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Neighbours cat - Am I wrong to let mine out?

(25 Posts)
MissObsessed Mon 17-Apr-17 16:48:15

I'd really appreciate some honest opinions about a situation with my cat and my new neighbours' cat.

For a bit of background:

I have a 4 year old neutered male. When we first got him as a kitten we planned to let him outside once he was around a year old. Between that time we got new neighbours and let's just say, they weren't very nice people. I didn't feel comfortable letting the cat out incase he went in their garden so started taking him in our garden on a lead.

Around 6 months ago they thankfully moved out and the house was empty. This coincided with me having my DS. Once DS was born I didn't have the time to take the cat in the garden so he had to stay in. However the cat became quite stressed. He was never badly behaved towards the baby but he started weeing on things, walking around the house yowling and also got recurrent rodent ulcers (something my vet thought was due to stress lowering his immune system.)

I then took the step to allow my cat out. I felt his needs were more important than my anxiety about letting him out. He didn't go far, he would mainly sit in our garden and sometimes go into our neighbours either side. The house on our left was still empty and on our right loved having their little visits from him. My cat literally changed overnight by being let out, he seemed calmer and less stressed. The crying and the weeing both stopped immediately.

The problem now is that we have new neighbours in the empty house and they have a cat. He is a pedigree and they only allow him in their garden.

The other day I let my cat out and then realised he'd gone next door. I heard the lady bring her cat in and so I called my boy in too. I then went round to talk to the lady and asked her if she was bothered by my cat. She said no it was fine and I told her that it was fine for her to shoo my cat away etc and to please come round and tell me if he becomes a problem.

This morning my cat went out and I was pottering around in the kitchen. I then heard cats 'nomming' at each other (you know the sound, not fighting but making that horrible nom sound grin) I then heard the lady get her cat in so I called my boy in and I haven't let him out since.

What do I do now? Do you think it's ok to keep letting my cat out? In one way I feel bad that they might not be able to let their cat out but on the other hand there are a lot of cats around here. If it's not my cat going in their garden I'm sure another one will.

I was going to go round and talk to the lady again but my DH thinks that's making a big deal of it and that I've already told her to come round if my cat is a problem.

Sorry that this is long but WWYD??

Wolfiefan Mon 17-Apr-17 16:50:22

You can cat proof your garden so your cat has to stay home. And yes. I know exactly the noise you mean! grin

BarneyRumbleton Mon 17-Apr-17 16:52:51

It's fine! You've made an approach and she's said it's Ok.
My cat is a pedigree too and we let him in the garden if we are able to keep an eye on him. If I want to go for a shower or whatever, I bring him in. He doesn't spend loads of time out. It's just nice for him to get a bit of fresh air but he's mostly a house cat.
Hers is probably the same.

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Mon 17-Apr-17 16:57:12

Her cat has no superior right to go out just because it's a pedigree!!
Your cat has now experienced outdoor life and it would be cruel to stop that now. .
You have been to see her, let the cat out and think no more about it.

Catzpyjamas Mon 17-Apr-17 17:09:36

Let him out. They will establish hierarchies/ territories and there may be the occasional spat but they will sort it out. You can arm yourself and your neighbour with water pistols to break up any fighting.
Far less likely to stress your boy out than keeping him indoors.

AllTheWittyNamesAreGone Mon 17-Apr-17 17:12:25

Its just cats being cats, they will dort out who is top and will calm down

If it mskes you anxious still you can put up cat proof fencing that will keep him in your garden

YesItsMeIDontCare Mon 17-Apr-17 17:14:04

They're just learning their own and each other's boundaries, they're absolutely fine. Let your boy out - your neighbour doesn't have a problem with it so neither should you. By all means intervene if you catch them nomming at each other (yep, I know exactly what you mean too grin) but they'll work it out between them.

MissObsessed Mon 17-Apr-17 17:19:15

Phew, thank you! Feel a bit better about it now smile

After years of bad neighbours on that side I didn't want to piss anyone off but like you all say, I've been round there so now the ball's in their court to let me know if there's a problem.

They've put up a hugh fence to keep their cat in but my boy is massive (he gets mistaken for a Maine Coon) so he has no problem hauling himself over there grin

AnnieAnoniMouse Mon 17-Apr-17 17:23:02

Yes, just let him out.

I know what you mean about worrying about them, but it's just one of those things.

TBH even if she does have a problem it's tough luck. Your cat is allowed to be a cat. She can keep hers inside if it becomes an issue.

IAmTheWorwax Mon 17-Apr-17 17:26:09

They'll soon sort out their territory. We had a similar problem with new neighbours cat coming in to our garden and bullying my cats. It lasted a couple of months but I kept throwing water at him whenever he made an appearance and now he stays well clear.

Thegiantofillinois Mon 17-Apr-17 17:28:24

They may even be friends. We have 3 cats and the cat 3 doors up comes to call for them (I know, I know, shameless anthropomorphic). He sits on the fence outside our back door and waits. They never fight.

ThreeFish Mon 17-Apr-17 17:28:52

Let him out.
The two cats will sort themselves out and come up with a cat truce.

AtomHeart Mon 17-Apr-17 17:29:44

Normal cat behaviour. Don't worry about it!

sizeofalentil Mon 17-Apr-17 17:34:43

My cats have always done this when they meet new cats - then more often than not, they have become friends. One of their former 'nomming' enemies has even moved in with us!

Just leave them to it, and monitor to make sure no one is getting hurt. Most cats would rather avoid each other and tend the 'time share' spaces, rather than fight.

Trustyourself2 Mon 17-Apr-17 18:01:18

I'd say you have no choice but to let your Dcat out, as that's what he's used to and keeping him in makes him ill. They will sort it out. Cats go out of their way to avoid each other anyway, but if they do bump into each other then that's just cat life. Your boy has every right to be out in his neighbourhood.

I once lived next door to the cat king of the neighbourhood & he was an absolute demon! I even ended up in A&E after he once bit me, when I caught him redhanded coming in through my cat flap and I tried to push him back out - not my brightest moment. I never said a word about it to his owner, who was also a friend of mine, as there was absolutely nothing she could've done to change his behaviour. He was the alpha male and nothing was gonna stop him ruling and doing exactly what he wanted to do. His name was Bob and I was terrified of him. I used to look after him when his slaved went away, but I dreaded every moment of it and used to pray that he'd be out when I went into his house!!

beansbananas Mon 17-Apr-17 18:14:41

Don't worry... the cats will sort out the hierarchy. Your cat was there first and the new one will figure out how to share their garden with yours! I have a water pistol to protect my cats when things get a bit tense with our neighbours cats, as we recently moved in. But I've noticed that the battles are fewer now and they have on occasion all been sitting in the garden together in the sunshine. As long as both cats can feel safe when they run into their own houses, and the other cat can't get in through the cat flap, then it's all fine. Try not to stress too much... your cat sounds like he has to have the freedom of the great outdoors, so let him figure it out!

MissObsessed Mon 17-Apr-17 19:31:05

He's never met another cat before so he's probably thinking "what the hell are you??"

It's good to know the 'nomming' is quite normal and that hopefully they will sort things out between themselves smile

Manupprincess Mon 17-Apr-17 19:40:41

There was a really interesting programme on BBC a few years ago about cats behaviour (think it was called the secret life of cats?). It showed that cats living closely together but don't want to socialise will learn to share territory by going out at different times of the day - so one will do mornings and one afternoons. They work it out one way or the other and usually without fighting. Most cats do whatever they can to avoid unpleasant situations.

MissObsessed Mon 17-Apr-17 19:55:09

I think I remember that programme Manupprincess and that is interesting as my cat seems to favour early mornings and early evening (while sleeping on my bed inbetween) and next door's cat seems to go out around lunchtime. I think that's why they haven't really 'met' before.

Weedsnseeds1 Mon 17-Apr-17 21:05:19

They'll play cat chess until the pecking order and the territories are established. Most cats are more for posturing rather than getting stuck in to each other, where possible. Genuine looking for a fight types are more rare.

HemanOrSheRa Mon 17-Apr-17 23:29:27

Nomming grin. We had two tom cats living by our office at work. I videod them one day - it sounded like they were talking to each other -

'Nomnom. Who are you?'
'No. Nomnom. Who are you?'
'Noooooo. Nomnomnomnom. WHO ARE YOU?'

It went on for ages and then they just walked off confusedgrin. Just let your cat out OP. You've been really nice talking to your neighbour about it smile. Let the cats find their own space.

MissObsessed Mon 17-Apr-17 23:40:56

I'm so glad you all understood me when I said they were nomming at each other. My DH just looked at me like this ---> confused and said "what the fuck is nomming?" wink

So of course I had to nom at him......

HemanOrSheRa Mon 17-Apr-17 23:49:08

AwwwnomnomnomnomsillyDP. Wahhhhharrgghhnomnomnomnomnomnom. Nom. Nom. grin

RamblinRosie Wed 19-Apr-17 01:18:21

Get friendly with your neighbour!
we regularly chat about our cats, 'cos they are super grumpy with each other, I tell her mine's had an abscess and a claw in the head, she tells me me her's had a couple of abcesses...we both know it's a couple of male teenage cats establishing territory. Then we drink wine! And feed each other's cats when the other is away. We laugh about the cats grumpiness.

Just 'cos your cats aren't friends doesn't mean you can't be.

NeedABumChange Wed 19-Apr-17 01:24:11

They are just being cats.

I'd think you were a bit odd if you came around to apologise for your cat nomming at mine, fair enough if they'd had a full on fight but they're just talking it out.

Get a cat flap, let the cat go in and out as it pleases.

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