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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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I just read your answer to a question similar

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 I just read your answer to a question similar to the one I have regarding a neighbor's cat who is always around because the person feeds him. I do understand that it is about where the food is for the cat. However, in our situation we have a cat of our own who is an indoor/outdoor kitty. a neighborhood cat (we assume since he has a collar, but we don't know who his owner is) would occasionally come by and eat our cat's food but he would always go home and we wouldn't see him for a while. Recently he came by again. This time he looked thinner than before and not only did he eat our cat's food, he drank all the water in his water bowl. When I saw him trying to drink from our outdoor waterfall (in which the water is re-circulated) it seemed like something was wrong - I thought cats wouldn't go so close to a waterfall(?). So, I started to feed/water him - worried that his owners may've abandoned him .... and now he's here all day for the last 2 days and our cat does not like him (he is afraid of him). Is it normal for a cat to be that thirsty? Would there be signs if the cat is being neglected or has been abandoned? Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to make my cat more comfortable with the other cat while I try to find out who his owner is? (I try to feed mine first whenever I feed the other and try to pay more attention to ours. And also don't let the other cat into the house.) I apologize for what must seem like silly questions but I feel so sorry for both my cat and the other one. I'd appreciate any advice you may have! Thank you!

Hi there,

Not silly questions at all! It's good to see that you care so much about these cats being happy.

I wouldn't worry too much about the stray cat drinking from the water fall. Many cats actually prefer moving or circulating water to standing water and will drink from fountains or faucets when they can. If he was very thirsty just the one time, I think that's ok-- he may have been roaming before that and not drank for a while. If he is around your place with water available all the time and he's constantly drinking, though, that's when we start to worry about things like kidney disease or diabetes that would need to be investigated by the vet.

Cats are highly territorial, which may be why your cat doesn't appreciate the newcomer coming into his territory. Make sure that your cat has a place to hide or get away if he wants to, and don't force them to be together. Make sure when you feed them that they are far enough apart that one cat can't guard both food bowls (they do that sometimes). Keep things inside the house as steady and routine as you can. Cats don't like change, and having a routine helps keep anxiety levels low. Cats that are truly disturbed by the situation may have a behavior change (hiding when the other cat isn't around, being aggressive, not interacting with you the way they used to, or urinating or spraying outside the box)-- if these things happen, you have trouble, and you are best off to find a different situation for the new cat before your cat's behavior changes become habits. Paying more attention to your cat is a great first step, and taking some extra time each day to play with toys and let your cat "hunt" can help too. Feliway, a calming pheromone that comes as a spray or a diffuser, can also help keep your cat relaxed.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Taus,


Thank you for your response! I thought I just sent you my followup question - but seems my response to you may not have gone through?? So, I am sending it to you again.

Just had a followup question - as mentioned in my original question to JustAnswer, wondered if there might be any signs that a cat has been abandoned that we would look for (for example, the neighbor cat has barely moved from the perimeters of our property for 3 days now. He basically is staying in our garage and backyard patio all day and has even taken to using one of our cat's litterboxes (we have one inside and another outside of our house)......he is also drinking alot - from both a bowl and the waterfall (again)).

Thank you!

I'm not sure I understand your question.

He is clearly either allowed to roam free (or has escaped) to end up in your yard. If he is not thin or unkempt-looking (as if he's been starving or fighting), I don't know that you will be able to tell whether he's truly been abandoned or if he's a free-roaming cat who has just decided that your yard is a wonderful place for a cat to live (and sees no reason to leave). It doesn't sound as if anyone is looking too hard for him though, and you did describe him looking thinner the second time you saw him. He may have been on his own for a little while at this point.

With the drinking, it's tough to tell if he's just thirsty, roaming, and your house is the one with the good water supply; or if he actually has a medical condition. When he uses your litterbox, does it seem like more urine than normal? If in doubt, and especially if you're considering letting him stay, a visit to the vet may be a good idea just to make sure there isn't an underlying problem.
Dr. Taus and 2 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Carrie,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Taus
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for checking!

I found out who the owners of the visiting cat is! Apparently he does have owners (they did not abandon him). He's still visiting us but I'm trying to not feed him - but it's very hard when he gives you the sad-eyes and sits so politely at the door.......


and he does drink a LOT.....I guess if he keeps that up I may need to consider letting the owners know since it could be a medical issue?


Anyway, thank you for your help!

Yes, it's tough to say, no, you must go home! I'm so glad you found his owners. It would be a good idea to let them know that he's been drinking a lot, just so they can monitor him at home. If he's only drinking a lot at your house, that's fine, but if he's doing it at home too, it would be a good idea to have him checked out. Kidney disease and diabetes can both show up with increased drinking and urinating.