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Neighbour very ranty about our cat

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CaptainWarbeck Mon 15-Feb-16 04:41:15

Right I have just been accosted while putting the baby into the car by our neighbour who is a (generally) lovely elderly woman. She is very garden-proud and not at all happy about our cat.

We have a ginger cat who is outside during the day and in at night. There are lots of other cats in the area. Our cat is digging occasionally in her flowerbeds, which I do get is frustrating for her as she loves to garden.

Her very cross suggestions: I should be watching the cat at all times he is outside so digging cannot happen (ffs sake I have a 9m old and a job) OR we should be keeping him inside and never letting him back out again OR we should be madly erecting fences everywhere to prevent him getting anywhere near her (he's a cat, he would climb and jump them).

AIBU to think if you live in a communal area with cats around, the occasional bit of digging is annoying but kind of just one of those things?

I'm admittedly hormonal and grumpy (despite being very polite to her) and this has not been a good start to the day. Any practical suggestions on either the cat or ways to make her stop banging on about it?

hesterton Mon 15-Feb-16 04:58:54

Buy her a super soaker and some of that lion poo product which is supposed to deter cats?

Dontdrinkandfacebook Mon 15-Feb-16 05:02:58

Sound sympathetic, buY her some cat deterrent things, sonic, lion poo whatever, and suggest she gets a big water soaker thing and keeps it loaded for whenever she sees it. A few blasts with that should soon put the cat off without actually hurting it.

It's annoying when other people's cats constantly crap in your garden and I say that as someone who likes cats.

maybebabybee Mon 15-Feb-16 05:18:39

Yanbu IMO but on MN you will definitely get told you are.

I don't think if you have a cat which goes outdoors there's a huge amount you can do about it going in other people's gardens. I would offer to buy her some sort of deterrant as a gesture of goodwill.

toomuchtooold Mon 15-Feb-16 05:53:33

When you say digging in her garden... does that mean he's pooing in it? Because if so, I'm on your neighbour's side, and it's not up to her to decide how to stop it because he's your cat.

Jengnr Mon 15-Feb-16 05:57:02

Frankly I don't blame her. It's really annoying and upsetting when you put a lot of time, effort and money into yout garden and somebody else's pet comes along and destroys it.

Keep your animals indoors so the only people they annoy are you. If you insist on them going out you SHOULD secure your garden. I know cats legally have the 'right to roam' but morally you have a responsibility to both your neighbours and your pet.

maybebabybee Mon 15-Feb-16 05:59:13

You can't keep many cats indoors, it makes them utterly miserable.

My two are indoor cats but they like it that way.

Junosmum Mon 15-Feb-16 06:03:00

Yanbu, cats roam, poop and scratch. I appreciate it's annoying but for some cats keeping them indoors is cruel. I'm just very glad we live in an area where there are at least 8 cats so it's unclear which is doing what and there's lots of cat lovers about. For the sake of neighbourly relations how about getting her one of those noise repeller things, they do work.

Cheby Mon 15-Feb-16 06:06:15

YANBU. If it wasn't your cat it would be someone else's. Cats, like foxes, are just animals that live outside and go into gardens sometimes. It doesn't make sense to complain about them just because they're pets as well. It's just the world we live in. Cats have been domesticated for 1000s of years, living amongst western human society. It's hardly a new thing.

People having barking dogs in their gardens pisses me off no end but I don't think I have a right to tell them to keep them inside 24/7 (ie be cruel to the animal) or not to keep them at all.

And, your neighbour may well have fewer rats etc entering her garden as a result.

1frenchfoodie Mon 15-Feb-16 06:07:05

Empathise, explain the solutions she suggest eont work and and buy her some sort of deterrent. Many of our neighbours have gravelled flowerbeds so our nicely turned soil is a magnet for neighbourhood cats. I was not fond of picking up the poo but now they are scattering crocus bulbs just as they peek up I am even less fond.

insancerre Mon 15-Feb-16 06:09:07

I'm with your neighbour
I do wonder what the point of a cat is, if it is out all day and all night

OldFarticus Mon 15-Feb-16 06:09:41

I am a cat lover - although YANBU I agree with the PP who suggested lion poo and a water pistol. Apparently a few drops of vinegar in the water pistol reinforces the unpleasant experience for the cat (when they clean themselves) and discourages them further.

It's just what cats do innit? I think there is an element of live and let live here and it applies to cats, dogs, kids, musical instruments, other noise etc.

the other thing that works is if she gets her own cat

Iamnotloobrushphobic Mon 15-Feb-16 06:10:23

Is your cat digging up her plants which she has spent money on?
Is or Pooing in her flower beds?
If the answer to both of those questions is no then YANBU.
If the answer to either of those is yes then your neighbour had a point.
It doesn't matter that birds and foxes might also cause damage, she is complaining about your cat.

Sighing Mon 15-Feb-16 06:10:38

Digging = shitting. Unhygenic isn't it? Just consider what you'll do when you have a toddler digging in your garden. So would you give this more priority then?
Your neighbour doesn't want the health risks of contact with faeces. Your cat is surely your responsibility?

Minniemagoo Mon 15-Feb-16 06:16:46

Sorry but your cat is your responsibility. The excuse that 'that's what cats do' is a very selfish one. You chose to have a cat, your neighbour did not. It shouldn't be up to her to spend money and time on deterents. Your pet is physically destroying her property and ruining her enjoyment of her garden. Your attitude of 'I have a 9 month old and a job' reinforces your selfish attitude. Your lifestyle choice is impacting someone else's, up to you to make efforts to minimise that. Offer to purchase a cat detergent or keep your cat in.

MidniteScribbler Mon 15-Feb-16 06:27:39

Lock your cat up on your own property. It's your pet, not anyone else's responsibility.

Around here, roaming cats go to the pound. It's not my job to clean up after someone else's animal that the profess to love, but don't give a shit about it wandering all over the neighbourhood, killing wildlife and probably getting hit by a car.

Irresponsible cat owners shit me to tears. And don't even try to deny that you aren't an irresponsible cat owner. You don't care where it goes or the impact it has on your neighbours. Why even own a cat if you don't care about it?

Panicmode1 Mon 15-Feb-16 06:31:11

We live in an urban area and there are lots of cats. One (don't know which) keeps pooing in my front garden and it drives me mad, especially when I've heard owners say, " oh I don't need a litter tray, I have an outside cat". Can you have a litter tray in your house to minimise the pooing in others gardens?

I thought when we got our dog it would stop, but it hasn't. You obviously can't stop your cat roaming, but you can try and make it less of a pain for your neighbour - if she's "generally lovely", then perhaps that tells you how frustrating she is finding this destruction of her garden and property. As a dog person, I find it frustrating that I would get fined (rightly) if I let my dog crap everywhere in the neighbourhood without clearing up, but cat owners have no such duty of care to minimise the disruption to others. In an urban area I think cats should have to have litter trays! But maybe I am BU.

As others have said, offer to help her repel your cat from her garden with sonic devices or a water pistol.

MidniteScribbler Mon 15-Feb-16 06:38:23

And I would laugh in the face of any neighbour who tried to knock on my door with water pistols and lion poo (which doesn't work anyway). You're putting the responsibility of keeping YOUR pet out of her garden. That's not her role, she's not the pet owner. It's the job of the pet owner to prevent their animal from causing a nuisance to their neighbours.

OldFarticus Mon 15-Feb-16 06:57:45

It is frustrating Midnite - I get that. Indoor cats are miserable though. (I know, I have two - where I live (abroad) natural predators and heat make is safer to keep cats inside at all times. One of mine is on prozac!) I am more than happy to shovel their poo. When I move back to Blighty, they will be free to wander and if ny neighbours want to use pepper or super soakers then that is fine with me.

However, the law says that cats are free-roaming and so the OP technically is not doing anything wrong. Other than locking her cat in the house or having it put down, what can she actually do? Surely it's much better to try to resolve this amicably as the OP has been advised? If the NN "laughs in her face" then the status quo will continue because the OP has the law on her side.

MidniteScribbler Mon 15-Feb-16 07:02:25

Indoor cats are miserable though.

Rubbish. Cats are only miserable indoors because their owners think that a cat is an animal you can buy and forget about outside of putting a bit of food in their bowl. If you actually spend time with them and put some effort in, then they're quite content indoors. My old cat was nearly twenty when she died, having never been outside, and was perfectly happy. I know plenty of people with indoor only cats, and none of them have any problems.

londonrach Mon 15-Feb-16 07:02:39

You can cat proof your garden. My friend has as she lives here a very busy road. Means your cat can still go outside but only in your garden.

Pontytidy Mon 15-Feb-16 07:11:58

Cats by there very nature are free spirits and you cannot control their behaviour outside a confined space, if you have a cat that goes outside you also take the risk that they could be knocked over, they are independant creatures. The very fact that the law makes an owner responsibile for your dog and not your cat acknowledges that. I understand your neighbours frustration but I personally would do no more than sympathise. I do not think you should feel that the cat needs to be kept in doors due to this.

Iamnotloobrushphobic Mon 15-Feb-16 07:23:42

I'm sure I have read on here before that cat owners in Australia have to be responsible and not allow their cats to cause a nuisance to others. If that is true then surely we could impose something similar here without all cats being on Prozac!

CooPie10 Mon 15-Feb-16 07:28:29

I had this problem, fenced off my property with spikes and barbed wire bits at the top. Solved the problem. Sorry but the onus is entirely up to you to ensure its not a nuisance to others. Having a small baby is irrelevant, it's not Your neighbours problem as the cat would still be a problem otherwise.

OldFarticus Mon 15-Feb-16 07:30:18

Maybe it depends on the cat Midnite - mine is constantly trying to get outside and howls at night. He is neutered and has lots of toys and fuss and a behavioural therapist as well as another cat to hang out with. He is utterly miserable and I can't wait to bring him back home so he can run around outdoors.

My point is that it can be difficult to keep indoor cats humanely if they are not happy with being indoors. Much better to try to reach a compromise with the NN if possible, in the interests of tolerance and good neighbourly relations.

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