Help-I am an anxious mess about this...

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Pinkglitter1
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Help-I am an anxious mess about this...

Post by Pinkglitter1 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:07 pm

Hi,

I have found this forum and am hoping that someone can put my mind at rest (or not).

Little about me: I have 4 cats, 3 girls, 1 boy.

I used to live in a ground floor flat in North London with 3 of my cats ( number 4 was yet to join us). At this point I had an open cat flap and my male cat was spraying everywhere, causing me a lot of stress. He is an anxious boy anyway, but I now have a micro-chip cat-flap, use Zylkene and Feliway at times of need and the problem, although not resolved, is manageable. This spraying had reached extreme heights when I moved from my old flat to my new flat in May 2012. The spraying is not the issue for me, it is unresolved guilt that I may have made a huge mistake in moving house, and this is why.

I had so many cats sneaking in through the catflap. At this stage, my guys food was by the back door and I lived in a terraced house on a typical London Street. I had my neighbours cat who used to come in and sleep on the sofa. There was a large male tabby who used to come in twice a day ( I attached a paper collar and his owner neutered him) but he remained a regular visitor. A ginger cat who after a number of years, I discovered lived at the back of me, came in daily. The persian from next-door-but-one would come in. And over the 4 years I was there, a few other cats came and went. One of whom decided to move in with me. He was chipped and I couldn't keep him and he was re-homed. seems there was a space of about 3 months whereby he was visiting me and returning home. One morning I looked out into my garden and it looked like a zoo! I had quite an overgrown garden-possibly attractive to cats?

So, I come to the bit that I feel desperately guilty about. Approx in March 2012 there was a new tabby sneaking in and eating the food. At first I thought it was the regular tabby who lived over the back, but soon spotted he wasn't. He wasn't coming around every day, but fairly frequently. Sneaking in through the back door and running off if I made an appearance. Now, he was wearing a collar initially. I took this off (it came off!) when trying to attach a paper collar to him to establish if he belonged to someone. However, I could not grab him and he would always sit over the fence in next doors garden, where I couldn't reach and run off in the same direction. I had the odd scramble over the fence to try and catch him, and he would run off. I saw him once sitting underneath a chair in my lounge, and again, he ran off. He was unneutered but in good nick-he didn't have the big head and chops of a feral ( I have some photo's) Once he had a fight wound on his head. I tried not to actively feed him as this had backfired previously with a cat leaving its own home for me. I did not want this cat to do the same. He seemed perfectly pleasant to my own cats and did not bully them.

I moved in with my boyfriend on 1st June 2012, being non the wiser if this cat had a home and was an opportunist like all the rest. I always try my best by animals and felt that I should have caught this cat and taken him to Battersea just in case. At least I would then have known for sure that he was safe. As it stands, it is probable he was coming in for a free meal, but what if he wasn't? There was a prime opportunity for him to be rescued and I failed. At the time, on speaking with my mum, I didn't want to capture him as I felt he belonged to somebody. I would be devastated if one of mine just disappeared. My landlady stayed for a couple of weeks on my departure and I know cats were coming in through the flap at night. I should have put pictures up in the street, however, the many times I have done this before, I never get a response.

I guess what I am keen to know, is do cats sneak into other homes, even if they have a home of their own and could this cat very likely have had a home? Now I'm wiser, I would hire a trap and neuter him, but I wasn't armed with as much knowledge. I'm depressed anyway, but I am feeling hideously bad and wish I had never moved house, just in case. I've adopted lost cats before, it was obvious one followed me home and the other was throwing himself at my back door and both refused to leave.

The new people that moved in said they had never seen him (they have adopted 2 stray kittens) but I worry constantly about him. I asked the neighbours to keep an eye and contact me too, but looks like they haven't seen him. HELP!!! Have I left cat out to die?????????

R x

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Scatty
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Re: Help-I am an anxious mess about this...

Post by Scatty » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:23 pm

Hello R :D

When we had our last cat and he used the cat flap we had a regular visitor who lived next door but two. He often used to come in the cat flap and take Buddy's food and scare the living daylights out of him!! We ended up having to feed Buddy upstairs in the end. I think it's quite often you have visitors coming through the cat flap for a free meal :shock:

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Kay
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Re: Help-I am an anxious mess about this...

Post by Kay » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:44 pm

I once spotted my siamese through my kitchen window in my neighbours' house, up on their kitchen table eating a roast chicken they had left out

and at a later address I regularly used to find a neighbour's cat asleep in my airing cupboard

cats are opportunists, and I would not want to judge their status by their habits - their body condition is much more telling - I really wouldn't worry about this cat any more

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Willowgill
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Re: Help-I am an anxious mess about this...

Post by Willowgill » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:27 am

I really wouldn't worry - the fact that you've had all these cats in your house over the time you were there just shows how clever cats are and will visit different houses on a regular basis for food, warmth and a sleep! There was a program on tv last year where they'd attached video cameras to several family cats and then tracked them over a series of days and nights to see where they went - their range was incredible and most of them went into other peoples houses, ate the food then moved on to the next one - it was really funny and quite an insight into what they get up to. I posted on the old forum about Mr B who we've been feeding for the last year and who ended up with terrible abscesses on his head from fighting. I was thinking about trying to re-home him as it seemed he has no proper owners however he disappeared last weekend and we didn't see him all week - I was becoming worried thinking something had happened to him then looked up last night and there he was asleep in our passage - he's in again this morning and fast asleep in the dining room after a good breakfast. He's looking heaps better (I did get him to the vets and had the wounds treated) and I now think he just likes being here but also goes elsewhere too. :lol:

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Camdengirl
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Re: Help-I am an anxious mess about this...

Post by Camdengirl » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:10 am

I agree with the others, cats are very opportunistic when it comes to things like food! When I was kid our young tabby boy went missing for a couple of days, and when we went around the neighbourhood asking after him and putting up posters, one of the neighbours said 'Oh, a grey tabby boy? He was in our kitchen last week eating Sybil's food'! Mum was mortified!

Please try not to worry, it doesn't sound as if he was desperate for a home, just on the look-out for extra grub. And I imagine by now he's found himself another cat's home to visit, if he didn't already have a little network of eateries to plunder!

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Re: Help-I am an anxious mess about this...

Post by Julz » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:32 pm

We moved house 3 weeks ago. Despite the fact my cats are collared, tagged and chipped posters went up from a woman looking for her missing cat.... Upon investigation we discovered that rather than just the one old lady who we knew about one of our boys got fed in 6 different places including this poor woman who believed she was his 'home' as he went to her house every day.

Cats are greedy. When we first got him I died of mortification when Flo came home with a defrosting chicken breast in his mouth. A neighbour had left their window open and he'd helped himself.

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Re: Help-I am an anxious mess about this...

Post by Marmalade77 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:17 am

They do say that there are more people in the UK that claim to be cat owners than there are actual cats!

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cathyday
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Re: Help-I am an anxious mess about this...

Post by cathyday » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:36 am

Our neighbour has video evidence of my lad Boris in their kitchen eating their cats food, so yes cats who have happy homes do still wander into the homes of others for a free meal. He was then coming back to our house for his own food too, hence he was put on a diet!

I wouldn't worry. Cats are great opportunists!

Pinkglitter1
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Re: Help-I am an anxious mess about this...

Post by Pinkglitter1 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:36 pm

Thanks everyone who has offered help and advice-I really appreciate the views. I really wish cats could talk and I would know for sure as everytime it pops into my head I have anxiety about him. I really wish I had stayed put in the old flat. ! Everytime I tried to catch him or he spotted me, he would run off, or sit looking at me from a couple of gardens away. I've rehomed cats who are obviously lost/deseperate for a home before. Two just moved into the house. I will get a couple of piccies up. I hope nobody minds or thinks I'm barking mad! What I don't understand is at my current flat, I get no cats coming into the garden (aside from my own 4), and I still live in a terraced street. I'm always on the lookout for strays or cats that might need help. My boy cat is very territorial, but it did not stop the hoardes visiting the previous house/garden. Perhaps because I now have a microchip catflat and they cannot get into the house, they don't bother...? x

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