Aggressive Cats in the Neighborhood

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Our cat is attacking the neighbors' cats

Dec 2002

Our six-year-old male cat, Cairo, has become increasingly aggressive and antisocial over the past year. Specifically, he has targeted our neighbor's cat and has attacked him (at their home)several times, at leat once quite viciously. The neighbors have armed themselves with a water gun that they use when he comes on the property, but that no longer works and the attacks are getting more brazen. Interestingly, Cairo is tolerant of our other two cats (male and female) as well as those of our tenants and neighbors (and one of those is an unnuetered male, the cat that is). Cairo just has a thing about the neighbor's cat, which interestingly belonged to the previous owners of our home and stayed here with our previous tenants before they moved (and Cairo was fine when the cat lived here).

I cannot keep Cairo indoors as I don't trust him with our children. Cairo can be very loving and friendly, but he can just as easily turn and attack without warning. Moreover, he is absolutely miserable indoors after an hour or so. Cairo is simply very, very unhappy. He comes in for meals, but gets stressed and leaves. His schedule is very erratic so kitty prozac is not the answer. He's the feline equivalent of a mentally ill homeless person that won't stay in a shelter or take his meds. Declawing will not likely help, either and in fact may make him more aggressive. On the other hand I need to do something before he seriously injures the neighbor's cat (or we get sued!).

Any ideas? Does anyone know of a farmer that needs a good mouser (Cairo is a good hunter and I will happily provide suupplemental caright, but I also cant food)? I have actually contemplated euthanizing the cat, but it is a heartbreaking option I cry just to consider. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome, online or off, as I've run out of them on my own. Thank you.

Thank you for trying to do something about your cat who attacks the neighbor's cat. We had a very similar situation in our El Cerrito neighborhood for several years, but our cat was on the receiving end. An aggressive male cat from several doors down the street used to routinely come into our yard and attack our cat, and it cost us hundreds and hundreds of dollars in vet bills from abcesses. The owners were clueless and refused to do anything about the problem despite us talking with them about it on several occasions. Fortunately, they moved away over the summer, and now peace reigns in the neighborhood, and we haven't been to the vet since. It sounds like maybe your cat needs a new home, where he may be happier. It is very inconsiderate and unfair to the other neighborhood cats (and their owners) to allow such behavior to continue. Cat Lover

I sent out a request to ''cat-folks'' about what to do with Cairo the cat (who had been fighting with another cat.) Here's a good response: ''Have you tried the SFSPCA cat behaviorist? They may take him? Otherwise, Best Friends which has already been emailed. It's a tough one. Good luck.'' Might be worth a try... Dorothy