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Cats New To Town Life/fighting

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by LiluVen, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. LiluVen

    LiluVen Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jul 20, 2019
    I have two 8-year-old neutered brothers who have lived their whole life on 20 acres with indoor/outdoor freedom and virtually no other cats around. They get along fine with the occasional squabble that gets slightly out-of-hand. I recently had to move them into “town” where I have a house on an averaged-size lot with many cats in the neighborhood, including my tenant in the back who has a grown neutered male cat (Marley).

    I just started letting my cats go outside recently. Today my “bolder” cat Mac encountered Marley. Marley is pretty mellow (and huge) and seemed only interested in introducing himself, but Mac was instantly hostile (hissing/growling). Marley eventually wandered away and I put Mac back in the house. The next time I let Mac out I heard the growling/hissing again and was there just in time to see Mac attack Marley. They really went at it with neither of them backing down. It took 4 times of me separating them and watching them immediately attack each other again before I was able to get them far enough away from each other to get Mac in the house.

    Is there anything I can do, or any hope, that this will not be a constant issue?

  2. ArtNJ

    ArtNJ TCS Member Top Cat

    Jun 1, 2017
    Other than keep them inside, I'm afraid not. Your cats are used to roaming far, and will eventually roam out of your sight and hearing. Given the willingness to fight and not back down, there will be fights and injuries. There are a lot of people on here who are in the "never" let cats out category, but I'm in the "every situation is different" category. Here, with your cats used to roaming far, the aggression you have witnessed, and them perhaps growing up without having to get used to traffic and busy streets, I'm afraid the smart play is to transition them to indoor only. (Some might suggest a catio, but I doubt that will help much with cats used to so much space.)

    My two cats are big chickens that would rather retreat to the house and yowl than actually fight. So their risk of cat-cat injuries is a lot lower I feel. I also live on a cul-de-sac with a bit of land directly behind my house.
    Maria Bayote, danteshuman and fionasmom purraised this.

  3. LiluVen

    LiluVen Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jul 20, 2019
    Thanks for your thought and response. I hate thinking of transitioning them to “indoor only,” but it might be best.

  4. mwallace056

    mwallace056 TCS Member Top Cat

    Jan 3, 2015

  5. LiluVen

    LiluVen Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jul 20, 2019
    Thank you.

  6. danteshuman

    danteshuman TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 27, 2017
    I would transition them in for now. I would keep them inside for 3 months and give them a treat every time they see Marley outside (a fence topper to keep them in yard would be best.) I would talk to Marley’s owner and see if you could exchange towels with the other cat’s scent. You may be able to get them to get along eventually but I doubt it.

    Our reformed feral has a nemesis across the street he used to get in fights with all the time! He also has a buddy cat that he hangs out with all the time (?safety in numbers?)

    The problem might be Marley. It might also be that you didn’t keep your cats inside for 6-12 weeks for them to get used to their new home (& for them to see Marley through the window.) It night also be that one or both of your cats are aggressive to all other cats but their brother.

    Perhaps you can negotiate with Marley’s owner for him to be inside a set 2-4 hour window each day? Then see how your cats react to other nonMarley cats. If they are aggressive to all cats, build them a catio & keep them inside. * I would get a large piece of cardboard or a thick piece of poster board. That way if they get in a fight you can put the cardboard between them to break up the fight.
    Maria Bayote purraised this.

  7. Maria Bayote

    Maria Bayote Mama of 4 Cats, 3 Dogs , 2 Budgies & 2 Humans Super Cat

    Jan 15, 2018
    For now (and maybe permanently), your cats are better indoors. They will complain and cry and may do all sorts of things that will make you believe they are in utter misery, but it is the best thing to do at the moment. It is better if they have a large catio as what was suggested above.

    Who knows, soon they won't even think of getting out again. All my cats were former strays and transitioned abruptly into strictly indoor cats when I got them. There were occasional houdini style escapes in the beginning but now are all content laying by the window and watching the movements outside.

    Hoping for the best for you and your cats, and also for Marley.

  8. LiluVen

    LiluVen Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jul 20, 2019
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. Those are some good thoughts and ideas.
    danteshuman purraised this.

  9. LiluVen

    LiluVen Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jul 20, 2019
    Thank you for the response. They have actually adjusted pretty well to indoors but still want out. Perhaps they just need more time.
    Maria Bayote and danteshuman purraised this.

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