I like cats. I really do. But I’ve chosen not to have cats because my dogs don’t like cats, and even if they did, I don’t have a good place to put a litter box and I don’t want to let the cat loose outdoors. But I seem to have acquired a cat–a neighbor’s cat.

Here it is sitting atop my car, in easy reach of the bird bath.

The thing is, I get all of the negatives of a cat without the good parts of having a cat.
Dead birds left in my driveway
Decapitated chipmunks on my sidewalk.
Cat poo in my garden
Globs of fur on my patio table.

It’s not friendly, it runs off when I approach. Lately it’s been looking really bad–big patches of fur missing. Scratching itself. I’m worried that it may be ill. I wish the neighbors would care for their cat, feed it, and take it to the vet’s. I feel bad for the cat, but I don’t want to feed it and encourage it to hang around, because when the dogs see or hear it out the window, they bark like crazy. I enjoy watching birds, but I don’t enjoy watching them become easy prey for a cat.

Have my neighbors done any of these things?
1. Spay or neuter their cat
2.  Take their cat for regular veterinarian check ups
3. Provide adequate food and water
4. Provide love and attention–isn’t that the point of having a cat?
5. Vaccinate their cat for rabies
6. Provide shelter–this cat often yowls in the rain, and sometimes gets into cars to sleep.

What would you do in this situation? Do you have a similar problem with neighborhood cats? Do you think it’s irresponsible to have an outdoors cat, or do you have an outdoor cat that you keep safe and healthy, while keeping neighbors happy? What about getting injured, hit by a car, or stolen? Is it different for city cats vs. country cats?