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A Stray Cat Comes to My House Every Night: What to Do (Vet Approved)

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

stray cat on the roof late at night

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Dr. Lauren Demos

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Cats are resilient and resourceful animals that are capable of finding ways to survive without an owner. Sometimes, a stray cat can decide to visit the same home consistently. Some people take it as a sign to adopt the cat, while others may view the visitations as signs of spiritual significance.

Whatever the case, a stray cat often visits houses if they’re hungry, sick, or looking for safe shelter. If their needs are consistently met at a specific location, they can develop a habit of revisiting it and adding it to their territory. While you’re not obligated to adopt a stray cat, there are some things you can do to help them out if they keep visiting your house.


Reasons a Stray Cat May Visit Your House

In general, feral cats aren’t used to human contact and interaction, so they tend to avoid approaching people. So, if a stray cat keeps visiting your home, there’s a strong possibility that they were once house pets, especially if they don’t show any fear of people and seem somewhat socialized. These types of strays usually start to see certain people as their caretakers, especially if these people leave food out for them or give them attention.

Stray cats often populate areas that have a consistent food supply. Their food supply can consist of food in trash bins, small animals, and cat food that’s left out intentionally by well-meaning people. So, it’s possible for a stray cat to frequent your home if you live in an area that has a higher population of small animals, like mice, birds, and frogs. If you live on a street with restaurants, you may notice the same stray cats in alleyways where trash bins are located.

It’s also worth considering that cats are territorial animals, and your home may be in the range of a stray cat’s territory. A stray cat may stop by your home periodically while they’re making rounds in their territory. Your home may also be an advantageous location for a stray cat and could provide a safe resting or sleeping space for them.

Though it’s less common, some stray cats may visit homes if they’re sick and in need of medical attention. While they won’t know that they need veterinary care, they may see you as someone who can help alleviate any pain or discomfort that they’re experiencing.

stray cat walking outdoor
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

What to Do If a Stray Cat Keeps Visiting Your House

There are several things you can do if the same stray cat keeps visiting your house. It’s best to start by earning their trust. Most stray cats will respond positively to food. They tend to be creatures of habit that will visit your home around the same time each day. So, place some cat food and water in a safe and secluded area around the time the stray usually visits your house. You can also leave out a blanket or set up a small shelter to encourage the cat to continue visiting and becoming familiar with you. However, if you do intend to feed stray cats, remember that it is a commitment, and should not be taken lightly.

As the cat gets used to being fed, you can start to stand closer to the cat and have them eat while you’re nearby. Remember to keep your distance, as stray cats can carry parasites or have infectious diseases. Scared cats may also end up scratching or biting if they feel threatened or unsafe.

It’s best to get the cat into the hands of professional care. You can contact your local animal rescue to let them know about the stray cat. Many animal rescue organizations and nonprofits have personnel that are able to secure stray cats safely. They’ll be able to get these cats to a veterinarian for a health check-up and also see if the cat has been microchipped. If the cat doesn’t have an owner, they can assess the cat and make preparations to rehome them, or trap, neuter and release.

If the stray cat doesn’t have an owner, and you intend to adopt them, make sure to work with a veterinarian before fully adopting them. Bring the cat inside a cat carrier, as most veterinarians require cat carriers for appointments. The veterinarian can determine if the stray cat is healthy or in need of medical care. They can also find out if the cat needs to be spayed or neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated.

Cat eating homemade food
Image Credit: Lia Kos, Shutterstock



It’s often said that cats are the ones that choose their owners. While you don’t have to take it as a sign to adopt, a stray cat will appreciate your compassion and will benefit greatly from being fed and having a safe space to rest and sleep. If you don’t intend to adopt them, it’s best to contact an animal rescue organization. While it’s nice to have a cat visit your house, it’s important for them to find a loving family that can take them in and become their forever home.

Featured Image Credit: PHOTOSIHO., Shutterstock

Jessica Kim

Authored by

Jessica is a freelance writer who spends most of her day researching and writing while her fluffy Cavapoo, Nora, naps beside her. She loves and appreciates pets and animals because there’s so much to learn from them, and they do so much for people. As a dog mom, she understands the special connection that pet parents have with their pets. So, she loves sharing helpful information that people can use to better understand...Read more

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