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What Does It Mean When a Cat Shows Up at My Door

By Ameera Mills. Updated: February 5, 2020
What Does It Mean When a Cat Shows Up at My Door

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Many people are surprised when they get home and find a beautiful cat on their doorstep. In general, this is a stray cat begging for something. Due to a lack of resources they are most likely seeking food, heat and safety. As life on the street presents many dangers and challenges for its survival, they may need to take a chance n you. There are also some mystical theories that interpret this phenomenon as a sign of good luck and fortune for members of this household. However, practical concerns are the most important to consider.

If you are experiencing this situation you have definitely come to the right page. In this article at AnimalWised we will explain to you what it means when a cat shows up at your door, and what you can do. This is, of course, if they really are a stray.

You may also be interested in: Why Does My Cat Meow When I Pet It?

Cats and good energy: about popular and esoteric beliefs

Many superstitious beliefs affirm that cats could be able to perceive good energy and would always be oriented towards homes where they feel peace, serenity and positive vibrations. Therefore, when a cat wants to enter your home, it is popularly said that your home is free of bad energy and transmits to this cat the optimal conditions it needs to feel safe and develop tranquility and good health. They also used to believe that felines brought good luck and fortune to the houses where they chose to live.

On the other hand, esoteric theories believe that cats are mystical animals, owners of a sharp "sixth sense" that allow them to develop certain supernatural abilities. Among them, one would find this ability to absorb and ward off bad energies from environments. According to mysticism, when a cat wants to enter your home, it is because it has a mission to fulfill in your life. This mission would be to remove negativity from your environment and protect you from bad spirits. Therefore, in many countries, cats are still worshiped as a kind of spiritual talisman.

There is no scientific basis to support these superstitions. What we can say is that cats bring joy to many people around the world and any visit can at the very least add some positivity to your day. This is shown in the many benefits of adopting a cat as a faithful companion. Although we can not verify whether or not felines are magnets of good fortune, we know that our kittens are capable of filling our home and our lives with joy, affection and positive feelings.

What does it mean when a cat hangs round your house?

If a cat ‘‘asks’’ to enter your house or meows at the door, it is very likely that it is looking for a safe refuge. A stray cat can find it difficult to find food, warmth and optimal conditions for its development. If this cat was abandoned or was born in the streets, it could be that he is cold, hungry, thirsty or very frightened. There are many dangers on the street which threaten their security.

A begging cat may see you as a first choice, but their circumstances might lead them to your house. For example, if there has been bad weather, they may come to your house for shelter. If they have been chased by predators they may come to you for security. A sick cat might also come to you as they do not have any other option. For this latter reason, we need to be careful when a stray cat come to your house in terms of hygiene.

Therefore, if a cat wants to enter your home, it most likely just needs a safe and quiet shelter, as well as some general care to feel better and regain its well-being. Another reason they may hang around your home is whether or not they see other cats. If you leave out food for other animals or cats, they might see you as a suitable resource. This is not a new behavior. In fact, it is now believed to be likely that cats domesticated themselves for similar reasons[1].

What Does It Mean When a Cat Shows Up at My Door - What does it mean when a cat hangs round your house?

How to tell if a cat is a stray

Before you know what to do when a stray cat comes to your house, you need to know if it is indeed a stray cat. First, look to see if they have any collar, tags or other obvious signs they belong to someone. While it is possible, cats do not tend to stray too far from the home where they feed and sleep. For this reason, it is possible a neighbor's cat has simply come to your house.

The first thing you need to do is to take the cat to a veterinarian. They will be able to check to see if they have a microchip embedded in their skin. If they have, the cat's owner's details should appear and you can get in touch with them. If the cat does not have a microchip, this does not mean they do not have an owner. You should put up posters and canvas your local area to see if the cat is indeed missing. You may take a shine to the cat, but put yourself in the shoes of a missing cat owner. They will be heartbroken and you have the chance to mend it if you return their feline family member to them.

Another aspect you need to consider is if the cat is actually a stray. A stray or abandoned cat is a domestic cat which has either gone missing or has suffered neglect. They at one stage had a home and adapted to this kind of living. A feral cat is one which never lived in a domestic setting and it is unlikely they will adapt easily to living with you. More likely, they will still live outside and hang round your home to be fed.

What Does It Mean When a Cat Shows Up at My Door - How to tell if a cat is a stray

What to do when a stray cat comes to your house

When sure the cat is stray and when you can't locate their owner, there are different things you should do when they come to your house. In principle, the best thing to do to help this cat is to let them in, offer a blanket or a dry towel and a space where they can feel warm and safe. If you notice that the cat is wet and you feel safe to get close, you can dry them gently using a dry towel. However, if the cat is nervous, aggressive or fearful, it is best to avoid touching it until it adapts to its environment and is calm.

It will also be essential to offer this cat a plate of food to satisfy its hunger and giving it some strength. If you do not have dry feed or cat pats, you can prepare a nutritious homemade meal. However, if it is a kitten, the food will be different to adult cats.

If you have the time and conditions to offer a decent and happy life to this cat and decide to adopt it, it will be essential to update its vaccination and deworming calendar. Since you will need to take them to the veterinarian to check if they have a microchip, you should ask them to perform an examination. In a veterinary clinic, a professional will also request the necessary tests to diagnose possible pathologies and establish an adequate treatment for the feline.

You will also need to condition your home to offer optimal conditions to your new cat. If you already have another cat, each animal must have its own toys, food bowls, drinking fountain, litter tray and resting areas. In addition, it will be essential to correctly present your cat to their new partner. Over time, your cats can learn to share their environments and enjoy each others company, but initially we must avoid them fighting over territory.

It is also important to consult the veterinarian about sterilization or castration of your new cat. Unsterilized cats can escape from home to look for females in the streets and they can become more vulnerable to various diseases. In addition, sterilization is crucial to combat street overcrowding and prevent more babies from being born in inhospitable street conditions.

Adopting a cat is a big responsibility and it may be that you simply do not have the resources to meet it. Although this may be unfortunate, it is perfectly understandable. In these cases, you will need to take the cat to your nearest animal shelter (if you are sure they are indeed a stray or abandoned cat). The veterinarian should be able to provide some practical assistance in these instances.

If you want to read similar articles to What Does It Mean When a Cat Shows Up at My Door, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

References

1. Ottoni, C., et al. (2017). The Palaeogenetics of Cat Dispersal in the Ancient World. Nature: Ecology & Evolution, 1:0139.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0139

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4 comments
Kai
I moved into a new house a month ago and last weekend this cat showed up on our door wanting to come in. The cat looks well cared for and immediately felt like it was her home. It disappeared after a few hours and came back the next morning. I knocked on my neighbors door who confirmed it was their cat now but it was owned by the previous owners of the house I moved into. My neighbor asked me not to let her in our house and feed her as it was now their cat. I come home every day from work and the cat is at my house and when I take it back to the neighbor it does not want to go there. The neighbor obviously have taken care of the cat and also have a 2 year old child. My guess is the cat likes our house better as it was her house before the owners gave her away. Also the neighbors child is terrorizing the cat. I would love to take the cat but the neighbors are not having the idea of giving her away again, but it keeps coming into my house. I can't keep the house locked up all day especially over the summer time where we spend most of the time outdoors in the garden. Do you have any advise what I could do?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Kai,

This is a tricky situation. Firstly, it is understandable why the cat would go to your home, it has been their home for years. If the person who adopted the cat after the family had left lived further away, this wouldn't be an issue. But, as they are a neighbor, it is easy to see why they would return.

It sounds like there is some antagonism between you and the neighbor and perhaps they don't understand why the cat is coming to you. The first thing you should do is to relay the problem to them again, but simply explain what is happening and why it is problematic. They say you don't want the cat to come in, but you have the right to keep your door open. You can agree not to feed the cat, but you are going to live your life as normal. If they have a problem with it, then it is up to them to educate the cat not to go on your property. Explain this politely and ensure you simply want what's best for the cat.

The bigger problem is that you 'would love to take the cat'. In the subtext you imply they are not great animal guardians. You say the child is 'terrorizing' the cat, but they are only 2 years of age. The cat should be able to evade any problems if they are healthy. It seems more that you want to paint a picture in your mind that they are bad cat guardians which means 'it would be better' if the cat was in your care. While this may be true, the fact is the cat is not yours. If you live in the USA, they should register and license the cat, meaning it is their legal property. If you try to take the cat from them, this is theft and, therefore, a crime (we are not saying this is what you are suggesting).

You will need to stop wanting the cat because it is not yours. If the cat was in your care and someone tried to take them away from you, you would be understandably very upset. Unless there is some way you could convince them to give you the cat, which seems unlikely, you are only going to get your feelings hurt.

It sounds like the neighbors are being unreasonable by not letting the cat into your home since it already was the cat's home. However, we can understand why they would do this. If they cannot compromise and let the cat come and visit, it sounds like they might cause a fuss. It may be better to do everything you can to discourage the cat (i.e. not feed it), but if the cat comes on to your property there is not much they can do.

The only other thing would be if the cat was being harmed in any way. If this is the case, then you will need to call your local animal services, but this is drastic action which would cause a serious problem with your neighbor.

We hope this has been helpful and that the situation gets resolved soon.
Jeanette
Last night 2.25am I screamed out loud when I awoke to see that a black cat had climbed in through my bedroom window and actually came into my room. This has never happened inn my 40years of living here. What could this mean
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Jeanette,

As the article explains, if you believe in mysticism, then there are various interpretations of a cat showing up in your home. However, none of them have any rational basis. Cats come into houses all the time, looking for shelter, warmth, food, play or any of the various impulses provided by a cat's nature. From what we know about feline ethology, this is the likely motivation for your cat entering the home, not anything sinister or concerning.
M. Brock
I have same question and it's not really covered in article. These cats don't try to enter my house the just stare and stay back but will not go away. 3 of them now. Ugh..
Carolyn Dollar
Needs to know what's the meaning of a cat sleeping on your porch.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Carolyn,

The answer should be the same as what is covered in the article.

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