I have a 12-year-old cat who has become extremely territorial. An irresponsible neighbor lets her cat out every night, and it comes into my yard. My cat goes absolutely berserk when this happens. Once I was blocking her view of the wandering cat, and she attacked me! I took her to the vet, and they found nothing physically wrong. They wanted to put her on Prozac to calm her down, but I don't want to drug my cat. Is there some other way to correct this problem? I keep a floodlight on and a radio playing loud music, which sometimes works. If I go out in the yard about 15 minutes before the cat typically arrives, I can scare it away. But this is inconvenient when the weather is extremely cold. What do you suggest?
P.M., Clinton Township, MI Sep 06, 2010
When resident cats see free-roaming cats invade their territory, it can create a lot of stress in the household. Certain resident cats often get so aroused as to attack another cat in the home or redirect aggression toward a human family member. Other than finding where the invading feline lives and urging the owners not to let their cat out or making your yard cat-proof with a specially designed fence, the best advice is to put up a screen or curtain so your cat can't see the backyard. At the very least, keep away from your cat when the sight of the intruder arouses her. Let the cat calm down by herself. Some cats start to spray and become un-housebroken when upset by an outside cat. A course of treatment with anti-anxiety drugs like fluoxetine or clomipramine may then be called for. You may also find that spraying the pheromone Feliway around the cat helps her calm down, along with some catnip herb to nibble or to drink as a tea whenever she likes.
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