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Few days ago, we noticed a cat hanging out around our house and it kept meowing pitifully, so we fed it and offered water and a little card board box in case it wanted a place to rest. The first night we fed it, it kept trying to enter our house and after a while of blocking him off, he started to scratch and bite. We do not blame him as he is probably stressed and we suspect abandonment or he escaped. We do not know how to help the kitty apart from feeding it and offering a place for it outside our house. It keeps meowing and we feel really bad. We have put up a few posts on social media in hopes of finding its owner. Our plan is to let it get familiar with the pet carrier, that we have now left outside with food next to it, before bringing to a vet to check for a chip and also any illnesses.

We are unable to let it in as a few family members are afraid/wary of cats. We doubt it is a stray as the strays in the area are very well fed. This cat is friendly and approaches us for pets. We do not know why it keeps trying to enter the house - it isn't cold in our area and our family has owned the unit since it was built. We also have never seen any cats, especially because we live on a pretty high floor. I am worried if it was abandoned and is fending for itself now and the stray cats in the area seem territorial and fierce - we can hear them fighting in the wee hours, so we are afraid this cat will get in trouble :(

We also have no experience with cats so any advice is much appreciated, thank you!

  • Just leaving a (happy) update here in case it might help anyone facing a similar situation and wants to foster! Long story short, we’ve been fostering him and he is on a home trial now! Sadly his behaviour indicates he was abandoned but he will be off to a loving home :) Before taking him home, we did bring him to the vet to check for a microchip and posted on social media for info. We then cat proofed our home, got the necessities and a de-flea/de-worm treatment. I read up a lot on fostering and caring for a cat online as well. The cat is just super playful that’s why he nibbles us lol – pxtals 2 days ago
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This is a very common problem we see in this Stack Exchange.

  • You had a great plan. Getting a carrier and seeing a vet for microchips is the best approach.
  • In case it is not microchipped, prepare a paper collar. You basically write your details on a paper and wrap it around his neck. Make sure that the paper is not too thick, otherwise the animal might be strangled.
  • If you decide to keep feeding him for some time, you might want to have an easy break collar with your details on a nametag. Collar and nametag would cost you £5 only.

Hopefully an owner will come forward and this will be the end of your troubles.

You have every right not to admit the cat into your house. Although it is small, there is always the risk of ticks, so I would also recommend you to use caution. Housecats find it hard to readjust to outside accommodation. If you decide to hang onto the cat but still prefer to keep him outside, have a sturdier shelter than a cardboard box. Still, cats can be stupid so he might not be using the shelter so feed him only in the near vicinity of the shelter. Adult cats, as long as they are well fed, not wet and have a good shelter with have a blanket to warm themselves can easily survive cold nights of 0 degrees centigrade. Make sure that the shelter has a very small opening and a cosy corner to help your cat evade the wind. Such a shelter would also gave him an edge against stray cats.

It would help him a lot if you have a garage where he will be separated enough from your household but protected against other stray cats and wind.

Also, if you decide to hang onto the cat but want to keep him outside, you need to put him for adoption as well. The shelter and the interaction that I described is enough to sustain the cat but not enough to keep him happy.

Why does he want to get in?

Cats are unable to grasp private property and they are the only domestic animal that have a right to trespass at will. Therefore, they spend their life looking for shelters that would keep them happy and healthy. This includes interactions with humans as well as food and shelter. Even if he has an owner who feeds him regularly, he will still want to come in because they like to hedge their investments in humans.

If you don't want him to scratch your door, make sure not to give in to his scratches. Ignoring is the best option. If he knows he can get in by repetitive scratching, he would do it. You can also spray his face with water as long as the weather is not cold when he scratches. But you have to do it as the cat scratches the door otherwise he won't make the connection.

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    Yep. My neighbor had an outdoor cat who was fed, watered, and had shelter, and she still regularly hung out in my and my other neighbors houses. So it is possible the cat is fine and just likes to socialize and explore. I think it's more like when indoor cats complain about closed closets and cupboards than looking backup shelter, though. – Kat Oct 27 at 21:04

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