A WORRIED family were forced to buy a £170 tracker to keep tabs on their cat after neighbours started over-feeding him.
Paul and Jayne Webb, of West Street Gardens, Stamford, were distraught when their beloved pet Tabby went missing last year.
Months later he returned home, but he was much fatter than when he disappeared.
The Webbs have had to restrict Tabby’s diet since his pelvis was broken when he was hit by a car in 2009.
The family were so concerned by his weight gain that they wrote to neighbours asking them not to feed their cat if he came into their gardens.
But Tabby kept going missing and gaining weight. In desperation, Paul and Jayne spent £170 on a Snooper tracking device to find out where their cat was going.
Paul said: “We found out he was going to a house down the street.
“He would go out for days at a time. We attached a laminated notice on his collar asking people not to feed him.
“I wouldn’t feed anyone else’s cat. If it was a stray it is different but he has a collar on him. And you can see he is not going without.”
The family are finding it increasingly difficult to look after Tabby and have to keep him inside.
But having got him from Cat’s Protection as a kitten five and a half years ago, Paul and Jayne do not want to take him back.
Jayne said: “We don’t want to take him back because he will just get put down.
“We love him to bits, the kids get so upset when he doesn’t come home.”
“But it’s harder than looking after a 12 month old baby. We have to keep all the doors and windows shut in the summer.”
Paul and Jayne hope that by making their story public they will encourage their neighbours, and others who feed cats that don’t belong to them, to stop.
The family is also in regular contact with a number of cat rehoming businesses in the area, including Peterborough Cat Rescue, which covers the Stamford and Rutland area.
Paul said: “If you want a cat go to one of these places and rehome one.
“There are hundreds of cats being put down because they can’t be rehomed.”
Peterborough Cat Rescue, at 10 Green Lane, Yaxley, Peterborough, is holding an open day from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday. Anyone looking to rehome a cat is welcome.