Signs your cat is cheating on you – from how much they eat to how they smell

As a cat owner, there are few things worse than the fear that you might lose your pet to a neighbour who, through ignorance or malice, is tempting your cat away from you.

Feeding another person’s cat is a big no-no because it can cause the cat to start to view this stranger’s house as their new home.

Catrin George, animal wellbeing specialist at Animal Friends Pet Insurance, said: ‘If your cat is prowling around your street looking for attention elsewhere, you may hear reports of this through your neighbours – or even spot them on your local community’s social media posts.

‘With some people having spotted their pets in photos on the likes of Zoopla and other property sites, this is probably the most obvious way to be sure your cat has another home.’

But what about the less obvious ways? Well, Catrin has some tips on how to spot those too…

They disappear for longer periods of time

Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first.

Catrin explained: ‘One of the biggest tell-tale signs that your cat or kitten is spending time with another household is simply disappearing for longer periods of time.

‘Cats are naturally very curious creatures, so this sign alone is not enough to signal disloyal behaviour, but it is definitely worthwhile monitoring the lengths of time they seem to take on their adventures before returning home.’

They’re gaining weight

Sure, your pet’s weight can change with time just like any other animal, but this could be a sign that they’re supplementing their meals elsewhere.

‘Small fluctuations in weight are natural and to be expected with pets, as with us humans,’ said Catrin.

‘However, if you begin to think your cat is looking a little more round than usual without any change in diet to explain it, then your cat may be being fed elsewhere, or it could be a symptom of an underlying health issue. If you have any concern about your pet’s weight, always seek the advice of a vet.’

They’re not interested in food

Another sign that they’re getting their share of food elsewhere is that they’re not interested in eating at home.

Catrin said: ‘A big tell-tale sign that your cat is cheating on you is if they seem to develop a disinterest in the usual food you give them.

‘If they appear to be going through their food at a much slower rate than normal, but they aren’t losing weight, this is a good indication they’re getting full bellies from somewhere else.’

They smell different

Just like catching your partner smelling like someone else’s perfume or aftershave, your cat’s scent could be a giveaway that they’re stepping out on you.

Catrin said: ‘Just as with our clothes and home, our pets carry their own unique scent, so if you notice their smell seems to have changed (or you can smell particular scents which can’t be explained), there is a good chance your cat has been acting disloyal.

‘Whether they’ve picked up the smell of a friendly stranger’s perfume or now smell just like their second home, they have some explaining to do.’

Their behaviour changes

Confusingly, your cat acting both more or less affectionate could be a sign of cheating.

‘If your cat is “cheating” on you,’ Catrin explained, ‘they may change their behaviour towards you and either become colder with you, or alternatively become more cuddly. If you find your usually cuddly cat is starting to give you the cold shoulder, it could mean they are getting their affection fix elsewhere.

‘On the other hand, if they are suddenly acting more loving towards you (suspiciously so), they could be subtly telling you that they feel guilty for seeking and accepting attention from someone else.’

What to do if your cat is two-timing you

First of all, any changes in your cat’s appearance, appetite or behaviour should be taken seriously and investigated by a vet to rule out any potential underlying health issues.

If you suspect your cat is being cared for elsewhere, speak to your vet to get their advice on how best to handle the situation.

Per their recommendation, you may want to invest in a tracking tag or pet camera.

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