General Question

anartist's avatar

Two male cats are frequently fighting right in front of the entrance to my narrow city garden [5 feet wide]. For details see inside.

Asked by anartist (14779points) April 19th, 2011

My male cat, Jacky, died in 2009. These two cats [a tuxedo from down the street and a marmalade from up the street] fight in front of the narrow garden opening and have for at least 6 months, maybe longer. The garden is unfenced, having only a border of low planters, which my female cat occasionally climbs over to venture outside, but the two male cats do not venture inside. My female cat, Jilly, may be protecting her turf but she is also frightened and frequently runs inside.

Are they fighting over their new borders since Jacky is dead? Is Jacky’s home the central division point for the turf of the down-street cat and the up-street cat? Will either try to invade Jilly’s turf now that Jacky is gone? Will they ever stop fighting and howling outside my window at 2 am?

Anybody know anything about this?

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12 Answers

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CaptainHarley's avatar


You beat me to it! : D

Nullo's avatar

This is a case of cats behaving like animals. It is your job as the local fed-up Homo sapiens to buy a spray attachment for your hose and show them who, exactly, runs the show.

anartist's avatar

At 2 am I often have no clothes on. Not too feasible

I am more interested in why they are doing what they are doing than in scaring them off, although I may work on that later

Sometimes I see one or the other on the street and can’t help asking myself [silly me] have they no respect? Jacky was a significant participant in the local cat community.

RocketGuy's avatar

Cats would never notice your nakedness.

Nullo's avatar

Water balloons? Or else a Super Soaker.

anartist's avatar

@Nullo super soaker. good one—if I am there

lillycoyote's avatar

@Nullo LOL. Exactly. You have to let them know who runs the show unless you want to hear cats fighting all the time, right outside your house. No need to torture them though, the water shouldn’t be really forceful. It shouldn’t tale much water or knocking them over with it, or take all that long to persuade the cats that they would be better off working out their differences in another venue.

Buttonstc's avatar

I know that there are motion sensor activated floodlights that people can buy. Not sure if bright lights coming on suddenly would do the trick tho.

I wonder if there’s any way to hook up a motion sensor to a lawn sprinkler?

Of course, you’d have to deactivate it when you have human company and hopefully the mailman comes at a predictable time each day :) Altho if it’s only after dark that they do this, that would be fine.

I’m not enough of a handyman to know how to rig up a sprinkler like that, but maybe you could ask about it at a neighborhood hardware store or a manager at place like Home Depot or something like that.

And altho your beloved Jackie was a significant part of the local cat community, as far as they’re concerned, if they don’t see him or smell recent scent markings of his, they probably assume he moved on to a new territory. Out of (sight) smell, out of mind is likely the modus operandi.

This is also one of the main reasons that people are finally driven to neuter their male cats as some of them they spray to mark their territory indoors as well as outdoors.


Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

How about a water balloon launcher? It works like a slingshot. Trust me…it will scare the cats away. Just don’t aim at them. Those babies have enough force to break a window. Speaking from experience.

anartist's avatar

motion sensor lights, maybe not. Jacky used to trigger the neighbors’ just to amuse himself when he walked along the fence.
As for what you said about “out of sight” I know it’s true and my feeling is irrational. Still it is the reason that I think those cats chose this spot to have a turf war. probably half of his turf stretched in either direction and they are now finding the middle of the newly disputable territory. Well, it took them over two years—so Jacky had some staying power. Gawd I miss him.

anartist's avatar

I am really more interested in the animal behavior aspect.

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