neighbor's killer-cats

PomonaJuly 1, 2004

We have a lot of squirrels & chipmunks on our property because I feed them from the front porch. A lot of them are tame (with me) to the point that they eat out of my hand. So a neighbor moves in 2 years ago with cats that are on my property CONSTANTLY(walking away with chipmunks in their mouths daily!).

I spoke with the neighbor soon after they moved in. They weren't interested. So I made my request more firm & less friendly to let them know I was really angry about the situation. So they said, "OK, we'll put up a fence to keep the cats away." They put up a 6' "neighbor-hater" fence along the joint property line. HUH? One length of fencing to keep the cats in their yard?

Well, amazingly enough, the cats walk AROUND the fence or simply go over it. Wow! What a surprise.

At this point we have NO RELATIONSHIP with these people & there is no point in speaking with them further. Their original response (NO response) showed their true interest level.

How does a person keep a neighbor's cats from killing animals on YOUR property? Aren't there ordinances or anything? I'd really appreciate suggestions. Thank you.

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Most municipalities have leash laws. Dogs and cats are not allowed to roam free. Call and make a report.

It irritates me to no end that some (not all!) cat owners think it's ok to let a cat run free, but if anyone lets their dogs out, that's a huge problem.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2004 at 10:45AM
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Thanks for the encouraging input, Weed. Actually, I did make a "report" on the Town Dog Officer's voice mail last week, tho I haven't heard back from him. I DID find a Bylaw on my town's website that clearly states that no one may allow ANY animal to be "at large" if it results in "injury or nuisance" to others. That captures it perfectly! So, if this guy ever calls me back I'll be able to cite the ordinance & ask what he'd like to do about it.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2004 at 11:13AM
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We used to have the same problem, and I was afraid my dh was going to do something to retaliate or somethig. I wnet to and bought this stuff called "Get Away" that cats HATE the smell of. It's granular and you do have to reapply it every couple of months. You just sprinkle it around the yard. It solved the problem for us completely!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 9:52PM
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Well, since my town's Dog Officer still hasn't been in touch (it's been 9 days since I left a mssg,& I was told he picks them up daily so I guess cat issues are not a high priority), so I will look up this "Get Away" potion right now. I do wonder if it's potent enough to stop a cat in its tracks as it's racing across my front yard at lightning speed to pounce on a terrified, racing chipmunk! (Oh the horror of it all.) I really appreciate your suggestion, skatiero. Also, I'm just curious; what, exactly, did your dh plan to do to "retaliate?" I'd really like to know. Thanks again for taking the time to help me out.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2004 at 12:13AM
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I would definitely complain to the local authorities.

I have cats and dogs, and not one of them is allowed to be out without supervision of some kind.

We are rebuilding our house, and our cats will have an outdoor enclosure so that they can get outdoors, but still be contained. Our dog goes for walks without a leash, but never alone - it's always with one of us, and he is trained to stay right by our side.

Of course, the reason we have cat enclosures is so that the eagles can't take off with the cats....and the dog stays close or the bears will get him! lol

    Bookmark   July 15, 2004 at 12:49AM
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This makes me mad not only for you and your chipmunk friends, but also for your neighbors' cats!

Your neighbors should be aware that it isn't safe to let their cats roam around outside unattended and also it isn't necessarily safe for their cats to be eating chipmunks or squirrels! By letting their cats out to roam free and kill wild animals, they are exposing their (presumably) beloved pets to disease, parasites, predators, and human dangers, such as being shot at or hit by a car.

Let us know what happens!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 6:03PM
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Well, I certainly appreciate everyone's input on this. Here's what's happening - zero. I have left TWO messages for the "Dog Officer" at the police station, on his voicemail, and it's been over a week since I last called, & I'm certainly not leaving a 3rd message. So naturally this really ticks me off. I'm in a bad position because you obviously don't want your local freakin' police force to have you down as a "nuisance caller" or a "nut," so I figure I'm at a dead end. Unbelieveable. And the taxes we pay in this town are off the charts. Nice.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 9:22PM
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I did a google search on "repel cats" and found tons of info. Sprinkling that stuff all over the eyard, esp at the edges, really, really worked. The stuff my dh was thrreatening would not have been a good idea. Things like gettong a BB gun. I love cats, but am very much allergic, and do not want them in my yard going after the wildlife. My dh HATES them.

Here is a link that might be useful: cat repellants

    Bookmark   July 20, 2004 at 12:17AM
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Hey, I REALLY appreciate everyone's continued interest. Thank you. I know I said that I'd look up the cat repellent items, and I did, but haven't purchased any yet. I kept thinking (idiotically) that the Town's Animal Control officer would call me back since I'd left 2 messages over the course of 3 weeks. Clearly that's not going to happen, so today I WILL order some of the items that have been suggested here.

Another reason I haven't done it yet is because, as I previously mentioned, when the cat is here, it is racing at break-neck speed because it's seen one of our chippies from his yard. Under these circumstances I cannot picture the cat thinking, "Hmmmm, my instincts tell me to run that critter down, but there's that yukky smelling stuff on their yard, so I'll take a pass on the varment..."

But, hey, with the stuff on the yard, maybe their cats will stop looking over here alltogether. We'll see.
Again, it's very nice of all of you to be so supportive. I so appreciate your advice.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2004 at 8:33AM
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Live catch the cats and turn them over to the animal warden. An air rifle might also be a decent solution. The cats will learn to stay away after they get stung a few times.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2004 at 4:59PM
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Brickeyee - Thank you for the input. I thought of the air-rifle idea a few months back, but upon researching it, found thst they're illegal in my state, at least for use in a neighborhood setting.

Here's the thing about live-catching. If I did catch it & turn it over to the unresponsive "Animal Control Officer," the neighbors would retrieve it, bring it home & let it out.

Here's an update:
Yesterday one of the cats tore through our yard after a chipee, & I ran after it, throwing rocks. Then, with my blood pressure sky-high, I stormed over to the neighbors, who were all hopping into the car. The husband saw me coming, so stood guard next to the car to fend off my (verbal) attack. And attack I did. I SCREAMED at him to "Keep your damn cats off of our private property!" and just for effect, I said it over & over again, non-stop. His response was as it always has been; rolling his eyes & saying (in a patronizing tone), "They're outdoor cats." Me: "So keep them off our property!" Him: "You can't contain cats." Me: "I know a way to contain a cat." Him: "Well I think you'll find that's illegal." He was trying to get me to say that they can be killed, but I didn't take the bait. Had he asked, I'd have told him that you can build outdoor, enclosed pens, with trees inside & everything." But he didn't ask.

I asked if he felt any sense of PERSONAL RESPONSIBIILITY. He said "no." I said, "Town Bylaw - E24 - states no animal of ANY kind may be 'at large' to the nuisance of anyone else, so you've been breaking that Bylaw for 2 years." He shrugged his shoulders, "Well, we'll see." In other words, we'll see if the Town does anything about it.

Since I've left 3 messages for the Animal Control Officer- over the past 5 weeks, and he hasn't reponded, I think my revolting neighbor realizes that "cat control" is not a Town priority.

*******URGENT UPDATE ******** THIS JUST IN ***************
Animal Control Officer just called - he'd been on vacation.
What a nice & reasonable guy. Here's the deal. My neighbors called the cops after my tirade yesterday, so today the cops called the A.C.O. to handle it. So the A.C.O. said he spoke to my neighbor a few hours ago & told him that, Yes, they are technically breaking the law, but there is no one that enforces it. (An unenforcable Bylaw!?) The A.C.O. only does dogs & has no time for the cat calls - he receives over 2 dozen cat complaints per WEEK!

He said my only recourse is to take my case to the Town Selectmen & see if they will review it. Even if they do, though, he said nothing will happen for a good 6 to 8 months. Then this man showed the most amazing compassion. He said if he thought I could take this to the Town & have it solved in 48 hours, he'd say "Go for it," but he would hate for me to add years to my life and cause torment to my nervous system about this for the next 6 - 8 months. He said he doesn't mean to belittle the situation, but it's just not worth putting myself thru this endless anxiety when it's virtually unsolveable.

I said, "What if I live-catch it & bring it to you." He said I couldn't bring it to him. There's noplace for me to take it.

Ultimately, I was truly impressed with this man's compassion and interest & honesty about what could be done about the situation, and I don't impress easily! He appeared to be truly concerned about what this is doing to me emotionally & psychologically. He was a very good & kind man.

Final note: Someone wrote to my personal email & suggested that I live trap it & drive it 30 miles away, take off its tags & let it go. That seems like an option, if I can trap it.

If anyone actually read thru this whole thing, I'd appreciate feedback, as usual. You are my only sounding-board on this & it means a great deal to me.
Thank you.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2004 at 12:52PM
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Someone in our town recently did what you just mentioned.
He live trapped several cats that were using his $1400.00 worth of new landscaping for a litter box etc and abandoned them about 30 miles away. He got caught, and arrested for breaking the animal abandonment law. He faces a stiff fine and is the pariah of the nieghborhood. Let me say I am a cat lover (but my cats are inside only, and I once was heartbroken when a neighborhood cat got one of my chipmunks. )I don't think trapping and abandoning the cats elsewhere is the answer. It is not the cats' fault, they are only following their instincts, and you would be punishing them for the sins of their owners, and you may be subject to the fine etc., that I mentioned above. I have no solutions for you, sorry, other than suggesting you see if any of the other neighbors would be interested in joining with you to a complaint to your town Selectmen? Maybe a group of people complaining would have more of an impact? Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2004 at 1:34PM
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HOLY SMOKES! Abby, that's one that I HAVEN'T heard of yet - the animal abandonment law. Ouch! That kind of attention I do not need! Hey, for what it's worth, I agree with you completely that it's not the cat's fault. I blame the owners 100%. The fact is, I didn't think that "abandonning" the cat in the woods far away would result in the cat's death. This is a freakin' hunting cat! Would it miss its owners? I don't know. Perhaps.

I appreciate your suggestion about getting a number of folks together to have more of an impact, but the fact is, even if the Selectment choose to hear the case, etc., there are set fines. Supposedly they fine $25 for the first 3 offenses; then it goes up to $35. But it's a "Catch 22" situation because there's no way to prove the cat's been on your property without trapping it, and you can't trap it because there's no Town Officer who'll accept it. The Animal Control Officer was quick to point out how ridiculous it is to have a Bylaw on the books that is completely unenforceable. He said, "I know it's hard to turn the other cheek when you know that you're right, but sometimes it's the best thing to do - for your own emotional state."

    Bookmark   July 26, 2004 at 3:42PM
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Glad you hear you are not blaming the cats :) The consensus in our local case is that the cats, while they may be hunters by instinct, will not fare well when abandoned so far from home. Lots of ill will is being generated at the person who trapped them, along with a nasty fine and court appearance. So keep that in mind. Easy for the animal control person to say turn the other cheek for the sake of your emotional state (as kind hearted as he may be), as seeing the chipmunks being taken can't be good for your emotional state either.
Good luck with this problem, you are not alone!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2004 at 5:52PM
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I don't understand why animal control won't take them.What about the local spca?Ours charges a sixty dollar readoption and shot fee for strays.I have relocated a neighbors dog that won't stay out of my yard.After paying the fee a few times,they are managing to keep him home more often.Look for your local humane society and live catch the cats as strays.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2004 at 12:00PM
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You can prove that the cats are in your yard, take pictures. Squirt them with a super power water gun, they'll love that! try some hot sauce in a spray bottle, my mom's friend used it on her patio door, to keep the cat from "spraying" and it worked. Pictures, water, hot sauce. I'll be hoping you win. Why have a city ordinance and not enforce it? Spray the hot sauce around the yard, not on the cats.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 11:08PM
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CarolsSis: Actually, proving that they're here isn't the issue. The neighbor wouldn't deny that they're over here. He feels that it's their right to go wherever they want & as I mentioned, he stated that he feels absolutely NO PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for them. What a neat guy, huh?
However, the hot sauce is yet another new idea that I haven't come across previously. I suppose that spraying under all of our bushes would make the cats' lurking areas less desireable. And I haven't looked into the water gun idea. I'd have to find one that is really powerful & doesn't require me to "pump" it up prior to using it, or it would take too long & the cat (with chippie) would be long gone. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 9:38AM
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Dealing with this situation in my community right now.

The neighbor is a real piece of work, and her cats go where they want. Her response to neighbor's complaints. "Hey, they're cats, nothing I can do about it."

Interestingly, the county in which I live doesn't include cats in the leash law.

So, over the past several weeks, the cats have, one by one, disappeared into live traps and been taken to the county shelter.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 10:16AM
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kframe19 - Thanks so much for this valueable input. But I must ask you - do her cats wear I.D. collars? Because I did buy a trap, but THEN found out that our Animal Control Officer does not deal w/cats on any level, and he said if I live trap them, there's no place I can take them. I have not yet tried to track down a local shelter, but I'm afraid that if I brought in my own next-door neighbors' cat - with I.D. tags - the shelter person would think that I was the jerk, for not just returning them to the neighbors. Do you know what I mean? Please let me know. Thank you.

Lastly, for those of you who are following this mess, you may recall that last Sunday (the 25th) I had a horrendous run-in w/neighbor & literally screamed at him for a good 10 - 15 minutes in his driveway. I WAS SCREAMING! Ultimately he calmly waved his hand (as if shooing away an animal) and told me to leave his property. I said, "NO! You keep YOUR damn cats off of OUR property." And I said it several more times, as he requested that I leave a few more times. So yesterday I receive a note from the mailman saying that he tried to deliver a "Certified" letter from the neighbor, but I wasn't home. I though it might be some awful Restraining Order or something, but realized that would have to come from the Police Dept. (Incidentally the cops were called on Sunday - by the neighbors, who were gone when they arrived. The Officer looked around the fence, on our side of the property, and then got in his car & left. Never even came to the door to discuss it.) So now I'm trying not to have a breakdown about what this creep has written in his letter. Probably from his attorney telling me to back off, or else. God, I hate this.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 11:02AM
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Your neighbor is probably serving you with a civil trespass order that you're to stay off his property.

Well, you can, or should be able to, depending on the laws of your area, be able to serve HIM with a civil trespass order. As owner of the cats, he's responsible for them and for keeping them off your property.

Anytime the cats violate that order, as proven by photographs or video, you can serve the owner. That's how the law is in Virginia.

So, check it out, tit for tat.

As for the cats that went to the shelter...

Well, at one time they had ID tags, but somehow they got lost...

I live in a very urban environment, so the shelter is right up the road.

I love cats, I grew up with cats and dogs, and I have dogs at the moment. But I like to think that I'm a responsible pet owner, and leaving them roam continuously is NOT being a responsible pet owner.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 8:23PM
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Oh Jesus, a "civil trespass order?" I looked up the term & found that it could involve a court appearance. This has caused so much stress for me that at this point the only way I can prevent a real, honest-to-goodness breakdown is to read his certified letter (it will be delivered tomorrow, and hopefully no action will be required of me), and I will then walk away from this mess (figuratively).

I've been taking Valium for the past 5 days, and even with that I can't concentrate on anything because my nerves are shattered & my thoughts are consumed with "what will happen next?" I knew he'd retaliate for my screaming & my refusing to leave his property (I stayed for 5 minutes after he requested my departure). I just don't have the nervous system to take this any further. I'm going down fast. Of course I'm angered out of my mind because I'm the one being served with some legal admonishment, when he's been breaking the "unenforceable" animal bylaw for 2 years. Over the course of 2 years I've done nothing other than request 3 times civily, and 1 time uncivily, that he obey the bylaw.

I think the Animal Control Officer was right. It is not winable & I should cut my losses & get on with my life. I could serve him with some papers to retaliate, & I could go to the Town Selectmen, but ultimately nothing would happen - unless I chose to devote my life to this for the next 5 years or something. No, I think my sanity requires that I train myself to never again gaze at their home or their yard & I need to train my anguished thoughts to focus entirely on other things, POSITIVE things. Life is so short, you know? If I could take back my screaming rampage & just continue going on hating them in silence, I think I would do it, even tho it gave me great satisfaction to FINALLY get it off my chest with him. All in all, I have to say it wasn't worth it. To allow my life to be dismantled any further by such lowlifes would be a misfortune of my own doing.
Any encouragement on this, folks?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 12:50AM
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well- I think he's made his statement...

turn the cats over to the SPCA.

I moved in to a house where the previous owner had gone into a home, and chose to abandon their indoor-outdoor cat on the property...

two years ago. which meant that my neighbor and I (who moved in a month later) had 20+ cats to deal with.

in the past year two have been shot, five run over, and 15 trapped and turned over to the local shelter, one adopted by my neighbor...

and the oldest of the remaining cats is too damned smart for us- we've even tried drugging her food, she wasn't having any, keeps her kittens away from it...

the two next door don't seem to have any parents. admit they're orphans, and turn them in.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 12:33PM
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I disagree about trapping the cats unoess you have tried everything else. The cat repellant is really effective, and worked for us in this situation. Another option a friend of mine suggested was a motion-detector sprinkler-- little critters are too small to set them off. (They cist money, though.) There are battery-powered squirt guns.

Stay off the neighbors' property. And get some cat repellant. It honestly made such a huge difference when we had that problem.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 9:37PM
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skatiero: At this point I haven't got the guts to do the trapping routine. There's too much at stake here; God only knows what sort of legal action this guy could take against me, or would attempt to take, which would amount to the same amount of anxiety. I put cat repellant granules around bushes & the property line & next to the street. We've been away so I haven't been able to test its effectiveness.

I didn't realize that squirrels wouldn't set off the water sprayers. That's something I'd definitely do if there were just one place where the cat showed up, but it comes from all directions & races across the whole front yard, so I think the granules are the way to go. Thanks again for your continued interest & support.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 10:31PM
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Do NOT let this jerk intimidate you. You have rights. As kframe said, 2 can play that game. He is harassing you via his uncontrolled animals tresspassing on your property, which you have EXPRESSLY forbidden.

I am astonished to see you live in the Boston area and the animal control people won't act. You need to look past your township and find out what other municipal (e.g.; county, state, etc.) regulations apply.

You might try a few pithy letters about the problem (and the fact that the local governance authorities are not enforcing the laws they are sworn to uphold) to your local paper, too.

It could be a lot of your neighbors are having the same problem with this jerk and just need to be uncorked to demand action.

(Of course, you COULD fence your property and get a dog, a big one, that doesn't like cats. My dogs never touched the small animals, but god help any cat that invaded their territory.....)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 11:35PM
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ok, i've followed this from beginning to end, and i usually don't post here but i have to at this point

1st... i agree that animals should not be out of thier humans control at anytime (whether that means a leash, harness, held in the arms - mine cats do not leave the house without a human escort)
2nd... unfortunately here in mass (i live just north of the city) we do not have leash laws on cats
3rd...unfortunately (again) that is what cats are hardwired to do - chase and kill (or pretend to kill and just play with wild rodents)
4...trapping is often not the best option unless you have a home lined up for it due to the overcrowding of animal penitentiaries in the state (seriously, even no kill shelters *may* end up transferring (unwittinly or so) an animal to a "kill-in-3-days-if-not-claimed" shelter.
If you do trap the cat(s) and are looking for a place to unload please contact one of the following
Melrose Humane Society
Neponset Valley Humane Society
(e-mail me if none of these are in your area and i can probably find a reputable one close to you)

suggestion - avoid Angell Memorial

if you would like to continue with repellants i would suggest fox or coyote urine (available on-line - or if you'd like i could give you some to try)
cinnamon on the ground has a good effect as does chicken wire and tin foil and garlic

good luck. i hope eveything works out. some people just should not be companions to animals.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 11:44PM
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We used to have a problem with neighborhood cats that were allowed to roam freely (and multiply, and use my flower beds for litter boxes...). We went to the animal shelter and borrowed a trap. The next day we called and they'd come pick it up with whatever was inside. This happened numerous times. We finally moved. WE LOVE CATS!!!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 12:22PM
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Thank you all for your continued interest & suggestions. I really appreciate it.

Satisfying Update: Mark Knopfler said it best, "Don't you love the sound of the last laugh, my friend?"
Remember last Wed. (the 28th) I received note from mailman stating a Certified Letter was at P.O. & I could go pick it up, or sign the note & put note back in my box, & he'd deliver the letter? Well, there was no 3rd option, so I tossed the note, figuring the mailman would reattempt delivery in a day or 2. Nothing happened until today - exactly 1 week since my first "notice." This one is marked "Final Notice" & again states I can pick up letter at P.O. or sign for it, etc. This time there was a tad more info. It said that if I do not sign for or pick up letter, it will be "returned to sender on Aug. 12th." HOW GREAT IS THAT? So this JERK is checking on-line every night(I'm sure) to see if his letter has been signed for & received, and ultimately he'll end up waiting THREE weeks before he receives his letter back in his mailbox, unopened. Ouch!

He'll probably hire a courier to hand-deliver it. Fine. I feel sublime satisfaction at this point. I can only imagine the tension in his household (for 3 weeks), with him & his miserable wife & 2 screaming toddlers, as they wait this out with their hands tied. The guy has got to feel like a fool.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 7:20PM
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Check out the link - got your neighbor's email address? Or you could just print it out and 'share'. What a nice excuse to get a crock-pot.

Here is a link that might be useful: A different solution

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 8:27AM
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I wish I could edit these posts so I could add.

Fantasy going through my mind...only that...

Trap offending kitties, and loan them to a friend to keep safe for a few days. Invite neighbors over for lunch to 'bury the hatchet and make nice'. Serve beef or chicken stew. When they mention kitty is missing, you can say, like in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, 'that's a tender subject' while forking a piece of meat in your mouth.

Return kitties next day.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 10:29AM
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I'll be the lone dissenter.

You are making yourself nuts. Maybe not just "figure of speech" nuts--maybe clinically nuts.

You have turned yourself into a person who SCREAMS THE SAME WORDS OVER AND OVER at a guy in his own driveway. Can you imagine what you must look like to someone else when you're doing this? Do you think it's going to do any GOOD? The courts are NOT going to look on your behavior kindly, no matter what his cats do.

It's not healthy for you, and that's YOUR fault. You are the one who chooses how upset you will get.

You're making yourself look like a lunatic, and it's not going to do your cause any good, either.

You may say the cats are causing a nuisance, but it sounds like they're doing 2 things you don't like: 1) eating the chipmunks; and 2) walking on your yard. A court would tell you that the cat, while annoying you, is not actually damaging anything of yours. They're not really YOUR chipmunks.

Stop feeding the chipmunks (and you'll also stop feeding the cats).

You may like it, but it's not good for the chipmunks, and it lures them back over and over to a place where they're VERY vulnerable to the neighborhood predators.

Enjoy them as they run around the yard, etc.. Stop thinking of them as pets, stop feeding them stuff that's not good for them, stop encouraging them to get close to humans (where I live, rabies is still a danger, and it's not good for ANIMALS to get used to being close to people or to being fed by people), and stop luring them into the hunting zone!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2004 at 6:12PM
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Sorry, I agree with Talley Sue. Chipmunks are cute, can be fed at a distance, but not only carry rabbies, but bubanic plague, and hanta virus, and if there is deer in the area , the fleas carry lyme disease.
You can talk to any professional wildlife person, and they will tell you wild animals should be left alone and not encouraged to come to humans. It destroys the balance of nature. And yes I have had tons of cats in the past and they really do not catch many WILD animals if you feed them as people think they do.
Sorry you have let this get to you, it is only affecting YOUR health

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 12:26PM
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I also vote with Talley Sue. Surely you have read that feeding wildlife is a bad idea. Also, are they a native species? The squirrels in my neighborhood are all eastern gray squirrels and considered vermin. A cat that killed one would be given a crown of laurel. I am not at all sure that in my municipality it would be considered nuisance behavior to kill a squirrel. We also have a considerable mouse population that no one wants to see get bigger.

We have some cat probems in my neighborhood, but we are all trying very hard to take a light view of the problem because our relationships with each other are far more important to us than any irritation caused by a cat.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2004 at 1:18PM
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Has anyone ever seen what a squirrel will do to an attic or shed if trapped in one. In our rural area, which is slowly becoming more unrural the squirrels are also vermin. Every animal has its place in the scheme of things, when we take a wild animal and feed it, it becomes dependant upon us to continue to feed it and then can no longer exhist on its own. Combine this with the lack of natural environment (i.e. development) for the animal and you have a disaster. All these cute hand tamed animals unable to sustain life on their own. The disease thing is also very true, I see lots of diseased animals (lab tech for public health dept) and it sad but these cute things need to be left alone to survive on their own.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 10:02AM
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Talley Sue, as always, you came up with words of wisdom and truth; I was reading down this post for the first time and getting ready to write a reply but you've said it all.

I have a neighbor who feeds raccoons- arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
For me, this equates to feeding a trash can.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2004 at 8:28AM
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i was flusing out my radiator and left some antifreeze in a pan on my driveway - i meant to throw it in the trash but was distracted by the telephone - and forgot about it ... oh and i am sorry that your cat was in my driveway - i only flush my radiator a couple times of year and i hope that next time i dont accidently leave a puddle or another pan out ....

i agree that you should not feed the chipmunks and squirrels - it can cause problems in an urban environment - however the domestic cats left to run wild are much more a threat to the environment than feeding chipmunks. domestic cats left to roam are a huge problem - actully domestic cats are killing songbirds at horrendous rates - many of these birds are already endangered due to loss of habitat and the domestic cat problem is aggravating the addition domestic cats are eating the same food that is eaten by many raptors - many raptors are endangered and have to compete with the domestic cat for food making it harder for them to survive... cats are not indengious to this country and are fed by thier owners so they do not need to be competing for food with endangered species. so domestic cats that are left to hunt and roam are a serious threat for endangered species - ask any consevationist or wildlife biologist and they will rant about domestic cats -

if you cannot stand the antifreeze plan - then continue with the live traps - keep trapping them and turning them over to animal control. even if you turn an animal in with tags on they will understand - you are not the only one who has this problem. my best friend has an immune system disorder and also is severly allergic to cats. an allergic reation plays havoc with her immune system and can land her in the hospital... her neighbors cats had decided the landscaping in front of her house makes a great potty spot - and they actually will run into her house if they open the door... its really a nightmare for her - she has changed her landscaping to rocks in order to avoid the neighbors cats - they still sit on her doorstep and use her trees as scratching posts - she has talked to her neighbors and explained her medical condition - they really sound exactly like your neighbors - they dont see anything wrong with their cats and dont see anyway to control them... she live traps them and turns them over to animal control - in order to get their cats back they do have to pay a fee - so after continued trapping the same cats over and over again - eventually the cats will get the hint - even if their people dont. anyone who takes cats roaming lightly really needs to think again ...

Here is a link that might be useful: article on cats

    Bookmark   September 20, 2004 at 12:18PM
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Ok, I'll be the really really horrible person here. If it were me, and the cats were this big a problem, I would live trap them and not dump them, I'd destroy them. I honestly would. The neighbor doesn't care about them, nor does animal control or the police. You have been trying to get them to do something. Around here the animal shelters charge a large fee to take unwanted animals. If this sounds cruel, well, it is in some ways, but not in others. I'm an awful person I suppose, but I think its wrong to have to have cat urine and feces all over, wild life killed, and the agrivation especially since they aren't even your cats. I hope something will be done by this late date, but if it were me I'd be asking Santa for a live trap, bait it in a hidden area with tuna and chicken, check it every hour, and catch the kitty.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2004 at 10:16PM
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Sort of depends how your yard is laid out, but I put a little chicken wire fence behind my bird feeder, between it and the flowerbed where the cats could hide in the plants. I just cut a strip of chicken wire about 18" high, and threaded a couple green bamboo stakes through it and stuck them into the ground. The chipmunks go right through the holes; it wouldn't stop the cats for long, but it slows them down long enough to give the chipmunks a head start. Someday I plan to replace it with something more decorative. (Ha ha) Or you could try putting some rock piles or some other kind of shelter near where the food is, so the chipmunks don't have far to go to get away from the cat. Or, if the cats are hiding in a particular bush or flower bed, put some chicken wire or netting around the bottom of it so the cat can't run straight out from it. Anything to slow down the cat and give the chipmunks enought warning to get to safety. It really is depressing how easily cats catch chipmunks. Guess it isn't a problem right now, since it's winter, but you might consider it for spring. Barriers are your friends.

I've never tried it, but that sprinkler that comes on automatically sounds like a great idea. Wish it would work for deer. You might try keeping a hose by your door; whenever you see a cat in your yard, spray it. Doesn't take much water to discourage a cat, you wouldn't even have to score a direct hit. They might come by less often if they associate you with getting wet. Its a tough problem. I do love cats, but I hate to see the animals getting killed.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 12:43AM
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Not sure about Massachusetts but in CA a cat cannot be "owned" as in domesticated. If your laws are the same you don't have much choice. Cats will do what their instinct directs and they can't be faulted for this.

Personally, I'd try a commercial cat deterrent. Beyond that, close your eyes and don't encourage the chipmunks and squirrels. They're cute but harbor a lot of icky stuff.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2004 at 7:06PM
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"Chipmunks are cute, can be fed at a distance, but not only carry rabbies"

Chipmunks and squirrels are not a significant rabies threat. The last time I looked there had only been a single confirmed case of squirrel rabies in the US.
Hantvirus and plague are not nationwide but are a more local problem.
Raccoons, skunks, and groundhogs are the major rabies vector since both can survive a long period before succumbing to the disease and are relatively common in both urban and rural environments (particularly raccoons).
Opossums rarely get rabies, possibly due to body temperature.
Birds has been produced in birds, but not ever found in nature.
They can carry ticks with lyme disease, but you are going to have to get pretty close, and even that is mostly along the Eastern seaboard but does extending as far west as Michigan.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2004 at 12:29PM
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Cats carry rabies and distemper. I'd rather deal with chipmunks than the neighbors cats that are allowed to run loose all over the place.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2004 at 11:18PM
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Have you considered trapping the cats and taking them anonymously to a pound (shelter, Humane Society, etc) in another town?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2005 at 6:50PM
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Consider going to the news with your story. Inform the authorities that you plan to call your local newspaper and contact your TV news. The slant on the story should be that the law is not being inforced. Most people in authority jump when put in this embarrassing position. There is no justifiable excuse for ignoring the law.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 8:08AM
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In our city, you have a right to let your cats run free, but I have a right to have my yard cat free. I really worked calmly with the owner and she kept it in for two months. I tried to talk to her again and she wouldn't answer the door, so I left a note on her door telling her to look for her cat at the animal shelter if it fails to come home. I trapped it after finding bird remains..again and took it to the animal shelter. I left the collar on, the owner brought it home the next day and he was back at my house the day after that. I should have taken the collar off and not told her a thing. I can't trap it now, it's to smart.

Regarding cat repellants, they will probably keep away the chippies also. I put out irish spring bar soap and it kept the squirrels away, but also kept the birds away. I stopped feeding the birds and the cat stays away.

In our city there is no such thing as tresspassing. You can walk anywhere you want to walk as long as you don't damage property. I don't know if damage ear drums would apply. :o)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 10:07PM
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Jonesy: What a drag. I am sure that if I caught the cat & took it to a shelter ANYPLACE with the tags on, the owner would pick it up & let it out to go wandering the next day, just as what happened to you. No, if I ever get around to catching the critter, it will go for a loooong ride without its tags.
I'm not sure what you're getting at regarding the "damaged ear drums" comment. Please elaborate.
And thanks for the input. I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 11:18PM
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I was teasing about your confrontation with your neighbor.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 12:28PM
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Fair enough. I thought that might've been it, but since most people don't read the ENTIRE thread before commenting, I wasn't sure. I don't know if I damaged his eardrums so much as his nervous system & ego/masculinity. Hah!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 3:19PM
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I don't know if you live in Boston proper (the city) or in the county, but if you were in the city and feeding squirrels and chipmunks, or even the wild birds I'd be pissed off because this invites rats (which we had in Baltimore City, MD) for 7 years, they were such a plague we had to have the city come into neighborhood and put out traps in every person's yard the last year we lived there (and we lived in a very old, expensive historical district). Otherwise, cats for their own safety, should be kept indoors, anywhere. If you are in the city, you can contain the cat and call animal control to pick it up, give the cat's owner's number to the animal control people. It will not make you friends with your neighbors, but that does not seem important to you according to your posts.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 8:03PM
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I knew someone who had a problem with racoons ripping his screens to get into his porch. He took a couple pieces of chicken and soaked them in antifreeze and put them under his porch. No more problems.

If it was me I'd use a trap and take them here:

Here is a link that might be useful: Theres a cat in the kettle at the Peking Moon

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 8:51AM
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Hey Rosieo, thanks for the input. I love to receive new ideas from progressive, enlightened individuals. As for "There's a cat in the kettle at the Peking Moon"... my husband & daughter have been singing it all morning - and laughing their heads off.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 4:43PM
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Please dont use antifreeze to do away with any animal. It causes terrible pain, extentded seizures and after a long torturous fight to live it will die. The animal is only doing what is natural, it doesnt deserve to be punished like this. Feed it to the humans instead. Just kidding about that part.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 1:51AM
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Pomona call the spca, trap the cats, have the spca contact the owners. This is a huge message to your neighbors. Antifreeze or exterminating them on your own is not an option if you are indeed, an animal friendly person. Despite your preferences.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 5:30PM
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I've been reading & appreciating all of the thoughtful suggestions made over the past many months. I've started putting my trap out again but I suddenly (duh) realized why the cat isn't 'taking the bait,' if you will. He isn't hungry! He doesn't kill birds and chipmunks to eat them - he leaves them on the ground, bloody & dead, or semi-dead. So why would he enter a cage for tuna? I have it sort of camoflaged with brambles, but it's a smart cat & perhaps I really need to weave some branches throughout the wires to conceal it a lot better.
So, I ask you all - how does one trap a fully-fed feline? As always, I appreciate your feedback immensely.
P.S. I place it in various places throughout my yard where I know that he prowls.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 10:45AM
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Was there ever any success w/ all the suggested cat "keep away" stuff ???

Vicki in Olympia w/ an indoor cat and outside birds and rodents

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 11:34AM
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I hope the person who killed her neighbor's 3 cats with chicken soaked in anti-freeze didn't get her idea off this forum. She's looking at doing time and I hope she does.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 10:09AM
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If you look at the catalog for Garden Supply Company, you will see that they have non-toxic cat and dog keep-away products. I haven't tried them but I have been very happy with their garden supplies.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 8:48AM
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The cat killer went to court today in Seattle

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 7:57PM
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This thread has been going on for nearly a year, people, with the same comments over and over. Pomona, have you gotten the cat-deterring granules yet, or what?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 11:00PM
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As animal lover in general, as well as an avid gardener. I'll say this:

Your feeding the chipmucks could be attracting nuisance chipmunks into your neighbors' gardens, where they could eat and destroy valuable plants and many hours of your neighbor's work.

To this hypothetical neighbor, you would be causing the same kind of unwanted guests in their yard as you are complaining about your neighbors' doing with their cats.

We each have our own little bit of paradise called our home and our yard, and the neighborly thing to do is to strike a balance between or own enjoyment and that of others.

Why not just live and let live? Enjoy your chipmunks, knowing a few are going to be dinner for your neighbor's cats, BUT that may also prevent your other neighbors from attacking you for creating a rodent infestation that they could be just as upset about as you are about the cats.

You think it's bad warring with one neighbor, how many wars do you need?

Typically, if you see a dozen chipmunks, it means there are many dozens in the area. It's unlikely a couple cats would kill off the population. Why not just "give a little" and save yourself the stress of fighting?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 3:15PM
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I agree with you. Those bushy-tailed rats -- oh, I mean squirrels -- have been driving me nuts. They have cause considerable damage in my garden and particularly in destroying new growth on some of my larger plants (bamboo). The idea of someone encouraging these vermin is troubling. They're such a problem in our neighborhood that I actually have thought of getting more cats (although I haven't, yet). I don't want to start another fight here among various kinds of animal lovers, but just wanted to point out that this story has two sides.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 3:53AM
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For Pete's sake, what a stupid thing here. You get info on cat repellent and then don't use it. Everyone gives you solutions that punishes the cat. So you go for one of those. What kind of person hurts and traps an animal that is doing nothing but going into a yard that the owner was not responsible enough to get some stuff to keep them out.
This whole thread is astounding.
It's like mass hysteria.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 1:59AM
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Posted by: gandbb (My Page) on Thu, May 19, 05 at 10:09

I hope the person who killed her neighbor's 3 cats with chicken soaked in anti-freeze didn't get her idea off this forum. She's looking at doing time and I hope she does.

It is wrong, totally wrong for man to allow his cats and other wildlife to run free.IMO, these critters are feral and wild, and they deserve whatever happens to them !

Pomona, you must send hundreds of messages for "so-called" public servents to wake up to do their job !

The "live and let die" advice was the most practical.

I garden some, and do NOT appreciate it when neighbors encourage/feed wild animals - but I live with it.
Our cats were always semi-wild and catching critters, but this was on the farm..

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 2:47PM
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I just read this entire thread and my jaw is on the floor. I can't believe it. There are roaming dogs and cats all around my neighborhood, with leash laws, isn't this what a neighborhood is? If a roaming animal bites people or continually destroys property, fine, there is a civil issue. Get a lawyer, a fence, some repellants. But this sounds like much ado about nothing. And we are talking killing and trapping and stealing?? I am in Mass and I am totally shocked and ashamed. Not to mentioned scared to death that you live anywhere near me.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 9:43AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I couldn't agree more with the last couple of posts. The person lacking in responsibility is you! Why haven't you bought the cat repellant?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 6:03PM
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First off, to spend your own money to get rid of someone elses cats/dogs is rediculous. Where we live we have a huge problem with cats. We just get the 22 out and shoot them, just the sick ones. Its better than letting them die a slow painful death. DH isn't trigger happy. He won't take the shot unless he knows he can take them with one shot. I would go to your neighbor and tell them about the diseases your cat is bring back to them and their family. That might get them to see things differently.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 9:25AM
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I had an indoor-outdoor cat who regularly hunted, almost always on our property. My neighbor's cat did the same thing. And there was a third cat, from a few houses down, who often came to visit.

A year and a half ago my dear granny cat died. The next-door neighbor moved away, taking her cat with her. I have see the few-doors-down cat only twice in the last year. In the meantime, we got two kittens from the SPCA. They are now 1 1/2 years old, are indoors only and will never be allowed outside.

Meanwhile - we now have rats, big fat ones, who run through the trees just outside our windows. I am sure that they're in our attic, and we're going to have call a pest control service. The voles in our yard have made gardening in the front impossible, and the pest control people have just given up on them. In many places we just have surface crust over their tunnels. I only wish that I could let our cats loose, but for the sake of their safety, I won't do that.

Getting into a screaming fight with a neighbor over one cat for whom you are raising dinner by feeding wild rodents is very strange. I agree with the posters who suggest not feeding wild animals (and even if they eat out of one's hand, they are still wild). We have birds, critters, raccoons, and deer, and the idea of feeding any of them is unthinkable. They do very nicely on their own. Some people think that it is charming to have a deer munching six feet from your bedroom window. It's not. It means that you can't raise most of the flowers, especially roses, that you love.

We have always had lots of birds, mainly scrub jays, but also many other kinds. We haven't noticed any increase in their population since our hunting granny cat died.

I definitely agree that cats should be kept indoors. But I also agree that feeding cute little chipmunks and squirrels is upsetting the balance of nature. If the problem is ongoing, it's clear that the neighbor's cat is not making inroads into the rodent population.

For those who think that torturing an animal by killing it with anti-freeze is a great idea, may I suggest that they first check the anti-freeze by tasting it.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 10:45AM
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Pictures, water, hot sauce. Instead of hot sauce, try
flaked red pepper. Sprinkle it on the fences and all around your perimeter. It will not harm cats, squirrels or plants.

Please do not poison them. At worst use live traps, take off their collars and bring them to an animal shelter as far away as possible.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 10:36AM
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The Metal Peddler

I'm a little disturbed by this thread, some of the solutions offered are incredibly awful. I do sympathize a little, we used to have cats come in and get our birds, and it's very upsetting. I do not class the cats as feral or wild, they are coming from next door. Big difference.

Cat repellants are a great solution, harmless, safe and cheap. There is an awesome one I used to use in UK, where I am from, called Silent Roar but I don't think it's available here in USA BUT there is a fantastic alternative that I tried. And that's lion/ panther/tiger poop. Seriously.
I went to our local SPCA where they have some tigers. Some rotted tiger manure is inoffensive to humans but to small cats they think there's a huge territorial beast on the other side. They will not venture near the property line, can smell it a mile off.
If you have a zoo or similar nearby, give them a call. I was embarrassed to call at first but when I did, was told they get quite a few requests for it

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 10:47AM
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I don't know if Pomona is still reading this thread, but I can't believe how few people have suggested other non-violent alternatives.

The link below is a good review of options in keeping cats out of your yard. My DM (86 yrs old) enjoys feeding the birds but most of her neighbors have outdoor cats. I purchased 3 of the CatStop units for her and they work. She can watch the cats lie outside the boundary watching her feeder, but they wouldn't come near it.

If you're still dealing with this problem, the CatStop is worth a try.
BTW, I found DM's units on ebay.

Here is a link that might be useful: CatStop

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 7:57PM
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Sorry but I have to put humans above cats...thats just the way it is. The big mistake here was asking the neighbor point blank. I would have requested anonymously first then acted later....and shipped them to a shelter 50 miles away.

Some 10 years ago on TV, there was a cute baby seal that was captured, cared for as it needed medical attention and was released when it recovered.

There was a large gathering as the young seal was released.

It swam 25 yards and was instantly devoured by a killer whale. The crowd was stunned.....which stunned me.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 6:43PM
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well if you're going to move to get away from cats, pick a lot with a green belt behind it. In our neighborhood we have chipmunks, squirrels, possum, racoons, and various outher wild animals. we also have neighbors with cats and dogs, and we have a dog. But in the green belt there are several families of COYOTIES!! And guess what: cats, squirrels, chipmunks, and possums are all coyote food.

So the result is that the coyoties over time consume the others. But they don't get them all. So while they do kill cats, squirrels, etc, they don't get them all. But most of the neighbors either give up on cats or keep them in the house. Oh, and while coyoties don't kill dogs, we also have another type of neighbor in our green belt: black bear. One of the dogs that ran loose was killed by a bear, so now the dogs are confined.

This "solution" might not rest well with everyone, but it certainly does work.

PS - we've never had any humans bothered by a bear or coyote.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 2:16PM
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Get a dog!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 10:46AM
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APRIL 11, 05 was Pomona's last post. Think she gave up on this thread, is she doing time?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 12:48AM
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I just read through this thread and it is very strange how differently people from different countries think.

I am originally from the countryside in the UK and there it considered cruel to have a cat and confine it to the indoors.

I am astounded by some of the advice given to the OP. These are people's pets and some posters are advocating killing them or shipping them off to a shelter miles away. I just can't believe it!

I hope the OP was able to take some deep breaths and take some of the common sense solutions offered to her like sprinkling cat repellant.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 5:41PM
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Personally, I find people who attract and feed squirrels and chipmunks as much of a nuisance as those who let their cats roam free.

Squirrels are a constant battle as they dig up tender plants in the garden and eat flower bulbs (or rather, take one bite and then toss them aside). Obviously they are well fed on those so that they can then bury all those peanuts that people feed them in my gardens and planters. And then there was the $500 electrical bill for fixing wiring that got chewed up in the attic.

I wouldn't mind cats keeping the tree-rat population in check, except that cats are just as annoying to gardeners. The world is their litter box and bird feeders exist to serve as their smorgasbord.
My remedy, if I happen to be in the garden when the neighbor's cat strolls by, is to give it a good soaking with the hose. If they don't like it, they can stay out and poop elsewhere.

Hobokenkitchen: it is NOT cruel to keep a cat indoors. They like it just fine although it takes a while for an outdoor cat to make the transition. While they might do well in the countryside, in an urban environment they are not only a nuisance, it's a hazardous place for them. Unchecked breeding, disease, fights, eating garbage and possibly sick squirrels, traffic, the neighbor's garden hose - why wouldn't you prefer to stay indoors where it's safe? :)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 12:15PM
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chris_ont; my point wasn't whether it is cruel or not - I'm sure both sides have good points to make on the subject. My point was that it is interesting to me that many people on the thread thought that owners were being negligent in letting their cats out. Where I am from keeping them in would be the more frowned upon option.

I love cats, but am not sure that I would have one in an urban environment where it couldn't run free.

It's why we now have a tiny dog instead of a large one. Doesn't seem fair to me to keep a big dog in small living conditions. Again I am sure lots of people will disagree with me on that too!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 5:33PM
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First time here and for posting, but i just wonder how they are "your chippies" and "your squirrels"???
Ever think you may actually be breaking a law by feeding ((wild animals)) they aren't yours just because they are on your property, if that was the case, the cats would be yours when they are there.Some states have laws against feeding any wild animal, but rarely enforced when it comes to small game.
In fact, where i live, a squirrel is a "game" animal, meaning it has a season to hunt said animal, and any animal that is a game animal is 'controlled' by the DNR, dept.of Natural Resources, and its illegal for you to catch one, bait them, shoot out of season,keep one as a pet,And in some instances, feed them.
You are upsetting the natural balance of the wildlife. So a (DOMESTIC) cat kills a few "chippies" who cares. Believe me they will make more.Which most people wish they wouldn't anyway. And you are doing to the squirrel what people do to deer, once you get them depending on you for food, they starve in the winter, or when you vanish from the feeding routine, and they end up being a pest to others in the neighbor hood, get hit by cars, shot, poisoned, or any number of things...
You are making it worse for the wildlife than any couple of cats ever could.......

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 12:40PM
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I had a neighbor who used to feed strays. They would fight and yowl at all hours of the night, spray urine on my porch, rip open bags around my back door and go after the birds at my feeder.

I tried to talk to her about it but this neighbor had the same selfish attitude that Pomona's neighbor has. She couldn't be bothered to consider how her actions might be affecting others.

Because of her, I am in agreement with those who trap and take them to a shelter far far away.

If you refuse to confine your animal to your own yard, you only have yourself to blame and shouldn't be surprised when others do what is necessary to protect their property.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 4:32PM
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This is one of the reason we took our kitties and move waaaaaay out in the country with 7 acres of woods for them to roam on. Cats should not be restrained (IMHO) as it is against their nature.... But to have them make a nuisance of themselves in the burbs... well there is no excuse for that. The furkids

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 1:45PM
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All, I am sitting here reading this thread amazed and disgusted and sad. Obviously Pomona does not want to resolve the problem any way but her own. The violence in this thread is terrifying. After reading the first post, my mental response was, "Stop feeding the chipmunks, you're not supposed to feed them". But even more disturbing is Pomona's lack of action and hatefulness toward her neighbor. The neighbor, sadly, was correct to call the police if they are being screamed at. However, if I had a neighbor that called the police, I would not scream at them. Pretty scary. This thread represents everything that is wrong with America today... our inability to see anyone else's point of view, our inability to compromise, and our inability to love our neighbor. The quickness with which we jump to violent solutions instead of ones that take more thought. BB guns? Water hoses? Trap and release? I'm glad I have indoor cats if that's what you would do to them. Peace - please get over your tendency to hate.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 12:58PM
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You're doing the right thing by keeping your cat indoors, in my opinion.
My neighbor just scraped his cat off the pavement, with his little girl standing there watching and crying. This also happened to me when I was little and I've not forgotten it.

I do not feel anything wrong with the garden hose solution. It's a spray of water, not a fire hose. Using a squirt of water from a spray bottle can sometimes help train a cat to stay off furniture (at least when you're not watching) or to stop using it as a scratching post. The garden hose is no different. Cats just dislike being wet and they are smart enough to learn quickly (even if just to avoid me when they see me coming :)
Nothing to do with being hateful toward anything but the mess they leave behind.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 1:50PM
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This thread is disgusting. Pamona, if she is still reading this thread (probably not, her last post was two years ago), seems to me to be a self-centered jerk. Chipmunks are WILD ANIMALS who will not allow themselves to be detained as pets. Cats, on the other hand, are loyal loving TAMED pets.

Who would advocate shooting a car with a BB gun? Or kidnapping it and driving it thirty miles away and abandoning it? These are the thoughts of a narcissisistic sociopath who cannot empathize with others. Re-reading Pamona's descriptions of her encounters with her neighbors, she comes off as a deranged lunatic. She does not understand that the cats are members of her neighbors household and are loved. She would put that family through the pain and trauma of losing a loved one - a pet cat - just because she does not agree with this grislier example of nature - the food chain.

I am glad the Dog Control Officer seemed to have a level head about the entire situation. He understood that he had to tread carefully and be patient - anyone who calls nine times over the course of a few weeks is someone who will lobby to get you fired if you are disrespectful or dismissive. He had to be patient and explain to her, evenly and compassionately, to accept the situation and get over it. I am sure he deals with unreasonable people like Pamona on a weekly basis. Ah, the trials of being a public servant.

I have two outdoor cats. They sleep indoors during the winter and outdoors during the summer, and in the past they have killed many a rodent. They are getting older now so I don't know how active they currently are, but there used to be a time, years ago, where I would stumble upon a dead chipmunk or mole located on my deck or porch on a daily basis. Heck, I've even seen one of my cats eat a chipmunk whole.

And you know what? That is nature. Hate and bloodlust is not why the cats kill - it is nature. These are their instincts. I love my cats and am glad they seem to be living a healthy outdoor life while still being tame, loyal pets. Fortunately I live in a rural area off of a dirt road - well away from any paved roads - so my cats have almost no chance of becoming roadkill.

Another fortunate side effect? No deranged, crazy neighors like Pamona. I am not sure what I would do if my neighbor kidnapped one of my cats and had it sent to the pound and it was eventually euthanized. I do not like to think of situations like that, but I doubt I will be as patient or patronizing as the Dog Control Officer. Pamona, you are a spoiled brat.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 8:20PM
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Rent or buy a rodent trap. Take those little buggers off for a nice ride in the country side. Problem solved.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 2:12PM
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Our neighbor's adult child brought home a full grown tom-cat to add to her collection of strays last year. He immediately came over to our property when he saw our tiny Toy Fox Terrier and gentle cat, who are both only let out under human supervision, and lacerated, bruised, and intimdated them. He was constantly stalking and abusing my pets as we stepped out the door, sometimes pushing his way in the screen door aggressively on the attack.
I was new in the neighborhood and went to my neighbors with good will and hoping for mutual understanding and sympathy from them of the injuries my pets were receiving. What I got was cursing from the daughter that it was my pets own "f" fault for being attacked and not to harrass them. The mother passively accepted her daughter's sociopathic behaivor.
In the next nine months I learned what cronyism means here in Charlemont, Ma. The cat finally caused puncture wounds to my kitty. I sued the owner in small claims court. In the meantime, the attack cat disappeared to predators in the night--we have Fishers, Foxes, Capote, trotting through our yards abutting the State Park and Forest. She appealed the ruling and came to court with her mother. I did not know I would have to personally ask questions of these people I feel in dread of because of their abuses and manipulations. I became confused at their dissimulations and falsifications. The mother made several contradictory statements. The judge overruled the original verdict. Now, that really made me sick. I could not sleep for nights at the knowledge these malicious people got away with lies in court. I know better then to confront them. I put up a cheerful demeanor as I ignore them. I am working on a motion to the court to revert to the original verdict, my last chance for justice to beat the unjust.
My cat has learned boundaries with a spray water bottle and lots of personal attention. I also have used behaivor mod techniques to make her come running at the sound of the bell or whistle. We feed the birds on our deck, and with negative reinforcement (yes, sometimes you have to use the spray water bottle and the fly swat) she has laid off them but bring us mice as offering all the time. Also, she has several bells on. She is the most sociable, friendly cat, who plays with our Toy Fox Terrier, and is sleeping between me and the keyboard as I write. She also goes hiking (on a harness and retractable leash) with us and camping. You can train cats more than you might think.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 11:20AM
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and your point is? call animal control, leash laws apply to cats as well as dogs. no animal control, catch them in a hav-a-hart trap and transport them to the nearest shelter.

sorry, but any animal that attacks mine in my own yard WILL be shot dead. of course, i live outside city limits so this is legal in MY CASE.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 1:17PM
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Poor Pomona ended up in the psych ward...

My solutions were similar to some others:
1- trap cats...take to chinese restaurant...enjoy dinner.
2- trap neighbors...take to deserted warehouse...feed to stray cats
3- make the chipmunks housepets and give them cute names like alvin theodore and whatshisname

Now...about my problem...rabbits are tearing up my lawn!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 1:50PM
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"leash laws apply to cats as well as dogs"

Not in many places.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 4:52PM
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There may be more to this than stated. The cats could have been strays the neighbor took in. I took in 2 strays. Once a cat has been a stray, there is no keeping the cat in the house. We tried for over a year to keep these 2 cats inside. Every time someone opened the door, they zipped out. They could squeeze through a 3" gap. They always come back to our house after a few days - they know we'll feed them an let them in for a nap! Our neighbor has complained, and I explained to her that the cats are strays I took in. She wasn't happy with the response - she wants them inside all the time - but at least now she understands why they are allowed to go outside now.

And feeding rodents is never a good idea! Attracting rodents to your house is not a good idea, either!

Actually my other neighbor thanked me that my semi-stray cats keep the chipmunks out of her garden.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 1:28PM
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Our new neighbors down the street got some young cats and left them in the back yard with food bowls (like you would with a dog). I got this story (after the fact) from their immediate neighbors, who are friends or ours, and who have an indoor cat. These new cats headed out and ended up being adopted by my wife because they appeared malnourished and had no tags. My wife feeds them and also took them to the vet for shots and spading and they have become our indoor/outdoor cats. The original 'owners' have not said anything to us about our pet adoption.

We live in the suburbs with low speed roads. No neighbor has complained to us about the cats being a nuisance. The rabbits around our vegetable and flower gardens are gone. Hooray!

We stopped filling our bird feeders once we got the cats. Dead birds and voles occasionally show up in our yard in the morning after an evening hunt. Sometimes they are eaten and sometimes not. In light of the highly human modified natural environment, a few dead birds or voles is not drastically altering the local ecosystem.

I did notice the smell of moth balls this Spring coming from the edge of the immediate neighbor's yard. I guess this was her polite way of trying to keep the cats out. I'm not sure if it works.

As far as cruelty to cats, our male cat has been been 'bumped' once by a teenager's car and is no worse for wear. I've watched our cats near the street and they do seem to be much more aware of the dangers than our indoor dog who chases whatever moves. There are risks that you accept if you have outdoor cats.

The cats definitely prefer to be outdoors stalking and hunting most of the year, whereas the dog prefers to be inside close to his pack.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 9:15AM
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Cats kill songbirds. What part of that don't you understand? They are becoming extinct because the US has such a huge population of cats.

We had an indoor cat who lived to be 22 years old before she died of cancer. Outdoor cats don't live as long. People who let their cats go outside are, in my opinion, too lazy to clean the litter box.

It is true that not all states have leash laws. Some states allow cats to roam (!) However, if you really love your cat, I would keep it inside. As someone said, they eventually get used to it. Roadkill is never pretty, but its especially sad when it is someone's pet.

Sorry, Pomona. I think we've hijacked your thread.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 7:34PM
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This is a post about control. If you want to stop the cats eating the chipmunks, then stop feeding them. YOu are encouraging the animals into your yard, including the cat!!

I think there are definately more important things to worry about in life. Surely the relationship with the neighbor is more importnt than the relationship with wild animals.

I have an outdoor cat and he "hunts" by instinct. You can control your actions but not animals or neighbors. Good luck in this no win situation!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 9:40AM
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colorcrazy: "People who let their cats go outside are, in my opinion, too lazy to clean the litter box."

I'm LOL because one of my adopted strays who spends half is time outside will HOLD IT until he comes in and use the litter box! He doesn't like to go outside - I guess he prefers the litter box.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 6:14AM
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Solution for an aggressive stray tom who sprays all over your porches and attacks your cats can be easily remedied. Our spayed male cat was attacked and mauled by a stray that kept coming into our yard, to the tune of a $800 vet bill to patch him up. Fed up with this daily onslaught of nasty cat, we picked up a trap from the local animal control facility. We baited it with wet cat food and caught the stray on the second night it was set. Took the offending cat off to animal control. Problem solved.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 12:00PM
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after an $800 bill i would have taken the animal to the bottom of the river. i guess that is the nice things about me living in teh country, if i have a nuisance animal of any kind, i just shoot it.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 12:28PM
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Perhaps these heated cat threads should be posted to the Animal Debates forum.

It is amazing to me that a person would behave the way that the OP has towards his/her neighbor (a deranged lunatic is right), or that people would carry out the cruel acts towards a neighbor's pet that are suggested in this thread, IN DEFENSE OF RODENTS.

Rodents are pests. They cause untold destruction to human property, landscapes, and agriculture. They are vectors for disease. They contaminate human food. Their excrement is filthy. And here's a newsflash - squirrels and chipmunks are both significant predators of songbird eggs and nestlings!

Why were cats domesticated by humans more than 10,000 years ago, and then introduced throughout the world? Cats played a critical role in human survival - they kept rodent pests out of human food stores, buildings, ships, etc. They still do a good job of this today, and they also happen to make excellent pets. (That said, I have no problem with the culling of feral cats.)

Yes cats kills lots of birds, but so do windows, cars, windmills, planes, dogs, etc., and the destruction of their habitat by humans is the #1 problem. I have an indoor/outdoor cat, who keeps the rodent and rabbit populations under control, and she does catch an occasional bird, which bothers me. But my backyard habitat is so bird friendly, you would not believe the number and variety of birds that feed, nest and fledge here. When she does manage to catch a bird and this is witnessed by the bird family, they will then follow her around and hound her relentlessly when she is outside, alerting all the other birds to her presence.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 11:21AM
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uh huh, catch cat take to shelter.
. .
in another town

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 5:58PM
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While I realize that this is an old thread I feel compelled to post a reply.

First: It appears that the OP lives in Massachusetts, as do I. I am quite familiar with the Mass State laws concerning this issue. There are no STATE laws in Massachusetts that require cats to be restrained. Individual communities may enact ordinances or by-laws requiring cats to be restrained, but few have.

Further, cats are considered property. If you "take" or deprive a person of their property you are criminally (and civilly) liable, period.

But that is just one part of this story. Reading many of these posts makes me feel both disgusted and incredibly sad.

Yes, I keep my cats inside. Yes, I love wildlife. And yes, I care a lot about people too. It seems to me that respecting and being considerate of each other and of nature would help make life a lot better for all of us.

A number of posters have offered helpful suggestions: low fences to slow the cat down, granulated cat deterrents and non-lethal behavior modification such as spraying water (as approved by national humane organizations). Certainly, it would be helpful, if the cat's owners won't keep it in, if they at least put a bell on it's collar.

Unfortunately other posters have casually suggested (and justified) removing identification, abandoning the (domesticated animal) far from home, stealing, poisoning, drowning, shooting and killing the domesticated animals for acting on their instincts. And we wonder what is wrong with the world today?

Sadly the OP, who says she loves (obviously only certain) little critters, seems to take great pride and feels justified in screaming and threatening her neighbors and spewing hate.

God help us all.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 7:42PM
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Wow. I can't believe all the postings on this and no final word on the original poster.

With that being said, We have had a problem with cats coming to our property and staying around, urinating on vehicle tires, spraying the house to mark the territory, etc. I have dealt with those cats in the past and will continue to do so every chance I get. They are the neighbors outdoor cats. The breed and then the cats and kittens hang around our place. Remedy....I pick them up and drop them off at the local Landmark, Farm Bureau, feed mill. Those places always have mice, rat, and rodent problems so the cats can fend for theirself there.

I am not and will not shell out any more of my hard earned money to take care of an animal just because a lazy neighbor refuses to do so. For one, if they are outside cats, then they do not really care about them in the first place, secondly, if they did care, all the cats would be spayed and neutered so they don't breed.

BTW...I have two dogs and an outside cat and all three stay withing our property line. They have been taught to do that from day one. And yes, you can teach cats to do that too. It just takes a little more work. At night, our outdoor cat gts put away into another building until the next morning. He has food water, a bed, and a radio to keep him company.

And one thing sticks in my mind from one of the above statements...."Songbirds are becoming extinct because of cats"
With an off the wall comment like that, at least back it up with some facts and don't shoot from the hip. Cats do not just go after songbirds. Most are smart enough to fly away as they are on feeders. The birds on the ground like Robins, Sparrows, Doves stand less of a chance of making it. And if you ever walk around your yard and see a pile of feathers and think it is a cat that got it. Think again. There are many variety of Hawks that plug birds from the ground and feeders everyday. More birds probably get taken out by cars than by cats. And as far as I know, no study has ever been done to compare. Pesticides and people have done more harm to songbirds than cats have.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 7:49AM
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I lived in a small community in the mountain of So CA. No animal problems in the several years prior, then new neighbors started feeding the gray squirrels (unshelled peanuts) on their covered porch. Then the raccoons started showing up, with the kids (they were 'so cute', they said). Had to fight with them (the raccoons) over my trash cans, finally got heavy duty types that they couldn't pry open. Mean little buggers when you threaten their food supply!

In the meantime, the neighbors are still putting peanuts on the porch. Then the bears started showing up. Not just one bear, several. Even one of those California Golden bears (yes, it was a light brown, almost blonde color, with red eyes). Next thing you know, the whole block has bears attacking garbage cans, and even raiding the trunk of my friend's car as they were hauling groceries in one afternoon. You couldn't take a walk without seeing one or more wandering the neighborhood, even mid-day.

We moved a few miles further out about that time, so we didn't have to deal with that local problem, but I imagine the problem bears eventually had to destroyed to get rid of them. Unintended consequences, caused literally, for peanuts.

It's never a good idea to feed wild animals, with the possible exception of birds, although even a concentration of them will attract the hawks and ravens that prey upon them, not to mention unwanted rodents that eat the seeds that end up on the ground.

But, I have to say dealing the the wild animals is preferable to a screaming, nutty neighbor. 'Nuff said.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 2:41PM
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Has anyone mentioned the neat motion-activated water squirter that some places sell?
Harmless but cats don't like being squirted. You could position a few at the perimeter of your property so the chipmunks on the porch don't get squirted.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 2:49PM
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