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A stranded kitty or theft?

:cat2: Dear forum members: I'm in a bit of a pickle!  :(

Firstly, let me just comment that I live in the UK, where normally cats still have their front claws and are allowed to wander at will outside. Most cats wear a collar (though not the one I'm about to talk about) and are usually more athletic and agile than our lovely, fat American cats.  ;)

My husband and I have been living in our flat for a good year and a bit now. A couple months after we moved in, a very skinny cat would come and visit. It was still early autumn, so our door was open and she'd wander in stay for a couple minutes than leave again. She really didn't have an interest in being stroked or anything and was just exploring. That was fine. She left and we didn't see her for a couple more months.

Next time we saw her (about 3 months after the first), she looks sickly-- matted fur, very skinny, and nervous. She lived outside our flat in a bush for a solid month. With no collar, we thought she was a stray and did everything in our powers to make sure she would get better. My husband made a make-shift "cat"house, we bought cat food and left out water. We were so worried one day that I took her to our neighbourhood vet. We learnt that she actually did have an owner (who lives on the next road) and she just had an operation-- hence the sickliness of her appearance, apparently. We were thanked for bringing her in and the vet  herself said it was always to be safe than sorry. We asked if they could get in contact with her owner to let her know that she was hanging around and left our contact details for them. So far, so good right?  8-)

Shortly thereafter, the cat left again and we didn't see her for a while. Fast forward to January of this year (now, it should be mentioned that we still saw Slinky-- the cat-- on and off at this point, though nothing more than an outside pet-the-cat-session)-- since January, Slinky has been visiting us very, very regularly. In fact, it seemed like she didn't have a home anymore. She was (and still is!) at our door almost every morning and night, constantly meowing. It got to the point where we were worried again and, as any compassionate animal-lover would, we began to feed her, leave her water and, yes, let her in our house to escape coldness-- I mean the cat came a couple times at 4 in the morning! How does one ignore that cries of a "stranded" animal?

Before long, husband and I noticed on occassion that Slinky would walk off in the opposite direction towards another house and slip inside-- we're guessing she had a couple of houses lined up ready to feed and cuddle her. So, we thought we did the right thing and called the vet again and explained the situation. Although the vet understood why we fed her, let her in, etc, she did tell us we were encouraging her habit of running away from home and we should stop immediately. And we did-- this was about three weeks ago. We haven't let her in, we haven't fed her or anything-- but she still comes around and meows at the door.

I'm a sucker and will go outside and sit on the ground and she'll climb on my lap and we have a little (very short) cuddle. But, she still comes around (up to 4 times a day), she seems to sleep underneath our shurb again, and this morning she looks like she is losing weight. I'm not entirely sure what to do. Husband maintains that we ignore her, as if we keep going outside at her call will keep encouraging her to come around. I'm not entirely convinced at that argument, as we're not feeding her or letting her in anymore. Honestly, I can't ignore an animal cry (as most of you, I'm a passionate animal lover). Sigh...  :'(

Thoughts? Suggestions? Any similar stories? I would love to get some feedback.
Many thanks, revkkah

Ugh! and today, she was out in the shrubs the whole entire day from what we can tell. This is agonizing-- she looks like she's getting skinnier.


Are you looking to gain a cat? Maybe you should just take her in! Does she have anything to identify her? collar? anything like that?  Have you talked to the other houses (people) she goes in?


Honestly, I'd take this kitty in.  If she was getting adequate care/love/lodging/food at her 'supposed' home then she wouldn't be at your door.


It is not uncommon for outdoor cats to have multiple houses.... the life of the tramp and all. I've had friends gain cats this way, and have lost cats this way. When the cat stops coming around, it is a sign they found a better place, and someone who is giving them something the original caregiver lacked. Take the cat in, give her love, but don't be surprised if she disappears later, she may move on to the next.


Thanks for all of your advice. I agree, without a doubt! Now, let's see if hubby gets on side...


Feed the cat; let the cat in. Whose priorities, here, argue otherwise? (shrug) Either she likes to roam, or her needs aren't being met at 'her home'... either way, what's the harm? if the 'owner' gets offended, what's the worst that can happen? say, "oh, oopsie, pardon us, we accidentally fed your cat..." I think your jail term would be minimal.  ;)

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