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We have a male cat, aged 1 year and 6 months roughly. He is not a complete indoor cat. He can go in and out of our house as his will.

He usually spends half his time indoors and half outdoors. The problem is that even though he does spend a lot of time outside, the outside environment is not in any way habitable for him.

He cannot fight (in India there are stray cats everywhere, so many male cats starts to fight with him); he is extremely calm (he rarely gives a bite). And obviously being almost a pet, he also cannot eat food from outside. So basically, whenever he is outside, our house and our family is the backbone of him.

The catch is that, even though he has many problems outside, if we don't let him go, then he sort of just loses his mind.

My question is:

If we go for a trip, then who will take care of our cat? If our cat was an indoor cat, then we could leave him in the care of our neighbours. If he was an outdoor cat, well, I don't think I have to elaborate on that.

If he mostly stayed indoors and sometimes went outdoors then there would be no problem, because then our neighbours would have the time to feed him and take care.

If he was good at being outdoors without getting hurt and managing to gather food, then it would be no problem, because he would manage to gather food regardless of our existence.

But he is none of the above. His behaviour is extremely chaotic. If we just leave our cat in our neighbours' care, then our cat and our neighbour both would have the worst time. Our neighbours wouldn't even get the chance to take care of him. Our cat returns whenever it is his will, mostly not at the right time.

I think I don't need to elaborate more. You get the point. What to do if we go on a trip?

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    Have you reviewed any of the other questions regarding care of cats during travel? It is not common or recommended to relocate a cat to someone else's house for cat-sitting (unless it's unavoidable), as cats do not like to leave their own territory.
    – Allison C
    Sep 15 at 13:33
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    never ever underestimate what your cat can do,my 16 years old female cat put 4 grown women out of commission at the same time last week(two vets and two assitants).please take a look in the related question you might find a solution there. Sep 15 at 16:34
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    About the unpredictability: Is he neutered?
    – Stephie
    Sep 15 at 18:36
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    What speaks against "let the neighbours leave food at your home and check this regularly" ? Sep 15 at 19:13
  • @Stephie. No he is not neutered Sep 16 at 3:46
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An intact male cat will be driven by his sex drive to go outside and find females in heat (no matter how successful considering the competition). The behavior will be quite irregular, some toms disappear for days on end, and he’s of course exposed to a multitude of dangers outside.

He will also contribute (or at least try to) the number of new feral kittens in your area. That alone would be a good reason to have him neutered, btw.

For a neutered tom, the area in which they roam is on average a lot smaller. That can help him - and in turn the cat sitter - to check in at home more frequently and more regularly. Just think about it: Right now, he may be about to saunter home and grab some food and then he gets a whiff of a very tempting female and all bets are off - he has to try his luck and all thoughts of going home are forgotten.

So my advice is to get him neutered first. Then stop the 24/7 lunch service and offer food at regular intervals only. Perhaps even three, four small meals at first, but not whenever he shows up - can be decreased to two if needed. That’s not going to be easy at first, especially as you taught your cat that you will serve him on demand. You can also start calling him or give some kind of signal whenever you are about to feed him and thus add a “trigger” to signal mealtimes. (Would also be handy for a future sitter.)

When you have done that, asking your neighbors to come over and feed him on an established schedule will be easy.

Apart from that, the only way to cater to your cat as is is to get a house sitter that stays at your home and can feed him as needed. You came here because you yourself don’t consider that a good option.

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