Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
The social behavior of cats can vary greatly from one pet to another. Some people do not believe that cats exhibit territorial behavior, while others have strong beliefs that they do. From my experience, I can say that I have certainly been called in many times to help people with their
cat's behavior issues after seeing an outdoor cat.
Many people may not realize that their cats may be a menace to the neighborhood or to the neighbors' cats. For example, I worked with a family that was mortified to learn at a neighborhood block party that the neighbors each had a story of how their cat was a bully. The cat would try to attack them in their own homes or cars when they tried to get the cat to leave! In another case, an owner was embarrassed to learn that her cat was going up to neighbors’ houses and begging for food. Almost everyone in the neighborhood had tried to adopt her cat at one time or another. The point is, owners of outdoor cats
may not be aware of how much their
outdoor cat is wandering or the effect it might be having on others.
While some people
let their cats outside, other people
choose to keep their cats indoors because indoor cats typically live longer lives than outdoor cats. Indoor cats are kept away from potential dangers such as other outdoor animals, cars and getting into
potentially toxic or poisonous substances such as rat bait or
antifreeze (unless of course they find these things inside their own homes). Those of us who keep our cats indoors know that sometimes indoor cats may be interested in watching outdoor cats walk through their yard and hang around outside their house. In some cases, indoor cats may become upset by the sight of strange cats close to their property. I have certainly encountered many cats who get so upset at the sight of an outdoor cat that they fluff out their fur, start yowling and hissing and then may
turn on the closest living creature standing next to them, whether that’s their feline housemate, the family
dog or the unsuspecting owner. It may sound funny but it is not a funny matter when your
cats suddenly start fighting with each other after one episode of
redirected aggressive behavior or when your cat starts to attack you or your dog every time he sees you after the incident. Some
indoor cats may not become aggressive but still exhibits signs of stress. They may vocalize and pace back and forth close to the window where they last saw the other cat. They may also start to
eliminate in inappropriate areas around the house. Sometimes outdoor cats may come to your property and deliberately spray around the outside of your house. If the outdoor
cat sprays, odor molecules can sometimes be carried in through vents or open doors or windows. This can cause your indoor cat to become even more agitated. Sometimes,
indoor cats will spray in response inside the house.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
There's a lot of misinformation out there
about getting pets fixed, so we're clearing
up some popular…
Repetitive behaviors like tail chasing and
excess paw licking can indicate that your
animal has a compulsive…
From Alaskan Malamute to Xoloitzcuintli,
here's our guide to pronouncing the most
tongue-twistery dog breed names.
Weaving through your legs can be an
endearing habit, but sometimes it's a
sign of a behavioral or medical issue.
Minimize the risk of a bad trick-or-treat
interaction by brushing up on your dog’s
manners before October 31.
The Schapendoes (aka Dutch Sheepdog)
is known for his incredible jumping skills
and cheerful personality.
Parasites are no fun for dogs. Learn how
to protect your canine from heartworms,
hookworms, whipworms and more.
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.