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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 576
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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Hello..We moved to our new house 6months ago with our 3 neutered

Customer Question

Hello..We moved to our new house 6months ago with our 3 neutered rescue tom cats...2 of them (the ex-feral brothers) have settled well. but Vern the 3 year old one , (another rescue cat hand-reared from 1 week old) is constantly going into the territory of the 3 tom cats across the road and he is often embroiled in noisy fights with 2 of them ....In our old house we had a much bigger garden and less cats living near. by..our new house is in a more populated area if he roams from our back garden he can get in to a large wood but instead , he seems to choose to cause trouble in the road and gardens at the front of the house!..The owners of the rival cats, across the road seem to be getting angry with the situation and have been trying to chase Vern away from their cats with a hosepipe!....Vern has become very defensive towards them hissing and spitting at them..(having been hand-reared he is Very humanised and therefore able to stand up to humans,defiantly ) defiantly despite being the most affectionate cat I have ever known, (at home) ..I would really appreciate some advice, as I want us to have good neighbour relations and happy cats, if possible...I am also worried about potential cat-fight injury!!..We are already keeping all cats in at night wherever possible......
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Barbara :

Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to help. You're already doing the first step in avoiding fights with cats and other animals and that is to keep the cats in at night.

JACUSTOMER-tp6ez7h7- :

hello....

Dr. Barbara :

There isn't a good way to keep Vern at home if he wants to roam across the street, other than keeping him indoors and enriching his environment indoors with kitty trees and perches so that he will want to stay in.

Dr. Barbara :

Or, you could build a large outdoor area for the cats that is actually covered also.

Dr. Barbara :

What I have had several clients do is to work out a schedule with the neighbors; Vern is outside at certain hours and then their cats are outside at certain hours.

Dr. Barbara :

Or, in the hopes that all of the cats will work out their relationship just by letting them "duke it out" may work. . .but I really can't recommend that because of potential injuries to all of the cats!

Dr. Barbara :

I'm sure this isn't what you were hoping to hear!

JACUSTOMER-tp6ez7h7- :

I dont live in a big house, so keeping all three as indoor cats would be tough..also have very small garden , so an outside 'run; wouldnt be possible...do you think it is possible that the feuding cats could reach a resolution , in time or would this only be achieved by proper fighting?

Dr. Barbara :

Chances are, it may only be reached by a full on fight which would cause injury. Right now, the neighbor's cats are just defending their territory, as Vern would do if they came into your yard. If either you or your neighbor are feeding outside, then to feed only inside may help as the cats wouldn't have to defend their food.

Dr. Barbara :

Probably all of the cats would eventually get along. The main hindrance, really, to this is that your neighbor doesn't want to risk the

Dr. Barbara :

"fighting" between the cats in order to get there.

Dr. Barbara :

Is your neighbor willing to discuss this with you. . .to come up with a resolution other than your keeping Vern indoors?

JACUSTOMER-tp6ez7h7- :

I think youre right....it's natural to feel protective of pets.. but easy to forget that they are animals ...and they need to establish territory....I have opened the channel of communication with My neighbour, so they do know, that I am aware of the problem and want to work it out , so perhaps I should now mention this advice & see where we go??...i think I was wondering if ther were any cat psychology issues involved, due to Vern having an unusual start in life and also being a very intelligent 'Alpha male ' cat??

Dr. Barbara :

Sorry to take awhile to get back to you. My computer is having "slow issues"!

Dr. Barbara :

Vern and your neighbor's cats are really being quite normal. Your neighbor's cats have formed their "pecking order" and Vern is at the moment upsetting their pack. He would ultimately either become the new alpha male there or would be willing to accept a lesser position. However, you are right. . .there may be fighting.

Dr. Barbara :

Unless your neighbors are very unusual, I think they will welcome your seeking a solution that isn't just keeping Vern indoors.

JACUSTOMER-tp6ez7h7- :

I hope you're right.....Thank you for your help

Dr. Barbara :

Again, I wish there was a specific guaranteed solution. Best of luck to you and Vern! Thank you! Dr. Barbara

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