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She's a bully?

(21 Posts)
GoReylo Fri 15-Dec-17 20:46:44

We just got a new cat, Amber, three months ago. She seems happy and content, and she's gentle with us, but we started letting her out and she is fighting the local cats.

The second day I let her out I heard screeching and ran outside to see that she'd chased the little tabby who likes to sit on our roof back into her garden and was spitting at her and making swiping motions with her paw from the top of their fence. They had one more scuffle after that and I haven't seen the tabby since.

This evening a neighbour from down the street knocked on the door and said Amber attacked their cat (a different one) in the car park, another neighbour saw it. Apparently as the cat was walking away she leapt on him and dug her claws in his back. She was angry so I offered to cover the vet bill if they wanted to get him checked but she declined. She said my cat is a bully and I should keep her inside.

Our cat likes to be outside patrolling her garden. In fact she cries to go out and it's hard to get her back in! And I would feel cruel taking that away from her. I said that it's just territory wars and the cats will work out between themselves who is allowed where soon enough. They won't keep fighting. That wasn't what she wanted to hear.

I should probably post this in AIBU but I don't like that board. Do be honest though, am I handling this badly? I've had a cat before, but she didn't act like this.

OP’s posts: |
Fellia Fri 15-Dec-17 20:51:13

I’d say it’s all territorial and that yes, they will work it out between themselves (I’ve had cats my whole life) but if your neighbours are being difficult then they’re not going to want to hear this.

What is she like inside the house? Has she been introduced to new people/ children/ other animals?

GoReylo Fri 15-Dec-17 20:59:38

She dislikes new people. Now she'll just make herself scarce but when we first brought her home she would cry and hiss whenever someone new came in. She was living outside with a litter when the RSPCA picked her up. Stupidly, I thought that meant she would be friendly with other cats!

Maybe I should have waited longer, but I can't go back and change that. i do feel sorry for the other cats, it's not pleasant because they all seemed friendly enough with each other, but she's just not having it.

OP’s posts: |
Fellia Fri 15-Dec-17 21:10:29

Oh OP she sounds just like one of mine. We had to take the decision to keep her inside unfortunately. However, she has absolutely thrived since then and although she is still wary of new people, she will greet them eventually with a nose rub.

If they try to touch her too quickly she will still hiss blush

Is it an option to keep her inside?

GoReylo Fri 15-Dec-17 21:50:08

She really likes to be out though. I don't like her to be out after dark, and just 5 minutes ago she was pawing my leg because she wants to be off out!

Territory wars probably isn't the best phrase though if only one cat is being confrontational. If I could contain her just to the back garden it wouldn't be so bad, but it's very hard to stop a cat going where it wants.

OP’s posts: |
TheSecondOfHerName Fri 15-Dec-17 21:59:13

Would it be possible to let her out at certain times (hopefully coming in for a meal and then staying in after she's been fed) and then neighbour lets their cat out at a different (non-overlapping) time?

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 15-Dec-17 22:27:53

Assertive is the word. You have an assertive cat.

follybodger Sat 16-Dec-17 10:31:57

Look at Katzecure fencing. Will keep her in your garden nice and safe but able to go out. And neighbouring cats cannot get in. It’s diy fit as well as they can install. I got my 13m x 6m plus side returns gates and sheds all secured for £2500 with them installing. Not cheap but I figured one incident with cat vs car and I’d spend that easily at the vets. Been great and peace of mind on late evening when they won’t come or nights like firework evening when you know if they do insist on staying out they can’t bolt out the safety of my garden.

TonicAndTonic Sat 16-Dec-17 10:37:30

If it's only fairly recently that you've been letting her out, then you may find the fighting settles down after a while as the other local cats adapt to having someone new in their territory. Ours fought loads for a couple of months after being let out, then it settled down to the odd scuffle here and there. Definitely keep her in at night through, that's when the worst fighting seems to happen. Wouldn't get too involved with complaining neighbours, cats are territorial and it's what they do.

GoReylo Mon 18-Dec-17 15:48:42

She got into a nasty fight today so now she's staying in. It's only a matter of time before I end up at the vet with her or another cat otherwise angry

OP’s posts: |
Fluffycloudland77 Mon 18-Dec-17 16:55:29

Mine fought loads at first, their just sorting out who's boss.

Wolfiefan Mon 18-Dec-17 16:56:53

Cat proof the garden? Is she neutered?

GoReylo Mon 18-Dec-17 21:51:14

She's neutered. But she's had four fights in a week and this one was nasty because the other cat wasn't backing down either. She has injuries on her nose from three separate fights now (scab, scratch and graze, nothing vetworthy) but she's ever keen for more. It's embarrassing and a bit worrying. She's insured but I don't need the expense of a vet visit for her or someone else right now. I may look at the cat fencing in the new year, but she's grounded for the rest of December. Which I was telling her just as the postman arrived at our front door, which must have made me look the very picture of sanity blush

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steppemum Mon 18-Dec-17 21:59:35

it is perfectly normal for cats to fight to work out their territory. She is the new cat on the block, so she has to carve out a space for herself in the local cat heirarchy.

It will settle, maybe she will end up as top dog, which will mean she has to fight the newcomers too.

GoReylo Tue 19-Dec-17 00:21:54

She's a sweet little thing when she's indoors, but she has a total personality change when she sees another cat! I'll let her out again, but once we're safely past Christmas!

OP’s posts: |
Fluffycloudland77 Tue 19-Dec-17 08:51:48

Your not liable for any injuries caused. My cat put next doors cat in hospital & I wasn't liable.

GoReylo Tue 19-Dec-17 11:55:49

I think though that being fully aware she will attack other cats it's probably the responsible thing to save everyone from that? At least during the festive period which is stressful for me some!

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BulletFox Tue 19-Dec-17 12:15:20

Amber is a lovely name.

Does she get territorial in the grounds in your place or is it outside of that? Sounds like she's establishing her space, 3 months isn't very long.

We had some god almighty cat wars at my last place and it was always some cat trying to invade the cat's territory. She's such a delicate little beast though, she walks around the garden delicately sniffing at flowers. She wouldn't be able to catch a moth if her life depended on it.

Can you have supervised outside access for now?

Wolfiefan Tue 19-Dec-17 12:15:56

You may not be legally liable but it would be pretty awful to let your cat free to hurt others. Not exactly neighbourly to deny any care or responsibility.
Cat proof the garden.

Weedsnseeds1 Tue 19-Dec-17 19:14:00

I suspect mine has bully potential. Poor old Will Feral, the ginger Tom got treed by him summer before last and I had to physically bundle my hissing, spitting, floofed up, black blob back into the house to allow Will to escape.We haven't seen Will since.
A couple of days ago I saw a black and white cross the road and slink past my house in his belly with an " house of fear" look on his face.
Never seen any damage or signs of fighting on him and there aren't a lot of cats around here, so hopefully it's intimidation and nothing worse.
Mostly, they sort out territory between themselves. She's the new kid on the block so might be assertive until the border disputes are resolved.

TheLongRider Tue 19-Dec-17 20:04:21

I agree with the other posters. She's staking her claim to her territory. When we moved house it took about 3 months of on and off fighting to sort out territorial squabbles. I have three cats, the previous owners had a dog so our cats had to establish their rights. Now they own the row and have come to an agreement with the neighbourhood mogs. There are few fights now.

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