The Neighbor's Cat Thinks We Own It!

by M Stenford

Our cat problems are to do with a cat that isn't even ours! Our neighbor's cat spends all its time at our house, either running in through the door as soon as it opens or meowing outside the door. The owner wants it back, it's not like it's unwanted or anything, but it just won't go away! Any suggestions?

Reply from Liz (editor): These kinds of cat problems are frustrating, but usually solvable.

If the cat was a stray, or the owner didn't want him any more, my advice would have been different to the advice below. But as this isn't the case, the way to solve this is to make it clear to the cat (in a humane way) that he isn't welcome any more.

I suspect the cat started coming to your house originally because someone encouraged him - perhaps someone fed him, or your kids (if you have them) gave him attention and maybe let him inside?

If anyone in your house is still feeding him, they should stop completely, otherwise the cat will never go! Same thing goes for letting him in, giving him attention etc. etc. You may find your kids are sneaking him in and / or sneaking him food that you weren't aware of (I managed to sneak a Labrador into my parents' tiny house loads of times when I was a kid and they never realized!)

To stop him hanging round outside the door and meowing, you could put some lemon and orange peel down, which he won't like the smell of.

For more help with these cat problems, this page on the website, with advice on how to stop a cat spraying in your garden, will give you more ideas on how to humanely discourage him away from your house (and hopefully back to his owner's!)

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