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My cats becoming someone elses

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
This has been really upsetting me recently. We have to cats, Herbie our oldie and Trixi my almost-a-cat mischeif of 11 months and 10 days.

Anyway, after we got back from holiday in the last weeks of August, our neighbour Alistair came round and said that Trixi has been spending time round his house whilst we'd been away. We had had someone to come in and feed the cats but i thought ti was nice that she had a little person she could go to when she was feeling lonely.

Anyway, as the weeks have passed Trixi has been round there for longer and longer. I just went round to collect her as i havn't seen her for 5 days. When she first started disappearing for a long time i got worried that she was lost or had been run over, but i soon realised she was just round his. He told me that he isn't feeding her although i can tell he clearly is. Sometimes i go round there and have a peer through the cat flap to see if i can see her anywhere in there. I can clearly see a bowl with some cat food and some milk or water. I know he doesn't have a cat of his own so i can tell he's lieing when he says he's not feeding her.

I don't want to tell him to his face that i don't want Trixi to come round anymore because i feel bad. I said to him "oh, if shes ever annoyingy ou or anything just lock the cat flap or something" and he sais to me that he has tried that before but "she got in" i'm sorry but that is completley stupid. He has the same catflap as us. It has a little slidy lock thingy and there is absolutley NO WAY she can get though that. It annoys me so much how he's lying.

So what should i do? I went round to get her just now and i've locked the cat flap so she can't get out. She'll be alright for a while but i'll have to let her out sometime to go to the loo. My mum suggested locking her in for about 2 weeks with a litter tray and only letting her out supervised so she might forget about going round there so much, ro maybe just remember that this is her home.

Its not like were out lots. I get home from school at 4 and stay in on everyday apart from Mondays. I'm always in sometime at the weekend. The only time someone is out of the house generally is between 10 and 4. Of which all that time shes out playing in peoples gardens anyway.

Another thing that bugs me is that he often goes away on work trips for 2 or 3 days, and she will STAY IN HIS HOUSE. This means i've got no way of getting her out unless she comes out the cat flap.

So does anyone have any advice for me? I get so upset. Shes mine and i hardly see her.
post #2 of 8
Actually there is not much you can do. She has for whatever reason decided to go there, and short of locking her indoors for the rest of her life, the minute you let her out, she will shoot right over there.

Be greatful he is feeding her. Cats not eating for long periods of time 2-3 days are in danger of becoming quite ill and even dying. Perhaps he needs her more than you do? Sometimes cats sense things in people and become kindred spirits.

I know, not the answer you were looking for, but things happen for a reason, and short of keeping this cat a prisoner in your own home, you are not going to be able to stop her from going where she wants once she is outside.
post #3 of 8
I can only suggest keeping her indoors for a few weeks, and giving her loads of attention, and feeding her really special food that she likes.

Also try talking to your neighbour and tellinghim that this is really upsetting you. I'm sure if he is a cat lover too, he will understand how hurtful it is for you, and he will stop feeding her.

Also, make sure you go around every night to fetch your cat back. By leaving it a few days you are giving your neighbour the false impression that you ar'nt really bothered if your kittie stays with him. He needs to know that you really care about your cat, then maybe he will stop encouraging your cat to go and stay with him.

Hope everything turns out okay for you.
post #4 of 8
I`d either keep her inside 24/7 (She is your cat)...or I`d let her have "her man" (ask him if he wants to take responsibility for her) and then you get another cat for yourself.
post #5 of 8
I "stole" someone's cat in a similar way. My Will (the cat in my avatar) was born at the neighbors barn. He showed up here when he was 4-5 months old. As a young male, at a farm with mostly unneutered cats, he decided to establish his own home. We happened to be without an alpha cat at the time, so Will moved in.

We did not find out that his owner wanted him for months. I asked his Mom, who would just say, "We have lots of cats. Do you want a cat?" But eventually he asked me if we had a gray and white cat. He was glad Will had a happy home, but was sad to have lost him. He did not ask for him back, but since we live nearby, I'm sure Will wouldn't have stayed.

If I were you, I would try a few weeks inside. Let the neighbor know what you are doing, so he doesn't worry. If after that time, she still prefers his house, you should let her go. She is a cat, not a dog. She is very independent.

Best of luck!
post #6 of 8
I'd keep her in as often as possible with a litter tray if you can, give her a lot of attention, and if you ever suspect she's over there go ring the bell. If nothing else, your neigbor will get sick of having to come to the door and give you the cat back, so he'll stop letting her in.
post #7 of 8
We have two male Cats, Ben and Felix. Ben is the more dominant but Felix will give very little ground, hence a stand-off. Next door to our home is a Cabinet Making Shop, Felix spends 90% of his free time there. Everyone there loves him and he loves being there because he is top Cat, no other Cat ventures into this area and I know this pleases him. All of our Cats (6) are inside at night because if they are going to come to any harm, this is when it will happen. During the early evening I will go over to the Shop and collect Felix and bring him home for dinner, normally he wont come home on his own. He doesn't come into contact with many of the other Cats when home, if he does, he is usually very cordial but not warm towards them. He prefers his solitude and he prefers people over other Cats for companionship. I have accepted this and we share Felix but I see to it that he comes home every night.

This brings me to your Trixi, Cats being the independent souls they are can baffle you at times. I would suspect that something of this sort is going on here. Your neighbour appears to be very fond of your Cat and this is a good thing because there are some very evil people out there. I would say his actions are somewhat furtive but he obviously cares for Trixi. It appears that you are going to have to share Trixi, this is not a bad thing, now she has the safety of two homes. What I would suggest is for you to have an honest chat with your neighbour and explain your concerns and go and collect Trixi each evening, bring her home for dinner and keep her inside during the night. I am sure he wants what is best for Trixi also. Keep in mind that Trixi has made this choice and he has only enabled her. I don't think you can change this behavior, only Trixi can do this. I do hope this helps, in the beginning I to had concerns for Felix. Now I just want him to be happy and safe. Here is a photo of my young lad. [IMG][/IMG]
post #8 of 8
I realize that this is upsetting to you, but sometimes you just have to let the cat decide. We have "one and a half cats", Jamie, and ZsaZsa, who belonged to former neighbors. The neighbors moved away, taking their cat, but she kept coming "home", so often that they were afraid she'd be hit by a car and killed. Their former landlords took her in, but she kept coming to our house whenever she wasn't locked in, presumably because a lot of people mistook her for Jamie, and brought her to our door. The landlord died, and his wife moved away, so we took ZsaZsa in, but Jamie wouldn't accept her (we tried for ages). Therefore a neighbor two doors down took her. The result has been that ZsaZsa sleeps there at night, but eats at our house, and hangs around here most of the day, either outside or in our laundry room, which Jamie doesn't have access to, but she can enter through a cat flap. We're trying, once again, to get her to move into the neighbor's house on a permanent basis by only feeding her there, but it has been a real problem.
My sister has the opposite problem: "two and a half cats", in addition to three dogs. She started out with two cats, and then acquired two more (strays/ferals) in rapid succession. Her second cat accepted the third, but not the fourth (a tiny kitten just a few days old), and moved to her next-door neighbor's house (she used the dog flap, and insisted on staying there). The fourth cat is now living with my niece in another state, and Eve (the second cat) is again spending some time at "home", but also hasn't given up her "home away from home", where there are no cats, only dogs, to compete with.
My advice would be to try and work out a feeding plan with your neighbor (one meal at your house, one at his, for example), plus a plan to share vet expenses, and ask him to make sure the cat isn't in the house, and the cat flap is locked, when he is away. Alternatively, he could give you a key to check on the cat when he's away.
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