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Cat Behavior

Outdoor Cats


Dear Booger,

I’m very worried about my cat Jack ( Girl) about a month and half ago I moved Jack to our new home which has a lovely big garden and no roads for miles. After about a month see started cry to go out, Unfortunately our next do neighbor has 3 cats who have probably been using our garden as there territory for years. There’s one cat in particular who keeps attacking jack, on the first attack she caught a nasty virus of this cat and was poorly for over a week, now she’s better and wants to go out again but she got attacked again, the other cat didn’t give her a chance it just flew at her, the only thing I could do was chase it off but it just keeps coming back, do you have any suggestions? I feel like I should just let Jack get on with it and fight her own battles, but I find myself following her and checking she’s OK every time she’s out of my sight. If u could help I’d be very grateful I just want her to be happy in her new home

Kind Regards,

Carolyn & Jack

Dear Carolyn,

First off, let me address the issue of outdoor cats. The biggest problem is that they can carry disease, just as indoor cats could, but outdoor cats are more susceptible to it. They also live about half as long as indoor cats, and are more likely to become injured (or worse in horrible accidents). So – it is best for Jack if you were to keep her inside.

Now that the “politically correct answer” is completed, I can get to the answer that you wrote for.

There are several ways in which you and Jack can share the great outdoors together without fear of disease, fights, accidents or any of those other horrible things.

The first, and most practical solution, is cat fencing. I know that it sounds horrible, but the fencing that I use is almost invisible when it is installed. It is also strong enough to repel most wild creatures, so that Jack does not get attacked while enjoying a nap from a dog or another cat, and it is not too expensive. This will also keep the other cats out of your beautiful garden. (I personally recommend “Purrfect Fence” and our house-person has graciously written a lovely review of Purr…fect Fence)

The next way is to attempt to control the other cats (keeping them out) through ultrasonic motion detectors. You can read more about Cat Deterrents here. Personally, neither I nor my house person has tried this method, but have heard that it is safe and effective.

Remember that anything you use to keep the other cats out, may ultimately have the same effect on your own cat. If she were to leave a designated area, she may not be able to get back in. This would leave her at the mercy of the other three cats. Also, remember that many viruses can be air-born (respiratory illnesses), passed through insect bites (Lyme Disease, West Nile Virus), and even through the ground we walk on (Valley Fever in Pets). So – in order to really keep us felines healthy, inside is best.

I absolutely DO NOT RECOMMEND that you let them “fight it out”. You may not like the end result. Cat fights can be very dramatic, very painful (for all) animals, and ultimately deadly. Nearly all cat diseases (FIV, FELV, etc.) are passed through cat bites. Therefore, even if Jack did not show signs of an immediate problem, it could manifest itself in a year or better, and ultimately kill her via failed kidney or liver, or worse. The further you can keep Jack away from other cats, the better and happier you will both be. (Also – she may not be as good of a fighter as I am!)

My strongest recommendation is to keep her indoors. IF that fails, my next recommendation is to fence off part of your yard with Purr…fect Fence. They have a wonderful product that I know you will love. I believe they also have a guarantee program if it doesn’t work or if you are not satisfied.

Meanwhile, keep a close eye on Jack for any lesions, bumps, or anything that looks like a cat bite which has not healed. They can be difficult to find, and may lie beneath the surface of the skin for weeks before festering. It’s important to watch for them – the only thing more potent than a cat bite is a human bite. A cat’s saliva has a protein that is capable of dissolving bone, a feature used by our feline friends to digest the bones of small birds and mice. So – infection is a major problem and needs immediate treatment.

You can read more about some ways to keep cats indoors by visiting these articles:

I wish you luck and I do hope that this helped a bit! Please keep in touch and let us know what you decided to do!

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