Advice needed - my neighbor's cat.

maire_cateApril 20, 2013

We've lived here for 30 years and occasionally we'll have a cat wander into the yard. I'm sure they're attracted by the birds at my feeders. No big deal.

Recently new neighbors moved in next door, they'll be renting for 2 years and they're very friendly people and I enjoying chatting with them.

They adopted a cat 2 months ago but leave him outside most of the time and he's decided he prefers my yard and my garage. Twice DH has discovered him under his car when he leaves for work in the morning - which means he spent the night shut inside the garage. Our bird feeders are across from the large bay window in the kitchen because we enjoy watching the birds. But since the cat likes to sit near them it's now driving my dog crazy.

When I told my neighbor that we accidentally shut her cat in our garage overnight she just laughed and said that he likes our yard and that he's become the neighborhood cat. She told me that he's aggressive to dogs and she's afraid the cat will hurt her dog. That's not the reason she lets the cat out - her dog is only allowed in the sun room while the cat has the rest of the house.

This morning when I went out to get the paper I saw the cat running into my garage. I would have shut the door with him inside if I hadn't noticed it. We've had cats before but they were indoor cats. Is it unreasonable to say something to her? I'd like to ask her to keep her cat inside.

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I don't think it is unreasonable at all to ask them to keep their cat at home. Perhaps the better way to say it is to not allow the cats to come into your yard and garage. The cat has already formed a bad habit by moving into your garage.

You did not adopt a cat and therefore you should not have to put up with it.

It is darn hard to keep an outdoor cat at home, so the only way to control it is to keep it indoors, which is safer for the cat, too.

I am having a problem with a cat, too. It is a long hair cat and looks very scraggly, but not thin. I don't know who owns it although it comes and goes from the same direction. It has adopted the area behind some of my shrubbery as a litter box. I chase it when I see it, but most time I don't see it. I may scatter moth balls in there to try to discourage it.

Yes -- speak up, in a friendly way. You are only asking them to do what is right and fair.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 8:24AM
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Of course you should speak up. The cat is actually being abused. Pet owners need to be responsible people. If not the animals should be taken away from them and you should make it clear to them.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 8:43AM
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I agree with the other posters. Talk to them again and tell them that you are afraid for it to be in your garage. You may run over it or it could be under the hood trying to stay warm. Why should it be your responsiblity to watch out for her cat? You are feeding the birds and then there is the cat trying to scare them away. Is there some sort of repellent you can put down to keep the cat away? I would try that too. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:03AM
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Tell her to keep her cat at home. I agree with have to tell her. She isn't doing anyone any favors, even the cat.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 11:17AM
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I agree, you're going to have to speak to her. Somewhat awkward, but I know you'll achieve just the right tone.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 12:20PM
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I agree with Cynic. They probably don't even provide regular food or water for the cat since the woman said she considers him "the neighborhood cat". Some people just should not have animals.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 12:57PM
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What are the laws in your area regarding animals? In our city, it is against city bylaws to allow a cat to roam free. Our cat is kept indoors at all times. If the problem persists, perhaps it would be helpful to call local animal control.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 1:16PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

might say well guess what the neighborhood did not adopt a cat you did! And ownership has responsibilities built in. I am sure some of that was told to them upon adoption. Tell her several cats have disappeared in the neighborhood apparently someone or something is doing away with them. Here in our neighborhood that is unfortunately the truth. I know coyotes are responsible for some of it but not all.
There are so many diseases spread among cats that are so contagious that is why I never let my cats go out when I had them. We had one cat that was allowed out and he came down with the feline Aids virus and leukemia both very dangerous and contagious. He was put down he was so ill and I had to do a major de contamination of my entire house to protect my other cats, everything he had touched had to be bleached or thrown away.
Maybe she does not know this stuff and you can help educate her.
Google and the printer could be helpful!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 1:30PM
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No one loves cats more than me, and that's why my four cats have never seen the outside. A true cat lover will protect their cats from all the many nasty things that can happen. Maybe other neighbors aren't as kind as you. Cats are poisoned, given antifreeze, get into fights with other cats, get run over, locked in garages or sheds, killed by dogs....Be blunt with her. Print this out and show her. We have an ordinance in our town against loose cats. .

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 1:41PM
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Most animal shelters when you adopt a cat have a stipulation that it will be an indoor cat. You shouldn't have to put up with that - you didn't adopt a cat.
Maybe you can find something helpful in this link

Here is a link that might be useful: discourage cats

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 2:43PM
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Thanks for the advice and moral support. I'm afraid the biggest issue is my reluctance to say anything for fear she might be miffed. When I mentioned this to DH he replied that our neighbors aren't concerned about their cat adopting our yard then I shouldn't worry about saying something to them. I'll have to do what I've always advised my kids to do - practice saying it!

Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 4:23PM
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We had a terrible time keeping our neighbor's 40 plus ducks out of our pond and off our patio.

I finally told her we were told that the Amish would come and round them up and take them for free and that I was going to have them do it...I don't know what she finally did, but the ducks stayed home after that.

(Methinks they got put in her freezer for 'duck soup' or whatever it is people do with ducks for dinner!)

nola anne

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:45PM
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When we were kids I remember my brothers cat getting up into the engine compartment of my moms car. When she started the car to take us to school it was not a pretty site as the fan blade did a number on the cat. We had to have the cat put down as it was so bad. I would tell your neighbor if you you park you car in the garage that cats like warm places and spinning fan blades are not cat friendly.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 12:32AM
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Outdoor cats kill between 14. and 3.7 BILLION birds a year. For that reason alone I do not believe any cat should be allowed to roam free. They are ferocious hunters, and kill for pleasure. You may not have any birds in your birdfeeders left to watch if the cat is allowed to hunt them.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 2:03PM
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She's not going to keep the cat inside, even if you ask
her to....

I ran over a neighbors dog a few years ago and killed it.
I did not mean to, it must have been sleeping under my
car. It's not my job to watch out for the neighbors pets!

The next time you see the neighbors cat go into your garage
I'd crate it and take it to the pound. I don't think your neighbor will even notice that it's gone.....

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 3:06PM
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100% in agreement with Marry.
Crate it and take it to the shelter.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 3:12PM
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My moms cats were crapping in the neighbros new sand box.....her cats disappeared and when she went looking she discovered a live trap at the neighbors house.

She said she wished he'd said something first....

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 3:37PM
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Many years ago my Dad use to use an air gun on the animals who came into the yard. Never hurt them, just retrained them. They had a cat but it was either inside or in a huge, and I mean huge cage outside that Dad built. Only for good weather under trees, with a tiny house inside, with food and water. Sometimes i think the cat got treated better than we did. LOL

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 3:54PM
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Marry has a good idea!! My next door neighbors have a bunch of dogs,most in their fenced backyard.The one that belongs to their son in law they keep in the house.Everyday when they let him out he'd come over here,and use my yard for his bathroom.I soaked him more than once with the hose,chasing him out of my yard.I told them about the dog(his in laws) as I hardly ever saw the guy that owned the dog.

One day I got lucky,i just happened to be out in the kitchen one day when he came out to get in his car.So I had a chat with him.
Told him having a dog comes with responsibleities,some of which were keeping it in his own yard,or behind a fence,but he shouldn't be allowed to run loose and do his business in my yard.Told him that I have to go out and pick up behind his dog before my yard guys come,and I wasn't going to do it anymore.

I told him how I wet him with the hose,but also told him now that I have told you,my next step will be catching the dog and turning it over to the humane society.

His dog hasn't been in my yard since.They tie him up outside in the front yard instead of putting him in the back with the other dogs.If they get caught with him tied up they will get a ticket as that's against the law here as well.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 7:23PM
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To take an animal to a shelter is, in most cases, to sentence it to death. This is particularly true of cats, which have overpopulated many communities. When people recommend an animal shelter as an option, I wonder if they're aware of what will happen.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 7:24PM
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I would give speaking to her one more shot, but then I, too, would crate the animal and take it to the shelter. Whether or not a shelter is a no-kill shelter or one that euthanizes, the cat will STILL be better off than being allowed to run. Even if it is quickly, humanely put to sleep, isn't that better than it being: run over, chopped by a car fan, infected with parasites or other diseases that outdoor cats encounter, chewed up by a predator, or otherwise injured or killed on the outside. There are SO many pitfalls for cats that are allowed to run, and they ARE NOT pretty. And let's face it--this pet owner isn't likely to be overly concerned with her cat's health, even if an issue crops up--given your description of her attitude.

You definitely should not have to put up with a loose cat that's not yours. I'm a HUGE cat lover, and am currently looking for a new kitten to replace my 21 year old Himalayan that we had to put to sleep a month ago--but my cats never see the outdoors unless they're in a crate, on the way to the vet's office. It's so cruel to allow a cat outdoors these days--just too many dangers for cats that have been bred and raised to be indoor pets for many generations now.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Ditto to above post.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 11:59AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I totally agree. My cat backs up and sits down if we open the door! HE knows that he doesn't want to go out there.

Maire Cate, you are the one who should be 'miffed'. If you continue allowing this, you've allowed yourself to be a victim and that's not good.

Visit her with kind intentions and a friendly tone. Her cat may like your yard but you don't like her cat. I'll be the neighbors don't either! "Neighborhood cat"....she's being ignorant.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:23PM
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My neighbors have been out of town so we haven't seen them or the cat. I will speak with my neighbor when I get a chance. I've decided I'll let her know that her cat has been stalking the birds at my feeder and driving my dog nuts - and then I'll ask her to keep the cat indoors. I've even tried to think of a rebuttal if she says that the cat likes to go out. I'll ask her to do it at night when the birds are nesting and my dog won't see him.

We'll see what happens. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 2:20PM
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If your neighbor says that the cat likes to go out, just tell her you understand, but by the same token, most dogs like to run free. Imagine what the neighborhood would be like if everyone let their animals run free. It would be bedlam. For the sake of the neighbors and the safety of the cat, it needs to be trained to like the indoors.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 11:28PM
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Don't give her an "out" by saying the cat can go outside at night. It's all or nothing.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 12:55AM
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Ask who's in charge, her or the cat?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 2:18AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Good luck, maire one wants a conflict with neighbors.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 9:40AM
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