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Our cat is a terror

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Piggers946, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. Piggers946

    Piggers946 PetForums Newbie

    Feb 14, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Just to warn you this will be a long post. Our cat, Smokey, is 2.5 years old. We brought him into our home when he was almost 8 weeks. At the time we lived in a flat, which meant he was an indoor cat. He's always been boisterous, explorative and a bit aggressive in his playing but he calmed down a bit after he was neutered at 6 months. However, he never lost his interest for wanting to go outside to explore and after a while if he didn't get attention when he wanted it, he would be prone to attack (i.e. jumping up to bite arms & legs, scratching the bottom of the sofa, scratching the walls) and just getting the zoomies in general.

    A year ago we moved from our flat in Scotland to Northern Ireland. At first we stayed with my in-laws for 4 months while we were in the process of selling our flat and buying a house (covid caused some delays). They lived out in the country, so he was finally able to go outside as much as he wanted after he got adjusted to the new surroundings. Aside from him chasing birds and mice (as a cat will do) and my mother-in-law turning out to be allergic to him, there were no major issues and he just flourished. He calmed down, he didn't attack us anymore and got most his energy released outside exploring the fields, hunting mice, running around the yard, etc. If he was indoors at night or early morning, he could still be an a-hole by breaking things while jumping/climbing things in the house (he's not a careful cat and will knock things over) and sometimes hissing at people other than me and my fiancé but he had been a lot calmer than before.

    At the start of July we finally got the keys to our new house five minutes down the road from the in-laws in the nearby village. After letting him adjust to the new house, I got him adjusted to the garden as well and eventually let him go out by himself. He loved it, he could go out all he wanted, it was just me and my fiancé (when he wasn't away for work) so inside wasn't too busy for him either. I thought he had adjusted brilliantly and had really come into his own being both an indoor and outdoor cat.

    Then just over a month ago our neighbour knocked on the door. Apparently Smokey has been terrorising the other neighbourhood cats and has been getting into their house. They spend a lot of money on getting a special magnetic cat flap for their cats to keep Smokey out but he still manages to get in somehow even though it's the dead of winter and he has no magnet on his collar or anything. When he gets inside he chases after their cats, goes for the teenage sons when they try to catch him/get him to go back out and just goes ballistic in the house. He told me other cats that live in the house on their other side used to come into their garden and would get along great with theirs but since Smokey has moved into the neighbourhood, they don't come around anymore.

    So, as a result, I have kept him inside ever since. But he needs his outdoor time. Since he's been indoors 24/7 again he's started attacking us again, albeit not as bad as when we lived in the flat, he's scratching the walls and the bottom of the sofas, and he goes mental in our house now to release his energy. Apparently he swiped at my fiancé's cousin when she was over sorting Christmas presents for her girls that got delivered to ours (I had stepped out the room to get her a coffee). He still won't let my in-laws get near him without hissing or swiping at them. So, at the start of last week we decided to try and let him go out maybe an hour or so in the morning and/or evening so he could run around and then keep him inside the rest of the time. We thought it had been going alright, he was calming down again. Until the neighbour just knocked on the door again tonight. We let him outside not even 10 minutes before that. He got into their house again and just tore through it, nearly destroyed their TV and was on the attack when they tried to get him out.

    Clearly we can't let him go outside on his own as he terrorises the neighbours but we can't keep him in 24/7 either as he just goes ballistic in our house several times a day destroying the walls, furniture and attacking us. I absolutely love him to bits, he can be the sweetest cat snuggling up in my lap, curling up between us on the sofa or coming for a cuddle on my shoulder. But we're at our wits end on how to handle/control him. We're looking to have a baby soon. It's one thing for him to go after us but we can't take the risk of him going after a baby or after his cousin's girls once covid restrictions are relaxed a bit again or anyone else. We just don't know what to do anymore. We're considering building him a cat run but it would stand separate from the house (because of the way the house and garden are designed), so he still wouldn't be able to go in and out as he pleases and I don't know if he'd be satisfied with just a small bit of garden access while being caged in.
  2. Silverdoof

    Silverdoof PetForums Member

    Jan 23, 2014
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    How about cat proofing your garden? Keep him in and neighbouring cats out. Your garden will need to be secure with children anyway

    Google - cat proof garden - Look up ProtectaPet or Katzecure Home etc

    jill3 likes this.
  3. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

    Sep 6, 2009
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  4. Douglas’ Dad

    Douglas’ Dad PetForums Senior

    Aug 18, 2020
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    Getting advice from a feline behavioural therapist would really help I think too. Poor Smokey. He doesn’t mean to be bad :-(
    chillminx likes this.
  5. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2010
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    @Piggers946 - I agree with the others, put up some cat proof fencing, either around the edge of your garden, or if your garden is large, fence off part of it, the part nearest the house. Ensure Smokey has a cat flap so he can come and go as he pleases from the house to the cat proofed garden.

    Some of the cat proofing companies can do freestanding fencing. It is made of fine brown or black mesh so it doesn't show much from a few yards away.

    Meanwhile, talk to your neighbour and diplomatically but firmly ask her to accept your offer of buying her a Surepet Microchipped cat flap (The Pet Door is the best size for average size and large cats. The standard size is suitable for small cats. The lock is more robust on the Pet Door too. I bought my neighbour a microchipped catflap years ago when one of my young cats was getting in and stealing her cats' food. It solved the problem completely and restored good neighbourly relations.

    Smokey will not break through a Sure Pet Microchipped flap. The only way he might might manage to get in is by muscling in on the tail of one of the resident cats as they are
    entering the house though the flap. This can happen but it is uncommon IME.

    The microchipped flaps are much more reliable than the magnetic type, and have the big advantage of the cats not needing to wear collars (if the cats are all microchipped)

    There is a special discount offer atm on Surepet Care products, in a partnership between Surepet Care and Cats Protection

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