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I dont know what to do

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My cat is now 18 years old and has always enjoyed going out and about using her cat flap. Over the last couple of months she has spent more and more time at a neighbour who has 2 of her own cats. I dont have a problem with this but it does mean that I rarely see her now. She is the happiest cat I know, purring constantly and drooling when she sits on my lap for a stroke on the odd occasions she does come home.
I did start bringing her home and locking her in the house overnight then unlocking her her cat flap first thing in the morning, but she became very upset by this, spending all night clawing at doors and 'howling' to go out. Obviously I couldn't let this go on as it would have made her very unhappy and possibly shortened her life.
I really dont know the best thing to do. I just want her to be happy, and I dont think forcing her to stay in will make her happy. Her cat flap is open 24 hours a day again now, so she can come and go as she chooses, but I guess that at the moment she chooses to go rather the come.
What would other people do in the situation?
post #2 of 12
I'm impressed you have an outside kitty who is that old. I have no solution - what does your neighbor think? Would you be willing to turn over care to them? Maybe offer some extra food if the cat has decided to live more with your neighbor?
post #3 of 12
Well, I am a firm believer in indoors-only for cats, for all the obvious reasons; but in your cat's situation, I guess you are doing what comes naturally. Perhaps you could make her home even more attractive to her by -- what? -- playing more with her when she's there? Offering her more delectable food and treats? Of course, feline friends would also seem to be a big draw for her, and I'm a believer in multicat families, too (as our siggy proves!) so you might think of rescuing another deserving cat, perhaps an adult, or even more than one, so that she will have mates (AND more precious lives will be saved...) These are the things I can think of. What do you think?
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions, but I already have another cat who is now 5 years old. He came to me as an 8 week old feral and he (Beefy) and Phyllis (the 18 year old), have been together for the past 5 years. But Phyllis doesnt like other cats and will see off any cat that comes anywhere near her territory, whether it be my house or her second home. I have tried her on all types of food, both soft food and biscuits that are new to her, but she is so set in her ways she turns her nose up at everything. She has always been allowed to come and go as she pleases. She is known as my spoilt baby. I guess I need to know if I am right to let her go out and about as she is used to doing as that is what keeps her happy and healthy.
post #5 of 12
Do you know why she goes to your neighbour such a lot? ie does your neighbour encourage it? Does she feed her? Is your neighbour's garden more cat friendly than yours? Are your neighbours at home more than you are? If you get on well with your neighbour, I would have a word and ask her not to encourage your cat too much and not to feed her. Hopefully as a cat owner herself she will understand. You could also pay some attention to your own garden and home to make it as attractive to your cat as possible so that she isn't so keen to wander over to your neighbour. Do you have a garden that is suitable for cat proofing? Although it would be a shame to confine her at her age.

If your neighbour isnt willing to co-operate then I don't think there's much you can do. At 18 years of age, the important thing is that your cat is happy and if she likes visiting your neighbour you may just need to put up with that.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have lived at my place for 2 years now and it has only been the last couple of months that Phyllis has been going off up the path to the neighbours. My house and garden are perfect for both my cats. I have spoken to my neighbours and asked them not to feed her or encourage her into their home, and they did stop for a couple of days but then back to the usual. I think I have to accept that Phyllis is happy to visit both of us and all the time she is happy, then so am I. Its not an ideal situation but in the circumstances the best thing.
post #7 of 12
She's needing her other cat friends now (it's not a rejection of you or your place) and I think you're great for letting it happen, though I can imagine how bad you must feel. I would however, keep a very close eye on her health, emphasize to the neighbours that you need to feed her and know exactly what and when she eats, especially because of her age. In the end, will your neighbour be responsible for vet bills in future if something goes wrong?
post #8 of 12
Does your neighbor have something in her yard that you don't, like a bird feeder for instance?
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have explained all about Phyllis to my neighbours, her failing kidneys, the ulcers she gets in her mouth at times and anything else that they would need to know. As I said previously Phyllis is now 18 yerars old, she has no teeth, doesnt really like other cats but she loves humans and the neighbours are home all day and I think that is what she likes. I cant be at home all day as I am a single mum and need to work. At the end of the day I really think I have done all I can, Phyllis is happy going to and from the neighbours and the neighbours look out for her and I suspect they look forward to her coming over to say 'hello, what food are you going to give me and please can I use your litter tray' !!
post #10 of 12
I think that is the key fact - they are home all day. SHe needs human company and comfort. I would just let her be, and make sure you talk as often as possible with your neighbour, make friends with them, and watch Phyllis extra carefully when she is with you.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
My spoilt baby popped back this evening, had a cuddle and a bite to eat and was then gone again, so typical of a cat and also so normal. I will let her do her own thing as that is what makes her what she is and it also makes her happy.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well I finally did the only thing I felt was right. I went to my neighbour and asked her if she would like to take over the care of Phyllis being as it is her house that Phyllis is always staying at. The lady said to give her a couple of days to think about it, and so I went back to her on Friday to find out what was going to happen. She had discussed it with her husband and between them and me we have decided that Phyllis is happiest when she is at their house as so she has stayed there ever since. It was a hard decision as I love that cat to bits, but at the end of the day her happiness is what is important to me. I can go and see her whenever I want so I guess I'm not really missing out.
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