Catching this cat or keeping it outside - any tips?

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


Member Since
Purred: Fri Dec 28, '12 11:46pm PST 
Hello everyone.

For a while now I've had this problem: one of the cats that live in the neighbourhood (probably a tame male) uses our house as a litterbox. I understand that this is to mark its territory and whatnot. Anyway, this is a problem to me and I'd like to make it stop, but can't really come up with a good plan.

My own cat doesn't manage to learn how to use a pet door, so all cats can come and leave as they please. She also gets a bowl of dry cat food at all times, which tends to get eaten by the unwanted cat. Not putting the food there isn't a solution either, as that cat will still pee everywhere.

Basically, if I were fast enough to close the door to the basement before the cat gets there, the problem would be solved. But this cat is very fast and even though he dares to eat if the food is an armlength away from where I'm sleeping, or a bit further if I'm awake, as soon as I make a move he rushes to that door and there's no way I'd be faster than him.

I've read about these traps used to catch cats, but even hiring them seems to be expensive. I've thought about setting up a self-made trap, using the food provided for my cat. I'm just not sure whether it would work. Most of the time, he comes at night and wakes me up, but he's kind of quick to react to that.

I've thought of other traps to make him less likely to come here, but there's always the problem that my own cat will trigger the trap, so I'm looking for something effective that won't fail. I can lock my own cat in a seperate room, but I don't want to do this more than once. I'm also thinking of the possibility that she will start meowing and scratching the door, what will be heard by the unwanted cat and perhaps warn him...

So does anyone have any tips on catching this cat? The path in the house is very linear, with no doors between the rooms, except that one to the basement. I'm not going to harm the cat in any way - I just thought I'd scare it, take it to the vet perhaps, hoping that that would make him stay away.

Any tips on keeping it outside would also be greatly appreciated.

(I'm sorry if this isn't posted in the right category, couldn't really decide what the best option was.)


Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Sat Dec 29, '12 10:40am PST 
I'm assuming the cat isn't neutered? That would be the only reason to try to catch him - to get him neutered. He's likely spraying to mark his territory because he's intact. Otherwise I would just lock the pet door so he can't pee inside.

Member Since
Purred: Sat Dec 29, '12 2:32pm PST 
My own cat doesn't manage to use a pet door. There's serious effort put in trying to teach her how it works, but no results. The pet door is tied up so there's an uncovered hole in the wall, if you close it (but don't lock it, she just has to push it to go through), she won't even try to get outside.
If I were to close it, my cat would have to learn to use a litter box. Is that still possible for an adult cat, keeping in mind that a pet door is too difficult as well?


Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Sun Dec 30, '12 9:30am PST 
We live in a big city so it never occurred to me that your cat didn't use a litter box! When you said he didn't know how to use the pet door I assumed he stayed inside. I would try putting a box in the house and see what happens. Your cat is so much safer indoors and it's never too late to learn things!

Regardless, you should make sure the other cat is neutered too.

Edited by author Sun Dec 30, '12 9:31am PST



Is that a hair- elastic? ^w^
Purred: Sun Dec 30, '12 4:33pm PST 
You could always try calling Animal Control who would come and try and catch the cat for you, where I live they do not charge you to do this.
Another thing you could try is rigging up the door so that the new cat can get in but cannot get out again. All you would have to do is set up a few strips of wood or something on the outside of the cat door so that it opens when he pushes outside to go in but it will not open when he's inside trying to get back out. As for the hole that is uncovered just put something up to block that until you catch this wandering kitty.
I agree that it is way safer for a cat to be kept indoors, using kitty litter seems to be second nature to a cat. I would start by using an uncovered litter box and place some dirt or sand in it at first as that's where outdoor cats are likely to go to do their business. Just start slowly incorporating the litter into the sand/dirt until you reach the point where she goes into the litter. Depending on the size of the space the cat is in now I would just keep her in a smaller area where there is less opportunity to go in unwanted places until she learns about the litter. Cats catch on pretty quick so I wouldn't worry about her not learning what a litter is for. Stay away from litters that are heavily scented or have a lot of dust at first because that can deter a cat from going in the litter.

Unless you are planning on keeping the marauding cat as a pet I don't think it should be your responsibility to make sure he's neutered, if he has an owner that would be their responsibility. If animal control wont pick him up the best thing to do is trap him and take him to a shelter/rescue or try and find him a home independently.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Edited by author Sun Dec 30, '12 4:36pm PST