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Question
Hi,
I just wanted your advice on a supposed stray cat that has been coming into our home through the catflap (locked or not)!  I already have a cat and am not able to keep it and unfortunately the sanctuaries in my local area do not have room.  The problem is is that stupidly or kindly I have been giving it some food and now everytime it comes in and cries, I keep giving it more as I feel really bad that it might be hungry.  It doesn't look too underfed and it's coat and general deamenour look good and possibly it is being fed elsewhere but I have put leaflets out and nobody has come forward.  It can be quite unfriendly at times and I don't get too near as it swipes at you.  Other times it is fine.  The problem is is that I am due to move soon and am panicking that a) it will be cruel if suddenly I am no longer here to feed it and it won't understand and b) I worry that the new tenants will have a problem with it or worse, hate cats and be really cruel to it if it comes in the house.  Even when the cat flap was locked it could break through and now I have to keep the kitchen door closed all the time so it is not able to get into the house. It also likes to chase my cat when outside so now I have to keep her in as much as possible. My husband thinks I am mad! Do you think it will just get used to going elsewhere for food?  Do cats understand rejection?!!  It looks as if it was once owned and it's horrible that it might have no home or anyone to love it.  I just feel so bad that I have to basically ignore it.  Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks, Jo

Answer
Hi
oh dear Jo, i know exactly how you are feeling as I have myself over the years fed cats which i hadn't intended to keep but in doing so you are kind of saying to the cat hey you will find food here.

However having said all that, cats are very very adaptable and resourceful especially if they are stray, you are probably right that it also finds food elsewhere so if you go and stop feeding it it will not starve it will go and find food elsewhere. they are after all hunters and can return quite quickly to natural cat instincts even if they were once fully domesticated.

I am surprised that the animal shelters say they are full, i have never heard of them turning a animal away before (well they don't here in the UK anyway)

Jo , if you can't take the cat with you and you are going to move, then I would either try and find another shelter to take it or I would stop feeding him now so that he gets the message and starts to look for somewhere else for food. you know the saying cruel to be kind, I know its hard but it will be worse for him if one day you are gone and the new people are not so understanding.

Don't feel bad, feel good that you have provided some care for him for a period of time and if you could i'm sure you would have taken him with you.

Good luck with your move and be assured that cats don't have the same emotions as us i.e rejection etc. All he will will know is that he can no longer get food here and so he will find it else where.

best wishes Kate

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Kate Tilmouth

Expertise

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.

Experience

I run my own cat website at http://www.our-happy-cat.com 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.

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

Education/Credentials
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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