On the heels of writing a post explaining the reasons why stray cats sometimes follow people, I’d like to talk about why stray cats might be hanging around your crib instead.
This is a bit of a different situation, although of course not altogether different.
Still, if a cat’s hanging around your home I think it’s just slightly more likely you might be considering taking him or her in, and are curious about what the situation might be with the cat.
I totally get this. All three of my cats, Avery (here’s his story), Bjorn (and his), and Athos (who I eventually took in from this lot, too), are strays who hung around my home long enough for me to take them in.
(Who could say no to that face, right?)
I’ve also adopted out the three lovely stray cats I couldn’t keep in my own home to my brother.
Needless to say I’ve gotten reasonably good at getting stray cats to befriend me, which help me gain their trust enough to build a relationship strong enough to take them in.
But I’m obviously getting ahead of myself here. You may not want to adopt the kitty at all.
You may just want to know what’s happening, if he or she needs help.
Or maybe you’d even prefer it if the cat isn’t around your home, for instance if you’ve already got pets and the stray cat makes your own pets anxious.
No matter, I’m here to try to come up with explanations so you can then decide what you’d like to do (if anything!) about your new sometimes-squatter.
Let’s get into it!
Reasons That Might Explain Why a Cat Keeps Coming to Your House
1. The cat might find coming to your house to be entertaining.
Now look, there are a lot of hours in a day.
And when you’ve got food, water, and shelter covered, that leaves a lot of time to be on the prowl for entertainment.
You might not think what you do is entertaining, but I mean if a cat hanging around your property’s got you curious enough to Google why a cat keeps coming to your house, that cat’s obviously got your attention!
And you’re definitely more entertaining to watch than a cat.
Oh and, it could be something else in your home that’s got your cat’s wandering eye for entertainment. Like one of your own pets.
Actually, our very first cat we ever took in was a stray we accidentally attracted to our home when we were cat-sitting for a friend for a month!
He was so curious about this other cat’s existence he wandered into our life unawares, and once we’d gotten him to trust us we fell in love with the little guy, and the rest was history!
2. The cat could be hanging around your house because he or she’s hunting around your area.
When you need to catch food to eat, you gotta go where the food is.
And sometimes that means straying out of your normal area to chase food down elsewhere.
This could be birds, mice, bugs, whatever the case may be, there may be something to chase around your home.
3. The cat likely sees your house as a safe space.
No matter what the underlying explanation, one part of that explanation is almost certainly that this particular cat believes your property, and what’s around your home, is a safe space and not a threat to his or her existence.
Likely because there’s not a lot of commotion outside around your home and because there’s no other cats around your territory that could be an issue for this cat, it’s seen as a reasonably secure spot by for this cat to be.
4. The cat might be expanding his or her territory into your home’s premises.
A lot of cats will start out with a home base and then gradually grow their territory as they become more comfortable with the area, if surrounding areas are “unclaimed” by other cats.
This could be because they wandered into your garden when they were hunting and liked the place, or because they wandered in bored one day and realized no other cats were there.
Whatever the case may be, the more frequently you see that cat on your property the more likely that cat feels your home is it’s home.
Or well, your garden is it’s garden, really.
5. The cat might be hungry and believe you may feed him or her or leave out food.
I spoke about this in the previous article I wrote about stray cats following people, but cats don’t often believe humans = food without having prior experience with this combination being put together.
So if you think a cat is around your home because he or she believes humans = food, there’s a decent chance the cat belongs to someone, or is abandoned and once did, or is a stray that is somewhat socialized, at least to the point of having positive experiences that equate to humans who have at least once fed it before.
6. The cat might be injured or sick and in need of help.
I don’t believe cats who are injured or sick know instinctually that humans can help them, especially if they’ve not had a lot of positive interactions with humans.
Which they likely wouldn’t have had much experience with humans if they are truly strays and not abandoned cats.
That being said, even if they don’t necessarily think to themselves that a human could fix them, they likely feel that hanging around humans, human homes, etc., offers protection.
Other cats are less likely to be around humans, and cats do, in my experience, sometimes bully other cats who are injured or sick, so a safe place to stay while they are not at their best is incredibly important for recouping.
7. The cat may be a stray looking for a home.
Last but not least, and definitely a possible option.
If you’re thinking of adopting a stray who’s hanging around your home, I’d advise leaving food out for him or her to gain trust, then trying to bring the food yourself when the cat is there, leaving it a number of meters away from the cat and going back in your home.
Repeat this process enough times and the cat may let you near him or her eventually.
And then maybe you can interact with the cat and even feed it.
Just make sure you are certain the cat is a stray and not a neighbour’s pet before you take him or her in. Although if a cat is flighty at first, it’s much less likely to belong to a neighbour.
If a cat is incredibly friendly right off the bat, however, chances are high the cat is socialized, though he or she could also be an abandoned or lost cat.
Your Thoughts on Why Cats Frequent Certain Houses?
What are the reasons you believe are most likely to explain why cats hang around specific homes?
Are there any reasons I forgot to include that could explain why cats keep coming to a house?
Do you currently have a stray cat in your area who keeps coming to your home? What’s your best guess as to why they are there?
Were you thinking of leaving food out for the cat, taking care of them if they are injured, or even taking in the cat because you’ve developed an attachment to him or her?
Love to hear your opinions and stories on this topic! Got a moment to spare? Take a second to leave your thoughts in the comments down below.