Cats getting fed by more than one feeder
I spoke with a feeder this morning who was telling me that a cat that they had been feeding for years had suddenly started going upstairs to defecate. I told her that it was very likely that the cat was being fed by someone upstairs. She said that she thought it was more out of habit that the cat went out, but I explained that habit must be caused by something - ie the cat must have been lured up by something in the first place.
In the course of the conversation, she mentioned that there was someone who was definitely feeding one of the other cats upstairs in the block of flats. She said she always saw food left outside the house. I pointed out that if one of the other cats is going up, then what made her think this was not luring the cat she feeds up as well?
It turned out that she wasn't sure why the cat she feeds goes downstairs to eat if it's still being fed upstairs. I pointed out that the cat would likely do that - it just gets fed MORE times and possibly with different kinds of food. It's unlikely that a cat is going to turn its nose up and refuse to even go and see what's on offer. It's much more likely to just turn up and snack or even check out what's on offer before turning its nose up. Some community cats have been known to be fed by as many as five different feeders, all unaware of the others' existence.
The other thing that she felt made it unlikely that the cat was going upstairs was that she saw it defecate downstairs after she had fed it. I pointed out that cats may defecate more than once a day, and are likely to do so after food. So it's quite possible the cat is just eating twice and causing a mess upstairs by defecating there too.