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Pets' Corner: How can I make my cat feel more secure?

Your questions answered by Chamois Rose-Wood

I have two 12-year-old male tonkinese cats. One of them has taken to urinating in one particular corner of the house. And our neighbour's cat keeps coming into our home and eating the leftover cat food. This cat intimidates mine and tries to start a fight. How can I make my cat feel more secure and how can I stop the other cat getting in? Harriet James, via e-mail

Cats are free spirits; they go where the wind takes them, but more often than not where the best grub is. One possibility is that the intruder cat may not be getting such delicious food as you are feeding your cats. If possible, go and have a chat with your neighbour and explain the situation. Ideally, it would be good to get your neighbour's cooperation with this. But you could also consider changing your cats' feeding time so that when the intruder comes there are no leftovers for him to eat. A more drastic measure would be a magnetic cat flap (which only opens when a cat wearing a certain collar approaches). This would be an easy way to stop the intruder cat, but there are a few things you can try before you have to resort to that. Block off the cat flap completely and let the cats out yourself. If you see the naughty cat in your garden shoo him away. As far as the peeing is concerned, move furniture to cover off the cat's marking areas. Your cat needs to build his confidence, so steer him clear of the problem cat for a few weeks to get his self-confidence back and break the habit.

Send your queries to: The Independent Magazine, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, or e-mail petscorner@independent.co.uk