FamiliesShareGerms · 12/10/2012 10:34

try and find the owner so you can post it home. Don't feed it, or it will keep coming back (our next door neighbours are currently trying to steal our cat by feeding him Sad)

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed · 12/10/2012 10:35

Teat flap ha! Gawd knows.
Ah forgot to mention that my cats have Iams available all day and so visitor is eating at will. Do I need to start regulating feeding too? Sigh

OP posts:
Meowmi · 12/10/2012 12:44

Could you move your cats food into another room temporarily?
If the wandering cat realises there is nothing on offer he wont bother coming back....Well thats the theory anyway!!! Grin

we had a visiting cat back in the summer, used to sneak in when my back was turned. It turned out it was doing the rounds with all the neighbours looking for food and started beating up the resident cats. I watched him pick a fight on 7 cats in the space of 5 minutes Including my own 3. Shock

He was a persistant bugger and took a couple of weeks to finally stop him coming back, we had to take to chasing him with a jug of water (not my proudest moment Blush)
but i had to protect my own cats after he cornered one of mine in DD's playhouse. Causing my boy to totally freak out and he smashed his head through the hard perspex window trying to get away.!!!

Couldn't track down an owner but everyone here was getting really fed up with it so had to do something.

If you could track the owner down that would be a big help and either deliver the cat back, or phone them to collect the minute you see him in your house.
Or failing that try making a loud noise, stamp feet clap hands to give him a bit of a fright. He should eventually get the message

NotInMyDay · 12/10/2012 12:55

Please do try not to feed it! I have have 5 cats move home over the years to people who think it's lovely to feed a wee stray cat (with collar on, microchipped and in beautiful condition). My cats were always loved and looked after and members of the family but I won't over feed them so they are a nice weight. They go to the vets for teeth checks and vaccinations. They are wormed and flea treated and have shiny coats. Fast forward a year and they won't come home, are ridiculously overweight and have dull coats.

Please don't don't do it. My children are devastated.

Meowmi · 12/10/2012 13:18

That is horrible Notinmyday

It amazes me how many people see a cat in thier garden an automatically feed it. Especially one that is clearly owned and well cared for.

I had a neighbour at my old house who tried to kidnap 2 of my cats, One was a Ragdoll, the other my moggy.
And it was only thanks to another kindly neigbour informing me this woman had just taken my Raggy off the street literally minutes after escaping our house, that i got him back!!

Didn't find out until a few months later that it was her that had been keeping my other cat in when he kept dissapearing, She informed me that he looked like a stray Hmm
Both cats were immaculate!!

CajaDeLaMemoria · 12/10/2012 13:25

Oh no! This is happening to me too and I have no idea what to do.

We moved in two weeks ago, and the cat came in while we were bringing things in. We put him back outside.

Since then, we've heard that his owner is on holiday, and regularly goes for 6 to 8 months of the year. He is being fed by a neighbour, but she doesn't let him in as she has a newborn.

He yowls outside our door for hours unless we let him in. We don't feed him. He doesn't ask for food. He just sleeps in here, and rubs against us. He's here now, sitting under my feet.

Last night, another neighbour came round and asked if we had him. She had heard him meowing to come in. She said she didn't mind him being here, and explained again that his owner goes away, and that she usually refuses to feed him because she thinks its cruel but the neighbour who usually feeds him is away too. She said if we wanted, we could feed him - we haven't, and we've been putting him out ten minutes before she comes, and letting him in after.

I'd be really upset if someone had my cat (I don't have one now, but grew up with them) and so last night we put him out at 5pm. He stayed right outside our front door meowing until 9pm. We went upstairs so we couldn't hear him - he continued. At 11pm, we let him in and he slept down here.

He went out at 8am this morning, possibly to toilet, and is now back in.

I don't want anyone to think we are stealing him, but he breaks my heart meowing for attention and I don't understand how anyone could leave him so often so frequently.

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed · 12/10/2012 13:50

Thoughts of my own cats being "adopted" are helping me be firm with this one. She has a collar on and looks reasonable. It's difficult to have segregated food as they all need access to the cat flap and one has a gastrointestinal diet to himself.
Pets can be complicated. I'm just searching once more for an acceptable place for the litter tray. It's been outside and is waterlogged bleugh!

OP posts:
EdithWeston · 12/10/2012 13:59

I've been in a similar situation, back when I was a student and often at home during the day. One of the two cats from a few doors down used to come over, and we used to like having her round. But NO FEEDING, and she went happily home every evening, about the time her real owner came home from work.

derekthehamster · 12/10/2012 14:01

We installed a microchip cat flap, when a cat tried to adopt us

CajaDeLaMemoria · 12/10/2012 14:03

This thread has really worried me. I don't know what to do.

On the one hand, he has nowhere to go. On the other, he is being fed, and he does have a collar on. He's not in great condition (fur balls over his tummy, dirty bum, patches of fur missing in some places) and he will just cry outside the door if I put him out, but I don't want to be known as a cat-thief and he can't get into his house. He has a cat flap but the woman who has gone away has locked it so he doesn't wreck the house.

NorbertDentressangle · 12/10/2012 14:06

Edith, we have a similar set up with our neighbours young cat.

He spends a lot of time here during the day when we're around having attention lavished upon him, the DCs play with him for ages (but no food) but once the neighbour's home and their fire is on he's off!

M4r1456 · 26/07/2017 03:33

Hi, guys I need some help here . Ive had a cat meowing my husband goes in the garden next to mujhe he sees a black kitten comes over to our garden. The cat was meowing we felt sorry for him and gave it food. Now it won't go. It's been 2 hours the car is sitting outside our kitchen door. As soon as my husband steps outside in the garden the cat starts playing with him. We don't want to get attached to the cat as its not ours. The black cat even has a collar attached to him. He doesn't seem to be going back to his owner. We don't want to be getting done for stealing someone else's cat when we haven't ! Please help

M4r1456 · 26/07/2017 03:35


Joy210 · 25/10/2017 23:20

Hi what’s the latest? I’m
Currently having the same problem. I don’t feed the cat. We called his owner. He keeps coming back lol

scaryteacher · 28/10/2017 14:35

The previous owner of one of mine kept sodding off to Spain for weeks at a time leaving the cat. I took over feeding him when she was away and he slept in our house. Eventually she went to Spain again and didn't let me know she was back til weeks later. I took the cat back, he came back to me again. She decided to move, and asked if I wanted him. He now lives a life of comfort, not being left out in all weathers , and is fed regularly. He has been with us for 7 years now, and shows no signs of wanting to move on.

My other one was abandoned and taken in by the cattery who had been watching him get thinner and thinner in an adjoining field as he doesn't hunt. He has been with us 4 years. Lots of expats here leave their animals when they return home, and as he wasn't chipped, that could have been what happened.

Fatjilly · 31/10/2017 18:37

A tiny kitten kept following my then 3 year old son every time we went outside. It looked far too young to be out so I managed to track down the owner, a young bloke. He told me that he was going to regime it so he'd stopped feeding it so it wouldn't come back once it had a new owner! He'd also told someone that if he couldn't find a home for it, he would chuck it in the canal! I pleaded to keep it and have had the pleasure of the sweetest, loveliest cat ever for the last 11 years.

When you are adopted by someone else's cat
Fatjilly · 31/10/2017 18:38

*rehome...not regime

scaryteacher · 31/10/2017 21:50

One of mine is black as seems odd without a black cat about.

Joannanenkova · 17/07/2018 22:19

So I have a similar problem. A car kept trying to steal my cats food and I thought he was bullying him. So I would spray water at it. He (guessing gender) would keep coming back. Looks really scrawny and is very jumpy. I said to my neighbour about it who is home all day and she said that mine and this other are best friends. So then I felt bad and started feeding it. I have asked about and no body knows the owner. Have even put a picture of him on Facebook but no response. The thing is is that I cannot afford two cats. I am eligible for the blue cross but there is not one in my area. I would not say that i think this cat has a home and I don't know what to do. There is no collar.

EachandEveryone · 17/07/2018 22:31

Are there any other charities local?

If I knew someone was away for weeks at a time and the cat was coming in for a cuddle and rest I couldn’t turf it out, if it was no bother.

AnneCali1 · 03/01/2021 19:19

I don't understand why people let their cats out. Indoor cats must stay indoors. So many bad things can happen to cats when they are outside. They can get hit by a car, some bad people can hurt them, other cats or coyotes may attack, and the list goes on. People, please keep your cats indoors and take care of them.
I have taken in feral cats and turned them into indoor cuddly cats. I want to keep them safe.

GoldfishParade · 07/01/2021 22:13

That's your opinion @AnneCali1 but from a UK perspective you're undoubtedly in a minority

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