Can cats (almost an year old) find food and survive for themselves?


During my eight months of staying alone in lockdown, I had come across a stray cat in my building (may be ~4-6 months old at that time) and I have been giving it food/water and it is a really familiar being to me now. I am leaving to my home for about 2 months and I can't take this cat with me (strict family reasons) and I want to leave it here. My home is over 1500kms away. The thing is I am very worried whether it can find sufficient food and water during my absence.


  • I have seen it hunt birds, squirrels and rats during these 5 months.
  • Sometimes it goes away for a day or so and returns later. This might be normal cat behaviour, I don't know much, frankly.
  • I have planned to give cat food to the building caretakers to keep it in the plate I had kept outside my flat. I have been placing the food in the same place so that it knows where to look when it needs to.

Edit 1

  • Cat almost always stays in my room these days. It goes onto other buildings from my balcony but returns back in a few hours.

I am very unfamiliar with pets. A little help/suggestions in this area would be helpful to make things better.

  • 1
    Is the cat actually living outside and showing up in the yard, or wandering the halls? What kind of area do uou live in, how many households are there around?
    – AsheraH
    Dec 2, 2020 at 6:43
  • 2
    There is no yard. I am from India. Closely laid apartments with balconies like in movies where people jump from apartment to apartment. Cat sleeps outside in the balcony and frankly sometimes inside my room. My flat is surrounded by households (almost no space) and that is how this cat moves from building to building. Dec 2, 2020 at 14:11
  • 1
    In this relationship, you're the domesticated animal; they'll be fine.
    – Mazura
    Dec 25, 2020 at 14:19
  • 1
    @Mazura Your comment put a smile on my face. :) Dec 28, 2020 at 2:58

3 Answers 3


If it’s possible, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on the cat. If you say that he goes outside then it’s possible someone else might be feeding him as well.

Cats are usually very resilient. We were feeding a cat for more than two years, but then due to an issue with the other residents we had to stop feeding it. He naturally adapted. We didn’t see any decline in his health which meant he was getting food. Also, from time to time he would see us and come over but not ask for food.

Also, as my vet says, cats have an amazing talent for finding people who can feed them.

  • 1
    Thank you. This answer really made me a lighthearted. I will ask my neighbours to keep an eye on it as you had mentioned. :) Dec 3, 2020 at 9:14
  • I'm in India as well and we have 4 cats of our own and we feed a stray on and off (we don't want it to depend on us fully). If you make sure the cat has balcony access. That way it can come and sleep there whenever it wants. If you are really concerned then install a small camera on the balcony so you can keep an eye on it. As long as they are not injured or don't have a major chronic illness they thrive in the wild! So don't worry too much. Dec 3, 2020 at 10:55
  • Update: I had asked the guard and a neighbor to keep an eye on it and I had arranged a box and good cushion bed and enough food for two months and they said it was not eating and searching for me for a day or so. But at last it has eaten the food. I had made sure it has balcony access and room access too if it gets cold and I had kept small dripping water in jug, if need. Hopefully it gets fed well and stays safe. Dec 15, 2020 at 7:39
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    Whoever says that cats are not affectionate don’t know what they are talking about. Glad you made arrangements. It’ll be fine. Cats are resilient and adapt fairly quickly. Thanks for sharing the update. Dec 15, 2020 at 7:42
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    I agree with that. For me, it is not a cat, it is my family. Dec 17, 2020 at 10:17

If he disappears for a day or more at a time, and you’ve seen him hunt successfully, then he will survive when you leave.

Naturally, he will be upset at the change in his routine and no longer having you as a source of easy food, but he will adapt and get into a new routine. This may mean moving to a territory with more wild food or moving in with another human, or he might be just fine where he is and waiting for you to return. Cats are hard to predict.

  • 1
    Thank you for the answer. I am sad that I am leaving him for a while. But have to. Dec 2, 2020 at 17:38

No. Although, they are independent creatures, they still need someone to socialize with, fill their bowls, and play with.

If at all possible, ask someone to take care of your cat or hire a pet sitter. You can also leave another cat there, so they won't feel cat lonely.

  • 2
    Thank you for the suggestion. I did not have time for arranging as my visit was sudden. I dont even know whether there are any pet caretakers in India. But I will keep these options for the future. A neighbor is giving food for it at the current time. Dec 17, 2020 at 14:32
  • As I had mentioned, I am 1500 kms far away, for a while. So visiting is not a really easy option. Dec 20, 2020 at 13:49
  • Hi, thank you for taking your time to improve this question, but I'm sorry to say it is still opinion-based and also simultaneously it is asking for recommendations which is considered to be off-topic there. A non opinion-based version of this question would be something along "how to identify a good quality cat food", but such question already exists pets.stackexchange.com/q/9443 I welcome your enthusiasm for contributing to the site and please don't feel discouraged. However, while that suggestion of yours arguably improved ...
    – lila
    Dec 23, 2020 at 20:33
  • ... the question a little, it didn't really change it in a way that could reasonably nominate it for being reopened. It is not a strict rule, but generally it is preferred not to edit closed questions unless the edit attempts to change it in a way so it could be reopened later. I assume you wanted to do exactly this with your suggestion. I was pretty liberal approving this edit, it is because there are a lot of posts which would love to see some grammar improvements, etc. and thus I welcome all enthusiasm in the form of suggested edits, like yours, but please take in mind that it was bor ...
    – lila
    Dec 23, 2020 at 20:47
  • ... derline rejectable edit suggestion. Please don't get discouraged; if I could suggest something, then you could aim for repairing posts which have some number of typos or malformed grammar structures, edits like this are appreciated majority of the time.
    – lila
    Dec 23, 2020 at 20:51

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