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Houdini cat

Posted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:43 am
by smudge1
I have a lovely petite black cat called Cilla, who I love to bits, but she does not want to live with me any more. It started when a neighbour saw her and gave her food, but says she does not want her as she has her own cat. Cilla has now made the neighbour´s garden her own territory and harrasses their cat. I have tried everything to keep Cilla at home, put up every obstacle I can think of to stop her climbing the fence. Last night I retrieved her once again, brought the litter tray indoors, closed the cat flap, but she managed to nudge the flap open and escape again. I have three other cats, who are her brothers and sister. I am at my wit´s end. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can break this habit? She does not even come home for food any more, which makes me think someone is feeding her. I am beginning to think she will have to be rehomed, but she is now about 7 years old, and it would break my heart. Can anyone help?

Re: Houdini cat

Posted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:29 am
by Jacks
Sorry to hear this - it's what every lover of a free spirit dreads - that they would rather live somewhere else! I think that this might be your key though - obviously she's getting fed somewhere and likes what she's getting, or doesn't like something about her home.

I would try a two-pronged approach - keep her in and tempt her with extra play, special treats, lost of praise, and at the same time try to observe if there is anything in the dynamic with her brothers and sisters that has changed, which could mean she prefers to battle with another cat to establish her own territory. Who is the dominant cat in the household and has anything changed? Visitors? Decorating?

I have a little black beauty who doesn't get on with another of mine (long story) and for a while was spending more and more time out and not coming back when I called. I started giving her a special private feeding area when she returned each time, with fresh food and treats. Now she comes back with enthusiasm again and straight to her 'private' area for her treats and strokes.

As for the cat flap, my little black princess is also a houdini and can prize up a locked microchip catflap with her claws and dug underneath it - we put the bin in front of the locked flap at night, with a 6 pack of water bottles in front. That seems to do the trick!

I hope you can win back the love of your precious Cilla.

Re: Houdini cat

Posted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:13 am
by smudge1
Thank you for that, Jacks. I will try putting the bin in front of the cat flap, if she can´t get to it, she won´t be able to get out. But I hate the thought of none of the cats being able to get out into the garden. Nothing has changed recently in her life. She was born in France, came with us when we moved to Barcelona, and then travelled to the UK by car when I returned to this country. I could understand if all this stress had only just happened, but we moved back here 3.5 years ago! I have a Feliway diffuser, which I bought for the cats to de-stress. Good to hear that your cat is happy back at home - there´s hope yet for Cilla!