Hissing, agressive cat toward neighbors

My 15 year old cat has started going to the neighbors home and creating a "stand down" barring his teeth and hissing at them, not letting them pass. He comes home and acts the way he has for 15 years. The neighbors have recently added 2 outdoor cats who are fed on their porch. Any suggestions? These are the same neighbors who care for our cats when we travel.

  • Vetinfo

    By: Kara McCarty El Segundo, CA

    Replied on 04/19/2011

    Your cat sounds like he is displaying displaced aggression. He is intimidated and not happy about the two new outdoor cats in "his" territory but at 15 years old he knows he is probably not physically able to fight with them. He is showing his anger to the people who smell like these new cats and who are not likely to harm him physically. Is it possible to keep the neighbor's cats or yours indoors? This arrangement will probably make your cat much happier as he will no longer have to socially interact with these cats. If that is not possible than your cat must be kept out of the neighbor's yard before the new cats retaliate or your neighbors get hurt. It is acceptable for your neighbors to protect themselves with a water pistol or an air horn to scare your cat. These things won't hurt him but hopefully will keep him out of their yard. Kara, DVM

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