Cat Training and Behavior (Domestic and Feral)/cAT iNVASION


:   Our daughter who lives in New York has a small outdoor patio and has two cats that remain indoors.  Her problem began when one stray cat decided to visit her patio.  Now five cats hang-out on a daily basis. During a cold spell she put out an old blanket so the cats would have a warm place to stay but she does not feed them and her own cats are confined to the house.  How can she get rid of these strays.  Animal control will not pick them up.  Is there a spray that you can recommend?  She needs to do something before even more cats make this their gathering place.

Hi, John. Since she's not feeding them, the best thing to do is find a humane trap and take them to the shelter. If they are like most, they will not pick up strays, but will take them if they are brought there. Do they seem feral because they are nice, you could bring them in via a pet carrier. Do you know that they are not owned? You could try putting out bowls or hand towels soaked in vinegar water. That's not a guarantee but they do not like that smell. You could also fill up the patio with different things that make it seem suddenly unwelcome.  

Cat Training and Behavior (Domestic and Feral)

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Melissa Burg, RVT/Behavior Consultant


I have experience dealing with different cat behavior signs, including separation anxiety, possible aggression and the difference between fear aggression and actual aggression, this would include possible feral cats. I also am familiar with the several different approaches to introducing a new cat to the environment as well as how each cat or cat and dog and live comfortable and dealing with litter box issues and help you decide if the problem is medical or behavioral.


My experience began with my own cats and escalated while working with area animal shelters for the past 10 years. I was able to watch and learn how the cats would react to different stimulus and each other. My experience grew during college and became able to distinguish between medical and behavior issues.

"Pawfect Pets," a weekly column in my local newspaper with pet health and behavior and training tips.

I graduated with an Associate's in Veterinary Technology in 2009 and became RVT in the state of Iowa in 2012 with a focus on Behavior.

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