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INSIDE THE CONE OF SHAME wag expert advice As the weather warms, your indoor/outdoor cat is likely to bump into four-footed neighbors — and feline interactions can be fraught. Cats defend areas they consider important from invaders. The more dominant ones try to extend their territories by intimidating ill old or less assertive cats. In some cases, these aggressors expand their turf to the point that trips outside become too dangerous for other cats. If your cat is being harassed by the bully on the block, here are three steps you can take: Help a stray If the aggressive cat doesn’t have an owner, contact your local shelter or rescue group to discuss humane trapping, spay/neuter and re-homing. cat fights Seek an owner The urge may strike you to track down the owner and demand that he or she fix this problem (or possibly pay for a fight-related veterinary bill). I think we can all agree that this person should take responsibility, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. You may have better luck asking them for help and ideas. Is it possible to keep this cat indoors at night or when conflict seems to be occurring? If the cat is male and unneutered, would they consider neutering? (Regardless of sex, let’s get that cat fixed!) Lock up the house Obviously, keeping your cat indoors can solve the problem. It can also protect him or her from infectious diseases like FIV and decrease exposure risks to parasites including heartworms. If you have cat doors or open windows, make sure to close them off at night or whenever fights are most likely to occur. 1 Ultimately, you can only change what’s within your control — which means no matter how the problem of the other cat is (or isn’t) resolved, you can focus on ensuring your own cat’s safety and protection. 46 fun in the sun issue


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