/ Feeding a "stray" cat

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SARS on 11 Oct 2012
My friend has a regular cat visitor which she's begun feeding. The cat wears a collar, and appears to be owned by one of the local rowing clubs according to its name tag. It doesn't appear badly treated, but sometimes it comes by and is clearly hungry and other times exhausted.

Should my friend feed it or just ignore it?
verygneiss - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS:

I say feed it, but also give the rowing club a buzz and see if they know what their cat is doing at this hour.
Steph-in-the-West on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS:
Feed it - how can you ignore an animal in distress. It will probably eventually move in which is probably the best thing for it. It has obviously found empathy in your friend.....
wilding - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS:

Ignore it. Unless your friend wants to be exposed to toxoplasmosis.
SARS on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to Steph-in-the-West:

It already seems to have partially moved in! Is it normal for cats to visit other houses at 9pm or later and also early in the morning?
Ava Adore - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS:

Yeah, give in and feed it. Might as well. It'll only do the pitiful mewing thing till your friend's heart breaks :-).

Yes, it's quite normal for cats to come scrounging at all hours of the day and night.
Caralynh - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS:

Definitely feed it if it's hungry or distressed, and let it have a place to rest. It may be that it has access to the rowing club only when it's occupied, and roams the rest of the time, which explains the hunger/exhaustion. If they want their cat back, that's fine, but in the meantime let the poor thing have some comfort.

xC (currently watching Makalu lying on his back sleeping with his paws in the air - sooo cute!)
ThunderCat - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to Caralynh:

BERWARE!!!

We leave the tiny downstairs toilet window open for our cat, and occasionally a random cat started to pop in for food.

This random cats became a regular visitor, then pretty much moved in...then we woke up one morning to find it lying on the bathroom mat happily suckling 4 new-born kittens...

Terribly cute (we still have two of them...)

brokenbanjo - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS:

Feed it, keep it. My first cat, Chaircat Meow of the Meowist Regime aka Mally, adopted us as owners and provided much fun. She was a touch schizophrenic, but that was her charm. I guess fending for oneself does make a touch unreasonable, but she was great all the same.
ThunderCat - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to brokenbanjo:
> (In reply to SARS)
>
> My first cat, Chaircat Meow of the Meowist Regime aka Mally,

Like it. We named our stray "Meow-riel"...but it's gradually morphed back into "Muriel"

We also had another temporary stray which had one blue eye and one brown eyem which we called "David Miaow-ee"

MG - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS:
> (In reply to Steph-in-the-West)
>
> It already seems to have partially moved in!

I expect by now the word "partially" is unnecessary! Cats tend to arrange the world to their convenience. Feed it and look after it if the owner can't be traced - they are great to have around.
Ben Sharp - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS: My gran recently has managed to adopt a "stray" recently, it was thin and looked pretty knackered but was incredibly timid and it's taken her months and a not inconsiderable amount of cat food to finally get it to "move in".

It now turns out to belong to her next door neighbor that she doesn't get on that well with! She now has a cat she doesn't really want but is stuck with feeding it because she can't say no to it.
balmybaldwin - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS:
> (In reply to Steph-in-the-West)
>
> It already seems to have partially moved in! Is it normal for cats to visit other houses at 9pm or later and also early in the morning?

You do not choose your cat... your cat chooses you

It would be right to talk to the rowing club though
Ava Adore - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp:

My cat "belongs" to my next door neighbour. Fortunately I get on very well with Pete. We share the responsibility though - recent vet bills for example.
lynda - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS: We have a stray that we feed, much to the annoyance to our resident master.

We call her Fido, and she sometimes lets us stroke her but never wants to come into the house. We think she lives under our shed.
ceri - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS: DON'T FEED IT! If worried about it, ring the owner. It could be that it is "hungry and exhausted" because of a medical condition. If it has liver/kidney problems/diabetes, it may be on a special diet to help with these problems, which your friend is then completely screwing by feeding it other food.
jonathan shepherd - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS:
It doesn't appear badly treated, but sometimes it comes by and is clearly hungry and other times exhausted.

This reminds me of something i saw on the web a while ago, basically a well fed dog had been turning up at this chaps house almost every day so he kept letting it in. The dog would then go to sleep for an hour on his living room floor before getting up ready to leave again. The chap decided to put a note on the dogs collar saying "Do you realize your dog keeps turning up at my house and having a kip every day before returning to you". The following day the dog returned with a reply on his collar saying " This dog lives in a house with six children, three of which are under the age of four, will it be alright if i come with him next time".

thomasadixon - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS:

It's likely just being a cat. My old tom used to regularly come back looking hungry and/or exhausted, just means he'd been out on the prowl. He also took food off neighbours, one of whom decided it was a stray and took it to the local cat shelter (who scanned its chip and gave him back).

Feed it or ignore it as you like, it'll keep coming back if you feed it!
Trangia - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS:

A lot of cats have more than one home which is staffed by people who feed it. Ours used to vanish for days, and just as we were giving up hope, return to us full of voice and purring, only to do it again about a month later. Then we saw a "cat missing" poster put up by the staff at one of his other homes with a photo of HIM! We contacted the people and they agreed to stop feeding him. This worked well for about a year until he once again found another fully staffed part time home with a well stocked kitchen...

They can be fickle little buggers, but that's cats for you.
Mark Kemball - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS: When we went away on holiday, we arranged for one of our neighbours to come in and feed the cat. When we got back, she looked particularly well fed and 4 other neighbours told us they'd been feeding her while we were away!
Steph-in-the-West on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS:
> (In reply to Steph-in-the-West)
Is it normal for cats to visit other houses at 9pm or later and also early in the morning?

Cats are very clever animals and instinctively know where sympathetic people live..... read "Six Dinner Sid," too!!!!
NeilMac - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to Ava Adore:

I read recently that it's reckoned there are twice as many cat "owners" as ther are cats.
Lusk - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to Steph-in-the-West:
> (In reply to SARS)
> [...]
> Is it normal for cats to visit other houses at 9pm or later and also early in the morning?
>
> Cats are very clever animals and instinctively know where sympathetic people live..... read "Six Dinner Sid," too!!!!

Haha...it's a great book!

Don't feed strays, you'll never get rid.
I've got two black cats ruling the house, so no problem with strays.
waterbaby - on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to Lusk:
> (In reply to Steph-in-the-West)
> [...]
>
> Haha...it's a great book!
>
> Don't feed strays, you'll never get rid.
> I've got two black cats ruling the house, so no problem with strays.

I was just going to say you have Six Dinner Sid! Excellent book. I bet I could recite it by heart:-)
ceri - on 14 Oct 2012
In reply to waterbaby: Sid lives at number one Aristotle Street. He also lives at numbers, two, three, four five and six....
skarabrae - on 14 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS: during the last bad winter, we came home one night after visiting friends to find a cat shivering sat on a manhole cover (the only thing bare of snoe duw to the heat from the drain water)in our garden, he invited himself in for the winter, come the spring he upped & went, lives at the bottom of the estate & is quite happy living rough.

we named him snowflake by the way ;-)
Toerag - on 15 Oct 2012
In reply to ceri:
> (In reply to SARS) DON'T FEED IT! If worried about it, ring the owner. It could be that it is "hungry and exhausted" because of a medical condition. If it has liver/kidney problems/diabetes, it may be on a special diet to help with these problems, which your friend is then completely screwing by feeding it other food.

Agreed - only feed cats with no collars or other signs of ownership.
gethin_allen on 15 Oct 2012
In reply to SARS:
Don't feed it, this can cause loads of problems. eg.
I have friends trying to control the weight of their cat but can't because she's a greedy thing and someone else is feeding her.
I have a friend who has pretty much lost a cat in a similar way. trying to control food intake, neighbour feeds cat, cat then decides to spend more time at neighbours, neighbour now claims ownership (until the cat needs vet services I'd bet).
Would you just randomly feed someone else's child because they wanted sweets but their parents had told them no?

If you have concerns contact the owner, if they aren't forthcoming call the RSPCA.
SARS on 15 Oct 2012
In reply to gethin_allen:

Well I think the analogy with a child is a bit stupid tbh. Not many children jump 2m fences into a garden and then sit there wanting to come into a stranger's house. Anyway it's a cat, not a child.

As it goes, I agree with not feeding it and have told my friend.

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