Peeping Tom! How to tell if your cat is visiting another house

cat visiting
Rens Hageman
Rens Hageman

For cats that are allowed free access to the outside world, unless your cat is one of the few that tends to stay close to home, the chances are that you won’t really know with any certainty where they go and what they do for hours at a time when they are out.

Some cats cover quite a large range in terms of the territory that they transit regularly, and often travel some distance from home over the course of a day, and you may occasionally spot your cat off in the distance quite a long way from home. In most cases, your cat will simply be enjoying the outside world-sleeping in quiet corners, patrolling their territory and possibly hunting-but of course there is always the possibility that your cat may be calling in to visit friends along the way, or even spending time in other people’s homes instead of yours as well!

While cats don’t like other cats invading their own territory and tend to dislike change within their homes, they usually have no such qualms when it comes to making themselves comfortable in another house if the owners permit them to do this, and something there particularly appeals to them!

This may be either annoying or amusing depending on how you view it and how much time your cat seems to be spending in someone else’s home-but would you even know if your cat was making themselves comfortable elsewhere, or know how to spot the signs that your cat has found somewhere to visit for a little variety and a change of pace?

In this article, we will look at some of the signs and indications that may tell you that your cat has gotten into a routine of visiting another house-and how to find out for sure. Read on to learn more.

Home and away

Cats can be quite mercenary about upping sticks and finding themselves a new home if their living situation is not optimum, or even if you provide everything that your cat could ever want and lavish attention on them, but something else catches their eye! Most areas have at least one cat that is well known to their cat-loving neighbours for marching into other houses to have a nap or steal the resident cat’s food, and a lot of people tolerate this or actively enjoy the visits providing that said cat does not cause problems-such as by fighting with a cat that really lives there. The reasons for this can be multiple and variable-despite the fact that visiting felines often do excellent starving waif impressions in order to win a treat, most such cats have perfectly good home lives and people that love them, which can make such disloyalty rather galling for said owner! This is part of the nature of cat, or at least cats that tend to be confident and laid back they like to explore and sample new foods and find people who will give them attention, even when they receive plenty at home, because cats are independent animals whose domestication cannot be compared with our other main companions, dogs.

Food and resources

If your cat has been out for several hours during the day, overnight or even longer, you would expect them to be fairly hungry when they get home. However, if said cat strolls back in after a long absence and seems perfectly chilled out and doesn’t make a beeline for their food bowl, the chances are that they have eaten elsewhere! They may of course have been out hunting and eaten on the go, of course, but the other alternative is that they have been popping into another cat-loving home and grazing from someone else’s bowl!


Unlike dogs, cats do not tend to get pongy over time without having a bath, and of course, cats don’t need to be bathed, because they spend a lot of time attending to their own personal grooming and cleanliness in order to counteract this! Every cat has their own unique scent which is generally very subtle and often, hard or impossible to single out from any other cat. However, certain environmental scents will linger in your cat’s fur for a short while, and you may remember a time when your cat has come in smelling of something like wood smoke if there has been a bonfire nearby.

Everyone’s home has its own unique scent too, and if the home that your cat is visiting has a distinctive smell, such as of an air freshener, perfume or something else that your cat would not have picked up outside, this can give you an indication that your cat has been in someone else’s home if you have a sniff at their fur when they come in!

Long irregular absences

Some cats will spend all day going in and out of their homes, while others tend to go off for hours at a time and only return when it suits them-this can be very variable. However, if you have not seen your cat for a day or longer, this can be worrying, and your thoughts may turn to your cat’s safety and if something might have happened to them, or they have gotten trapped somewhere.

If your cat starts spending longer and longer at a time away from home and this extends into overnight and then a few nights at a time, the first few instances of this happening are apt to concern you somewhat. However, if when your cat comes back, they appear happy, in good condition, relaxed and vitally, not starving hungry, the chances are that these absences are out of choice, and not because something happened!

If your cat does start spending long periods of time away from home in this manner, it is a good idea to try to find out where they are going, so that you can check there in future and to let the people they are visiting know that the cat is in fact owned, even if neither you nor they mind your cat doing this as long as they are safe.

Tag your cat

If your cat wears a collar with a tag, this is a sound indicator to others that the cat is owned. But if you want to find out where your cat is going or if they are spending time with someone else, try placing a thin laminated paper collar on their neck temporarily, with a request for your cat’s new friend to give you a call so that you can make introductions and exchange information-or if you wish, ask the other party to stop feeding your cat!

(Article source: Pets 4 Homes)

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