I have a friend... no really, it isn't me... but my friend is being visited by a cat who she said looked skinny when she first started coming around. So she was feeding her and would let her in only to part of their house when the weather was bad. She comes twice a day for food and always leaves at night and sounds to me like she prefers it outside, but likes my friend as she has left her dead presents on the doorstep. She says she otherwise looks to be in good shape - just skinny.
All of a sudden the cat showed up with a collar on and a note attached to the collar saying this cat doesn't belong to you so stop feeding it. So now, of course, the cat is visiting regularly and deploying her best feed me tactics which can be so hard to ignore coming from such a cute face.
What should my friend do? I want to say if the original owners cared so much about what the cat was eating they wouldn't let it outside where she can hunt and kill her own food. Or if there's a medical reason - that she should only be eating a special food - again why let her live so much of her life outside where she can eat plenty of other critters on her own. And besides which, the cat is in my friend's yard - her private property. So seems as though she could just as easily send a note back telling them to keep their (un-collared until now so that no one would know if it were stray, feral, or belonged to someone) cat out of her yard if they don't want her to feed it.
If they're so concerned about it's well being, keep it inside where it will be safe from passing cars, dogs, foxes, diseases, and good hearted people like my friend who are saving the owners some $ on their cat food expenses.
But then, I guess if the cat can hunt as she's showed, then she can also feed herself and maybe the owners wishes should be respected and she should be left to be on her own.
In your opinions, how should I advise my friend?
Thanks,
Lydia
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But then, I guess if the cat can hunt as she's showed, then she can also feed herself and maybe the owners wishes should be respected and she should be left to be on her own. In your opinions, how should I advise my friend?

If the cat is skinny - feed it. The owners obviously aren't caring for it very well.
If the cat were supposed to be on a special diet, it should not be roaming about. If the owners want people to leave it alone, they should take care to keep it on their property.
Cats that make kills don't always eat the kill. When I had a large backyard as a child, we let our cats out. They'd often make kills, but we never saw a bite taken out of them (dead carcasses on the porch). They'd be totally intact - just dead.
Also, area wildlife can be poisonous to eat, depending on your area and the use of pesticides and critter-control chemicals. Cats (or any predators) rarely catch totally healthy adult animals. They go for the sick, weak, old, or young. If they get a sick one, it could be deadly. A person I know that lets their cats out lost one when it ate a poisoned mouse from the neighboring farm.

~kaeli~
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In article

,
If they're so concerned about it's well being, keep it inside where it will be safe from passing cars, dogs, foxes, diseases, and good hearted people like my friend who are saving the owners some $ on their cat food expenses.

I wouldn't respect the owner's wishes if the cat is clearly skinny/underfed and is also allowed to roam freely. I'd send a note back saying, "FEED ME, (expletive)!"
And, if I ever found out who the owner is, I'd report them.

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I wouldn't respect the owner's wishes if the cat is clearly skinny/underfed and is also allowed to roam freely.

I totally agree. The cat is clearly not receiving proper care. If I were in this situation I think I would make the cat effectively "disappear" if you know what I mean... ;-)
Megan (hoping the cat ends up in a caring home - nudge-nudge wink-wink)
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Hi Lydia,
Being from the UK where we have many indoor/outdoor cats , I'm gong to disagree with everyone else and say you should tell your friend to leave the cat alone. Just because your friend thinks the cat is skinny , doesn't mean to say it is . Cats are opportunists and your friend is enticing it away from its owners. She leaves at night to go home. Cats often bring dead prey as presents, especially females. The cat has an owner who has told your friend to leave it alone . Don't impose your beliefs on someone else's cat .

Alison
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Oh, I'm so glad some of you feel the same. I thought maybe I was being overly annoyed or whatever. I know if it were me, I'd continue to feed it and let it in when it's raining, but that's me. And good points about poisoned animals a cat might find or kill. I'll pass on the good advice to my friend - actually she's my cousin in-law.
Lydia
The tone of the note attached to the collar does not sound friendly to me. The owner sounds like a real piece of work. Having someone care enough to feed one's cat should be the worst that can happen to a cat left outside.

My advice? You're the cat's friend, not the owner's friend so do what you want.

Barb
I can only please one person a day.
Today is not your day.
Tomorrow doesn't look good either.
In your opinions, how should I advise my friend? Thanks, Lydia

Send a note back with the cat to its owners to ask for an explanation. Its better to communicate than to be defensive about it all. After all it is not your cat. And also keep a tab on the cat's development - if its getting skinnier, etc. If its getting worse then you'll have to step in.
I wouldn't respect the owner's wishes if the cat is clearly skinny/underfed and is also allowed to roam freely.

I totally agree. The cat is clearly not receiving proper care. If I were in this situation I think I would make the cat effectively "disappear" if you know what I mean... ;-)

Megan! I hope you don't mean "disappear" in a mafia sort of way.. Emotion: wink - nudge nudge wink wink...
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