2001-Sun Dec 17 20:20:14 EST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A. You did the best I could have recommended by not trying to break up the cats by hand. The last thing you want to do when two cats are fighting is physically intervene, which is likely to get you badly scratched or bitten. Whenever cats get worked up, the rule is “hands off!” Never try to grab an agitated cat and never try to hold one, even if the cat is your own. Let go.
You did exactly right by startling them and redirecting their attention away from each other. If it happens again, you can also try to end a fight and prevent injuries by throwing a blanket over them or spraying them with water.
In an ideal world, you would be able to figure out who owns the intruding cat and talk to that person about the problem. The reality may be that the cat belongs to no one or that the person who does own the animal has no intention of keeping his pet from roaming. Still, it’s worth trying to find the owner and get a promise to keep the other cat at home. Even better would be some help with the veterinary bill, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that score.
What about the future? You can keep your cat entirely inside, which will end the fighting. Keeping your cat inside will also prevent it from contracting feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), a retrovirus that can lead to debilitating disease. It's spread by cat bites. If your cat is happy inside and ignores the outdoor cat, you may just leave well enough alone. The other cat may continue to claim your yard as his territory, however, which can agitate your indoor cat, causing him to redirect his aggression toward you by spraying urine in your home or acting out with another unwanted behavior. The other cat may also begin spraying urine in your yard or even on your porch or door.
Again, the best approach is to have the cat's owner keep the animal at home. You could also try a motion-detector sprinkler designed to turn on and spray any animal (or person) who comes into the area. (These are sold by garden centers and online.) But if the animal continues to cause problems, contact your local animal control agency and find out what legal options are available to you.
If you ever get bitten or scratched by a cat, by the way, immediately head for the sink for a lot of soap and water to wash off any bacteria the cat may have had on his nails or teeth. Keep lathering and rinsing for about three minutes. Even a minor cat bite is like a hypodermic needle shooting bacteria deep into the flesh, and such an injury can become a severe medical crisis. Talk to your doctor right away.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.