Is your pet cat spending less and less time at home? Is it not very hungry either? And is it also acting like a stranger? Your neighbour could be the one behind it.
Animal welfare organisations such as Aktion Tier in Germany often get phone calls from desperate cat owners reporting cases like this. The reason is usually pretty clear: their kitty is being fed and probably cuddled and looked after by someone else.
As with most pets, the way to a cat’s heart is through their stomach. And it’s very easy to grab their affection with tasty treats, explains graduate biologist Ursula Bauer.
She advises those affected to talk to their neighbours. If that doesn’t help, you may have to get legal advice. Most of the time, it’s better for a lawyer to request in writing that the other person stops feeding and taking in the cat, says Bauer.
If they’re still feeding your cat, you might be able to apply for an injunction. It’s helpful in court if there are other people who can testify that the cat is being fed regularly and that they’re even being brought into the other person’s house.
Bauer believes that taking a cat away from its owner through food and kindness is selfish and unfair. Saying “They would rather be with us!” is a flawed argument: If you want to pamper a pet and you’ve got time to look after an animal, you should get your own cat. – dpa
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