What should we do about a friendly stray cat that hangs out on our porch, aggressively tries to come inside, and generally drives our own cat crazy? We've tried not feeding her and chasing her off, and we've tried regularly feeding her far from the house, and now we're not sure what to do next.
Our neighborhood has many feral and stray cats. We adopted a friendly one and sometimes fed a skittish, skinny one ("Mama"). While doing so one day, we fed another we'd seen occasionally. Big mistake!
That was when we renamed her Bad Cat
. She sat outside our door the entire night, yowling softly. Then she began to bully everyone. Mama Cat went away. My cat grew paranoid and grouchy. I couldn't walk to my car without her trying to entangle herself in my legs or block my path, then hissing when I slowed down only enough not to actually kick her.
Then my view became: Bad Cat has to go. I began to use a water spritzer to keep her off the porch and key bottlenecks in the yard. My cat would mew at me when he wanted to cross the yard to come home, like "cover me, I'm ming in." I stopped ever leaving food outside. (We used to put our cat's dish out when we left in the morning.)
After about 4 days of this, Bad Cat began to give me some distance and to be a bit less aggressive. And I increasingly felt like a real jerk. She was persistent and seemed desperate. A cat cries for food at 2 am and I come outside and menacingly threaten it?? Sooo... my resolve broke.
I thought I might instead get her on a regular outdoor feeding schedule, not near our deck, so she wouldn't be starving and could just go enjoy her outdoor cat life. But so far this plan has not resulted in quite the independence I had hoped, and the original problems are returning. My cat still wants an armed escort whenever he has to walk past various ambush locations.
My new theory is that Bad Cat needs a home. A different home. She may have even had a home until recently. She certainly has a lot of love to give. I suspect that if her status was less precarious, she'd probably be less pushy and perhaps oversee her territory with a kind of royal grace.
So I posted about her on Craigslist
to help her find a new family. I got no replies. I emailed one of those groups that has the whole foster home + vet services + cute pictures + adoption thing dialed in -- but got no reply. Now what? Should I call animal services or a low-kill shelter? Should I keep trying with the nonprofit foster groups? I can repost the ad a few times and maybe even get a better picture of her. But will anyone adopt her if I don't shell out for a full vet exam? In the meantime, should I feed her? Should I not? Should I go back to being the world's biggest jerk squirting her? Ugh. I would like to figure this out quickly so I stop getting woken up by cat drama. Poor Bad Cat needs a better home.