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Somebody wants my cat :(

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm new here ..I hope this is the right place to post about my problem. You see, I have two cats - one of them is called Spots. He's a very pretty cat - white with yellow/red spots - and everybody in the neighbourhood seems to love him. We have a house with a quite big garden, so we don't keep him inside the house all the time. It was never a problem before - he went out, spent some time there, but always came back. Recently we have seen less and less of him. It's alsmost like he has a second home somewhere. It got to the worst point this week when we didn't see Spots for four days. So, this morning we started talking about putting up some posters - however, just a half an hour later - Spots came home. We were so happy too him, but we were also really surprised, because it was obvious that he was recently bathed. So I think it's pretty sure that someone else has kept him for those four days. And now I don't know what to do I haven't let him out on his own the whole day today, but he's getting upset. I tried to take him for a walk using a leash, but we haven't done that before so he was just freaked out by it. I realize it takes a lot of time and practice, but I'm not even sure if keeping him inside the house is the right thing to do. He's used to being wild.

I wish I could just ask him, why he wanted to go away from us in the first place - because that's probably the real problem.

But it's also obvious that someone has been keeping him from coming back. So what should I do about that? Maybe keep Spots inside for a while? Or should I actually start training him for walking with a leash? Because we love him so much and don't want to lose him again
post #2 of 15
Maybe you could put a breakaway collar on him, with your phone number. That way the other family will know he has a home. They probably think he is just a stray, since they found him wandering outside.

In the US, many cats are kept as inside only pets, but it is a challenge to teach a kitty who is used to going out to stay inside.

There is a risk that even with a collar, the other family will keep him. So think about it before you let him out again.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
You know, you may be right ...It didn't occur to me at first, because he doesn't exactly look like a stray, but if those other people saw him wandering around - they might have thought so.
I did buy him a new collar with the leash today, so if they see him again and see he has a new collar (with the address) they might return him instead of keeping him.

But yes, there's still the possibility of someone keeping him despite knowing he belongs to someone else.

I don't know... I guess I'll just see what happens tonight. If Spots gets too crazy at night - I may have to let him out.
post #4 of 15
I think it's terrible that someone would just take in a cat without checking first to see if the cat has an owner. Maybe you could consider buying or building an outdoor enclosure? That way, you could still let your cat enjoy being outside, but he would be safely confined to your garden.
post #5 of 15
This has happened to me twice...One time worse than the other.
When I was a teenager I had a cat (Gatita) that would spend alot of time outdoors. I tried to keep her in, but she was used to being out. I would take her in whenever it rained or there was rotten weather. Than Hurricane Gloria came and we went to stay at my grandmother's house. I didn't want to leave Gatita, but she was nowhere to be found and my parents said she would be fine. Turned out that the hurricane was not bad at all by us, but that Gatita had jumped at the neighbor's door and went in his house during the hurricane.
She began spending more and more time with him and I asked my dad to talk to him...The neighbor said no problem, I didn't know she belonged to you but the next thing I knew he moved to Florida and took my cat with him! He was a single man and he didn't talk to us much. We didn't even know he was moving until he moved! I couldn't believe it! I was devastated and cried for weeks.

Now, many years later I have an indoor/outdoor former feral and he began staying away for a day or two here and there. Then one day he came back with a collar on! I couldn't believe someone else put a collar on my cat! I took that collar off immediately and put one of my own on! And I began feeding him a whole lot better with treats etc. He still disappears sometimes but he always comes back. I think that he still spends time at his other family but the bulk of his time is spent with us. We have a colony of ferals out in our backyard, maybe they think that I won't know if one of the cats is missing. If it's the family I think it is, he is welcome to visit them, not live...It's refreshing to find another family that likes cats around here- I just hope they don't move to Florida!
post #6 of 15
IF possible, you should consider a cat enclosure or you will risk losing your cat. I know it feels somehow like a betrayal when our cats enjoy the company of another home, but maybe there is some really lonely person there whom the cat feels needs their companionship.
JC has gone missing a couple of times this summer, and I think that the same thing is going on. We run the risk of the other people keeping them, and keeping them locked up because so many people feel that a cat should be kept locked up for their own good, which is right, but some cats do get downright broken hearted and develop serious illness when they are locked up all the time.
Large enclosures are the only answer that seems to satisfy all...
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your suggestions everybody!

Wow, JIL05, that's just horrible what happened to your cat. I can't believe that man just took him with him! And the other cat coming home with a new collar! ...Now I'm really scared! I don't understand why people would do anything like that, because there are so many kittens that actually do need a new home...
post #8 of 15
JIL05 - I can't believe someone took your kitty - that is so mean. Couldn't you have reported your neighbour to the police?
post #9 of 15
Thank you so much for your sympathy! I was a shy teenager back then and my father had talked to the man so we thought everything was settled. Honestly...We didn't even know he was moving! Well...If I remember back right, at least I didn't know he was moving. But even so, Who would think that he would take the cat? We only found out that he took her after we were looking for her with posters and then one neighbor said: Hey, That's Joe's cat, he took her to Florida when he moved! Joe's cat, my foot! It was all very strange...I just know that my heart was broken when he took my Gatita.

Elisa84- I agree with you 100%! Why take someone else's cat when there are so many up for adoption or homeless strays. I guess if people don't know that the cat has a home and they get friendly with it....And how is Spots doing? Is he staying indoors now? Or do you have to let him out?

I now have a collar on this new cat, but he still disappears... At least they know that he belongs to someone. But like Beckiboo said there's always the chance they might decide to keep him. I wish I could keep him in. I really try. At least with winter coming, he will want to stay in more frequently.
post #10 of 15
Originally Posted by Elisa84 View Post
Thanks for your suggestions everybody!

Wow, JIL05, that's just horrible what happened to your cat. I can't believe that man just took him with him! And the other cat coming home with a new collar! ...Now I'm really scared! I don't understand why people would do anything like that, because there are so many kittens that actually do need a new home...
Well, I can understand why that cat had a collar on... if it didn't have a collar on to begin with, wouldn't they have thought it was a stray and needed a new home?

Some cats belong to more than one family even though they sleep at only one house. There is a cat like that in the town I used to live in; I posted about him here. His name is Tiger and his owners don't really do much but feed him; and he doesn't wear a collar. He goes round to different houses and likely gets fed at more than just home--he's a big-boned cat with a round belly. I know he sometimes eats with the ferals outside the restaurant. He's very friendly and I used to stop and pet him whenever I saw him... it's like he belongs to the whole town. That doesn't mean I'm not angry at the owners for not taking better care of him--no collar, no vet care, etc.--but he's still their cat. Unfortunately.
post #11 of 15
Hi everyone! Just to play devil's advocate... Back in the beginning of July, a very timid, precious little cat came out of the woods from behind our house. We had never seen her in the neighborhood and we didn't own any pets or have plans to own a pet. We searched for weeks for the owner of the cat. We went door to door and talked to neighbors, we posted flyers, I put an ad in the paper, I called the local shelter and checked with two different local vets. No one seemed to own this poor cat - but she looked fairly clean and healthy except for some fleas. I was worried that she DID have an owner who missed her and I tried very hard to find the owner. After two weeks, we took her to the vet and made sure she was healthy and we got all of her immunizations up to date. We "officially" adopted her because we wanted her to be safe, happy, and healthy. I never saw any flyers posted by anyone looking for her and I was worried about keeping her precisely because I was concerned that there would be an angry owner somewhere out there wanting her back. So maybe these other people didn't put as much effort into locating an owner as I did (and shame on them), but maybe they don't know any better and are just trying to help the cat? Now that I've become very attached to my new little baby, I am worried someone will come to take her away from me. And then I would wonder why they haven't started looking for her sooner... Anyhow, I guess ther are just a lot of different ways to look at it.
post #12 of 15
This is a good argument for keeping cats indoors. Other threads elsewhere on the forum describe cats and kittens being hit by cars; there are too many cruel and thoughtless people out there who would harm or steal a pet.
post #13 of 15
I'm one of those who "found" a cat and decided to adopt her - or I should say my husband decided she "looked hungry."

This kitty had been sleeping on our patio for weeks - maybe even months. She had a collar, but no name tag. She bolted every time we went outside. Finally one day my hubby saw her licking the barbeque grill and concluded she was hungry. We started feeding her, and before long she trusted us enough to pet her. She was full of mats. Her fur was dry and dull, and very reddish though it was supposed to be charcoal grey and white.

We replaced her dirty collar with a new one and had a name tag made with my cell # on it. She had been spayed, so we knew she once belonged to someone - but no flyers in the neighborhood, and based on her appearance we think she had been abandoned. Anyway she is now the center of our household. We couldn't bear to lose her. We let her out during the day, but keep her in after dark. She never wanders far and still loves to sleep on the patio furniture. I guess if she had another home, those people would have called us, since our number is on her collar tag.

She has become the most affectionate kitty I've ever known!
post #14 of 15
Since a majority of our shelter’s strays never had their owners claim them or even report them missing, my general feeling is that I would rather risk dealing with an owner upset about paying a redemption fee than chance something bad happening to the cat if it were lost or abandoned. Most of the cats that were reclaimed were genuinely lost- and their owners were thrilled to know they were safe. Probably the best example of this was a 19-year-old senile cat that had gotten out and couldn’t find her way home. What would have happened to her if that Good Samaritan had just dismissed her as someone’s pet and left her out?

IMO the idea that someone is “stealing a cat†if they find it on their property bothers me because it doesn’t require the owner to accept any responsibility for letting the cat out or allowing it to roaming to begin with.
post #15 of 15
I had a similar situation.. There was a big black and white cat i used to see outside my house a lot. i started feeding it, and it was affectionate, but also skittish and a little strange (i dont know how else to explain it), and i thought for sure it was a stray. i fed it daily tho. then one day i got home and he was waiting at my door like he sometimes did (he never had a collar on), and i said "hey baby" and picked him up and this guy comes running up the street "hey, thats my cat!". and i was like oh-sorry.. i was just so shocked that i didnt think to say "then why is its fur matted and why is it outside all the time and why is it always hungry when i feed it?". he took the cat from me and turned around and walked back to his house down the block. after that i saw the cat less, and when i tried to feed him he wasnt that hungry most of the time, so im hoping the owner was scared into taking better care of his cat.

i can totally understand why someone would start feeding and taking care of a strange cat though, if they thought it needed it. unfortunately there are still plenty of ppl in this world who have a cat but do the bare minimum, or not even that. they feed it and leave it out all the time and expect it to "fend for itself, cos it's a cat".

on a happier note, i once opened my back door to go pick some flowers (this was before we had Wonton) and an adorable white and gray kitty came right up to me,sniffed me, and walked into my house! i petted her and gave her some tuna, and then called the number on her collar to make sure she wasnt lost far away from her home or anything. turns out she lived two houses down from me. the lady was very nice-i told her that the cat had just walked in, and asked if it was ok if i fed it (a bit late as i already had, i know ) and she said yeah no problem. i told her i saw her cat a lot in my yard (which i did) but said it was no problem, i didnt mind her visiting if the lady didnt mind me letting her in. she said no problem, and took down my phone number. for a long time after that SArah would visit us-she'd actually meow at the door-and we'd let her in and spend an hour or two with her, and then she'd ask to go out again. It was nice spending some time with a cat again-id' gone without a pet for a long time cos of living in places that didnt allow them. Now we have Wonton tho, and he and sarah dont get along. i still see her in the yard sometimes tho
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