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Next Door's Cat Eating Our Cats' Food

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 9:39 am
by Headlamp
Our next door neighbour recently purchased a cat. It is already large for its age and has won the battle for territory.

As a result next door's cat is coming into the house, via our cat flap, eating our cats' food and marking its territory in the house with its urine. I have spoken to my neighbour and he has an internet controlled cat flap that prevents his cat from leaving the house between 11pm and 7am but the cat still does come in at certain times during the day when no-one is around.

Does anyone have any suggestions to prevent the cat from coming in? We can't fit an internet controlled cat flap as our cats are not chipped and probably motion detecting sonic deterrents will upset our cats.

Thanks! 🐱

Re: Next Door's Cat Eating Our Cats' Food

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 10:13 am
by Mollycat
You don't say how your cats are responding to this, are they accepting or do they try to fight? Have they started to show signs of distress, hiding, aggression, litter issues, reluctance to go out?

If your cats go out chips would be strongly recommended regardless of cat flap etc.

You can also get microchip feeders which are easy to set up and have program functions to help them get used to them. They also protect the food from drying out and flies. Expensive but well worth it, especially if at any time in the future your cats have to be on different diets (as mine are). They come with collar tags as an alternative to a chip, and I believe these cna also operate cat flaps.

You could try dried tiger poo around the borders of your garden, don't know if that could deter the intruder. Or citrus smells can also deter cats. Whatever you do though if you are protecting your cats' territory I would put any deterrent around your garden, not at the door as this would put your own cats off going out at all.

Re: Next Door's Cat Eating Our Cats' Food

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 12:44 pm
by fjm
I would get your cats chipped (a useful precaution in case they stray in any case) and install a microchip reading cat flap. I had this problem many years ago before the technology was available to deal with it, and ended up with a thoroughly traumatised cat and a very smelly house! You could try getting a dog, of course - mine are very clear on the difference between their cats and others, and no feline visitors are permitted over the threshold!

Re: Next Door's Cat Eating Our Cats' Food

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 2:01 pm
by ThorpeDave
As mentioned by others, getting your cat micro chipped and installing a microchip controlled cat door would solve quite a number of problems.

Quite simply their cat could not enter your house and steal food.

I would also strongly recommend that your neighbor has their cat neutered. This will reduce aggression and territorial Beauvoir. You didn't mention if your cats are neutered - VERY highly recommended



Re: Next Door's Cat Eating Our Cats' Food

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 5:11 pm
by Ruth B
I agree with what the others have said about chipping your own cats just for you own benefit if they go missing.

As for the current problem, try not to leave any food down, feed yours and then take it up again, you might end up giving them lots of meals during the day, but at least if the neighbours comes in there is no reward waiting, you could always leave some down over night when it is confined to it's own house.

Would your cats accept being shut in part of the day, could you close your own cat flap so the neighbours can't get in.

I think some of the old style collar key cat flaps are still available if you really don't want to get yours chipped. It would mean teaching yours to wear collars but that might be an answer.

Re: Next Door's Cat Eating Our Cats' Food

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 7:15 pm
by alanc
I agree with the others, it would be best to get your cat microchipped and then install a microchip controlled cat flap. Some cat flaps can, however, also be controlled by magnetic keys, attached to a cat collar. The great disadvantage of those is that (assuming your cat will tolerate a collar) the collar has to be easily breakable so your cat cannot get caught by the collar. Consequently, whenever your cat looses their collar, they are stuck outside. Microchips are much less bother.

Re: Next Door's Cat Eating Our Cats' Food

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 9:08 am
by Kay
as a quick solution for now I would invest in a couple of simple digital feeders like this ... 257&sr=8-5

and put them down to open during the times the next door cat is in lock down - otherwise only feed your cats when you are there to supervise

one of my two hardly ever eats during the day - hunting at night is part of a cat's instincts so yours would probably soon get used to it

Re: Next Door's Cat Eating Our Cats' Food

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 9:32 am
by Catotum
I recommend chipping the cats, too. It means they will always be registered to you & gives you the option of acquiring chip-operated cat flaps & feeders. You do NOT need an internet connection to operate microchip programmable flaps & feeders.

There are some of these that operate with special collars - do your cats have collars? Do they keep them on? The trouble with collars is that cats often remove them. You can't have them too tight or they are a danger to the cat. They need safety catches, to allow the collar to separate if the cat gets caught up on it.

The other suggestions here are good: feed when you are present. Have a catflap that has a flat insert that can be used to completely block the flap when you want yours inside. Many cats can actually get around a standard "locked" catflap by lifting up the edges to let themselves in.

Battery operated feeders are simple & can be set to rotate to a fresh meal at certain times: these do allow some control over food availability.

If you do go for a chip operated catflap eventually, assess the size of your cat carefully. It isn't just weight but overall size - even med-large cats can't manage the smaller "standard" versions because they can't jump straight through but need to get their hind legs up into the tunnel part while their haunches are still there. It is only a few inches but it can cause problems.