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Advice re: greedy wandering cat

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:55 pm
by ShivyDevon
Good afternoon all - I am looking for some non judgemental advice regarding my cat.

My 9-year-old neutered male cat Murphy is a greedy Wanderer. For the past 2 to 3 years he has been frequently visiting a neighbour - approximately 25 doors down my road - who has been feeding him.

I found out after 18 months who was feeding him - she is an 83 year old lady who lives on her own. Murphy is the kind of cat who likes to have company during the day day and she fit the bill with an addition of tasty treats including wafer thin chicken and cheap biscuits.

I've tried many things for him not to go there including asking her not to feed him, collecting him everyday and keeping him in overnight, keeping him in permanently, and giving her food to feed him. No matter how much I try and reason with her she continues to feed him. He hates being kept in and howls. When I gave her food she just kept feeding what she normally fed him on top which made him fatter than he already is (hes approx 7kg and overweight even though hes a large cat anyway).

I have his brother also who is a home cat (goes out occasionally). Unfortunately Murphy and his brother do not get on so things are tense when Murphy comes home so he's stopped coming home. Because of this and the above I bought Murphy a microchip feeding bowl so I can try and ensure that he comes home and eats the food I give him (high protein dry and wet food) and so I could monitor when he was actually turning up and he was still alive.

Over the past few months Murphy has been staying away for 4 weeks or more. A neighbour of the old lady came to me yesterday to say she was worried about Murphy's condition. I have therefore booked him into the vet's tomorrow for a check-up.

There are two things I would like advice on
1. Is there any good high-protein food youd recommend which is also diet that I can give to the neighbour to feed Murphy in pre designated bowls so he's getting the right amount and the good nutrients he needs?
2. If she continues to feed him and this impacts on his condition the only thing I can think of is to potentially re-home him away from the area. I cannot keep him inside as my other cat goes in and out and Murphy would really hate that. I do love him but he's no longer my cat when he does come to the house he shies away from me like I'm a stranger. I am happy to keep vaccinating flea treating and insuring him but I can't control what other people are feeding him and also I'm paying out for something that I'm not really benefiting from. Would this be the right thing to do? If so what would be the best way to go about this?

Thank you in advance for any thoughts or advice.

Re: Advice re: greedy wandering cat

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:22 pm
by Mollycat
You're not going to like this but my honest thoughts are, if Murphy is that unhappy at home in all honesty I would let him go where he seems happy and stop paying his bills. I know it's hard and you love him but if you're actually considering rehoming him miles away then why not let him go to the home he is choosing for himself?

Re: Advice re: greedy wandering cat

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:53 am
by ShivyDevon
Thank you Mollycat - yes I have considered this but it's because I know the lady concerned cannot look after him properly. She won't pay to care for him properly and I don't think I could forgive myself if something horrible happened to him I.e. he got so poorly over time and he died a horrible lingering death because she doesn't recognise it. That may well be the case him getting poorly already depending on what the vets say today but appreciate hes 'my' cat in her eyes currently.

It is something I will keep in mind and consider and depending on what the vets say today it may be a conversation I will have with her about it.

Thanks again

Re: Advice re: greedy wandering cat

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:21 am
by Mollycat
Ah I understand, sorry I hadn't picked thta up from your post. Hopefully the vet can come up with some helpful thoughts today as well.

Re: Advice re: greedy wandering cat

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:59 am
by Kay
it would be good if you and this elderly lady could come to some arrangement, as clearly he plays an important role in her life, but your concerns are very understandable

I am assuming she doesn't have a cat flap, but if she would let you instal one it would mean he wouldn't get trapped in her house if anything happened to her, which given her age would be my main worry

as for feeding him, the cheap biscuits are probably doing the most damage, especially if she doesn't measure it out - swapping them for one of the makes aimed at overweight cats might make a difference - check out these ... s0QAvD_BwE

Re: Advice re: greedy wandering cat

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:59 pm
by ShivyDevon
Evening all

Thank you to those who replied. I thought I would send an update about my chubby boy.

So I took him to the vet - he had a blood test and other than being 1.5-2kg overweight hes actually in pretty good health. Doesn't have diabetes and kidneys are in good nick. When we came back from the vets he actually hung around with us for about 4 hours - even with his brother there - so that was nice.

So I have been to the neighbour who lives next to the old lady neighbour and we have taken a joint approach. I will be buying some James Wellbeloved Light biscuits (thank you for the link) and I will be weighing out half the daily amount into pots which she can feed him in the morning and cannot feed him anything else or after 12pm. Hopefully that will encourage him to come home in the evening and will help him lose some weight.

If after 12 weeks he doesn't lose any weight at all and isnt coming home at all then clearly he's eating somewhere else which I cant control and will need to consider rehoming him away from here.

To be fair to the elderly neighbour she has said she would pay for the diet food but I dont want that right now. He will be a noisy sod in the time - I just hope the neighbour has some willpower and won't give in to his shouting.

At least I've been able to worm him and get a seresto flea collar on him tonight and I know hes not very poorly.

Watch this space!!

Re: Advice re: greedy wandering cat

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:48 pm
by lilynmitz
It sounds like you're coming to a good arrangement there, and good to hear his onlymproblem is his weight. I had a cat who got fed up with her boisterous feline companion and semi moved in with neighbours. We eventually became good friends, and so long as she always came hime for her food and they let me know where she was, particularly if it was too wet to boot her out to come home for the night, it worked out fine. Eventually our other cat used to pop round and visit them too, and became best buddies with their new cat - I used to find the two of them curled up on the bed when I came hime from work. They used to pinch each other’s food. 15 years later we’re still cat sitting for each other, even to the point of co-ordinating holidays to avoid a clash!

Re: Advice re: greedy wandering cat

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:04 pm
by booktigger
Glad that his bloods showed nothing abnormal. I'd be wary of using flea collars though