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Staying Away

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have a 3 year old female that is an in and out cat. She started running away a year ago and living down the street in an empty unfinished house. She comes home once a week and stays a day or two. I am now away for 10 weeks and house sitters say she rarely comes home. When she does come home she cuddles and sleeps happily and eats. She is healthy in appearance. Should I worry or is she simply doing her thing?
post #2 of 15
You no longer have a cat, just a sometime visitor. It's up to you to decide if you want her to continue taking chances with other cats' diseases, acquired injuries, traffic, poison, dogs, etc. or whether you'll keep her as a full time indoor cat, but otherwise, she's gone.
post #3 of 15
Is she spayed? Has she lived with you since she was a kitten?
I have indoor/outdoor cats. Half I've raised since they were less than 2 weeks old, the others were adopted as adults. They're fixed and do not leave the property.
I've had experience with runaways but they were my male adults. After they were neutered, they were gone for almost a week. They came back and never left.
On the other hand, my sister had a spayed female who did not like living with so many cats. My sis had 14. The cat ran away too but dropped in once in a while, much like yours had done. Before moving to Canada, my sister told me she saw her cat in the company of 2 others. The cat seemed to be happier so my sister let her be.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
She is spayed. She was born in our house and lives with her sibs and Mom at my home. She has been gone 8 days living in the house down the road. It is unfinished. She hunts iguanas. I cannot make her stay but man, I hate her walk abouts.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
She has been doing this back and forth for a year now..she comes and goes. Her brother antagonzes her big time and she is afraid of him. Maybe that is why she leaves. What can I do? She has actually pooped on the floor in fear when he chased her.
post #6 of 15
Oh gosh, her brother considers her a strange cat. And I don't think her pooping is because of fear. She just left a memento because she still considers your home part of her territory.
So I take it, she is the only "roamer" of the bunch?
If you feel the problem is her acceptance back, read the stickies on cat introductions.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Dora's Mom was ferile but has learned to love our house and life. She comes and goes. Alfred is the homebody and dominates the house. Awell...she comes home when she wants and is my free spirit.

So her poops during a fight is marking her turf? Wow..
post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by phelana View Post
So her poops during a fight is marking her turf? Wow..
Sorry, I thought you meant she pooped AFTER an encounter with her brother. If it was DURING the fight, then yes, she was getting the bad end of it.
post #9 of 15
Hi Phelana, some cats do go for walkies whne they want to, they are independant animals and would not choose to be confined. Is she healthy? Does she appear to be calm when she is in your house? I read that she comes in for cuddles so it sounds like she is not too frightened of the other kitty? Do they fight a lot? Have they always faught or is it occasional? Do you think she is staying a way through fear or just got itchy paws? Are you keeping her vaccinations going? I think you are right about the free spirit part, cats have very indeering characteristics they are not so reliant like dogs are. If she seems happy about her situation then I don't see a problem. Confining her to a house when she is used to roaming I feel would be very stressful for her and maybe not in her best interests.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Dora is healthy. She is a chubby fat girl who loves to sleep on our beds, get her tummy rubbed and kiss. She started her walk abouts a year back and stays in an unfinished house three doors down. My neighbors may feed her but scraps, not proper pet food. They are locals (we live in the Caribbean) and know who she is. When I have gone to see Dora at the house she is in the rafters and I see dead lizards on the ground. She eats their tails. She is a good hunter. To get her home I have to carry her home holding her by the scruff of the neck gently. She comes in happily and eats and stays a few days. One of my dogs chases her out of the yard when she attempts to come in. I try and catch that. Her brother does antagonize her but then they both chill and all is well.

It's been 14 days now..the longest ever. Come home Dora Lora.
post #11 of 15
Some cats just like to roam. I once 'adopted' what I thought was a stray cat. We named her, took her to the vet, etc. She would sometimes vanish for days at a time, but always returned. Then one day I came home to flyer with a picture of "my" cat and a story from her real owner (full of sadness) that HER cat kept disappearing for long stretches.

Turns out, this cat lived in a house with 2 of her grown siblings a few blocks away. I think she liked the attention she got at our house (we had no other pets at that time) we lavished attention on her and bought her great food.

Your cat may have found another home where someone is feeding her. I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. If you don't want her roaming, you will probably have to keep her indoors all the time. But it sounds like she has an independent spirit and just likes to get out and explore.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
I found Dora in the empty house after her 3 week walk about. The neighbors are NOT feeding her as I asked. They say they catch birds. I brought her home, she ate, purred, cuddled and had one fight with her brother and peed during the fight. She went back to sleep and 30 hours later begged to go out so I let her go. Sigh...she is healthy but very skinny.
post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by phelana View Post
I brought her home, she ate, purred, cuddled and had one fight with her brother and peed during the fight. She went back to sleep and 30 hours later begged to go out so I let her go. Sigh...she is healthy but very skinny.
If they fight every time she goes home, it's beginning to look like she is keeping away because of her brother. Maybe you should try reintroducing them again. When she gets home, keep brother in another room while she has the run of the place. Then try exchanging scents and other intro tricks suggested in the stickies above. You may have to force her to stay with you until her brother is more accepting of her.
Hopefully once he does, Dora will not stay away for so long.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, they had one fight and she peed all over. The thing is he goes over to her and she starts hissing and he just wants to play but it ends in a cat fight. I try and keep him away from the room she is in...ugh
post #15 of 15
I know that, while houses are being built, cats can be trapped in the rafters or attic or other places that go from being open to being a nice cave with an entrance to being completely closed off. Cats simply dehydrate and starve to death, and their skeletons are found years later.

Now, I don't know if there is active construction going on at the unfinished house she's living in, but it could certainly kill her in an unpleasant way.

Personally, if I were you I'd make her an indoor-only cat and work at the aggression between her and her brother. But if you think the freedom is worth the risks, then, by all means, keep having an occasional visitor. If she went from being chubby to skinny, though, it doesn't sound like she's doing well living outside.

Also, I'm not sure which island you live on, but there are Carribbean rock iguanas which are endangered because pigs eat the eggs and cats eat the hatchlings, and the iguanas evolved without similar predators.
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