Okaw Veterinary Clinic LLC

140 West Sale Street
Tuscola, IL 61953



Outdoor Cats driving your Indoor Cat Crazy



Ranger outsideWhen your indoor cat sees another cat outside, it can cause a lot of stress and even attacks to other cats, or people in the home. I was reminded today of how upsetting this can be for the cat, the owners and other pets. A client told me about her easy going cat suddenly attacking the other cat and discovering that there was another animal outside that provoked her. The degree of aggression the upset cat showed was very upsetting to the owner, and scary. Fortunately the cats were safely separated and everyone calmed down in a while.

So why do cats get so upset about seeing another cat outside? It can seem like your cat is quietly sitting there, just staring and then explodes into a fury of claws, fur, screams and howls. For cats, another cat looks like a competitor to their space and needs even if they are not in their space. This cat that shows up only once in a while, is not a part of the indoor cat's world. So when the indoor cat sees this cat, the house cat is frustrated by not being able to chase this cat off. Cats are very subtle about showing obvious signs of aggression. Staring is where the escalation to panic or attack starts. So when this cat is staring at the outdoor cat, the aggression is mounting fast. When the innocent bystander cat comes by or a person walks by this angry cat who is quietly stewing sees that movement and directs the attack onto that being since it cannot get to the cat outside.

Solutions - putting privacy window cling on your window, closing a blind or curtain, changing your shades to go from the bottom up are big helps. When your cat is sitting in that window and first notices the outside cat - toss a super tasty treat nearby to get your cat's attention and move away from the window. Do not touch your cat! The touch can stimulate your cat to aggress on you. Do not spray them with a water bottle - that startle is negative and they will agitate them more. The idea is to block the view and ultimately reward them for the sight of the other cat.

If this outside cat is a nuisance in your yard try a few tricks to prevent them from being around. First be sure you are not feeding any birds or other animals around these windows. If you like to feed the strays, do so in an area your cats cannot see them. Plastic carpet runners upside down around your window ledges outside will prevent the cats from sitting there and taunting your indoor cat. Get a large water pistol and spray the outside cat to chase them away. There are remote controlled water sprays or noise makers that can also deter the outdoor cat.

 - written by Dr. Sally J. Foote

Okaw Veterinary Clinic
140 W. Sale
Tuscola, IL 61953
(217) 253-3221


Mon & Fri 8 am - 6 pm
Tues & Wed 8 am - 5 pm
Sat 8 am - noon
Closed Thurs & Sun

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