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Cats/Presumably abandoned cat behavior

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Question
Hi, I've got a bit of a silly question I guess, but I found this site through a quick google search, just looking for someone more knowledgeable then me. Basically, about a week ago I came across a grey cat coming back from the laundry room who meowed at me and didn't run (and literally every cat in my neighborhood runs). Excited to find a friendly cat, I pet him a little, and he followed me to my door, meowing quietly. I decided to give him some food and milk, and then he left. Now I knew he would probably return, and he has been, and each night's been a little different. Sometimes I wasn't home, sometimes my mom was and she is abhorrently against me feeding this cat, so I could do no more than pet him outside. Tonight, I got some cat food from a friend and gave this cat (who I've dubbed "Scraps"), a bowl of it and he rather enjoyed it. However, he doesn't seem to want to drink any water or milk I give him. Additionally, after I close the door on him he'll hover around and meow a bit. First couple nights it was for less than a minute than stopped. Tonight he's staying longer, but pausing between meows. I went back out for him once, he never meows when I'm around and petting him, but now I'm leaving the door closed (don't wanna promote that behavior from him). Anyway, I was hoping if I could have some light shed on why he (I use he but I actually don't know if it's male or female,) is meowing so much and what he could possibly want. I fed him proper this time, and left the bowl out, he seemed satisfied not eating more, and he doesn't like my milk or water. I believe it's possible he had an owner until recently, as he is brave enough to come inside my house, and doesn't fight back or complain whatsoever if I pick him up. Could it be in heat? Though his meowing is quiet, inconsistent, and sounds pleading. The only other thing I could think of is that he's craving companionship and love, which I would love to give him, but my mother is against all interaction with this cat. Any advise on how to appease this cat, or just what I should be doing? What could he be meowing about even after fed? Is it okay to continue to feed him (of which I know one consequence would be him returning to my door a lot)? Sorry if this is too long or a trivial question, I'm just not sure how to properly deal with this new feline friend.

Answer
Matthew,

Cats do meow (call) when they are in heat.  They also meow to kittens and humans.  Most humans do not understand cat body language, so they meow at us. Of course, we do not really understand that language either!

As for milk and water.  Cats get most of their water from eating their prey (wet cat food?). On the other hand, cows milk is not at all good for them. It tends to cause diarrhea.

Now that you have fed the cat once, it will hang around to get more "handouts".  You may have to smooth things over with your mom, but, unless someone adopts this kitty, it will hang around any household where it has gotten fed.  IF you do adopt it, the first order of business will be spaying/neutering.

Please come back to me for any clarifications.

Best regards... Norm.

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Norman Auspitz

Expertise

I can answer most non-veterinary questions about cats. My particular expertise is pedigree cats, breeding and showing. However, I am versed in feline behavior, cat breeds and their characteristics, general feline husbandry, and the like.

Experience

I judged for the Canadian Cat Association from 1975 until 1982. I am currently an approved allbreed judge for the Cat Fanciers'' Association (the world''s largets cat registry), and have been judging for them since 1991. I have been breeding pedigreed cats since 1971 and have been exhibiting pedigreed cats in shows since 1970. I obtained my first pedigreed cat in 1970 and have never looked back. In 1971, I obtained my first Abyssinian which has become my primary breed. In addition, I have bred Manx and Persians. Currently, besides the Abyssinians, I am also breeding Maine Coons.


Organizations
Cat Fanciers'' Association, inc. (CFA) and the Manx, Maine Coon, and Abyssinian breed councils. I am currently Abyssinian breed council secretary.

Publications
Cat Fancy Magazine, The Abyssinian Chapter in The Cat Fanciers'' Association Complete Cat Book, and Articles for various editions of The Cat Fanciers'' Association Yearbook

Education/Credentials
I received a B.S. from Drexel University in 1968, a M.Math from University of Waterloo, in 1970, a Ph.D. from University of Waterloo in 1975, and a MBA from McMaster University in 1980. I received my approved allbreed judging status in the Cat Fanciers'' Association in 1999.

Awards and Honors
We have produced a number of Cat Fanciers'' Association (CFA) National winning Abyssinian and Maine Coons. We have produced a number of Abyssinian and Maine Coon Distinguished Merit females (an award for a top producing cat), including the first Distinguished Merit Abyssinian in the red (sorrel) color. I am the CFA Abyssinian breed council secretary and belong and/or hold office in a number of cat clubs. I am also a member of the CFA Judges Association.

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