How to Keep Cats Away: Dealing With Aggressive Neighbor Cats

Oct. 15, 2015

Do you have aggressive cats in your neighborhood? Here's everything you need to know to protect your cat from getting into a fight!

Do you love to give your cat the chance to soak up the sun in your backyard? If so, you might worry about her safety, as potentially aggressive cats may roam your neighborhood. Thankfully, there are many measures you can take to prevent your feline companion from getting into a fight with a neighboring or stray cat. Here's everything you need to know about how to keep cats away.

How Can You Keep Neighboring Cats Away?
Cats are very territorial, and so they often feel the need to defend their turf. Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to try to keep neighboring cats out of your yard. "A cat-proof fence may help," says Amy Shojai, a certified animal behavior consultant and the author of "Complete Kitten Care." According to Shojai, you will also be able to deter some cats by placing prickly ground cover, such as clippings from rose bushes or holly, or even just pine cones, among the flower beds.

"Sprinklers that have a motion detector will spray and shoo away the interloper feline," she adds. In an effort to deter fellow cats, you can also buy coyote or mountain lion urine and mark your yard with it. But if you're looking for a quick and easy alternative, you can try to place orange peels near your windows and doors.

It's also possible that neighboring cats are coming to your yard in search of prey. If you think that this scenario applies to your case, you should get rid of any brush piles that could attract vermin that outdoor cats like to hunt, says Shojai. "By eliminating the food source, you can gently encourage these cats to move on and find somewhere else to hunt."

These tips will also help in the scenario that a neighboring cat has been marking its territory in your yard. If you find yourself facing this dilemma, Shojai also suggests that you clean off any urine smells that result from the cat in question. This is an important step to take because this smell can encourage the cat to return to the scene of the crime and re-baptize his markings.

While it's important to know how to keep cats away, no method is foolproof.

What Else Can You Do to Protect Your Cat?
"The easiest way to protect your cat is to keep him inside," says Dusty Rainbolt, a cat behavior consultant and the author of "Kittens For Dummies." However, there are many measures you can take to keep your outdoor cat safe! "If you must let your cat outside, make sure he is altered," says Rainbolt.

"He'll be less interested in fighting and will stay closer to home." It's also important for you to ensure that you take the measures necessary to protect your cat against a wide range of illnesses that can be passed along by other animals. For instance, you should make sure your cat is vaccinated against feline leukemia and FIV, says Rainbolt.

What Should You Do if Your Cat Does Get into a Fight?
If your cat does engage in a fight, Rainbolt warns that you should not get in between the two animals. "You will suffer a bite that will require medical attention," she says. In order to protect your hands and wrists from both cats, you should wear gardening gloves. Rainbolt also suggests that you have a broom handy, because you can slide this item in between the two cats. "To break up the fight, you can dump water over the cat," says Shojai. A spray bottle filled with water works well, too!

If other pets are present, you should put them inside, as this will prevent them from getting involved in the altercation. Once you are ready to break up the fight, you should run toward the cats. As you do so, you should make a lot of noise in an effort to startle them. Next, you should spray the cats with water until the fight breaks up. At this point, you should pick up your cat and bring her inside to calm down and assess any injuries.

Still on the fence about letting your cat out in the first place? Read Are Indoor Cats Happy? and decide.

Stephanie Glover is the blogger and photographer behind A Grande Life. She lives with her two boys and husband, and takes life one latte at a time!
Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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