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Bullying victim

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Our street is quite full of indoor/outdoor cats, and recently a family with 4 of them moved in about two blocks away. I'm becoming quite concerned about our neighbor's cat, Miezi. She has always gotten along with other cats, except for Jamie, who doesn't get along with any cats, but as he only goes outside on a leash, that's usually not a problem.

Over the past two weeks, there have been a lot of cat fights, and Miezi seems rather intimidated. She's been taken to the vet, and isn't ill. Both yesterday and today, I witnessed her being attacked by two different cats she's always gotten along with. Today I was so angry about it that I intervened, and chased off Gizmo, her attacker.

I know the four new cats have upset the usual dynamics on our street, and all the cats are edgy, but don't know whether I should intervene when Miezi is being victimized by cats who've known her for years. She's not willing to stay inside all the time. We've got a serious overcrowding problem, but I rather doubt that anybody is going to agree to only let their cats out at certain times, because we have a rodent plague.

Do I let the cats work this out on their own, discourage the new cats from coming near our property, and/or chase off Miezi's attackers?

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 16
I will share my experience with this kind of thing....

About 30 years ago, a neighbor of ours knocked on my door and complained that our family outdoor cat, Herman, was beating up his cats.
At that time all of our cats were indoor/outdoor kitties.

I laughed and asked him, "how can I keep Herman out of his yard?"
He did not have an answer and neither did I.
That was the end of it.
The cats worked it out.

I don't know how you can protect Miezi all the time but it might not hurt to chase off the aggressive newcomers when you see them bothering her.

Vibes that Miezi will be OK.
post #3 of 16
You know, you said she belonged to your neighbour, but said nothing about what they think of it all - or don't they care?
post #4 of 16
My experience has been that it takes some time (at least several months) for cats to establish a pecking order when new ones are introduced to a community. After a year they're usually all used to each other and get along, and you don't see the cat fights. I'd monitor what's going on to make sure serious injuries aren't being inflicted. And you could certainly chase off aggressors or stomp to get them to go away.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larke View Post
You know, you said she belonged to your neighbour, but said nothing about what they think of it all - or don't they care?
Sorry. Miezi was a stray who ended up on our doorstep. I managed to find her owners through her ear tattoo, but they asked if I wanted to keep her! She was here for several weeks, but Jamie is horrible with other cats, so I asked our neighbor, a widowed senior citizen on a fixed income, whose cat (another stray who'd turned up here, but couldn't stand the dog we had back then) had recently died, if she'd take her. The agreement is that we'll cover food/vet costs, and half the time Miezi eats here, so she's still pretty much "half" our cat. Our neighbor is very concerned, and has tried to keep Miezi inside, but she just flips out, and is giving her Bach's Rescue Remedy to try to calm her down.

We're all concerned because Miezi is usually pretty bold with people, dogs, other cats, etc., and now has undergone a complete personality change. She's 8, so I had the complete "senior panels" done last week, but the vets say she's in top shape. She was incredibly "needy" after I chased Gizmo off this afternoon, and that's not like her.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
.
Do I let the cats work this out on their own, discourage the new cats from coming near our property, and/or chase off Miezi's attackers?
Sometimes resident cats whether indoor or outdoor, need our help. When newcomers come, it is normal to see the local cats who used to get along, suddenly quarrel among themselves.
In my experience, when new cats show up, I discourage them from entering the property. I do not know how Miezi will react, but my cats do not chase the intruders beyond the boundaries. Hopefully Miezi and her buddies will do the same for the sake of peace.
post #7 of 16
Many times if a cat is ill the other cats sense this and try to "drive" the sick cat away. That may be what is happening to the poor little one. She's sick, the others who were friends know this and don't want her around.

Encourage your neighbors to take her to the vet for a thorough check up - the other cats know something is wrong.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Many times if a cat is ill the other cats sense this and try to "drive" the sick cat away. That may be what is happening to the poor little one. She's sick, the others who were friends know this and don't want her around.

Encourage your neighbors to take her to the vet for a thorough check up - the other cats know something is wrong.
See post #5, para 2.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Many times if a cat is ill the other cats sense this and try to "drive" the sick cat away. That may be what is happening to the poor little one. She's sick, the others who were friends know this and don't want her around.

Encourage your neighbors to take her to the vet for a thorough check up - the other cats know something is wrong.
As I posted above, that was a big concern, so I took her in for a complete work-up, and she got a clean bill of health.

I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. A couple of weeks ago I was wondering why all the cats around here weren't going outside http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=154911
and now the neighborhood is crawling with fighting cats.

As much as I hate to do it, I think I'm going to have to start chasing cats that attack Miezi, because she really seems miserable. I've suggested that her owner only let her out when she, or one of us, is outdoors, and can stomp, clap our hands, etc., to drive the aggressors away.

I just wonder if it'll work.
post #10 of 16
What about a cat enclosure for her - tent like. She can sit outside but the other cats can't get to her.

Still say (even tho the vet cleared the health) that there might be something the vet is missing. Cats are better at detecting health problems sometimes then we are!
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
We can enclose our neighbor's balcony, which is an idea. Ours is enclosed for Jamie. A portable enclosure would make Miezi a "sitting duck", I think, meaning the other cats would get too close.

I'm pretty sure it's not a health problem, as she had her regular check-up in September, and a really extensive one this week, complete with ultrasound, bloodwork, dental check, etc.. Our vets are good - I volunteer at our shelter, and my job is taking the cats to the area vets, and these two are really the best, IME.

The other "regulars" are acting oddly, too. Gizmo has been hanging around here for years (his folks live in a high-rise, with no yard), and he's always been laid back with other cats. There's a really tiny tiger cat who has always been very timid, and I've seen her start fights over the past few days, too.

I hate the idea of intentionally scaring cats, and chasing them away. I know most of the neighborhood cats, and the vast majority of them come for a cuddle or treat, or just like to hang out, indulge in catnip, and watch the birds. They're still taking off when I take Jamie outside, but it's probably only a matter of time before he's openly challenged.
post #12 of 16
Something has changed in your neighborhood to upset the established balance. The regular cats seemed stressed.
Do predators ever come into the area? Could a dog that is hostile to cats be hanging around?

Enclosing your neighbor's balcony sounds like a good solution, if it is not cost prohibitive.
Have you discussed this option with her?
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats View Post
Something has changed in your neighborhood to upset the established balance. The regular cats seemed stressed.
Do predators ever come into the area? Could a dog that is hostile to cats be hanging around?

Enclosing your neighbor's balcony sounds like a good solution, if it is not cost prohibitive.
Have you discussed this option with her?
We seem to still be getting foxes, but not like a month ago, which is why I guess the cats are all venturing outside again. Stray dogs are extremely rare right here, as the leash laws are quite strict, and most people will "pick up" any dog they see running alone, or call the police.

I talked to our neighbor today about the balcony, and she says she can't afford more than half the price, which I figured. It will run several hundred to enclose it; it's just like ours, so the cost will be about the same. The main expense is the extension rods; the netting has to be replaced about every five years. Mrs. R. loves the idea, especially because she has young grandchildren, so between the cat and the kids, she never uses the balcony. However, she thinks Miezi will still want to go outdoors. I'm sure she's right. Jamie loves his balcony, but still wants his daily walk. Still, she might spend less time outdoors.

Hubby says we can pay half, as long as I don't expect him to do the work! I don't - I enclosed ours myself, and it took me the better part of a day.
post #14 of 16
I love Jamie's enclosure Tricia...
Does he ever attempt to climb it?

If Miezi becomes an indoor only kitty, then she will have to adjust to it.
Our kitties cannot be the decision makers about what is best for them.
They cannot see the big picture as we do.

When my Mew was 13, and indoor outdoor kitty, we moved to an area were it would have been unsafe for him to be outside.
Becuse there was no other option, I was firm about keeping him inside. He learned to be completely at ease inside and he did not have the luxury of an enclosure.
He sat on window ledges...one very contented cat.

Mrs R, is fortunate to have a neighbor like you who cares...
that is a rare thing anymore.
I have confidence that you will find the best solution for Mrs R and Miezi.

Sending calming vibes to all the kitties and humans in that neightorhood.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats View Post
I love Jamie's enclosure Tricia...
Does he ever attempt to climb it?
The net "gives", as it's attached to the top of the poles with springs, so cats can't climb it. The whole set-up was designed especially for cats. I've ordered the parts for Mrs. R.'s balcony, so we'll be able to see how Miezi does in a week or so.
post #16 of 16
Don't forget to take pictures of your new project.

Hang in there Miezi...
Tricia is coming.
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