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Cats/Cat Keeps Running Away


Hi - I have a problem and am at my wit's end. I have done some internet research already but cannot come up with any conclusive answers.

I have a two 5-year-old cats, a male and a female who have been together since birth (they are brother and sister).

I have been living in my current place for nearly 3 years. Over the past two months since January, my female cat has been running away to the same house, in the next street over. I went away in January for a week, then came back for one night (the female cat was totally normal then, all over me and very affectionate as per usual), and then I went away for another week somewhere else. I had someone staying in the house feeding her. I have gone on holiday for two weeks at the same time every year. Both my cats are indoor-outdoor cats (they have a cat door and come and go as they please).

My problem is that since I returned at the end of January, my cat has been running away. When I first returned, she was nowhere to be seen, and after putting up posters I found her in the next street over about a week after I got back from holidays. Her eye was damaged and she looked like she had been in a fight. I caught her and took her to the vet and got the appropriate medicine, etc. I found out the lady there had been feeding her and I asked her to stop and told her if she continued to do so, my cat would try to 'move in'.

I kept her in for two weeks before letting her out again. After about 5 days she disappeared again. I went and retrieved her from the same house. I kept her in again for a few days then let her out. Same thing, she did not come back for three days until I went and got her. Last week she disappeared again, and I went and 'chased' her over the fence of this house and she came back. I kept her in for a day and then as soon as I let her out again she jumped the fence and has been at this house now for 3-4 days. I just went and tried to get her but she hid under the lady's house.

I don't know what is causing this behaviour in her. Lately her and the other cat that live here have been getting annoyed with each other, that could be it. Or it could be this other cat that's been hanging around my place, it always seems to want to fight my cat and 'move in' to my place and take it over as its territory. Or it could be simply because my cat HATES being locked up inside (as since I found her the first time I have been locking her in at night).

I just went to see her at this house and could not get her, I 'chased' her over the lady's fence and then went back home to wait for her, but she has not come back. Every time she goes to this lady's place, she stays there for days and is starving. This lady does not feed her, only gives her water, and I believe this, as my cat is always starving when I get her back.

I do not know what is causing this behaviour. I realise she might be going back to this lady's house because she got food there once and maybe thinks she can get it again, however I have food HERE at my house, and she knows perfectly well how to get here and get it! Something major in her mind is causing her to rather stay at this lady's place two doors away and starve rather than come home.

Please help!

well when i read your question it reminded me very much of a similar situation that happened to me when I was a teenager.
We had a lovely tabby cat who we loved very much, then a little kitten turned up which we adopted. The two cats got on fine apart from the fact that the kitten wanted to play with the older cat and she did not want to. After a few weeks we noticed our tabby disappearing all the time. in the end we discovered that she had chosen another home to live in along the street.
No matter what we did she had simply decided that she did not want to live with us any more because of the other cat. Luckily for us the owners of the new home liked our tabby and kindly took her in and looked after us for us. We decided that we would prefer our tabby to be happy rather than try to keep bringing her back home.

It sounds to me that although your cat has a very comfortable home with you, she simply has decided that she does not want to live there any more, may be it is because of the other cat. it is not uncommon for cats who have been friends to suddenly change their minds about each other.

I think you may have to make a hard decision about your female cat and perhaps realise that she wants to live with these other people and if so and they are happy to take her in then it may be the best thing for her, for you and for your male cat.

Don't think of it as being rejected by your cat, think of it as an action of a very independent animal who has just chosen that she would prefer to live away from the other cat.

I really can't think of any way that you could persuade her to stay with you. these cats you know they are very independent, I should know, all the cats i have had over the years have all been very independent and intelligent animals and I have enjoyed being with all those that have chosen to stay with me.

best wishes Kate


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Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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