Q Our 'Ernie' is a 3-year-old, neutered, orange tiger cat who is a delight to have around except that he still gets into fights with other cats within the apartment complex. I had hoped that when we had him fixed the fights would stop, but he still gets into an occasional scrap with one of the locals. On several occasions, we have had to have him treated for infected wounds. Is there anything we can do to completely stop his fighting? He is such a pretty cat that I don't want to see him get scarred or battered. Should we keep him indoors?
Mrs. Ellen Miles,
A Cat fights seem to be the result of any contact between two cats whenever there is a chance meeting and a dispute over who owns the territory. Neutered cats will still fight whenever they feel that their home turf is being threatened by an outsider. Cats that are not neutered tend to do the roaming and invading of another cat's home base, thus increasing their chances for injuries and infections that result from fights.
Ideally, you should keep your cat indoors because you live in an apartment complex and there is an increased risk of your cat encountering others. You may want to let him outside when you go out, keeping a close eye out for stray cats. If there are stray cats, you may have to contact animal control or trap them yourself and have animal control pick them up. This will reduce the incidents of fighting, decrease the possible exposure to contagious diseases and parasites and reduce the number of unwanted kittens being produced by the strays.