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What to do When Your Cat Starts Living with your Neighbours

 by jaime on 21 Jun 2014 |
1 Comment(s)
It's really true when they say that a cat chooses its owner, you can't choose a cat. This is never more true when your four legged companion chooses another home to visit and potentially live in rather than yours.

Owning, caring for and loving a cat can be a wonderfully enriching experience - but what happens when your cat starts living elsewhere? Some cat owners don't mind if their cat is being fed and loved somewhere else - so long as they come home to sleep at night. For others, to see their cat being looked after, and looking contented as a result of living somewhere else can be a very painful and frustrating experience - particularly so for young children.

In situations like this, there are two sides to the coin. Your neighbours may be unintentionally (hopefully) feeding and therefore coaxing your cat into visiting them regularly or your cat is entering and eating food in other homes, potentially 'adopting' a new family.

For the unassuming neighbours, more often than not, they don't realise that the odd dish of food they're feeding your cat can actually be harmful, causing allergic reactions, over-feeding and obesity and digestion problems. And then you have to deal with costly vet bills and looking after a sick kitty.

You should also consider the possibility that the reason your cat is now visiting or even living somewhere else is a reaction their home life - maybe because of other cats your own or children or generally they feel the need to locate to a new and safer territory. In some cases, the original owners end up making the tough decision to allow their cat to become a member of their newly adopted family.

It can be a bit of an awkward situation, but for the wellbeing of your cat, and so you can keep that cat as yours, there are plenty of methods you can try to ease this situation.
  • Go and speak with your neighbour and voice your concern - ask them to not let your cat into their home, or not to feed them.
  • Place a bright collar and tag requesting your cat not to be fed - include your name and number and even a bell.
  • Feed your cat well and make sure they are spayed/neutered.
  • Train your cat to stay in your yard, modify your yard to stop your cat getting out or restrict outdoor access to daytime hours.
  • Get to know your neighbours and express your wishes - this is particularly useful prior to your cat getting to know them!
  • As a last resort, call your local RSPCA/ASPCA to tell them of your concerns - particularly if your neighbours are not respecting your wishes.
Likewise, if you are the unexpecting neighbour and you have a friendly feline frequenting your home there are also methods you can follow to stop them from doing so.
  • Tell the cat to go away. If you're not able to deter it from visiting you, don't pay it any attention - and if you have a cat of your own only pay your pet attention.
  • Try not to allow it into your house.
  • If a cat makes a suprise entrace into your home, give them a quick squirt with a water pistol to deter them.
  • Voice concerns with the cat's owners - and try and come to some arrangement where you can work together to stop the cat from coming to your property.
All parties need to remember that this is actually a common problem and can be resolved easily with plenty of communication and respect. It's important that any situations like these are remedied promptly before any cats become thououghly confused as to where they actually live.

Unfortunately there are execptions to the rules such as cases of neglect from the original owners or someone intentionally coaxing and keeping a cat indoors away from it's owners. Keep out for any signs of these sort of behaviours and act accordingly.



Jill - Comment
Jill13 Mar 2017Reply
We let a neighbour's cat in because we don't want it to freeze here in Canada. We try to get it out in the evening. Never has stayed overnight. Owner seems to kick it out early am, especially on the weekends.

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