Monday, 9 July 2012

Cat burglar

When our cat was still a kitten, she had a cute but unfortunate aversion to her cat flap. As we tried to teach her that this hole in the wall was her ticket to come and go as she pleased, she would hold on the wall with all four paws and resist her head being poked against a flap that her body was supposed to crawl through. She also needed to get used to wearing a collar, as a magnet was required to activate the flap - something she was also less than impressed about and spent hours frantically trying to chew through. After meowing miserably outside the door for several days, we decided to make it easier for her and leave the flap unlocked so she didn't have to worry about lining up the magnet. Yes, I know; we are pushovers.

As she grew, we noticed just how much she was eating each day. To be precise, she seemed to be eating copious amounts at night, yet loudly proclaimed her hunger each morning. Given that she usually spends most of the night asleep on one of us, we had our suspicions that we were instead feeding a neighbourhood cat. This was confirmed one evening while watching television with our pussy cat spread out on my partner's lap, yet we  clearly heard her food being eaten loudly in the kitchen. A quick chase and the offending feline shot out the cat flap, but stopped to rudely peer through the back door window at us in protest at having their snack interrupted. So, unfortunately it was back to wearing a collar for our little princess. We also monitored just how much food we were giving her each day and left her with just a handful of pellets at night. Thankfully, she eventually conquered the magnetic cat flap and stopped chewing on her collar, meaning that her food was her own again. Until recently.

Last night, I had a case of the midnight munchies. After trying to distract myself for an hour or so, I finally succumbed at around 12:30 am. I quietly crept out of bed and into the lounge to discover our cat fast asleep on the couch ... and then I heard the cat flap unmistakably slamming shut! A small quantity of cat pellets remaining confirms that we now have a more sophisticated cat burglar who can open a magnetic flap either by stealth or using some other mysterious feline superpower. I am equally shocked, annnoyed and impressed!

Apart from a very expensive cat flap activated by our cat's microchip, what other strategies are there to prevent the cat burglar from striking again? We're reluctant to remove all her food each night (as we are sure she will loudly inform us of her hunger in the wee small hours), but neither are we happy to be hosting regular midnight feasts.

3 comments:

Kez said...

Wow, a magnet to activate the door is such a great idea! Except, maybe your cat food burglar has a magnet too? Hope you can catch him/her in the act!

wellreadkitty said...

We were also feeding pretty much every cat in the neighbourhood who knew how to use a cat flap so switched to a magnetic one and thought all our problems were solved...

We would set the the magnetic catflap at night so our cats could come in when they were ready but not go out again. This was working great until a neighbours' cat with a matching magnet on his collar came in, ate his fill and then got stuck inside. At this point my big and handsome ginger cat Paddy discovered the intruder and all hell broke loose as Padds tried to beat it into a furry pulp and the poor trapped kitty hurled himself repeatedly at a catdoor that would not budge.

This however was not as bad as the time a possum came through the (unmagnetic) catflap in the middle of the night, but that's a story for another day!

Café Chick said...

OMG, a possum?! My friend's cat brought a live possum in to their bedroom once and I shudder to think of our little cat trying to drag something so big in behind her. We had considered locking our visitor in but hadn't given much thought to what would happen once he/she became our POW. If anything, it would be our cat trying to desperately escape through a locked flap while they continued with their supper. We have an automatic feeder that we could perhaps set for 6 am (as that's when she usually gets up for breakfast) rather than leaving a feast out every night.

I hate to say it but I'm glad we're not the only ones dealing with cat burglars ...