Have you ever sat by your window enjoying your coffee and notice that there’s a cat observing you from outside your house?
It has been happening almost every day whereby your feline visitor just sits and watches you when you’re back from work or going to the grocery store.
Here’s a mind-blowing fact.
There are an estimated 70 million feral or stray cats in the USA alone.
Therefore, the chances of you encountering one outside your home are high.
But what does it mean when a random cat comes to your house on a regular basis.
A Cat Keeps Coming To My House And Meowing
The first thought that would come to most people’s minds is “Why is that cat always staring at me?”
You might be tempted to shoo it away if you’re not really a cat person. Or maybe you are kind enough to leave some food for it and wish it the best of luck.
But when a strange cat shows up at your house meowing for attention, it might be a good idea to dig a little deeper.
What Does It Mean When A Cat Hangs Around Your House?
There are a couple of reasons why a stray or feral cat might show up at your house out of the blue. Some reasons might require your attention, some might not.
The Cat Is Curious
Cats are very curious creatures and love exploring or investigating something or someone that has caught their interest.
If you have a cat or cats at home, the new cat might be intrigued by the meows and cat scent that have been emitting from your home.
Cats are very sensitive to sound and smell and won’t hesitate to satisfy their curiosity.
The Cat Likes Your Garden
If you have many plants, bushes and trees in your home garden, it can attract strange cats to it. Cats are known to eat certain types of plants when they are not feeling well or if they are in the mood to chew on some greens.
Chances are there is something in your garden that your cat likes.
If you notice that you have a cat that comes to your house or garden frequently, be careful to not use any pesticide that can be toxic to animals.
If you are cool with it, consider planting some cat grass at a quiet corner for the cat to munch on.
Cat owners that grow a wide variety of plants at home need to know what indoor and outdoor plants are toxic to cats to prevent any unfortunate incident.
The Cat Is Sick Or Injured
Cats are smart creatures and some might know that humans that can help if it is injured or sick. They have been many stories of homeowners finding an injured cat showing up at their front door and wouldn’t leave.
Seeking Safety And Shelter
The cat might not be lost but it could be hanging around your home hoping to get some food and water. If you have other cats at home, the smell of cat food might have attracted it to your house.
Or the cat knows the cold or wet weather is approaching and wants to seek shelter.
It is saddening and unfortunate to have so many homeless cats wandering around looking for food to survive.
What Do You Do When A Random Cat Comes To Your House?
There are a couple of things that you should at least do if you have a recurring feline visitor. As humans, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard when an animal might be trying to seek help.
Identify the Cat
If you recognise the cat that comes by your home all the time as Romeo who lives two houses down the street, then having to inform the owner is easily done.
What we are trying to do here is to see if the cat is a stray cat or feral cat.
Stray cats are cats that have been socialized and are rather comfortable being around humans. They might seem a little shy but you try to escape if you try to pet them. They may or may not have an owner. Or they could be looked after by cat lovers around the neighborhood.
A stray cat might seem lost or disorientated. Cats can get lost sometimes when they try to follow a scent or prey and can’t find their way home.
If the stray cat is wearing a collar, there might be the owner’s contact details on it. Sometimes, there’s a chance that a stray cat is microchipped as well.
It is rather easy to tell if it is a feral cat from its behavior. Ferals cats aren’t socialized or domesticated like a stray cat and are very wary and fearful of humans.
You can’t even get close to the cat without it running away.
The tip of the left ear might be snipped off to show that it has been neutered or spayed.
Feral cats don’t have any owners but may wander from house to house looking for food.
Give It Food And Water
Not many cats can say no to a fresh bowl of yummy smelling cat food especially if it has not eaten for a day or two.
If the cat is a stray, try to encourage the cat to come over to you. Stray cats won’t shy away from people and will usually come at the prospect of food.
Give the same food and water to replenish and nourish itself.
For feral cats, it can be trickier as they don’t like being close to humans. What you can do is leave some food and water at a quiet corner and go back in.
The feral cat will come by to eat once it is certain that the coast is clear.
Provide Shelter For The Cat
Depending on the current season that you’re in, providing shelter for the cat could make a big difference in its survivability.
Wet and cold seasons are bad for cats as these bad weathers can leave the cats suffering from hypothermia if they don’t take shelter. If the stray cat looks dirty or has fleas. it might be a good idea to bathe the stray cat to clean it up.
It might not be a good idea to let the stray cat take shelter in your house if you have other pets or cats. Set up a warm and dry corner inside the garage with a warm blanket or cardboard box for the stray cat.
Do the same for the feral cat but don’t hang around or it won’t use your shelter.
Bring It To The Vet
It might be a good idea to bring the cat to your vet or nearest animal shelter where they can try to scan for a microchip.
Bringing a stray cat to the vet is going to be a lot easier. The vet can also do a quick check to see if the cat is in good health or requires medical attention.
Locating The Owner
If the stray cat is microchipped, it will be easy to contact the owners via the information embedded in the chip.
The problem arises if there’s no chip or collar info on the cat.
What you can do is paste posters of the cat in the neighbourhood. If the was found in your area, its home shouldn’t be too far away. Social media or local animal shelters are also good places to broadcast information about the cat.
Put yourself in the shoes of the owners, they must be worried sick if their cat is missing. Pets are more than just animals. There are treated like family by many pet owners.
What If The Owner Can’t Be Found
There are a couple of options that you can consider if you have been trying to find the owner for months but to no avail.
Adopt The Cat
If you have been fostering the cat at home, chances are you would have started to develop a close bond with the cat over this period
For people with the means and time to adopt, this would be the best option for the cat. There’s a high chance that it is an abandoned cat.
Before officially adopting the cat, make sure to bring it to the vet to get all the blood test done. Sterilizing the cat should also be strongly considered as cats that are not neutered tend to have more health problems. They also become harder to manage during mating season.
Don’t forget to prepare your home for the arrival of your new family member by getting all the necessities for your cat.
We understand that taking on a new pet is a huge commitment that involves time and money. It is something that needs to be considered carefully.
If you are not able to adopt the cat, put up an ad in your local SPCA or Facebook group for pets. There are many people out there who are looking to adopt a cat rather than buy one.
In the unfortunate circumstance that you are not able to find a suitable adopter, putting the cat at an animal shelter would be another good alternative.
Many of these shelters have their own adoption drives that can help get your cat adopted quickly.
Make sure to find a no-kill shelter as there are some shelters that will euthanize animals that are not adopted after a period of time.
Adult cats usually take longer to get adopted than kittens.
In the meantime, you can also visit the cat in the shelter to keep it company.
What About For Feral Cats?
It is a lot harder to rehome feral cats as they are not very comfortable being around humans. It is possible but it takes a lot of time and effort.
However, many local cat communities offer a Trap-Neuter-Release programme. This is to ensure that feral cats are neutered to prevent over breeding.
It takes patience to trap a feral cat as they are very wary of us. But with enough time and effort, it can be done.
There are many local vets that offer sterilization procedures for free or for a small fee when it comes to feral cats. So it helps to keep the cost down for TNR volunteers.
Now that you have a better understanding, there a more things to consider whenever you have the same cat that comes to your house frequently.
Don’t be too quick to dismiss the cat as it might be a sick cat looking for help and shelter.