Is it normal that my cat is fighting a stray cat?

I open the door to my garden and she spots a stray cat and starts fighting him to the point she scratches him to shreds, eventually the stray cat ran away climbing up the fence.

It was like watching two people beat up each other in the streets or kinda like Pokemon battling each other.

Is It Normal?
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  • I’m actually impressed your indoor cat fucked up a street cat.

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  • Yes of course it is normal, you need to protect your cat by not letting her out there! She is attempting to defend her territory. Call a trap-neuter-release service to fix that problem. Your kitteh shouldn't have to deal with that!

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    • I know she's not much of an outside girl but I decided to let her outside my garden for a bit.

      In future I will do that. ( Me calling a neuter service next time. )

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      • Unless you know for a fact that the invading cat is feral, calling a trapping service is unwarranted.

        What you perceive as a "stray" cat, could just be a cat that belongs to someone else and is doing its daily wander around what the cat considers to be its home range. Cats obviously don't care about the property boundaries drawn on title deeds, and fences and hedges are just obstacles to be overcome as they explore and find out what's going on in the neighbourhood. The cat who intruded into your garden now knows that the territory has been claimed by another cat, so it will likely either avoid your garden in future or at least be far more cautious and sneaky about going into it.

        If you let your cat out regularly and the other cat is often wandering around the neighbourhood, the two will probably negotiate a live-and-let-live truce. No animal (apart from our species) fights just because they enjoy fighting; all animals have an instinctive understanding that fighting can result in them becoming disabled. It's less likely the two cats will ever become such good friends that you'll one day see them curled up together in the sun, but it's not totally impossible.

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  • I think it's normal for cats to be territorial in general, and it's especially so with outside cats.

    I'm really into keeping my cat indoors, and pampering him for the most part. He doesn't go outside without supervision, and that has kept him healthy, as well as disease, and parasite free. I also had him neutered before, or around six months of age. There's no reason to not fix a cat unless it's a show quality, purebred animal with a great temperament that is suitable for breeding. Otherwise the best thing to do is to get them fixed. The same goes for dogs of course.

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    • cats should go outside.

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      • My cat does go outside on a leash, or in a stroller. When we lived in Las Vegas, and had a small backyard with a wall around it he would go out into the garden off lead, but under my supervision. Cats who go outside unattended are vulnerable to getting into fights with other felines, being attacked by dogs, being hit by cars, being killed by coyotes, and being stolen/abducted, especially purebred cats like my own.

        Cats who are allowed to go outside unsupervised to terrorize the local bird, and rodent populations are especially vulnerable to contracting parasites, and most notably toxoplasma gondii parasite! Toxoplasmosis is a disease that results from infection with the parasite toxoplasma gondii, and can also be found in the cat feces and contaminated food of an infected cat. It can cause serious complications for pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems!

        My cat is happier, healthier, cleaner and much more long lived, because he is a housecat!

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        • Have you looked at the average life expectancies of "outdoor" cats compared to indoor cats? Indoor cats tend to outlive outdoor cats by years - if the outdoor cat is in a city or large town then the life expectancy can be as much 16 years less than an indoor cat. That's a hell of a long time, especially to a cat.

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          • Oh, yes! My Siamese cat is my bestfriend, and I consider him a gift from God. I do whatever I can to keep him happy, healthy and safe!

            The whole outdoor cat thing is pointless unless someone has a farm out in the country, but even then those cats are still prone to parasites!

            My first cat I had when I was growing up was only with us a few years thanks to my parents archaic beliefs that cats need to go outdoors.

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            • Yup. I live rurally so my cat does go outside, but I have a catproof fenced off area for her and the kids to play in. So I always know where she is. If I want her to come back in I call her, and on the occasions where she is too enthralled by something to listen, I can either shake a bag of treats at her or just walk over to her and pick her up to bring her back in.

              Inside she has toys, cat trees, and goes in and on stuff as she pleases. I only ask that she stays off the kitchen bench. She has still not decided if she is going to comply with this, but we'll see.

              She honestly has a fucking sweet life. I really don't get why people think it's so weird not to let them roam off the property. Can you imagine purposefully letting any other pet roam off your property lol. If you want them to play outside then invest in a catproof fence or take them on walks with a halter lead. If you don't want to pay for those things or you can't be bothered then maybe you aren't the best person to look after a cat...

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    • Watching a catfight was somewhat entertaining to me.

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  • Don’t let your cat outside.

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    • That's cruel.

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      • If you think a cat really needs to be outside, you might not be properly stimulating it. Don’t get an animal you can’t care for. At least only let it outside on a leash and harness, or construct a cat patio if you think it’s such an issue.

        It’s more cruel to endanger your cat by letting it outside. It could be run over by a car, freeze to death or overheat, catch diseases, get caught in traps meant for other animals, impregnate/be impregnated, be harassed (like shot at with a BB gun) or stolen by strangers, or be injured in fights with other cats or wild animals like raccoons, coyotes, owls, their own prey, or whatever other animals are native to your area.

        It’s also irresponsible, cats are an introduced, ‘man-made’ species and predate local wildlife and disrupt the ecosystem. It’s estimated that 1.3 to 3.7 billion birds and 6.3 to 22.3 billion mammals are killed by cats in the US annually. Outside cats have caused various species to go extinct.

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        • I agree with all of this and I'm a huge cat lover. There's nothing wrong with keeping a cat within the boundaries of your property, and it is much safer for the cat. You would do this with literally any other pet. If you aren't able to provide a decent amount of space and stimulation for the cat - eg a large yard with cat proof fences for them to roam in - then you probably shouldn't adopt a cat.

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          • What country yall are in where there's dangers outside? I'd respect your opinions if ye o lowkey didn't insult people who let cats outside. This is not normal behaviour from y'all.

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            • Where do you live where there isn’t any danger for cats outside?

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            • I live in the tropics, near a rainforest. Plenty of danger to everyone and anyone. I appreciate that probably wasn't the response you were expecting, so I will be fair and honest and state that I would feel exactly the same way if I still lived in jolly old England. Check out some stats on what tends to kill cats, life expectancy of outdoor cats, how many get hit by cars each year etc. It's bleak reading.

              Who insulted people who let their cats outside? Someone not agreeing with something that you do isn't the same as you being insulted.

              It's not a hill I would die on or anything like that, but I do think a shift in attitude towards the care of cats would do them the world of good. A bit like how people in the UK used to think it was fine to stick a rabbit in a hutch at the bottom of the garden - we now know that this is cruel and negligent, and was the reason why so many rabbits died so young, and people who keep rabbits are now held to higher standards (I know UK changed rules regarding their welfare in order to protect them, I don't know if anywhere else followed suit).

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          • Well said.

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  • As Rose has said, cats are naturally territorial, and most will respond with aggression if they see an invader on their patch and their assessment is that they're likely to win the battle.

    If you allow a cat free movement in and out of the house, fights will happen until the animals sort out boundaries and who's the top cat. The worst thing is when there's a feline bully in the neighbourhood, and your cat is a bit of a wuss. Then, you can end up with a cat basically blockaded in the house, and getting stressed-out about the nasty cat possibly invading even that sanctuary. This has happened a couple of times with cats we've had, but a human getting involved with a well-aimed blast from a super-soaker was usually enough to convince the bully to back off.

    Cat fights are no joke because their claws and teeth are covered in all sorts of nasty pathogens. If a fight gets beyond the yowling and posturing phase and moves to biting and scratching, infected wounds often result. In any population of feral, unneutered cats, there will always be some who are missing eyes or limping around because of permanent damage caused by fights.

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    • I see your point.

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  • Just be glad she won, otherwise a tirade of bullying would have started. That cat knows not to mess with yours now.

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    • I should be that she had won. But I doubt she'd stand a chance against a group of them.

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      • Domestic cats aren't pack animals, and my impression is that they don't have the intellectual capacity to think tactically and to understand that ganging up with a pal against an enemy cat would be beneficial.

        For many decades now, I've shared a house with a rotating cast of cats. While they've always at least tolerated each other in the house, there have been a number of occasions when I've seen one of our cats getting into it with a strange cat, while another of our cats just sat back at a safe distance and watched the show. I have no idea what was going on in that cat's head, but it didn't look like there was any comprehension that joining in would help to defend what was their territory too.

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