What else can I do when the outside cat is upsetting my indoor cat?

My cat sometimes marks by the door or window after the cat has come around.

1. Try blocking the view outside in that area, especially at cat level. Try placing a cardboard insert on the door or slider going up about 30 inches to limit the visual contact between the indoor and oustide cats.

2. Place a litter box close to the affected door/ window to provide an acceptable place for urination close to that area of the house.

3. Have your cat evaluated by your veterinarian for medical problems such as cystitis or inflammatory bowel disease. Sometimes the stress of the outside cat hanging around can trigger or worsen stress related illnesses such as nflammatory bowel disease.

4. Try contacting the owner of an indoor outdoor cat to discuss the "visiting" situation. This will occasionally be successful in reducing the number or length of the outdoor visits the other cat makes to your house.

5. Be very careful about intervening in displaced aggression battles when your cat becomes angry due to the presence of the outside cat. Your cat may displace his fear and anger on you and attack you. This behavior can continue for days or weeks after the initial triggering episode and is better prevented if possible. Serious injury or infection to both humans and other pets can occur from the bite wounds of an upset cat.

6. Sometimes antianxiety drugs are used to reduce the anxiety induced by the intermittent presence of the outside cat especially if cystitis is present. Caution must be used in cases of aggression as the antianxiey medicines can make some cats more aggressive.

7. Keep your cat indoors if at all possible. If your cat is indoors, it is less likely to consider the outside as part of its territory and is less likely to be upset when another cat comes in to the yard, even when close to the house.

8. If you must let your cat outside, try to do so during the day only and when you are able to directly supervise it. Some people have accustomed their cats to harnesses and can walk them around with greater safety. Do not tie a cat outside with a harness as they are both less able to protect themselves or run away from another animal, and they can injure or strangle themselves with the lead rope.

9. Outdoor enclosures can help give cats that want to be outdoors a safer environment. They may be more likely to spray or mark the outside enclosure walls/ screens due to increased proximity with any outside cats. However, when this occurs outside it is more easily tolerated by the household. In addition, the outside enclosure must have a top on it or the  cat can get out by climbing the enclosure walls.

What can I do to stop the spraying?

1. Make the outside of your house less attractive to the outside cat.  Temporarily lay an office furniture mat for carpeted areas that has sharp spikes on the back upside down in front of the slider or door or the bottom stairs to the deck. The outside cat will not want to walk on the spikes to get to the area to spray.  Othe unpleasant surface textures that can be used as a deterrent are coarse gravel and double sided masking tape.

2. Use a "super soaker" type water squirt gun to target the outside cat when it approaches. The water will not hurt the cat but it will make the lawn and house a source of intermittent "attacks" and will make it a less appealing overall destination.  Alternatively, you can use a foghorn type device to alarm the outdoor cat when it comes into your yard.

3. Remove outside food sources that may attract both the cat directly and its prey. Consider moving birdfeeders to a more distant location, or a location where the inside cat is less visible from the outside when watching the feeder activity. Store birdseed in rodent proof containers to avoid attracting mice, and remove any spilled seed from the area.

4. Clean the areas of the house and deck that have been sprayed with an appropriate urine remover. Continue to check the area daily as the outside cat may continue to respray the area regularly.

5. Some people have been able to devise motion activated outside watering sprayers that will be triggered by the approaching stray cat and frighten them away by their unexpected water spraying.

What else can I do when the outside cat is upsetting my indoor cat?

My cat sometimes marks by the door or window after the cat has come around.

1. Try blocking the view outside in that area, especially at cat level. Try placing a cardboard insert on the door or slider going up about 30 inches to limit the visual contact between the indoor and outside cats.

2. Place a litter box close to the affected door/ window to provide an acceptable place for urination close to that area of the house.

3. Have your cat evaluated by your veterinarian for medical problems such as cystitis or inflammatory bowel disease. Sometimes the stress of the outside cat hanging around can trigger or worsen stress related illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease.

4. Try contacting the owner of an indoor/outdoor cat to discuss the "visiting" situation. This will occasionally be successful in reducing the number or length of the outdoor visits the other cat makes to your house.

5. Be very careful about intervening in displaced aggression battles when your cat becomes angry due to the presence of the outside cat. Your cat may displace his fear and anger on you and attack you. This behavior can continue for days or weeks after the initial triggering episode and is better prevented if possible. Serious injury or infection to both humans and other pets can occur from the bite wounds of an upset cat.

6. Sometimes antianxiety drugs are used to reduce the anxiety induced by the intermittent presence of the outside cat especially if cystitis is present. Caution must be used in cases of aggression as the antianxiey medicines can make some cats more aggressive.

7. Keep your cat indoors if at all possible. If your cat is indoors, it is less likely to consider the outside as part of its territory and is less likely to be upset when another cat comes in to the yard, even when close to the house.

8. If you must let your cat outside, try to do so during the day only and when you are able to directly supervise it. Some people have accustomed their cats to harnesses and can walk them around with greater safety. Do not tie a cat outside with a harness as they are both less able to protect themselves or run away from another animal, and they can injure or strangle themselves with the lead rope.

9. Outdoor enclosures can help give cats that want to be outdoors a safer environment. They may be more likely to spray or mark the outside enclosure walls/ screens due to increased proximity with any outside cats. However, when this occurs outside it is more easily tolerated by the household. In addition, the outside enclosure must have a top on it or the  cat can get out by climbing the enclosure walls.

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That cat outside is driving me and my cat crazy - it keeps spraying the outside of my house!

Outside Cat Harassment

The cat you see outdoors may be a stray cat, or it may be owned by a neighbor that allows it to spend some time outdoors.

Cat will spend time "making the rounds" of their territory every day. Many cats will urine mark certain areas of their territory, in particular those areas that are on the edge of their territory or that other cats may frequent.  Sometimes a cat outside will notice the indoor cat at the window, door or slider and spray the edges of the door or windows. This in essence is saying "this is my territory".

Occasionally outdoor cats may take a more aggressive approach and attack the inside cat through a screened door or window. Sometimes a cat fight ensues if the screen is pushed open or other contact is made.  A cat fight inside can also occur if the inside cat becomes angry or afraid, and it attacks an innocent bystander cat or human. This is called displaced or redirected aggression. Displaced aggression can be severe and affect the cat's behavior and interactions for weeks or months.