How can I prevent a neighborhood tomcat from harassing my neutered female cat when she goes outside?

  • We live in a fairly agricultural area, so we don't keep a litter box. My 2-year-old female cat goes outside to play and do her business. She was spayed at around 7 months old, but the large neighborhood tomcat continues to terrorize her. I had assumed once she was spayed, there wouldn't be any issues. I don't want to lock my cat inside.

    What can I do to prevent these attacks?

    Is the Tom a stray? If so you could "Fix" the problem (Neuter not sopranno style) that might reduce the territoriality that it is showing.

    Not sure whether it's a stray. The problem is how to catch him, though.

    @Chad - Catch and fix might not work, either. In my experience, a tom neutered as an adult is likely to stay territorial and keep asserting his dominance. On the plus side, a fixed tom isn't going to be siring kittens on every intact queen in his territory.

    Live Trap - You could also relocate the tom to an area far away or to a shelter if it is a stray. We have a shelter that is home to many feral cats nearby. You may have one too.

    Problem solved! I managed to trap the tomcat and relocate him. He was too busy asserting his dominance to try to exit through the one open window in the house right next to him.

    I have the same problem. My lady cat is 10 years old, and there are two toms nextdoor who are similar age. For many years we had no problem, but then a few years ago both toms decided to mark my place as their property, and would several times a day 'patrol' and chase my lady if they found her. She went from being content in her garden, to being nervous, and several stress signs started to appear (overgrooming). I cannot think of any way of keeping them out, apart from 24/7 vigilance - which isn't possible. Just to complicate it, she seems to miss them when they are not around.

  • Kate Paulk

    Kate Paulk Correct answer

    8 years ago

    In my experience there really isn't much you can do - without getting a dog (and having the "fun" of introducing your cat to the dog) the best I've ever managed is to chase the offending cat off my property any time I see him around. That tends to make the tomcat a bit more circumspect around your property - which should give your cat a safe-ish outdoor area.

    The only other option I can suggest is an outdoor cat run she can access from indoors (usually via a cat door) where she has plenty of space but the tomcat can't get to her. That's going to cost you either money or time.

    Unfortunately, your cat being spayed isn't enough for some toms, particularly if there's a queen in heat and they can't get to her. They're going to try to mate with anything feline that holds still long enough.

    Also, there's some dominance behavior going on here - the tom regards your property as part of his territory, and he's trying to ensure that your cat acknowledges him as the top cat.

    I'd suggest you keep an eye on her - in situations like this it's not uncommon for the female cat to be injured trying to escape the tom. More than once I've had to take neutered females to the vet to treat bad claw wounds near the base of the tail.

    I have a permanently open window that she can use to get inside, but as you rightly said, it's while escaping from the tom that she gets injured and loses her fur :|

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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