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I need help with my problem.Please. It is getting out of hand.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Giorgio the stray Tomcat who seems to be eating a lot of the food we leave out for Lucia and her kittens. He boldly comes to our glass doors and looks in. Not for a minute and then runs. He lounges out there watching us several times a day for long intervals. I even caught him looking in a window. I put out plenty of food but if the food is gone and it is feeding time he comes up to the door.
I think he is the father of Saffron, maybe. But he is after Lucia to mate again.

The problem:
This is causing problems with my indoor cats.
Seldon my Van marked cat looks identical to Giorgio. From a few feet away he could be him. He just doesn't have the sweet gentle face of my Seldon.
This is freaking Mary out.
I have a sun room that was a big plus when I got this house. All that glass and sunshine! But Giorgio has already inspired me put a drop down curtain on all of the windows except for the door that leads to my garden. He has sprayed here because I can smell it.
Mary stalks around the area, she will sleep then go on patrol looking for him. When she sees him they fight through the glass. Then he runs off. But she seems obsessed with him and seeing him.
Already there was one fight where Seldon ended up with a ripped out nail. I found out that she had a ripped out nail too. Very unlike them.
I thought all of this was over as they were cuddled together on a chair.

As I drift off for a morning snooze I hear a catfight. Growling, hollering, spitting, yelling, the whole nine yards. She had cornered Seldon. She was terrorizing him.

It makes me rather sad to see her attack him. She practically raised him as her own. He was a tiny kitten at the time he came. He came to me from a shelter with pneumonia and I have a special place in my heart for my boy that almost wasn't. I was recovering from yet another bout of cancer and we pulled through together. He is now tip toing around, casing a room before coming in...I put her in a room by herself. He is scared and confused.

The other issue is that I was hoping to trap Giorgio and TNR him but now I don't want him around here yet I know he needs to be neutered. I don't want to deter him from the yard because that could cause Lucia to leave too.

What can I do to ease the tension AND trap him too. How can I my kitties to be a loving family again.
post #2 of 5
You are dealing with re-directed aggression. Mary is reacting to having the Tom in the yard. She can't get to him, so she is taking her aggression out on the cat she can reach - Seldon. I had the same thing happen with an outdoor cat trying to attack one of mine through the window - three of them ended up fighting with each other and it has taken 2 1/2 years of care and re-introduction to get them safely and comfortably back together.

First, you need to remove the outside cat one way or another. As long as he is there, especially as he gets aggressive with Mary through the windows, etc. - he will set her off and she will continue to be aggressive to Seldon. That situation will not have a chance to heal until Georgio is gone. It can get very very serious and both of your cats can be badly injured or even killed when they get into this type of aggression.

Block off and cover all of the windows and access areas where Mary can even see any outdoor cats. Purchase enzymatic cleaner and liberally slosh it everywhere the tom cat has sprayed so that she won't smell his scent. Build barriers around your windows so no outdoor cat can approach close enough to the window to antagonize your cat (I have chicken wire barriers around all of our windows to prevent this action. Unfortunately, I can't keep the problematic neighbour's cat off of our property although we have certainly tried - she runs away whenever she sees us and doesn't approach the windows and doors anymore, fortunately).

You will need to read up on anything you can find about redirected aggression. You will need to separate Mary and Seldon whenever you are not in the area to supervise immediately, and you will need to give Seldon his own sanctuary space where he can feel safe if Mary goes after him. Because of Mary and Georgio's relationship you cannot have Georgio around. It has already caused problems with Mary and Seldon that will take a long time to resolve. You are going to have to decide what is more important - having peace inside the house or keeping a stray tom cat around who is terrorizing your indoor cat family because you don't want another female outside cat to leave. One other consideration in keeping Georgia around - tom cats have been known to kill kittens. Maria's kittens may also be at risk because of Georgio.

Try to prevent any aggressive interaction between Mary and Seldon before it happens - the more ingrained it becomes the harder it will be to break.

Purchase Feliway room diffusers and don't let them wear out - they need to be replaced every 5 weeks. They emit soothing pheromones that will help negate the territorial aggression triggered in Mary by Georgio and redirected to Seldon.

Good luck and really look hard at why this has happened so you can make sure it doesn't happen again. Cats are very instinctual animals and you have to learn to see the world through their eyes if you want to create a happy environment for them.
post #3 of 5
Kathryn41 has some really good advice. However, you situation won't necessarily be as bad as the one described. My cats had a 3-4 week period where they really didn't get along, and were sensitive to any changes in routine after that, but they have been getting along famously for the last four months.

Using a local Trap/Neuter/Release program to help you trap the tomcat does sound like a good idea. You shouldn't have to keep the tomcat in your house with a TNR program, so it should actually help your problem instead of worsening it. They might have ideas on releasing the tomcat someone other than your yard; talk with the group you were planning on working with.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Great ideas. That was my fear. I didn't want to deal with this on a daily basis.
Perhaps the group can find a new area for him.
post #5 of 5
I would think having all cats neutered would be the answer. Why would you have an intact female? You want kittens? Aren't there enough without homes? A female will always protect her kittens from a Tom. As long as there is food outside, stray animals are going to eat it. I'm not suggesting no food, but the tom has to be trapped and neutered, as well as any intact cat in your house.
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