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Another cat! What do I do?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Background: We have four strictly indoor cats (and, currently, five tiny kittens). For the past few weeks, a big beautiful buff tabby (I'll call him Mooch) has been visiting our deck at dinner time. When he first started showing up, he was a little thin (and had a patch of fur missing from his back). So of course I fed him.

Initially, Ace would posture aggressively when Mooch showed up: swelling tail, yowling, the whole bit. After several run-ins with the spray bottle and a few weeks of exposure to this cat, he's lessened his aggression to the point that yesterday he was making slow-blinks at Mooch. Yay! And Mooch has never acted aggressively toward any of our cats.

Anyway, Mooch has taken to spending all day on our deck pretty much. And he is SUCH a sweetheart. He really wants in the house. We've come to the conclusion that even though he obviously was someone's cat at one point, either he's currently without an owner, or he's being neglected to the point that—pardon my righteous indignation—his owner doesn't deserve such a loving cat.

I think I should probably take him to the vet to get him checked out. And obviously I will keep feeding him. Beyond that, what's the best thing to do?
post #2 of 3
When you take on the responsiblity of feeding strays, you should also take on the responsibility of trapping them, getting them to the vet, scanned for a microchip vetted, spayed or neutered and released. If you are letting your own cats come in contact with outside cats, you open your cats up to all sorts of problems. Even deck contact will cause your cats to become territorial and aggressive, or fight among themselves and being that it is kitty season, intact males will be spraying everywhere. Not every cat that shows up will be a stray or a feral, you may have someone's lost pet, or just a neglected cat from a home that could care less where that cat is. But to stop you from having more than 5 tiny kittens, you should spay and neuter not only your cats, but any cat that you are feeding. Either that, or stop feeding altogether outside, because you are only going to attract more cats (I believe they network) and then you could really be in for some problems that a spray bottle (an unkind way to handle indoor or outdoor cats imo) can handle.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I forgot to mention that Mooch does appear to be neutered, as are all my male cats. (That's the FIRST thing I checked.) I just want to take him to the vet to get checked out, dewormed, shots, etc. We do have a colony of feral cats in the neighborhood that my next door neighbor Mary feeds and is TNRing, but I'm positive that this one does not belong to that colony. He's much larger than any of them and does not act feral in the slightest. He doesn't eat with them, either.

I do worry that he is someone's pet that has somehow gotten lost. Like I said, he is a total sweetheart and was most likely a house cat at some point. What's the best way to find his owner if that's the case?

As for the spray bottle, what do you recommend? Everything I've read indicates that cats' aggressive behavior left unchecked will escalate. Initially I put Ace in a room by himself when Mooch showed up, but that seemed cruel as Ace absolutely hates being locked up by himself, whereas being sprayed with water just seems to annoy him. I don't want to use a loud noise as some sites recommend because I think that would just confuse my other cats who aren't exhibiting any undesirable behavior at the time. And like I said, Ace seems to be behaving less and less aggressively toward Mooch as time goes on.
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