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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.
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.
Or, you could build a large outdoor area for the cats that is actually covered also.
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.
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!
I'm sure this isn't what you were hoping to hear!
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?
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.
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
"fighting" between the cats in order to get there.
Is your neighbor willing to discuss this with you. . .to come up with a resolution other than your keeping Vern indoors?
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??
Sorry to take awhile to get back to you. My computer is having "slow issues"!
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.
Unless your neighbors are very unusual, I think they will welcome your seeking a solution that isn't just keeping Vern indoors.
I hope you're right.....Thank you for your help
Again, I wish there was a specific guaranteed solution. Best of luck to you and Vern! Thank you! Dr. Barbara