Money Moral Dilemma: Is it wrong I don't want to adopt the cat I feed and have to pay vet bills?



  • mentm
    mentm Forumite Posts: 45
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    You effectively stole someone’s cat and now it needs to go to the vet you don’t want to take responsibility for it.

    same thing happened to us we didn’t see the cat for months then when it was ill the neighbour brought it back.
  • primrose_penguin
    primrose_penguin Forumite Posts: 92
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts
    I totally understand your dilemma, it is a big responsibility to give a home to someone else's cat, especially with vets bills being so high and unaffordable for some, a similar thing happened to us, but our neighbour was really good and generous. One of her cats used to come in and spend most of the day with us while she was working, and we would give it food. Then our neighbour got married and was moving about 30 miles away, she also had another cat and a dog, which the cat who came into us did not get on with as she was the oldest (13) and first cat of the house. Before our neighbour was leaving she asked if we would like to keep her as she could see how happy the cat was with us, so I said we would not be able to afford the vet bills if she became ill, but the lady said I will pay any vet bills if you keep her, and as my husband, who especially, was very fond of the cat we decided to give her a home. She is now 17 years of age and our x neighbour has been true to her word calling occasionally to see the cat when in the area and repeating that we should get in touch with her should the cat need the vet. I think your neighbour should be glad you are feeding the cat as it is saving her money. I would only adopt the cat if you can afford to pay the vets bills especially if the cat is elderly as ours is, it doesn't sound as if your neighbour would chip in. 
  • Ros29
    Ros29 Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post
    You already have adopted the cat,  well stolen really, by feeding it and providing it with companionship and a  warm welcoming home. Now you need to step up and take responsibility for it.

  • Kiwicat11
    Kiwicat11 Forumite Posts: 4
    First Post
    Cats will go wherever there is food.  You say it looked thin so maybe the neighbour wasn't looking after it which is why it is at yours.  Having had 6 cats in my life, they aren't much bother and unless you're unlucky, the vet bills won't be high.  The world is full of stray animals so give yourself a pat on the back for taking care of one of them.
  • RPC_2
    RPC_2 Forumite Posts: 11
    Tenth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    A family members cat chose to live with a neighbour, we think they prefer their house as its quieter and there's no other pets there. That's been the cat's choice- they will not be lured into a new home unless they want to go. Plenty of cats have food at home (as my family member's cat did) but they're free spirits and prefer elsewhere. 
    My family member takes food to the neighbours for the cat and pays all vet bills and wouldn't dream of asking for them to adopt the cat. They're happy that the cat is happy, safe and close by- its not the neighbours fault the cat prefers a quiet house and its preferable to the cat running off far away and coming to harm. Not all cats like a multi pet home but that doesn't mean you get off the hook for being responsible for them when they go on a wander. 

  • terributtons
    terributtons Forumite Posts: 7
    Ninth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Please do not stop feeding the cat. You started feeding him/her in the first place because you thought it seemed thin. As the owner knows that you are feeding him/her the will not start feeding it again unless you tell them you have stopped. Also if they have other pets it is possible that none of them are being fed/looked after properly so please report this to the RSPCA. They will not pass your details on but will investigate to make sure the animals are being cared for and if not they will take them away, probably including the cat that you are feeding.    
  • griff893
    griff893 Forumite Posts: 3
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    Cats are independent creatures and if they are not happy where they are then they find themselves new humans. This cat has clearly chosen you and it seems with good reason if it was thin and didn’t have a collar it doesn’t sound like the previous owner cared for it too well.

    You obviously have some affection for this cat so why not take on the responsibility for it? As a cat owner they are not that costly with vets bills mainly one trip per year to have boosters and the cost of flee & worming treatment. 

    I would see it as an honour the cat has chosen you, so accept its wishes commit and become its proper carer. 
  • XRAT
    XRAT Forumite Posts: 239
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Someone started feeding my in-laws cat, encouraging it to visit their house on the other side of a main road. Guess what...
    You should not be feeding other peoples property without their permission.
  • MissMills81
    MissMills81 Forumite Posts: 18
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    You allowed a cat to come into your home and you chose to feed the cat,

    You say you chose to do this because the cat had no collar and appeared thin so clearly you thought it was a stray, therefore you made the choice to care for this cat

    You say you eventually found out that the cat belonged to someone.....what would you have done if the cat had needed veterinary care before you knew it was someone else's pet?

    Would you have taken it to the vet and taken care of the bills or would you have put the cat out because you didn't want the responsibility of paying for healthcare?

    Caring for a pet costs money, there are many people out there who would love to have an animal but chose not to because of the expense, 

    You chose to let the cat in your home, you coose to feed it and you chose to continue doing this knowing the cat already has a home then yes you absolutely should accept full financial responsibility for that cat. 

    If you can't afford to then please arrange for the cat to be returned to its owner or rehomed with someone who will accept the financial responsibility that a pet brings.

  • Streatham22
    Streatham22 Forumite Posts: 2
    Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    In hindsight it would have been better to find out if the cat belonged to anyone before you started feeding it. Taking some photos and posting on local FB sites being the usual option.
    If you're now the only person feeding the cat and it's residing with you, then you've already effectively adopted it, haven't you?
    Try to establish what your neighbour's intentions are for the cat. Are they keen to have it back with them? If so, say goodbye, stop feeding it and encouraging it to hang around.
    If they're ambivalent towards it and you want to keep it around then it becomes your responsibility - vet bill's and all. Agree to adopt it, get it chipped & checked over by a vet.
    If they don't want it back and you're not prepared to take over responsibility then ask them how they would feel about the cat being rehomed by a cat rescue centre. Do not do this without consulting them! It would be their decision to make and to carry out.

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