We are currently renovating a new house. We are there every night and we are visited by a very friendly cat every night.

From day 1 he was very friendly, approached us and meowed until we pet him. We have never fed him and we have never let him go inside, although he went inside the hallway by himself one time he now stays outside all the time.

He visits us every night, stays in the garden for 4 hours while occasionally getting cuddled and leaves around the time we leave.

The neighbour informed us of his name, and that he lives a couple of houses away. His owners aren't home a lot, so I guess he likes the attention. We enjoy his company very much. However, I'm afraid he will start to see us as his new (maybe second?) home.

We do not mind at all, but are we 'stealing' him from his owners by petting him?

I'd also like to clarify he is not malnourished at all and looks very clean and well groomed.

  • When I was still living with my parents the same happened with the neighbor's cat. We told the owners, but they were totally fine as long as we were fine with his behaviour. We never fed him or offered treats, we did pet him, say hi, and told him to leave in a friendly way when he again had entered the house to explore and we needed to close the doors. That was in fact the only problem: We needed to take care he wasn't inside and we wouldn't lock him in when leaving.
    – skymningen
    May 10, 2017 at 6:51

1 Answer 1


It's not like you're out looking for the cat, or even rewarding him with food. His owners let him outside, and likely know he's living his best cat life out in the world. It would be different if you bought him a collar, let him into your house, and refused to let him return to his original home.

There's not much harm in petting the cat when he comes into your yard, unless the owners explicitly ask you not to. If they aren't home often and this is their only pet, it's likely he's a bit lonely and you guys are filling that void in his cat life.

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