Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Pugnacious Feline Pests – A ScareCrow will Prevent Intrusions by Neighbor Cats

A ScareCrow will Prevent Intrusions by Neighbor Cats


I have a spayed female cat who mostly stays indoors and but likes to go out in the evenings when it cools down. She has her claws and can defend herself but there are a couple of male cats who wander into her territory. Sometimes she lets them know that she wants nothing to do with them. However, there have been occasions where the angry, fighting, howling cat words are loud and scare me.

So far, she has not been in an actual fight but if she ever was I wouldn’t know what to do to help her. My first tendency would be to yell (of course) and reach down to pull her to safety, though more than likely, if I did that, I would get scratched and bit as well, right? In the event of a cat or dog fight, what could/should one do to help the animal and hopefully save it from being hurt without getting myself hurt in the process?


Dr. Nichol-

Well, this is a sad commentary on the youth of today, isn’t it? We would like to think of these visitors as fine young gentleman with only the best of intentions. If you were to greet them on your doorstep you could imagine them wearing white sport coats and pink carnations. Each would carry a corsage for your fine girl. There may be even greater intrigue. All that screeching and caterwauling may be the contestants dueling for your kitty’s hand. Or maybe not.

Let’s be real. We want the best for our pets but all that romanticizing and anthropomorphizing is absent reality. Your cat has lived with a dearth of healthy feline social interaction for a long time. She isn’t interested in these punks because she wasn’t raised in an environment that fostered that type of interaction. We know from behavioral research and from practical experience that if a cat has not been exposed to this social construct by the age of 5-7 weeks there will be a strong likelihood of a fear-related aggressive reaction if it arises at any time in her later life. Your cat will always be a spinster. She will not ever go to the dance with anybody, no matter how charming. Sadly, you will never have grand kittens in your life.

Your cat’s needs matter. If she could speak a human language she would implore you, her leader and protector, to erect a border wall to prevent the entry of illegal aliens. I know how unkind that sounds but we are dealing with a cat. They are loaded with endearing qualities; mine are, anyway. We love them like little people in furry suits but they are actually members of a rather different species. The only way for your cat to improve her attitude toward those fence jumpers would be for her to have a brain transplant. I am not recommending it. I would fear an unpleasant outcome.

Your cat is clearly not having a good time; she needs a reliable security system. By way of explanation I will share a personal story. Well, not that personal. It involves the two Nichol family cats.

Just a few weeks ago I was backpacking and fly fishing the Middle Fork of the Gila River in Southern New Mexico with my friend Tom and Miss America. The latter is the Nichol family’s fine Border collie. She is cute and perky and wants to cure world hunger and so could have no other name. When home and in our yard she patrols and enjoys her two cats, occasionally herding them from place to place and from tree to tree. Despite the language barrier they are all very good friends.

When Miss America and I returned from our wilderness adventure we were greeted with a tale of woe. It seems that the neighbor cat, seeing no Border collie on duty, ventured into our yard. My young adult son, diligently engaged in his college studies, heard expletives of a feline nature, similar to what assaulted your ears. Rushing to the rescue he encountered a couple of panicked Nichol cats, each in separate corners of the yard, facing off against this local ruffian. With no regard for his own safety my son scooped up our kitties and spirited them inside.

Foolhardy? Brave? Well, yes to both. But with the return of Miss America, fully focused on her responsibilities, my son was able to resume his academic pursuits without concern for the well-being of our beloved cats. Their heart rates and adrenalin levels, along with my courageous son’s, quickly returned to normal.

So, you could adopt a Border collie or a cat-loving dog of any description. But I have a simpler solution for your kitty. There is an excellent, fully automated deterrent called the ScareCrow Motion Activated Animal Repellent. It is advertised thus: “Startles pests with sound and startling-but-harmless burst of water, teaching them to avoid protected area in the future.” I have recommended the ScareCrow to many cat owners and have received positive feedback from the purchasers, although not from any would-be feline foreign invaders.

A secondary line of defense would be prudent. A rape alarm would be a handy gadget for anyone of any gender or species. Rather than racing into your yard to grab an actively participating cat fighter, and risking serious personal injury, you could immediately unleash an ear- piercing blast, scaring the bejesus out of those local hoods and, of course, your own cat as well.

The ScareCrow should be the first line of protection. Getting unceremoniously hosed and publicly humiliated, your little feline flower’s would-be suitors will surely search elsewhere for a prom date.