When cats are hanging around your house, it can mean that your house is part of a roaming cat’s territory and they are out and about surveying the land to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Another reason could be that the cats in your neighborhood are social and they sometimes choose your house or yard as a hang out spot. The cats may also be looking for food or water, or they might be lost.
If there are cats hanging around your house, and you want to know why, keep on reading.
What does it mean when cats hang around your house?
1. The cat is a stray
It is possible that the cat hanging around your house is a stray who just happens to find your home attractive and inviting. The cat may think that staying close to your house will provide it with the security and safety that it is looking for. The inside of your house may look inviting to a cat outside because it is a mysterious place that it would like to explore.
You may be able to identify cats as strays by observing which parts of your house it hangs out in the most. Strays usually hang around your trash cans and compost pits to snack on leftovers, indicating that they do not have a home that feeds them regularly.
Strays are also wary of humans and tend to run away when a person approaches them. The stray may have found a spot near your house that is cozy and warm where it can birth its kittens. These cats do not pose any kind of danger to the people in the house. But it is still best to keep your distance from the cat until you have developed a mutual friendship built on trust.
2. The cat might be lost.
A lost cat may wander into your home with a scared and restless look on its face. If you think the cat could be lost, look at its neck to see if it has a collar. The owner’s contact information might be on the tag attached to it. Lost cats are usually not scared of people, and probably will not hesitate to approach if you offer them food.
It could also just be a neighborhood cat that has roamed a bit farther than it normally does, but if the cat looks like it is hungry or thirsty, it is essential to give it food and water.
Contact the owner, if you are able to, or alert your neighborhood about a lost cat.
3. The cat is looking for food.
One of your pets might have the habit of leaving food or treats in your yard or porch. Passing stray cats can smell this food and cross the threshold of your home to sneak in and steal the food.
Other cats may even be so brazen as to enter your house through an open door or window to access your food storage, especially if it is famished.
Ask the members of your family, especially children, if they have been feeding the cat that you have seen come around your house. If any member of your family has been feeding and showing affection to the stray, that is enough to encourage it to hang around your house.
4. The cat is curious.
If you have a cat visitor that seemingly arrived out of the blue and will come and go as it pleases, while having little to no interest in the food you offer, the cat might have a home and is just taking a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood.
Cats are naturally curious creatures that like to venture a couple hundreds yards away from their home just because they can. Open doors and windows are an invitation for these cats, and they quickly grab the opportunity to explore the inside of your home.
These cats usually do not hesitate to approach people and may even ask to be touched and petted. It is possible that it is a cat from a nearby house that snuck out without the owner knowing. They will not stay in your house too long and will want to go back home at some point.
5. The cat is looking for a mate.
If you have a cat, you may notice several other cats visiting your house whenever your cat is in heat. These visiting cats are looking for a mating partner and your cat is one they have shown great interest in.
6. Your cat has made some friends.
Cats are social animals, so it is possible that your pet has become friends with the strays or neighborhood cats that pass through your yard. The strays may be drawn to your house because your cat always wants to play with them.
What do I do when cats hang around my house?
If a cat is roaming in or around your house, you can either let it hang out to satiate its curiosity or you can do something to keep it from visiting.
The visiting cat may be thirsty or hungry, especially if it is a stray or a lost pet. It is advisable to offer them food and water because it will help the cat survive. If you have wet cat food on hand, that has a higher calorie count and is better for a malnourished-looking stray.
A cat will tend to avoid places it thinks are dangerous, so the fact that it keeps hanging around your house means that it feels safe and has developed a fondness for you.
But before you let a stray cat into your house, check if it has a tag on a collar with its owner’s contact information. Usually, stray cats are skittish around people and will not like being brought indoors. If a cat feels comfortable around people and being indoors, it may be a lost cat. You can take it to a veterinarian to check for a microchip.
If a cat is suddenly hanging around your house, it usually does not pose a threat. It could just be a stray looking for a safe place to rest or even give birth.
It could also be a lost cat that wandered a little too far away from home. Check if its collar has a tag with its owner’s information or take it to the veterinarian to check for a chip.
It could also be a hungry or thirsty cat, only there to rummage through your trash or drink out of your dog’s water bowl. You can leave out some food and water for it.
If you have a cat yourself, the visiting cat may be interested in mating with it if either one of them is in heat.
Cats are naturally curious animals and your open doors and windows are piquing their interest to explore.
Image: istockphoto.com / Boyloso