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Neighbor upset about our cats fighting

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hello all,
My friends/next doors neighbors came to me upset the other day b/c my cat is very very aggressive with theirs. They have observed it for some time and finally have come to me for help. They are concerned b/c their cat is older (13 yrs) and apparently mine is incessant, almost as if she is stalking their cat. She even went in their house once to attack their kitty!

I have actually experienced this same thing in a past house I lived in, where the neighbors cat would come thru our kitty door to get at my cat. I just dealt with it, and kept a spray bottle near. I don't let their fighting DISTURB me b/c I know you can't reason/moralize with a cat. They have their own rules and their own way of going about the world and I don't think we can put the same moral standards on their behavior that we do on ours.

That said, our neighbors are also good friends and I want to preserve that relationship. We are going to meet up tonight to discuss possible solutions.

Does anyone have any AFFORDABLE (cheap/free) solutions to offer?
Thanks all!
post #2 of 26
Really the only solution is to keep your cat inside and not let him/her unsupervised.

If you won't do that, then you should (1) build/buy a cat enclosure to put him in outside; or (2) teach him to use a harness/leash.

No more unsupervised outside time. If your cat was fighting my cat, I'd be pretty upset. You CAN control your cat. People control dogs by fences, leashes.
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well, I can't really afford $500 for one of those structures, and I'm not a builder either. And leash-training a cat is something I am not willing to do. Cats and dogs are very different. If we had more $ we could get an enclosed cat structure, but I personally prefer my cats to have the freedom to go outside. And I don't do litter boxes.
Thanks for your advice.
post #4 of 26
I am assuming both cats are fixed and this is just general territorial fighting?

I would say keep the cat inside.

Like it or not, your cat is ATTACKING this other, older, and probably weaker cat. Your cat is a danger to another living thing.

Keep the cat inside.
post #5 of 26
I believe they make electronic cat doors that only open for cats that are wearing the matching collar. Like this: http://www.americas-pet-store.com/de...rodid/622.html That is an option for your neighbors so that your cat won't get inside their house, and their cat can make a quick escape if it's scared. It's not cheap, but affordable if you are splitting the cost with them.

Alternatively, what if you work out some schedule for the cats to go outside. Just split the week in half, and they won't see each other. I know you don't "do" litter boxes, but with all the different kinds of boxes and litters nowadays, it's really not that bad.
post #6 of 26
Cats should be kept inside anyway, considering all the dangers outside.
post #7 of 26
Havenforpeace, I am not sure what you expected as advice here. If you read through the threads here you will see that probably 80% or more of the posters believe that cats should never be allowed outside. If your cat is making their cat's life difficult, it is your responsibility to control your cat. I would think it's the same thing as trespassing.. they don't want your cat on their property. It seems that most people can understand the need to keep their dogs under control and out of other people's yards, but cats are exempt from this rule.
post #8 of 26
If your cat is not spayed/neutered, that could help, and also avoid unwanted litters.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
I ALWAYS spay/neuter my pets.
My cat who is attacking is infact spayed. Thanks!
post #10 of 26
Even if you had an enclosure, you'd have to clean litter boxes, because enclosures aren't large enough to be used as litter boxes that never get cleaned.

What bothers you about litter boxes? Is it the smell? If so, which smell (urine or feces?) The fact that you have get near feces and urine? Litter tracking around your house?

If it's the urine smell that bothers you, have you only been around non-clumping clay litter? If so, the urine doesn't have to stay in the box; with clumping clay litter, you can scoop it right out. World's Best Cat litter (corn) and Sweat Scoop (wheat) are also clumping, and also track, but you might like plant materials better than clay. Feline Pine (pellets) and Yesterdays News (pellets) is not clumping, but if you get a sifting box, you simply sift out the sawdust created by the litter soaking up the urine and scoop out the feces (the sifting works better for Feline Pine than for Yesterday's News).

I use The Breeze because it has no dust and no tracking. It's a new system that has a pad that traps urine in the bottom and pellets that you scoop the feces out of at the top. The control of the urine smell (except if you take longer about 6 days to change the urine pad, and then it's mostly while you remove the urine pad) is very good. Some people complain about the smell from the feces, because cats apparently don't bury it quite as well, or that burying doesn't muffle the odor as much, as fine grain litter. I think it's great- no stale urine smell problems (like with non-clumping litters), no dust, and, although there I get about 4 stay pellets per day, no tracking.

I suggest that you set up a litter box, and then look into cat fencing and building enclosures and the like. Maybe you can get the help of some neighbors or even the neighbors who are having problems with your cats, to set up an enclosure or fencing.

While there are cat repellents, and cat doors that work with collars so only selected cats can use them, these things won't keep your cat out of your neighbors yard (since your neighbors cat will be there). Only a physical barrier will keep your cat away from your neighbor's yard.
post #11 of 26
Whether you like it or not YOU are responsible for your cat's actions when outside unsupervised.

If you cannot deal with litter pans, won't keep your cat inside (where he's a lot safer), won't train to a leash, and won't build an enclosure, then you should consider rehoming your cat.....as you really don't want any of the responsibilities that go with owing a cat.

What do you really expect out of your neighbor? Do you honestly think she will be cooperative? Your cat is the one causing problems. If you want to preserve the neighbor friendship, keep your cat INSIDE or find him another home. And if your cat came in my house and attacked my cat, you would not be getting your cat back!
post #12 of 26
I don't think that turning your cat into an indoor cat is the only solution. Firstly, yes, make sure that both cats are fixed.

Then I would volunteer to pay for your neighbor to install a magnetic collar entry system so that only their cat will be able to get into their house. These are not very expensive; about $60 to $100. Also make sure to keep your cat inside at night and dusk, when fighting between cats is most common. There is a certain amount of territorial skirmishing between cats in a neighborhood, but usually it settles once the cats involved have been in place for a year... but it sounds like both your cats have been there a long time, and it's still going on.

Another option is to look at the favorite access points at which your cat is entering their cat's yard, and see if you can improve fencing in those places.

I don't think rehoming the cat is the right suggestion. Nor do I think it's obvious that her cat is causing the problem... the neighbors are perceiving it that way, but either or both cats could be the aggressor. Or they could be doing the same type of dominance- or play-fighting that cats in multi-cat households do. Is either cat coming home with scratches or injuries? If not, this isn't real, violent fighting, but playing or dominance setting.
post #13 of 26
Question - if the OP had a dog that was allowed outside to roam and fight with a neighbor's dog, would the answers be any different?
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
I don't think that turning your cat into an indoor cat is the only solution. Firstly, yes, make sure that both cats are fixed.

Then I would volunteer to pay for your neighbor to install a magnetic collar entry system so that only their cat will be able to get into their house. These are not very expensive; about $60 to $100. Also make sure to keep your cat inside at night and dusk, when fighting between cats is most common. There is a certain amount of territorial skirmishing between cats in a neighborhood, but usually it settles once the cats involved have been in place for a year... but it sounds like both your cats have been there a long time, and it's still going on.

Another option is to look at the favorite access points at which your cat is entering their cat's yard, and see if you can improve fencing in those places.

I don't think rehoming the cat is the right suggestion. Nor do I think it's obvious that her cat is causing the problem... the neighbors are perceiving it that way, but either or both cats could be the aggressor. Or they could be doing the same type of dominance- or play-fighting that cats in multi-cat households do. Is either cat coming home with scratches or injuries? If not, this isn't real, violent fighting, but playing or dominance setting.
I totally agree. Also there is the possibility that your neighbor's old cat may be ill. Sometimes cats act more aggressive towards a sick cat.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Question - if the OP had a dog that was allowed outside to roam and fight with a neighbor's dog, would the answers be any different?
Probably. Dogs are different.
post #16 of 26
I personally have all indoor cats (4, plus my moms 1) because I live close to a very busy interstate. I will not say 'keep you cat in' because personally I do not know your situation, if you live near a busy road, if dogs are running loose, if there are preditors near, etc. In the USA there are many busy roads, cat hating neighbors, preditors, and LAWS that prohibit pets from wandering.

I don't understand the litterbox situation, feces and urine are a part of life, people do it,animals do it,and babies do it. For sure if you had/have an infant you would change it's soiled diaper. But to each his own I guess...

Alot of good information has been given to you, please try to think about some of these options. Another idea I will throw out there is that since you are set on letting your cat outside maybe set your litterbox phobia aside and you could split the day where you cat was out for several hours and the neigbors cat was out for several hours, so that they were not out at the same time. But I doubt you will go for that. Given your phobia, and the fact that you do not have the funds for an enclosure, you are not giving us much to work with.... Given all of these circumstances I doubt there will be a cure-all answer.

I hope you and your cat the best, good luck.
post #17 of 26
I'm sorry I like TCS to be a friendly place for folks to get advice, but I don't know what you were expecting us to think of that 1) requires minimal effort/change from you and 2) doesn't restrict kitty's outdoor escapades.

I am not one of those people who believes the only safe place for a cat is indoors, but if another neighbor's cat was coming over and terriorizing my senior cat, you'd better bet I'd be and expect them to do something about it.

This is very blunt, but you must restrict your cat. Enclose it, or make some effort to keep it away from the neighbor's yard. Do you expect your neighbors to make all the adjustments? Start to restrict a cat that has probably had the same routines for 13 years because you "don't do litter pans"?

Good luck.
post #18 of 26
I can't imagine a person even getting a cat without expecting to clean a litter pan. How did you come by this cat?

You are really being inconsiderate by not restricting your cat. I had a very old cat, and adopted a younger one while I had her, and it was awful. The younger cat tormented the older one. The poor thing could never have a moments peace, and he would have hurt her severely, had I not been around to manage things.

How can you expect someone who has had a cat for 13 years to stand by and allow your cat to torture it? Put yourself in their shoes. If it were me, your cat would be going to the pound with the hopes of getting a better home. Every time your cat would come into my yard, I would call the pound to come pick it up since you are not willing to do anything.
post #19 of 26
I have to wonder a bit about the neighbor. If I had a 13 year old cat that I was concerned about, I'd keep it inside. Doesn't some of the responsibility fall on that person as well? A neighbor cat can certainly create trouble for an older cat but that's nothing compared to a loose dog or a coyote. Seems like an "aggressor cat" would be a very helpful warning sign that it's time for a change in the older cat's living habits.
post #20 of 26
I am surprised a 13 year old cat actually leaves the house except to go to the toilet, when my previous cat was that old he hardly went out at all. Your cat being the younger and used to being an outdoor cat i don't think it is fair for your neighbour or anyone else to expect you to keep you cat inside, I suggest the neighbour keeps their cat in or supervises the cat in the garden and give them permission to chase your cat away if it is causing trouble in their garden.
post #21 of 26
13 is old but not decrepit. My friend's cat was 18 and still loved his outdoor time. The point is that the older cat is staying in his yard, and the younger cat is coming after him.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gailuvscats View Post
I can't imagine a person even getting a cat without expecting to clean a litter pan. How did you come by this cat?

You are really being inconsiderate by not restricting your cat. I had a very old cat, and adopted a younger one while I had her, and it was awful. The younger cat tormented the older one. The poor thing could never have a moments peace, and he would have hurt her severely, had I not been around to manage things.

How can you expect someone who has had a cat for 13 years to stand by and allow your cat to torture it? Put yourself in their shoes. If it were me, your cat would be going to the pound with the hopes of getting a better home. Every time your cat would come into my yard, I would call the pound to come pick it up since you are not willing to do anything.
I think you are being really unfair to the OP, she is here asking what she can do about it, not saying that she won't do anything. She is perfectly within her rights not to restrict her cat if she doesn't want to. Cats fight, it's what they do. Its easier to restrict or supervise the victim, especially as its an old cat. Just because her cat is fighting with another does not say the owners not giving it a good home.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by howtoholdacat View Post
I have to wonder a bit about the neighbor. If I had a 13 year old cat that I was concerned about, I'd keep it inside. Doesn't some of the responsibility fall on that person as well? A neighbor cat can certainly create trouble for an older cat but that's nothing compared to a loose dog or a coyote. Seems like an "aggressor cat" would be a very helpful warning sign that it's time for a change in the older cat's living habits.
I agreed with this to a degree, but if the neighbor has enclosed yard, and his old cat enjoys going out and lying in the sun for a few hours, and not bothering anyone, should not he be permitted to do that? This cat is coming into the neighbors yard. So if that is the case, the responsibility is the aggressor's owner. I would be really ticked if I couldn't let my old cat outside in its own enclosed yard because of the neighbors harrassing cat. there would be authorities involved.
post #24 of 26
We did suggest several things the OP could do. She shot down every one of them. She seems to think that she shouldn't have any responsiblity as to what her cat does or where it goes. That's the biggest problem here.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gailuvscats View Post
I agreed with this to a degree, but if the neighbor has enclosed yard, and his old cat enjoys going out and lying in the sun for a few hours, and not bothering anyone, should not he be permitted to do that? This cat is coming into the neighbors yard. So if that is the case, the responsibility is the aggressor's owner. I would be really ticked if I couldn't let my old cat outside in its own enclosed yard because of the neighbors harrassing cat. there would be authorities involved.
No you're right. But I was thinking that if I were the owner of the other cat I would just keep my cat in. (I keep my cats in anyway so perhaps I'm biased.) To me it would seem that if another animal of the same species were causing my cat such grief what would an actual predator be able to do like a bobcat for example. They can go everywhere a house cat can. Furthermore, if I did have an outside cat (I do and he needs a home if anyone in the South Eastern US is interested. He's fe-luk positive.) I'd have to recognize that outside animals sometimes get hurt and can't be protected the same way indoor animals can.

This particular post is an exceptional example though and I wonder why the OP bothered posting it as it doesn't seem that she's actually interested in trying anything that people have suggested. They've given her some great advice that she's immediatly shot down. Again, were I the other cat owner I'd just keep my cat in and know she was safe.
post #26 of 26
If YOUR cat is going into THEIR yard, then it is YOUR responsibility to keep you cat out of there, technically they could call animal control on you if they wanted. If their cat is going into your yard, then it is their responsibility to keep him/her out.
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