Q. My four-year-old cat, Nosey Parker, has abandoned me! We were getting along just fine, both of us leaving early in the morning and coming back in the early hours. But since I've moved, things have changed. He's taken up residence with my mother (when he only used to stay with her when I went on holidays). I've tried to keep him in, but as soon as he can get out he's off to my mum's. Stephen, Crystal Palace
A. There are a couple of big issues that are causing problems in your relationship. Firstly, the move and all the packing will have had an effect on Nosey. Animals find times such as these very stressful. It can take up to six weeks for the changes in their personality to show.
However, the more serious issue here is that you are not spending enough time with your companion. Of course he's going to go to your mum, who gives him attention, love and food! People forget that cats need as much attention as dogs. They put their feline out in the morning, bring them in at night and think that's enough, but it's not. Moggies are very clever pets. If they don't get enough attention from you, they will move; simple as that.
You've got to think about Nosey's future. Have a chat with your mum and make a decision. If you want him back, then up your game; you have got to be the only person he wants to spend time with. Make sure your new home is organised; he's got to have a place for his litter tray, water bowl and a nice, comfy bed. Get some top nosh that he's going to want to come home to. Cut down the nights out. You may want to implement this when your mum is away. Good luck!
Remember that if an animal shows signs of distress, an early visit to the vet is always recommended