Cats are known to wonder. Whether they belong to a loving home or are a stray in need of shelter, you may notice cats roaming around your house.
But don’t be alarmed, this is nothing out of the ordinary. It could mean several things for the wandering cat.
Perhaps the cat found scraps of food lying around your home, found a nice warm spot to take a nap, or is just generally curious about the happenings around your home.
Generally, cats will not just hang around your doorstep without a reason. Whether the reason has to do with you or your five-year-old feeding the cat behind your back, there are numerous reasons the cat loves hanging around your home.
Who’s Feeding the Cat?
If you live alone, you probably don’t have to ask yourself this question. However, if you have little children of your own or a spouse with a soft spot for animals, your best bet is to start with them.
Ask your children or spouse if they’ve been feeding some cats around your house.
Cats love food and will be drawn to a spot where they know someone will keep feeding them. It doesn’t matter if the cat belongs to your neighbor or is a stray, cats love food.
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If you cannot think of any other reason a cat would stick around your house, it is probable that someone in your household is serving up some meals for the feline.
The Friendly Neighborhood Cat
Cats are curious creatures, hence the term, “curiosity killed the cat”. Your friendly neighbor cat is probably wondering over to your home for several reasons.
The first could just be that the cat is bored. Cats spend most of their day eating, sleeping, and then eating some more. According to cuteness.com, cats have an instinctual compulsion to explore.
Your neighborhood is a part of their territory and they may just be roaming the land to ensure everything is running how it’s supposed to be.
The second reason could be that your neighborhood cat loves to be social. When you are outside, does the cat try to rub on your leg? Or does his purring become excessive and hard to ignore when you’re around?
This is most generally the cat’s way of saying hi to you. If you know the owner of the cat, don’t be afraid to say hello back.
After a while, the cat will head back home, and it probably won’t be too long before he reappears at your doorstep. So, getting acquainted might not be a bad idea.
However, if you have a severe issue with the cat coming over, make sure you address this with your neighbors. It is important that you feel comfortable sitting on your own porch, even if that means telling your neighbor their cat is no longer welcome.
This could also be a problem if your own cat or dog does not get along with the other animal. Your animals have a right to also feel comfortable sitting on the back porch, and if the neighbor’s cat is an issue, make sure to address this with them.
The Hungry Stray
Stray cats are extremely common in neighborhoods. It should be no shock that the number of community cats in the United States is estimated to be in the tens of millions.
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These cats have either been born in the wild or were lost or abandoned and have adapted to living in the wild (aka your neighborhood).
You may notice that these feral cats (another term for stray) perch up on fences, dash away as soon as they see you coming, or are constantly hanging out around the nearest trash can. This is totally normal.
These feral cats will more than likely never let you get within several feet. This is a good indicator that these cats are surviving in the wild and have found safety around your home.
These stray cats are more than likely searching for food. If you have noticed the same feral cats hanging around your home for quite some time, it is probably because they have found a food stash that is replenished or a warm spot where they are unbothered.
It is more than likely that these cats are not of any danger, but just like any wild animal, you should always take caution when approaching them.
If you think a feral cat may be of danger to you or any of your outside pets, it is always best to call your local animal shelter, so they can properly handle the situation.
However, if you have no issue with the community cats hanging around your home, perhaps putting out some food every once in a while would be a good idea. Feral cats are natural hunters, but during the colder months, it can become difficult for their survival as their food and shelter options become limited.
The Lost Cat
It is not uncommon for people to lose animals. It only takes two seconds for an indoor cat to sprint outside when someone has accidentally left the door open.
If the inside cat gets lost outside, it will probably seek shelter in a home because that is what it is most familiar with.
If you find a cat wants to enter your home, looks well groomed, and is wearing a collar – you can almost be certain that this cat is lost and looking for a way back home.
Most often, cats who are lost will be wearing a collar. Check the collar and see if there is a number to call so you can return the cat to its home.
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If there is no collar, check your community Facebook page or community boards for lost cat photos and call your local shelter as they will have information on lost cats as well.
It could also be a possibility that where you live is a major factor to the cats roaming around your house.
As mentioned before, cats are natural hunters. Has your cat ever brought a mouse to your door hoping to get praise for his accomplishment? This is common.
If you have a barn on your property or live next to a barn, this is probably the reason the stray cats are hanging around. Mice are often found in barns and the cat has learned that the barn is where he will find his food.
Does your property have a lot of bushes or trees?
Cats often find shelter and hide from their enemies in bushes or trees. Cats can climb quickly, and trees are the perfect spot for them to hide from predators.
If you are certain that you have no excess food lying around, watch where the cats mostly hang out. The reason the stray cats hang around your house could have a lot to do with your location.
Your Cat Made a New Friend
As mentioned before, cats can be social. But maybe it’s not your attention your community cats are after. It is a possibility that you have a cat of your own whom the stray wants to get friendly with.
But be careful, if these cats are of opposite gender and neither one has been neutered, this could lead to unwanted kittens.
Even if your own four-legged friend is not allowed outside, the cat’s great instincts let it know that there is a friend hanging around.
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Other Possible Reasons
If you believe in popular superstitions surrounding cats, there is a definite possibility that the cat has shown up for a reason.
It could be possible that this cat has sensed peace and serenity surrounding your home. The good vibrations could mean that the cat is bringing you good fortune and luck.
According to animalwised.com, when a cat wants to enter your home, it is popularly said that your home is free of bad energy and transmits to this cat the optimal conditions it needs to feel safe and develop tranquility and good health.
Another popular theory is that cats have a sixth sense. If a cat shows up at your door and won’t seem to leave you alone it could be that it has a mission to fulfill in your life. Most likely this mission includes removing bad energy or spirits from your life.
The Black Cat
Is the random cat hanging around your home black? The age-old superstition of the misfortune of black cats is still popular to this day. If the cat hanging around your home is black, this could be a possible sign of misfortune and bad luck.
The black cat myth is especially prominent around Halloween. However, it is best to keep in mind that this is just a myth. Only you can decide whether to allow these superstitions in your life.
So Now What?
Once you have established why the cats are hanging around your home, there are several options to take.
If you don’t mind that the cat is hanging around your house and it doesn’t seem to be bothering anything, why do anything at all? The best approach is just to let the cat be curious and let him do his thing. It is inevitable that once the cat has fulfilled his purpose around your house he will leave before returning sometime in the future.
If you have an issue with the cat hanging around your house for whatever reason, get it handled. If it’s the neighbor’s cat that won’t leave you alone or a stray that looks dangerous, call the appropriate person.
Things Not to Do
Do not cause the animal any harm. If the cat is a stray and has become a danger to your animals or yourself, call animal control. Do not try to harm the animal yourself. It is important to remember that whatever the issue, it is not the animal’s fault.
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Living in the wild for cats can often become a struggle if they come into contact with a bad environment. If they become sickly, this is not their fault and the situation should always be handled professionally.
Do not expect your animals to take care of the situation. If you think letting your cat out will scare away any stray cats, you are wrong.
Letting your cat out will not scare away any cats but will probably end up with the cats reproducing or fighting over territory. It is best to not allow your own animals to be in harm’s way if you feel a cat could be a danger.
Do not feed the cat if you don’t want it to return. If you do not want the stray cats hanging around your property, it is best not to give them a reason to return. Any food scraps given to the cats is going to be the reason for them to stick around.
Overall, having cats around your home is not necessarily a bad thing. As mentioned earlier, it could mean that you have a plentiful supply of rodents, a warm place for them to sleep, or you live in a cat-friendly environment.
Other superstitious reasons may be probable, but that is for you to decide.
Always remember that we, whether they are stray are not, might be the only option the cat has for food and shelter. Next time you see a stray cat hanging around your house, watch it.
Find out where it hangs out, what is causing its’ return, and if you don’t plan to call a shelter why not show the cat a little hospitality?
"In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this."
-- Terry Pratchett