We love our kitties because they’re gentle and cuddly. Of course there has to be a flip side too. Whether confrontations are personal or on either side of a window, neighborhood cats can create serious angst. The bloodcurdling shrieks and squalls of cats at war is clear evidence that few feline conflicts have win-win solutions.
Cat fights can be serious.
- Claws and canine teeth (fangs) make deep, contaminated stab wounds that seal quickly on the surface.
- Bacteria trapped under the skin causes tissue breakdown and pus formation. The resulting abscesses require anesthesia to lance, eliminate the pus, and disinfect.
- Even with drain tubes and antibiotics bacterial toxins can do permanent damage to the kidneys and other internal systems.
All of this misery is driven by normal feline behavior gone bad.
- Cats in combat attract undesirables to their home turf (your yard).
- Outdoor demonstrations of feline machismo can also take the form of urine wars causing your indoor cats to respond by flinging themselves at windows and later answering the threat by indoor urine marking.
Regional politics can lead to lifelong bad behaviors.
- Forget goodwill gestures; cats locked in territorial feuds have no interest in making nice.
- Spaying or neutering will certainly reduce your own cat’s insistence on neighborhood regime change but there is little you can do to influence the hormones next door.
You can protect your cat by keeping him in his yard and the other guys out.
- An Invisible Fence (1-800-385-7387) will send a radio signal to your cat’s special collar and teach him to stay home.
- The neighbor hoods, on the other hand, will think it’s a joke. But they will respect your Scare Crow-a motion activated sprinkler mounted on your fence (available from Contech Electronics (www.scatmat.com).
The real tragedy is the cats who are placed in shelters or euthanized by owners who have “tried everything” to make them stop fighting or house soiling. Simply keeping feisty felines apart is often far more effective than well intentioned attempts to correct bad behavior.