My parents have two domestic cats, one of each sex, and one dog Jack Russell.
They live in the countryside, with large plots and a lot of free woodland around.
All three can come and go as they please and are pretty good friends, the cats are siblings.
The male cat, Mickey, is neutered and a real iron cat.
He is almost never home, when he comes home he only eats and sleeps. Sometimes he’s out all night.
This is a big problem for my parents and my father has tried to track down Mickey to see where he is going and what he is doing.
Mickey has no wounds on his body when he comes home. He is very tired, but happy and hungry.
He is never away for several days, but comes home no later than the next day, then sits on the stairs and moans.
My father usually in the evenings when it gets dark go out and shout at both cats and the female cat shows up but never the male cat.
Half the time he comes after a couple of hours and half the time he comes in the morning.
According to my father, Mickey comes home less and less often in the evenings.
Why does Mickey behave like this?
It can not be because of unhappiness because my father loves him.
Can you help us?
You wonder if there is anything you can do to keep Mickey at home.
Yes, he is neutered and there is usually something that can help but apparently not in this case.
Male cats that get their full freedom in this way have a certain tendency to go and stay away.
Maybe he’s lying somewhere and lurks and hears you shouting but ids not go in but think it’s much nicer to be out at night.
Or he goes home to someone who gives him food.
There may be a reason.
Cats are now such that if there is good food with someone else, they are happy to go there.
Could it be that a neighbor thinks that Mickey is homeless and gives him food? The cat is a nocturnal animal and wants to stay awake at night and hunt. It is likely that Mickey chases mice and voles at night.
He lives his own life entirely.
It can not be due to dissatisfaction because your father loves him, you say and I’m absolutely convinced of that too.
I am also convinced that it is mutual.
But it is a big problem for the family, the anxiety is there.
My advice is simply to keep the cats inside when it starts to get dark. Leave them out during the day and then lure them in at meal time and do not let them go out again.
Get a toilet for them and do not let them out until tomorrow.
It can be difficult at first but I think they get used to it quickly.
It goes towards autumn and darker season and then it is perhaps easier to get them to stay inside! Good luck and pat all three from me!