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Need Advice - neighbors moved

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

I'm new to this site and found it through an internet search on how to deal with moving a cat.

We recently adopted a stray cat (Buddy, female) that is about 30% (while we're at work)outdoors and 70% indoors (while we're home). We're in CA, so it's not too cold for it to be outside during the day. When she's outside, we make sure she's got a full bowl of food and water.

Soon after we adopted Buddy, we noticed that there is a much larger cat with a collar and ID tag in the neighborhood that waits until we are out of site and then devours her food before she's able to eat any of it. My first instinct was to chase the other cat away. Buddy is very small (7lbs) and would not even try to keep another cat away from her food. This other cat always seems starving and runs away very quickly as soon as it sees me. I've been trying to get a look at its tag because I'm curious who's cat it is, but it won't let me go near it.

This past weekend a couple knocked on our door and asked if we had seen their cat. Apparently it's their cat and they used to live in the house behind us. They moved about 6 months ago about 1.5 miles away, but can't seem to get the cat to stay home. They've caught the cat a couple times, but it keeps going back to the old house. I told her that the cat is there like clockwork - every morning when I let Buddy outside before I go to work. I told her she should just come over in the morning before I let Buddy out and we'll wait for the cat to come over. She's coming over tomorrow morning.

Here's the problem - the cat (now I know his name is Ziggy) has always been very skiddish, and the woman says that since Ziggy has been eating regularly - presumably Buddy's food that I put out everyday - he has been running away from her when she tries to catch him, too! I'm worried that she's going to come over in the morning and the Cat will run away from her too!

I could stop leaving the food outside for a few days so that it gets desparate enough to come to her, but that seems so cruel! The woman said poor ziggy has even gone back to the old house and scratched on the door, waking the new neighbors up in the middle of the night. Its obvious that when they finally are able to get Ziggy to the new home, they need to keep him inside for a while so he gets used to the new home, but how the heck are we going to get him there?!!!!

Any advice?!!?
post #2 of 5
I would say totally stop feeding outside. Since your cat is in the house part of the time, she can eat inside. Ziggy will keep coming back the next few mornings, hoping for food. If his momma can't catch him with food the first morning, by the second or third he will most likely come right to her!

If she can't get him caught within 2-3 days, get a trap to catch him. And tell the people at the old house to let him in if he scratches at the door for food, and after he eats they can put him in a cat carrier for his momma to come get him!

Good luck!
post #3 of 5
I think Beckiboo's advice is good.

Then your neighbors have to keep their cat indoors at their new place for at least 2 weeks, preferably a month. Otherwise he will never acclimate to the new place as his home. Cats are very territory-oriented and it is very important to re-orient them to a new home, otherwise they will run off in search of their old home, even when they have moved hundreds of miles away.
post #4 of 5
I think Beckiboo's suggestion of having the new homeowners let Ziggy in is a good one. Cats returning "home" after a move can be a major problem (that's how we ended up with ZsaZsa, and my mother has had at least 3 cats that did the same after neighbors moved).
Ziggy's owners really have to keep him inside for several weeks (I'd say about six, since he seems so stubborn) till he accepts his new home.
post #5 of 5
This same thing happened to some people I know. They solved it by just letting the cat stay at the old house. A friend of mine was living at the old house then and was happy to have the cat.
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