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  1. #1

    Neighbors cat in my yard

    Hello everyone. I am new to this website and don't know if this post is out of place, but I'll start here anyway. If the post needs to be moved to an appropriate area, that will be fine.

    I recently had an incident involving my dog, a neighbors cat, and my elderly mother. My dog who is registered, vaccinated, and on a tether, ran after the neighbor's cat on my property, and the rope he was on took my mom's feet out and she went down hard and injured her head and spine. The dog is a friendly dog and is well loved by all members of the household. However when a cat, or other free roaming animal enters our yard he goes after it, usually ending when he reaches the end of the rope. What was unique about this incident was only that my mom was standing on the porch when it happened.
    The issue Im having with this is that I don't think it's right or fair that we are following the rules of dog ownership, and because someone elses animal is allowed to run free this unfortunate accident happened and landed my mom in the hospital with pretty serious injuries. I'm very upset about it and keep thinking of all of the reasons that this never had to happen. For instance, Had I not had my dog on a rope, the neighbors cat may have been chased away, or eaten, and mom would be ok. Had the other person's animal not been set free to roam the neighborhood this wouldn't have happened at all. There are numerous alternative ways to look at this including, my mom not being on the porch while the dog was on the rope, which is commonly how I handle it. I get scared of him tangling his rope around her feet when he's just excited to see her.
    All of that aside, I am wondering if there is anything i can do(legally) to make sure this cat is not allowed to roam onto my property. I've read suggestions about me buying products, and constructing barriers, and i'm not really interested in any of that. I am more interested in the neighbor keeping their own animal under their control or on their own property. I know that based on the laws regarding dogs, that It is my responsibility to keep my dog on a leash or runner, and in my property. However, other people in my neighborhood allow their dogs and cats to go wherever they please.
    My question to any who read this post is, has anyone ever had to deal with neighborhood cats on their property unwanted? If so, what can be done about it? To say the least, I am harboring very ill feelings toward the cat and it's owners right now. I would prefer to handle things peacefully and within the law. However, I do not want this cat coming in my yard anymore!

  2. #2

    Re: Neighbors cat in my yard

    Quote Originally Posted by billyflimpson View Post
    My question to any who read this post is, has anyone ever had to deal with neighborhood cats on their property unwanted? If so, what can be done about it? To say the least, I am harboring very ill feelings toward the cat and it's owners right now. I would prefer to handle things peacefully and within the law. However, I do not want this cat coming in my yard anymore!
    Our dog used to chase the occasional cat which strayed on to our property, but the cat just ran off! No problem at all. That is usually what happens. If a cat is ever cornered (not likely in a big back garden, or yard as you call it in the USA), then normally it will defend itself by scratching hard - and that is enough to persuade most dogs to pull back. The main risks are only if the dog is very big and the cat very small, or the cat scratches the eyeballs of the dog. But such events are rare.

    There is nothing to be gained by "harbouring very ill feelings". That will just make you bitter and will not help your life. It will not make you into a better person.

    It is a fact of life that cats like to roam and many people let them outside to explore. I cannot advise about the law on this subject. This would depend upon which country you live in. You have not stated where you live, although I would suspect from your spelling that you live in the USA. In that case, it is even more complicated because you may have state laws or nationwide laws, and even perhaps local city laws. The only person who could advise you on that issue is a lawyer.

    But do you really want to go to that extreme? Why not pay a friendly visit to your neighbour and discuss whether an amicable solution could be found?

    I do not understand why you feel it necessary to keep your dog on a leash in your back garden. Is the fencing not secure? Could the dog escape if loose? If so, the obvious solution is to put up secure fencing. If the fencing is secure, then I suggest letting your dog free in the back garden. Having a long leash is a real danger - and indeed, an accident has already happened to your mother.

    Every best wish to you!
    Last edited by LPC; 06-10-2015 at 02:20 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    South-West UK
    Blog Entries

    Re: Neighbors cat in my yard

    I am so sorry about what happened -everything, including injury to your mother. I hope she is recovering okay now.

    Yes something like that was something you couldn't plan for. There is nothing (I believe) you can do at this stage to make your dog cat-friendly, so forget any thoughts about that (?) He views cats as prey. Like squirrels or any other critter. My own dog was exactly the same so I know. Cats never came near our place while she was about.

    Okay so what you have is a cat who can leap, climb trees, run along overhanging branches, and will see a 6ft fence as no challenge.
    So regardless of who is at fault you will have to steadily devise some method of keeping that cat out. The cat is obviously an indoor/outdoor cat and in my opinion there is nothing wrong with that. If it has been used to going outside, to keep it exclusively indoors now would be cruel indeed.
    But you will have to keep it out of your yard.
    Asking your neighbour kindly if they would like to 'go halves' with you on the cost of secure cat-proof fencing probably will not work. If it were me, I would just attend to it myself and keep my own company about it.
    Don't let that fill you with hate or resentment. Just do the practical thing to protect your family including your dog, and the cat as well.

    Trim any overhanging branches, and make sure no trees slope up towards the fence.
    Then fix up a netting arrangement with curves or angles at the top facing outwards. This will have to be quite tall, but not ridiculously so, as the curve at the top will prevent the cat being able to leap up and over. If the cat has no branches to help it climb, then it will find it very hard to leap over even a 6ft high netting fence with curves facing outwards.

    It wouldn't even need to be very heavy, so long as it will withstand wind and weather. Fix this all around your yard, with no places left unprotected. Yes this will be hard work, will cost some, although you might be able to keep costs down by using recycled material or something cheap. If you can't find struts bent at the right angle, you can bend them yourself in a vise. Thin wire will work to anchor the netting to the struts.

    Best practical solution.

    I hope your mother is okay.
    Last edited by Tobi; 06-10-2015 at 12:04 PM.

  4. #4

    Re: Neighbors cat in my yard

    Depending on your county's rules and regulations, you could call Animal Control if the cat is on your property. Many places in the US allow cats to roam free unless they are being a nuisance. What animal control would do is trap the cat, take it to that area's shelter/pound, and fill out a little bit of paperwork about the situation. Depending on the region, there may be a fine for the cat being off the owner's property. There will be a fine if the animal isn't up to date on it's shots. There may be a fine if the animal is intact. The cat's owners will have anywhere from 4 days to a week or more to retrieve their cat from the shelter.

    However finding an ACO officer to come for anything that isn't an attacking pit bull will be like pulling canines out of a tiger. ACO very rarely cares about cats.

    If you want to be a jerk about it, you could trap the cat yourself to bring it to a shelter. You could get in trouble if your neighbors have proof that you know the cat was theirs and is well-cared for, but that is generally very tough to thoroughly prove.

    It shouldn't be your responsibility to spend money to keep other people's pets out, when you already have a solution on keeping your animal on your property. However that's the standard care for cats. Luckily for you, if another person's cat gets accidentally injured or killed on your property, it will, under no circumstances, be your fault (So don't let other people scare you into paying for vet/cremation bills!). I think the most diplomatic way about this would be to just go to your neighbor, explain what happened and kindly ask them to keep their cat out of your yard. Try not to blame or threaten them, just be as sincere and kind as possible.

    I've had an issue with free roaming cats before. When I was younger I lived in a neighborhood that had what we called a 'cat killer'. A big tom cat that would injure and even kill other cats. Someone owned it and the cat had a collar, so there wasn't really anything anyone could have done about it.

    There was also the one time I watched my friend's greyhounds, and while out in the yard, someone's cat got over the fence via tree and the greyhounds just went nuts with a small, running mammal. It was horrible. Thankfully my friend remained very calm and helped me through it (wasn't the first time it happened, hence why she got a taller cat proof fence).

    I hope you are able to solve this issue without bad blood between you and your neighbor

  5. #5

    Re: Neighbors cat in my yard

    This incidence indicate towards a very unfortunate event where no body can actually be blamed, dogs have usual habit of running behind cats.It was only your mother's very bad luck that caused the injury.I think you should focus on taking care of her this time, more than thinking of any legal action.First make sure that she becomes well, my prayers with her.After she gets well go and negotiate the problem in cool mind to your neighbor first of all.Try to convince him him do something serious to restrict the cat from entering dog's premise.Its only wisdom that can solve this problem.Anger may make it worse.



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