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Discussion Starter #1
Leon is a 3-year-old orange tabby. Stays outside most of the time but is free to come in when I am home.

Poodle is a 1-year-old yellow/white mix next door. Male. Stays outside most of the time but the neighbor lets him in also.

Issue: Leon and Poodle get along with all the local cats except each other. (I have five, immediate neighbors have many more.)

They simply go after each other - mostly it is Leon being the aggressor. Long, donnybrook fights with bites.

Idea: What if the neighbor and I agree to try an intervention. Bring both cats into my house in a very controlled environment in which they both will feel safe and help them work things out. Treat them well, feed them like kings, spoil them silly, and maybe that treatment will help them decide to get along?

Comments - or other ideas - welcome!
 

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I think bringing them into the house would be a HUGE mistake. They're already having territory wars about outside space that is available to all. Bring Poodle into a space that Leon views as completely his and I suspect you'll have WWIII on your hands. Leon sees himself as the king of the neighborhood and Poodle is probably starting to try and challenge that (heck he's gotta do something to try and overcome that name!), so Leon works hard at keeping Poodle in his place.

Have they both been neutered? If not, that's the first step.
 

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Thanks for the feedback Doodlebug.

Yes, both cats are neutered, and both are healthy and are otherwise well-behaved. Leon is very social and outgoing; Poodle is shy but nice.

Was thinking about bringing Poodle into the house (he has been in my house several times to get treats) and keeping him in long enough to feel secure, then perhaps bringing Leon in first in a crate, with both myself and the neighbor in the room at all times...

Their brawling is disturbing everyone's peace and I feel like some kind of action is needed...

Thanks again,

p.s. Yes, Poodle is burdened with an unfortunate name. The owner's 8-year-old daughter was awarded naming rights... Funny thing: I''ve grown to kind of like it (this coming from a guy who has named one of his cats 'Krusty'...) :roll:
 

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What you're suggesting goes against what every expert I have ever read recommends. When you have two cats who can't get along in what is essentially neutral territory, bringing them into a confined space and caging the cat that "owns" that space is a good way to escalate the situation.

Hierarchy amongst cats is something they need to work out. We can help it along when introducing a new cat into a home, but it's done the opposite of what you're suggesting...the new cat is confined to a separate room and a controlled introduction process is done. You could try that, but it would involve confining Poodle to your house for potentially weeks. And then he would probably be confused about where his home is.

Some ideas for fostering tolerance would be to initiate interactive play sessions with them outside. Get a toy like Da Bird and try to engage them together...but not in either of their yards...in some neutral territory. You can also try giving them treats together. If they seem to be tolerating each other in the neutral territory, then move closer and closer to home territory.
 
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