The Cat that hangs out in my yard

I kind of thought this might happen, but I said nothing. About 2 weeks ago my wife had the bright idea to put the extra cat food in a bowl and place it outside in the carport for the cats we see running around the neighborhood. We have 4 cats in the house, and they don’t always finisj all of the food in their bowls. ?Being cats, they turn their noses up to the food left over from the morning when it comes to dinner time. So we usually scrape it out of the bowls and throw it away.

There are three different cats that I know of that roam the neighborhood. I’m pretty sure that they are not homeless. They all look to well fed and clean to be strays. Besides, I noticed that when it gets really cold or there is a snowfall I never see them. (making me think that they have gone home to their owners and stay indoors until the weather gets better. Just a guess). Theres one we nicknamed “Morris” because he looks like the old 9 livves cat from TV.

Morris isn’t afraid of people. He wandered into the yard once when I was outside and let me pet him. He had a flea collar on. So I figured not scared of people/well fed/flea collar= he belongs to someone.

Morris, like the others comes around and sits on the window sill of the bathroom some nights because Jet Jaguar sits there (on the inside) and they stare at each other. But recently I’ve been seeing Morris in the yard all of the time. He’s started to wait AT the door and meow in the evening, sometimes in the mornings too. I mean right at the door. When I got home from PT this morning he was at my door and meowed loudly as if he knew it was time to put the old cat food out.

I just came home to eat lunch and I saw him sitting under the awning in the backyard. Obviously he’s claimed my yard as his hangout. He knows where the food is. As I said,m he will let you pet him as long as you don’t approacjh him to quickly. He no longer has a flea collar on. Now I’m worried that he may have been abandoned. He voraciously gobbles down anything we put outside.

It makes me sad. I can’t adopt another cat, we have four already. I don’t want to stop putting the food out because I’m afraid he has been abandoned and I don’t want him to starve. I don’t want to call Animal Control because he MAY belong to someone in the neighborhood. Basically, no matter what I’m going to feel bad. I wish there was a way to find out if he has a home or not.

On some other “stray animal” thread, I recall somebody mentioning that according to most city codes, if you feed a stray animal for 3 consecutive days, the city considers it yours.

Looks like you have yourself a 5th kitty.

The cat may well have an owner who hasn’t replaced the collar yet, perhaps because he/she hasn’t seen the cat in awhile because he prefers your food to his own. No way to tell, short of putting up “found” signs and seeing if anyone claims him.

And even if he does have an owner, obviously the owner considers him an outside-only pet, which means there’s no way to make him go home…short of not feeding him anymore. Which is tricky because you don’t know if he actually has a home…

If it were me I would keep feeding the fella…but I’m a softie like that.

Put a collar on him that contains a holder for “paperwork” (I’ve seen them at petstores). Write a note to whom it may concern. Wait for a reply!

Oh, I will probably keep feeding him or at least giving him our cats leftovers. (If I don’t the wife will). My problem is like you, I’m a softie. I can’t stand to see an animal suffer. Thats why I won’t go to Pet Smart with my wife. Seeing the animals up for adoption makes me really sad. Seeing Morris begging for food makes me feel bad. Especially when its cold outside. But I can’t let him IN the house. Geez, with the four others in here it would be pandemonium! Besides…if he’s someone’s cat they would be looking for him to return home.

I just have to say that I love your cats name:)
I’ve got the theme song stuck in my head now… punch punch punch

Awww, you’re married to a budding crazy cat woman!

I’d still call animal control. If he does belong to someone in the neighbourhood, they can go pick him up at the shelter and learn a lesson about letting their cat roam freely. If he doesn’t have a family, maybe he can get adopted.

Sounds good at first blush, but I’ve found shelters will lie to you about how long they will keep the animal before putting it down. I once took a kitten and intended to go get it if it was not adopted within the three days they SAID they would keep it. They euthanized it within one day. Made me so pissed off I wanted to burn the dump down (sans animals).

Stop feeding the cats. Cats are not stupid. They will eat at home and then go eat out. They will act starving and desperate. They will keep coming back for more. He/she probably has a good home and is well-cared for. You’ve seen evidence of it. Do his owners a favor and STOP feeding it. It’s not your cat.

And how do I know this? My neighbor next door decided to start feeding one of my cats. My cats were fed freely every day. Always a bowl of dry food and water available. This one cat decided to visit the neighbors. She was part-Siamese and so was naturally thin. The neighbor decided the cat needed to eat. The more the neighbor fed her, the less she ate at home. We asked the neighbor to stop. We told her the cat got plenty to eat at home and to please stop. She didn’t. Next thing, she started letting the cat in to her porch. Can ya see where this is leading? The neighbor essentially took over my cat. Next thing I knew, the neighbor called and said she had let the cat in on her porch overnight and came out and the cat was dead. She said she called me but the line was busy (while our other neighbors are relatively a good distance, this particular house is a stone’s throw away- she could shout out her window and I would hear her. Walking over is an approximately 20 second chore…) so she buried my cat in her yard.

Stop feeding the cat and it will go home where it probably already gets plenty of food and love and has a family. Let them take care of their cat.

With all due respect, thats how JeT Jaguar came into this family. He used to show up on my step after work when I was a recruiter. I lived on post then. I felt bad and fed him a few times. Then one day I asked a neighbor if they knew who owned him. They told me so I went and asked them why they let their cat roam freely on post (against post regs). They said they were moving and basically threw him out.

So I took pity and adopted him. If this Morris has owners I’d like to find out or at least be reasonably sure before I cut him off. (he was outside just now, O just got home, and yes, I did give him my cats leftovers…they would have only gone in the trash anyhow) If he’s a stray I’d like to see if I can find a reputable shelter or something before I call animal control.

I could just ignore the whole thing, but I know my conscience will flog me if I do that.

It’s winter, and many pet owners don’t keep flea collars on them in the winter.

If Morris really does look like the famous Morris, he’s already chubby, and you’re doing him no favors by over-feeding him. Overweight pets die younger than they should.

We had a cat adopt our family while he still had a family. They figured it out and he became a indoor cat (I think) in short order. I was in 3rd grade and was crushed. I wanted to be SuperCat’s human.
Do the FOUND poster around the neighborhood or local free info sheet, the local Panera, YMCA, what have you, allow 2 weeks then call Animal Control or take Morris in yourself to a “No Kill” group if any nearby.
There are multiple things that could come of this:

  1. owners come forward
  2. owners don’t come forward
  3. owners come forward but do not continue to care for cat after a priod of time
  4. cat gets taken by Animal Control
  5. you take in cat
  6. take cat to a “No Kill” group (they are having difficult times right now, might not agree)
    Good luck

When this happened to me I took a picture of the cat , ran off a few copies and printed a message on the back “If you own this cat could you please call ******. No trouble- your cat is not injured” and placed a copy of the photo in the local letter boxes. I had a slight advantage in that I had a fair idea where the cat lived anyway.

Our big cat, Keyser Sose, eats at a few houses in our neighbourhood. The neighbours like to see him- they are elderly and have no pets. They get company without associated vet bills.

The only problem I would have about feeding an “owned” cat is if it was on a special diet.

Congrats on your new half cat.

Admittedly, I’m a sucker for animals. You know those commercials where they show abandoned pets in the cages and play sad songs. I can’t watch 'em. They depress me. Badly.

You know its easier with dogs, to tell if they’ve been abandoned. Cats, by nature are nocturnal and better suited to being out of sight if they’re scared of humans. Back when I was a recruiter (again) there was a stray in the neighborhood my wife and I called “Patches”. She was a sweet cat, very friendly and we wanted to let her in badly. The problem was we had already adopted Jet Jaguar and had no more room. Jet was a handful already. He was (at that point) used to being an outside cat. He was also the only male among the other two already in the house. Until we had him fixed he was a bit of a terror to the two girls. (who were at least 8 or 9 years his senior). So we couldn’t let Patches in.

I fell asleep in a hammock I had in the yard back then. I woke up and found Patches on my chest curled up and sleeping. When I went back in the house I could see her looking in the window wanting to come in. Someone had clearly abandoned her. We made up our minds to temporarily adopt her until we could find her a new home the next day. But we never saw her again. Something happened to her, and I like to think that someone else in the housing area took her in.

People that abandon pets should be flogged. 40 lashes at least. I still feel guilty about my dog, that I gave away when I enlisted. The man I gave her too swore he’d take care of her, but from what I hear (I was in Iraq at the time) he didn’t and the dog ended up in the pound where I got her. Hell, last time I was on leave at my hometown and ran into him I told him not to speak to me. Asshole.

Cicero, I may try your idea. Do cats wander far from home? Its a fairly large neighborhood, I can’t go all over the place with pics of him. (I can’t even attempt it until the weekend, and thats if I have time off enough). When Jet Jaguar got lost in Germany a few years ago I scoured the neighborhood for him and never found a sign of him. He eventually came back, but he was so skinny and dirty he obviously had no one looking out for him.*

*This is a sore point between my wife and I. I wanted from the start to make the cats wear collars with TAGS. That way if they were lost someone could call us. The cats NEVER liked wearing collars so the wife took them off. When Jet was lost I was so pissed at her and myself for not putting my foot down. As I told her “They Can’t Talk! So when they get lost they need some way of saying Hey, I belong to THESE people!”. They all have chips now, but thats not an obviou thing.

Hmmmm. I wonder if Morris has a chip? He is too comfortable coming up to me or my wife, even before we put food out…someone owned or owns him. But he did try to enter the house this evening when I opened the door, also. I don’t know if it was because of the other cats or that he wanted to come where it was warm.

It mayt have been Patches II. The kitten (no longer, she’s at least a year old now) that we got a year ago. Patches hasn’t been fixed and occassionally goes into heat. Jet’s the only one that can help her, buthe’s been fixed and well, he jst doesn’t want any. His passtimes now are pouncing from the refrigerator top or pawing me in the face when I sleep.(his way of saying “Hey, Either feed me or rub my chinny chin chin, right now!”)

When I was a kid I’d feed all the neighborhood cats. It made them happy but drove my cat nuts, who routinely would start a hiss fight through the window.

Fortunately we knew all the cats and they had homes, one of them Mitzi, was the only “real” cat in the neighborhood. By that I mean she was the only cat that could actually catch a bird or mouse and eat it. The rest of the cats were pretty spoiled, but they all would stop by to grab a bite, hiss at my cat through the window and go away.

I was fortunate that I had a dog too. One of the few in the neighborhood, so it was fairly easy to scare off the cats if you got tired. You just pointed the dog to window who’d bark and scare them off. Oddly enough only one cat realized that the dog was in the house and could see her through the window but couldn’t get at her and was scared of Mr Dog.

Iwas not originallya cat person until I got married. But there were a bunch of stray cats where I grew up. I lived next to some old ladies as a kid that fed all of the strays in my neighborhood. There was big tree in their backyard that was always full of cats. The cats would breed so much that almost yearly Animal control would come by and scoop them up, but they would always breed enough that many more would be around. It was a cycle. (this was the 70s in small town Delaware) I had a dog so many of the cats stayed out of our yard, Plus my folks were friends with the old ladies so they never got uposet about the cats.

When I got back from Desert Storm I went to look at the old house and only one of the old ladies was still alive living next door. (I had sold the house, just went to look at it) The cats were gone, but the old lady saw me outside and invited me in for coffee. We both joked about all of the cats she used to feed.

UPDATE: Morris, as we have nicknamed the cat is still around. Salem may be right in this case. Morris will let you pet him and does not seem afraid of people in general. Thouygh he’ll sometimes snip at you when you pet him. My concern is that someone abandoned him, but I can’t take him in even if I knew that for sure. I can’t really afford to feed anothercat in the house, Banshee would go bananas if I let him in and its undoubtable that Jet Jaguar would be upset with another male in the house.

I’ve thought aboput contacting the SPCA or another organization to see if he could be adopted. I have no doubt that he would be a good pet for someone, just not me. But again. he may belong to someone in the neighborhood.

I don’t understand how anyone could let their cat roam like that though. I’d be worried sick if I let any of our cats outside to go where they will.

EDIT: In this area. Too much traffic, too close to Bragg, etc. If I lived on a farm or something I could see it.