Bandido the Cat

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Chef Dave

Oct 3, 2010
I woke this morning at 3 AM to the sound of a cat fight. I could hear hissing, yowling coming from the living room. As I turned on the lights, there was a loud crash as something shattered on the floor.

I hurried into the living room, fearful that my four cats were fighting amongst themselves only to find that there were five cats in the room. Sitting on top of the dining room table was a large scruffy black and white cat that I had never seen before.

Three of my four cats had surrounded the table. The boys lashed their tails and chorused an undulating threat of mayhem and violence. Little Tabitha, a petite tuxedo cat ran back and forth across the far side of the room looking for all the world like a dainty cheerleader. Defense ... pitter-pat ... defense ... pitter-pat ... defense!

I nearly slipped when I stepped on an apple that was rolling across the floor. Someone ... probably the intruding cat, had knocked a ceramic bowl of fruit off the table. Pieces from the shattered bowl threatened to cut my bare feet.

"EEEEE-YEERRRR-OWWW!" hissed the strange cat as he jumped off the table, ran into the kitchen, and out the pet door. Enraged beyond reason, Jasper Baby, a normally placid round furball gave chase followed by his brother, Bob. Bob and Jasper are Manx mixes. Jasper has 1/3rd of a tail while Bob has a "bob tail ... hence the name, Bob the "bobcat."

Now the funny thing is that I've known of the intruding cat for some time ... but being a mere human, I didn't understand what my own cats have been trying to tell me.

Ever since I moved here, there has been at least one late night chorus of hissing and yowling. Every time I've gotten out of bed, the boys have been glaring towards the kitchen. The kitchen has always been empty.
I couldn't understand what was happening and figured that the cats were still stressed out and adjusting their personal territories following the move or the

Now that I know that there's a 5th cat, it occurred to me that while the house sat vacant, a feral cat must have moved in. Not only did this empty house provide him with shelter but the 5,000 gallon fresh water pond in the backyard gave him access to fresh water as well as all of the lizards, birds, and ground squirrels that entered the back yard for a drink.

Even though the house is now occupied, I think this cat is still protective of his territory and I think he has been raiding the house to steal dry cat food from my kitties.

I hope that tonight will be peaceful. After I fed my cats their dinner, I slid the plastic cover into a slot over the pet door. The cats are locked in for the night and the intruder whom I have taken to calling "Bandido," is now locked out.

Although Tabitha and Jasper Baby have bitterly complained about the locked door, I am hoping in time that Bandido will (in time) get the message and move on to forage somewhere else.

At this time, Jasper is lying on a kitchen chair staring at the door. I don't know whether he's defending the house or whether he's simply waiting for me to open the door so that he may go into the fenced backyard for his evening walk.

My father suggested that I bait a trap to catch Bandido. He says that if I caught this cat, I could take it to the local shelter. Unfortunately since this cat is feral, taking him to the shelter would probably result in his being put down.

As someone who appreciates cats, I don't want Bandido killed ... but I need him to stay out of my house and away from my cats.

Given that every incident with Bandido has occurred at night, I think this cat has been using the cover of darkness to enter the house. I don't think he's been brazen enough to enter the house during the day and on weekends when I've been home, I haven't heard any yowling from my boys.

I'm hoping that an evening curfew will keep Bandido out while also keeping my cats safe. In time perhaps Bandido will move on.

The only other thing I can think of is perhaps I could buy him off by leaving out dried cat food outside the garage. The only problem with this is that putting out dried food would encourage Bandido to stay in the area. If nothing else, he would probably climb the fence just to get a drink of water.

Aside from what I have already done, does anyone have a constructive suggestion for how to deal with Bandido?
I would lure him to the garage with dry food, keeping your boys out of it as much as possible. But, of course then you would have an outside cat...aside from taking him to the pound, I don't think there is any other way to rid yourself of him. If you keep locking him out and yours in at night, he will just become bolder and enter in the daytime, when the cat door is open.
Is there possibly an organization in the area that rescues feral cats? I know they have them in some areas.

Thank you for your replies. Since I live in a rural area, the nearest Humane Society would be in Tucson, some 1 1/2 hours away. The county shelter could try trapping the cat ... but if they caught it, they'd probably put it down.

Tabitha, my tiny Tuxedo cat, is also my adventure kitty. She's the only cat I have who goes over the fence and if the local animal control officer was on the look out for a black and white cat, he could accidentally capture Tabitha.

For now, locking the cat out by day seems to be working. When winter comes, I may have to lock the cats inside 24/7 as the cold temperatures could force Bandido to seek shelter.
I had the same problem with a tiny feral in Wyoming. I called the pound (no Humane Society for over 100 miles) and they said they would trap it and kill it as cats are considered a nuisance, predator. The not so tiny feral now lives with my Mom who we were visiting at the time. He's a monster cat, chocolate point siamese, name of Duffy.
Also, if nothing is done about the cat, make sure your cats' shots are always up-to-date. I know feline leukemia is a problem around here.


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