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Question
Posted by: Desperate | 2004/02/12

Cats fighting constantly at night

Please help! I have 7 sterilised cats - 2 males and 5 females. My cats get locked up every evening at around 7pm. However, I then spend EVERY night waking up at all hours chasing other people's screaming, fighting cats out of my garden. I do have dogs but they sleep inside. My cats are so used to this they do not even wake up when these others start their nonsense. But it is driving me mad and I am not able to sleep because of it - even worse - I am pregnant and if I don't get some sleep I will kill something with an axe. Is there ANYTHING I can do to get rid of these horrible cats belonging to other people who obviously don't care who they're bothering? I know who the one belongs to, but the others come from no-where and although they look healthy and all that, I have no idea where they live. My male cats appear to be completely placid around these others during the day - do you think that is why they are hanging around our house? I am not one to harm animals but this is going to drive me insane. I cannot believe I must suffer because of other people's pets when mine are locked up to specifically AVOID this type of thing!!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Desperate
My sympathies.... There are ways to deter cats from your garden, but all involve a bit of effort or expense. The most subtle is to spray all your boundary walls/fences with a solution of citronella oil. You can get this at the chemist and mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle - spray the tops of the walls where the cats come over every day to start off with and, if it works, do it every 3 days and then once a week for a while. The scent is offensive to cats and usually deters them. Other methods involve spraying them with the hose or throwing crackers near them, but this may be a bit difficult in the middle of the night! The only alternative is to put up spikes on your walls (Eina Ivy definitely deters cats) or an electric fence. If you knew all the owners you could ask them to keep their cats inside at night - perhaps write a note to all the neighbours about your problem suggesting this for a couple of months until the habit has broken.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
ANIMAL BEHAVIOURIST

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Desperate | 2004/02/16

Thank you for the advice. Before I read your reply, I had to deal with these cats again. My dogs get very excited when cats fight - obviously - so all I have done is let my dogs out to wherever these cats are, and the cats have not been back since. The dogs gave them enough of a scare. This way I know the cats will be deterred, and will not be harmed because my dogs are quite harmless around other animals (of course, the cats don't know that!) - they only find the chase exciting. It seems to have worked for now - and I have only had to get up at night once to let them out to chase the cats. Citronella Oils will not work as our whole front garden is palisade fencing, so the cats simply walk through. Also, I do not want to upset my cats because they're doing nothing wrong. If the cats insist on coming back, I will speak to the one owner and ask him to lock his cat up at night for a while, and then I will also get crackers - which I have heard from other people would work. However, just want to say thank you for the assistance, and maybe everyone could educate their friends/families on sterilising their cats and keeping them indoors at night? If I can manage to confine 7 cats every evening then anyone can do it!!

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