Neighbour's cat attacking people

(7 Posts)
sweetnitanitro Thu 10-Jun-10 10:17:48

Hi, I wonder if anyone has any words of wisdom or possible solutions for me! A family in my street own a cat that has always seemed very friendly but in the last few weeks it has attacked 2 of my neighbours, one of whom needed medical treatment.

My DD is 20 mo and loves playing out in the garden. Fortunately this cat does not come into our back garden due to my 2 seeing it off but it hangs around in my front garden quite a lot. There are lots of other kids that play in the street, especially in front of my house because it's right near the end of a cul-de-sac, and I'd hate for one of them to get attacked.

If I report this to the RSPCA, would they do anything? I've tried googling but can't seem to find anything other than an article in the Mail about a cat that attacks men in uniform hmm and nothing was done other than the owner being given an ASBO. The cat owners have been told about the cat attacks but they still let it out during the day, which is when the attacks took place. I know this is a pretty rare situation but if anyone knows anything about cat attacks I would love some advice! TIA

Vallhala Thu 10-Jun-10 11:27:47

The RSPCA should do nothing. Their job is primarily to prevent animal suffering, not that they're much good at it, not act on the behalf of aggrieved humans. Then again, given their outlook over recent years, one can never tell from one day to the next what peculiar things they'll suddenly deem to be their responsibility.

If an incident occurred your concerns would be better addressed to your council's animal warden - he may call himself a dog warden but all animals should be within his remit. At present there is nothing he can really do for you as you/yours haven't fallen victim to this very unusual cat but if you had genuine justification he'd address the owner and apply the relevent legislation. Of course, should, heaven forbid, an incident occur, you'd also be able to apply for a civil remedy. The owner does have obligations to comply with but it would be hard for someone who is not the aggrieved party to do much and it must be borne in mind that it would probably cause some very unpleasant neighbourly relations if you tried.

For your part, a water spray to deter the cat and cirtus peel in the garden (they hate the smell), together with other, commercial, deterrents might at least reduce the number of visits into your garden by the cat. (In saying this, I presume that you are in the garden when your little son is, supervising him of course).

Hard to advise more as I don't know what damage the cat caused, what led up to it, whether he was provoked and so on.

And of course, one of the best deterrents against attack by any creature, from a wasp to a horse, is to teach your child not to approach it without permission of parent/guardian and/or owner, but I'm sure you know that. (I'm just a big advocate starting them young on that score).

sweetnitanitro Thu 10-Jun-10 11:59:15

Thanks for the advice Vallhala, much appreciated.

Yes, DD is always supervised in the garden and I am trying to teach her not to just run up to animals and stroke them. I will try to discourage the cat from coming in the garden, I did already put some orange peel down where it was hiding in my flower bed which seems to have stopped it sitting in that particular spot.

From what my neighbours have said, the attacks were unprovoked. The cat went up to be stroked and then went for them when they touched it. They are both pet owners themselves (one has cats, the other a dog) so I wonder if it was the smell of another animal that did it.

Vallhala Thu 10-Jun-10 12:06:37

Ooops! Sorry, I called your poor daughter a son! blush

I've known cats like this myself. Devious buggers! So, it's not really a cat which attacks, it's a cat who responds badly to being touched, which is quite a different thing imho. Best advice in all honesty is to give him a wide berth and ignore him, discouraging him from your garden as you can.

On the plus side, there are cats in this world who are so docile that they sleep curled into the German Shepherd for comfort, sleepily roll over when on the back of the sofa, fall off and look nothing but mildly surprised, and dip their paws into the human's cup of tea in order to share it.

Not that my ginger softie would do any of those things, of course... !

sweetnitanitro Thu 10-Jun-10 12:34:31

My cats are like that too, I'm lucky grin they are huge and scary-looking but they are so soft and lazy laid back. DD is crazy about them (don't worry, she is not bothered about being called a boy!).

Thanks again for the advice, hopefully the cat won't attack anyone else.

lindsey10 Thu 05-Jul-12 14:41:03

hi a new unneutered scruffy male cat possibly stray has arrived on our street coming to our doors meowing, myself and a neighbour were attacked, now its attacked my 6yr old daughter so seriously the hospital thought it was a dog attack! she now has 2 weeks of hospital treatment for injuries and were all praying it wont become infected as well. We are wondering what to do as ellie went to stroke it(major animal lover!) so she shouldnt have, however myself and neighbour didnt and it still attacked, also the 4yr lad up our street has been hitting and kicking all the cats round here so its probably wound up by him. Rspca will put it to sleep as there is no space left for kittens, let alone strays. We are trying to see if any one knows if it has owners, but what could i say to owners if it has any? should it be neutered will this calm it down? if its stray should we have it removed knowing it will be put to sleep? or leave it but ignore its cries and spray water to get it away from our doors? we have 3 cats ourselves and the male one is being chased out of our garden by it as well. We love cats but this is such a vicious attack i feel i have to do something, what do others think i should do? thanks lindsey

Nigglenaggle Tue 10-Jul-12 21:15:07

The Cats Protection will often send you sticky paper collars to put round 'strays' necks - the idea is you leave your contact details so an owner can contact you if there is one. Your local vet will scan it for a chip (free of charge) if you take it in to them. If you establish that there is no owner then normally the Cats Protection and/or the RSPCA will arrange for it to be neutered and released again if there is no space for it in a rescue. It may help with the aggression and will at least mean it cant breed. To be honest though, in your case I think the writing is on the wall for this cat. If the attack was unprovoked by your daughter (whatever has happened to the cat in the past) then the cat needs to go. He isnt safe to be out on the streets. If he was a dog no-one would have any hesitation in condeming him and given whats happened I dont think you need to feel any guilt. Contact the RSPCA for help - they should be able to track down an owner if there is one and if not then euthanasia may be the best option for all concerned.

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