Nala’s owners were quite surprised when their cat came home one day with a not attached to her collar. The note read:
“I don't know who this cat belongs to, but she comes visits [sic] us every few weeks. She'll meow outside our back door until we let her in, she wounds [sic] herself around our legs, walks about the house like it's hers, waits @ the fridge until my husband or I fed [sic] her baloney. She doesn't like our cat food very much! We look forward to her visits. We lost our 21 yr old cat this yr.”
The internet immediately responded and more stories of cheating cats came to light. So many of our cats live double lives - some taking on as many as seven additional families, it can make an outdoor cat owner paranoid about just how faithful your beloved feline companion is.
Could your cat be cheating on you with another family? What do they have that you don’t? Is it time to call in the relationship counselor?
Let’s not jump to any conclusions yet. First, look for these five telltale signs that you own a timeshare cat:
1. Your cat is eating the same amount, but gaining weight.
Chances are, if your cat is keeping another family behind your back, they’re also feeding him. After all, the way to a cat’s heart is through his stomach.
2. He has a tendency to go missing.
If he’s pulled all-nighters on you so often that you’ve stopped worrying, he might be spending the night curled up at someone else’s feet. Don’t buy his “business trip” excuse for a minute..!
3. Mysterious collars keep appearing.
It’s understandable for a collared cat to lose their collar in his adventures. But if your bare-necked cat comes home with a new collar around his neck, you know something fishy’s going on.
4. He smells different.
You’d expect an outdoor cat to come home smelling like grass and dirt, not perfume and shampoo. Unless your cat is visiting a spa on his outings, he’s probably adopted another family (or five).
5. Passersby comment on how similar your cat looks to theirs.
If this has happened to you, chances are your cat is their cat too.
So your cat’s got another family. Now what?
In all seriousness, there are a few things you should coordinate with the Others. Figure out how much each of you should feed the cat so he doesn’t become overweight, and decide which one is responsible for taking the cat to the vet. Aside from that, share all you want! Cats have lots of love to give.
If you’d rather not share your cat, though, you can take a few steps to ensure he always comes back to you.
- Get your cat a collar with your name and phone number on it. You can also leave a note attached to the collar asking people not to feed him.
- Give your cat plenty of love and affection. Regularly scheduled play times, healthy treats like catnip or valerian root, and regular grooming can help you forge a deeper bond with your cat.
- The only surefire way to keep your cat from wandering off is to keep him indoors.
Of course, the whole idea that we “own” cats is pretty absurd. Everyone knows cats are the ones in charge here.
Do you own a timeshare cat?
- by Yuliya