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Is allowing my cat outside encouraging her aggressive behaviors?


GingerMay

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I have a two year old domestic short hair cat. She is an indoor cat, but always anxious to get outside any time she sees the opportunity. She rushes past me when I open the door and if my arms are full I cannot immediately stop her. So, a few times a week she ends up being outside for a short while until I can lure her back in.

 

I have several toys in the house to keep her occupied, but it does not seem to replace her interest in the great outdoors. I let her sit in window ledges to look outside and get a whiff of the good outdoor smells, but she sees squirrels and chipmunks and runs to the door scratching at it like she wants me to let her out. Sometimes she stands at the door meowing. I will clarify that she is spayed, so I know she is not in heat.

 

My concern is that when she does get out, she frequently finds things to chase like bugs, chipmunks or leaves, but lately she has taken a huge interest in the next door neighbor's cat who is mostly an outdoor cat. She seems to instigate a game of chase with this unsuspecting cat each time. I thought they might become friends, but just this morning she got out and ran over the neighbor's yard where the cat was grooming herself and chased her around a tree and into a corner where the two cats ended up rolling around. I ran over and grabbed my cat and brought her back inside. I can no longer assume my cat will not harm another, so am making extra effort to keep her indoors.

 

Do I encourage my cat's aggression by allowing her outside? Do I encourage her aggression by playing with toys she chases?

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Can you set up a safe outdoor area for her?

 

My cat used to love to go outside. I had an enclosed backyard where I'd let her out but never by herself. I would stay out there with her. And when it was time to go back in I'd go retrieve her.

 

You could maybe set up a fenced area using chicken wire or something like that so she can go outdoors but not get away and get into fights or be exposed to danger.

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Ya I had a kitty that showed up at my door like 19 years ago....she was the best cat ever, but you couldn't keep her in, she used to jump out of the front window with ease. I was getting her patched up a lot, cost me a ton, but in the end she was worth it lol. So OP use your discretion. You can't control what they do when they go out.....cats will be cats.

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Everything you describe is typical, healthy cat behavior.

I'm not sure why bugs and leaves are a negative. It comes with pet ownership.

 

I wouldn't necessarily call her aggressive with the neighbor cat, but normally territorial and from what you describe, eager to play. The other cat may not appreciate her style. The last episode makes it definitely something you'll need to monitor.

I have one cat at this time. I typically have 2. I live in a townhome community and will let them out in the courtyard a few hours during the day when Im home and can monitor them. If I lived else where I might reconsider letting them out. My community is really quiet. They can wander into the common area but never go far enough to be out of sight. They'd do everything you just shared including catching birds, lizards and take naps in the sun.

Interesting I view it as a positive thing that helped them be well rounded and happy. But for the most part, they spend about 20 hours indoors.

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Personally, I would do my best to keep her indoors for several reasons. First, going outside exposes her to getting fleas. This is a health concern. Yes, there are flea collars but they are not guaranteed. Plus, you need to worry about feline leukemia and other viruses. Also, what happens if she gets lost? That happened to one of my son's kitties. He was definitely not a feral kitty based on his behaviour. He was either lost and/or severely neglected or abandoned. Poor little guy was almost at death's door when we found him (or should I say ' he found us') but he is doing so well these days. That was about 7 years ago.

 

Second, and this depends if your kitty is declawed or not. If she is declawed, you are taking away her primary method of defending herself. If she is declawed, please don't let your kitty go outside. Check out what smackie suggested about catios. Or, if she must go outside, consider getting a leash for her. Also, make sure she is wearing an ID tag.

 

There are also some calming sprays available. I let my kitties (both 2 year old) listen to some soothing cat music. They seem to really enjoy it. Check that out. Does she have a scratching post? Perhaps taking her to a vet to rule out any concerns. Again, I would stress out too much if my kitties were outside. But, this is just my opinion. Enjoy your weekend.

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Personally, I would do my best to keep her indoors for several reasons. First, going outside exposes her to getting fleas. This is a health concern. Yes, there are flea collars but they are not guaranteed. Plus, you need to worry about feline leukemia and other viruses. Also, what happens if she gets lost? That happened to one of my son's kitties. He was definitely not a feral kitty based on his behaviour. He was either lost and/or severely neglected or abandoned. Poor little guy was almost at death's door when we found him (or should I say ' he found us') but he is doing so well these days. That was about 7 years ago.

 

 

-flea/tick, heart worm/worm control is handled very effectively with a monthly dose of Advantage or Revolution

-There are vaccines now available for feline Leukemia and other viruses

-They have micro chipping. Any vet or shelter can scan it for owner's information.

-not all cats wonder far. They did a study in Surrey England, where they put GPS collars on the community cats. It showed cats have territories they patrol. Most were limited to a few blocks around the home. One went out to a farmer's field most likely to hunt mice. Some went through cat doors other than their own to eat a kitty's food. It was quite interesting. Cats are of habit/routine. Not as helpless as you think they are.

-Your son's cat was most likely dumped by it's owners, (a lot of people do that) in an area it wasn't familiar with. I had one of those cats too who show up at my door. She wasn't sick, but she was skinny, had ear mites and smelled of urine...we called her a hobo kitty.

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I've had indoor and outdoor cats. Both categories lived long and healthy lives with the right vaccinations and checkups. It's not really for medical reasons I'd keep your cat inside. It's that she's gone two years as an indoor cat. It's a pretty intense learning curve, and one which leaves a lot of room for injury or death letting her loose in an uncontrolled or relatively uncontrolled outdoor environment. Genetic instinct isn't much of a gap filler for having to navigate birds of prey now being a thing when for all her formative life, the greatest danger she's ever known is sneaking on the stove while the burner's still hot. The interaction with the neighbor's cat going well is on its own lucky enough.

 

I'd focus more on not letting her get out. If your arms are full, leave a few bags at the door and make a second trip. If it's something big, go in and coral her into a room so you can bring it in without worry.

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Yes, Smackie. I recall that documentary and I think it was called "The tiger in your parlour". The things those moggies got up to!

 

Some cats are homebirds (no pun), some want out at night.

 

https://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/0918/House-cats-and-tigers-share-95.6-percent-of-DNA-study-reveals

 

That tiger isn't far below the surface in the domestic cat.

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Yes, Smackie. I recall that documentary and I think it was called "The tiger in your parlour". The things those moggies got up to!

 

Some cats are homebirds (no pun), some want out at night.

 

https://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/0918/House-cats-and-tigers-share-95.6-percent-of-DNA-study-reveals

 

That tiger isn't far below the surface in the domestic cat.

 

It's actually called "The Secret Life of the Cat" put on by the BBC. You can find it on Dailymotion.

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-flea/tick, heart worm/worm control is handled very effectively with a monthly dose of Advantage or Revolution

-There are vaccines now available for feline Leukemia and other viruses

-They have micro chipping. Any vet or shelter can scan it for owner's information.

-not all cats wonder far. They did a study in Surrey England, where they put GPS collars on the community cats. It showed cats have territories they patrol. Most were limited to a few blocks around the home. One went out to a farmer's field most likely to hunt mice. Some went through cat doors other than their own to eat a kitty's food. It was quite interesting. Cats are of habit/routine. Not as helpless as you think they are.

-Your son's cat was most likely dumped by it's owners, (a lot of people do that) in an area it wasn't familiar with. I had one of those cats too who show up at my door. She wasn't sick, but she was skinny, had ear mites and smelled of urine...we called her a hobo kitty.

 

I agree with this. Your cat is desperate to go outside and display normal, natural cat behaviour. Unless you live on a busy main road, I don't understand why you would deny her this. No amount of toys can make up for being outdoors and I cannot begin to imagine how frustrated she must feel. Some cats are happy to stay indoors, but your cat is telling you she's not one of them. Take the measures that Smackie listed and let her have her freedom. She will be happier for it and that should be your primary focus.

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Just wanted to thank you all for your replies and links to info. I will continue to read and look for ways to make my little cat as happy and healthy as possible.

I am probably only saying this because she is my pet, but I think she is curious, fearless and very social. From the first time I saw her as a 12-week old in the shelter she came right up to me, looked me in the eye and meowed like she was giving me a command to play with her. She does the same thing now but includes scratching under the door if I close it when I am working and she wants to come in the room, she follows me around the house, she greets me at the door when she hears my car pull up the driveway and I just think she is a darling little girl with a huge personality. Yes, I suppose she trained me very well.

Thanks everyone.

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Just wanted to thank you all for your replies and links to info. I will continue to read and look for ways to make my little cat as happy and healthy as possible.

I am probably only saying this because she is my pet, but I think she is curious, fearless and very social. From the first time I saw her as a 12-week old in the shelter she came right up to me, looked me in the eye and meowed like she was giving me a command to play with her. She does the same thing now but includes scratching under the door if I close it when I am working and she wants to come in the room, she follows me around the house, she greets me at the door when she hears my car pull up the driveway and I just think she is a darling little girl with a huge personality. Yes, I suppose she trained me very well.

Thanks everyone.

 

Your welcome! I know I enjoyed participating in this thread :) Anything to do with cats I'm so in lol.

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We had a cat when I was a kid, we called him Big Mr. Puss. He was a gansta. Huge animal, ordinary moggie, but I suspect he had some wildcat blood. Back then we lived in the country surrounded by a small wood, so being out was what he loved. He'd come in and sit by the fire a while on cold evenings, and gaze at you with those dangerous eyes. And he had that deep growl if annoyed. Obviously he was a fighter, and I don't think it was small rodents either. The muscles one could feel under his fur and even along his paws were amazing. Yet he'd follow my mother around the garden (she was the only one to handle him) purring, and once he sank his fangs into her (shapely lol) calf. Not deep, a love bite so to speak. He'd let her take the tangles and mud out of his fur, and apply whatever remedy to any scratch or bite he had. Then he'd be off again on his woodland adventures. In his own way a beautiful animal, big wide face, fur sticking out on either side, but those eyes always held a warning.

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Just wanted to thank you all for your replies and links to info. I will continue to read and look for ways to make my little cat as happy and healthy as possible.

I am probably only saying this because she is my pet, but I think she is curious, fearless and very social. From the first time I saw her as a 12-week old in the shelter she came right up to me, looked me in the eye and meowed like she was giving me a command to play with her. She does the same thing now but includes scratching under the door if I close it when I am working and she wants to come in the room, she follows me around the house, she greets me at the door when she hears my car pull up the driveway and I just think she is a darling little girl with a huge personality. Yes, I suppose she trained me very well.

Thanks everyone.

She sounds adorable. I do believe in letting the cat choose you rather than the other way around
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