Cats,  Man Cat Mondays,  Merlin,  Mondays With Merlin,  Secrets of Cats

Do Fences Make Good Neighbors?

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

Merlin here on this beautiful Midsummer Eve. It’s no secret that I love summer. All winter, I dream of the long, warm days scented with all things green and brown. I like to patrol the grounds of our property but cats have no sense of land ownership. We don’t care about land surveys or property taxes. We mark our territory with tiny spurts of urine at about nose height (makes for easy sniffing). It’s our version of a Blackberry to keep in touch with the comings and goings of other cats. We also instant message who is welcome (or not) in our territory when we scratch trees, leaving our scent as a marker or calling card.

My territory is about three acres and that suits me fine, but according to Jeff Horn, who conducted a two-year study for his master’s thesis at the University of Illinois would say that’s on the low side. For his study, 42 adult cats were fitted with electronics to track their movements. Cats with owners had an average roaming territory of 4.9 acres, while feral cats roamed a much wider territory. One feral cat covered 1,351 acres but that must have been a pretty randy un-neutered dude. Domino certainly never roamed that much!

My mom, Layla doesn’t like it if I go on the neighbor’s land so I don’t, except for our next door neighbor because they don’t mind. It’s so annoying not being able to roam freely, but I can’t see too well anymore and there’s always a hooman trailing nearby. I know it’s for my safety but enough already. Maybe it’s time to get one of those purrfect fences from



  • Kathryn

    Wow, cats are quite the roamin’ breed! Have not had outdoor cats in 4 decades, (city life), but growing up, this all makes sense. Our cats (siamese) would come back bloody, or with presents, or sometimes we’d get complaints. Siami used to look for us while we were on vacation, and would return a week after we got back.

    Fences are a wonderful thing. But I can understand if kitties don’t feel that way.

  • Pam Kimmell and Sam (onespoiledcat)

    Merlin, this is Sam here and I know what you mean about having trailing hoomans. I know they keep an eye on me for my own good since there are foxes, etc. around here….but early on I learned it’s easier to just stay “in bounds” because either Mom or Dad would steer me back if I wandered off our land. It’s kind of easy in my case – we have big tall leyland cypress trees on the property borders. As I’ve aged I wander less….sitting on the front porch and watching the world go by is becoming more fun! Happy wandering Merlin….just be careful out there.

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