There's a. . .cat. . .who isn't mine, here in my apt. What to do?

This morning I had some errands to run, so after I was done with the bank, pharmacy, etc. I decided to go have some breakfast at the local diner.

I come home and very much need to use the bathroom. Being the only person in the apartment at the time, I did not close the door.

Directly across the hall from the master bathroom is my 9YO daughter’s room. Movement catches the corner of my eye, and I look over, to see my kitty stalking what appears (just from the corner of my eye, again) another kitty.

I finish my business in the bathroom and enter my daughter’s room. Sure enough, there’s another cat in here!

I don’t know how it got in. I don’t know if it’s a stray. I don’t know if it’s mean (will it bite or scratch me?)

I do know that when I tried to grab it, it scurried under my daughter’s bed.


What should I do?

Try to lure it out with food or toys.

If it’s really unfriendly, or hurt, you’re going to have get a box or something, some gloves, and something long and get it out the hard way.

Have you ever seen it before?

OK, she let me pet her. But as soon as I picked her up (to check gender), she struggled to get down.

She’s quite pretty, but no, I’ve never seen her before.

No collar, either (I checked while she would let me close), so I’m guessing stray, although my kitty won’t keep a collar on, so who knows?

Thing is, I wouldn’t mind having another cat. The problem with this plan is that my “Alpha Kitty” (Ponch) likes being an only cat. He does not take well to having other cats around, though he hasn’t seemed too antagonistic towards this one yet, just follows her around, seeing where she’ll go. . .

Maybe once she and I get friendlier, I’ll keep her as an “outdoor” or “garage” cat, leave out food for her, etc.

I just don’t know.

Have you asked your daughter? How would it get in your house?

My daughter’s in school right now. The cat must have slipped in while we had the front door open to leave for the school bus, or while I had the back door open going out to run my errands.

I’m pretty certain my daughter would not bring a stray cat in the house without checking with me first!

What kind of condition is she in?
I’m guessing she’s lost since she let you pet her.

Our oldest cat does not like being picked up and will struggle but enjoys petting.

If it let you pet it, it’s not feral. Has it obviously spent time outside? Do you live in a closed apartment building? In that case it might be someone else’s cat who got out.

Is there any way to keep it in a separate room? That would prevent any serious problems with your primary cat until they can get used to each other’s smell.

So, what are you going to name her? :smiley:

Gotcha - wasn’t sure if there was a cat door or something or if she was doing the old “it followed me home . . .”

If you decide to eject it at some point try

a) a coat and gloves. That way even if it tries to bite or scratch you are pretty safe.

b) water pistol

We have had several “time share cats” as we call them (neighbors cats who come visit) and those are our two methods until they get used to us and us putting them out to go home.


Not obviously. I don’t know if she’s been an outdoor cat, an indoor/outdoor cat, or something else altogether.

It’s not “closed” in any real sense. There is a front door that leads into the main part of the building, and is the only way to access apartments 1, 3, and 5-10. My apartment (4) can not be accessed from the main building at all. Apartment 2 can be accessed from the main building, but also has a “side door”.

If you mean belonging to someone else in the building, while I can’t be positive that’s not the case, none of the tenants are supposed to have pets without my knowledge/approval. I know of three that have dogs, and one who has two kittens, but this is not a kitten. I’d guess her to be between one and two years of age.

If I can get my hands on her again, I could put her in the basement (with some food and fresh water) and keep her down there a while. I’d have to buy another litter pan. She’s obviously litter-trained, since she’s already used Ponch’s litter pan.

I’d put up fliers in the area in case she’s someone’s lost pet. If no one claims her and you want to keep her, go for it.

Isn’t there a rule about pictures in cat threads? :slight_smile:

My aunt had cat “adopt” her in pretty much the same way. Just waltzed into the house one morning and never left. It is the friendliest cat she has ever had.

They think he was being fed by an elderly lady up the street who had recently passed away. The food stopped coming, so the cat decided to find a new home. He picked the right house - they are suckers for any kind of animal. (My aunt feeds the skunks and squirrels as well).

Maybe your daughter is working up the courage to ask if she can have another cat, or is taking care of her friend’s cat, and didn’t think to mention it…

I have dreams where this happens. Usually it’s another cat that looks a lot like my Katya. When I told another cat-owning friend about this, she said she has them too, with a cat that looks like one of her cats.

When a neighbor died, one of his cats adopted us in the exact same way. Can’t imagine life without him now (we already had two cats of our own).

Definitely put up some fliers. You might want to let your tenants know that you’re worried for the kitty’s safety and if someone was keeping a pet under the radar that you’ll give them amnesty so long as they are caring for it properly (whatever you’d normally do - extra damage deposit, make sure they clean up after it, etc).

Also put it in a kitty carrier, take it to the vet or animal shelter and have them scan it for a microchip, that may lead to an anxious owner quickly.

May want to try and minimize contact between that cat and your pet in case there are any communicable diseases, fleas, etc. Keep the visitor in one room, wash your hands between pattings (make sure your daughter does the same).

Does it appear to be well fed and cared for? If it isn’t scrawny, fur is in good shape, doesn’t have a lot of battle scars or fleas and it let you pick it up/pat it, that indicates it’s well used to people and probably has either a home or at least someone has been giving it shelter and food.

They seem to litter train themselves. Stokie was a feral-born stranger-to-humans cat, but he understood the litter box immediately and was pettable within a week. You could tell he didn’t belong to anybody even if you didn’t know where he came from, though - he was really thin and ratty looking. If it isn’t ratty looking it’s probably an escapee.

I think we all know tenants do keep undeclared cats at apartments.