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neighbour's dog attacked my cat

(66 Posts)
magicinthenight Mon 21-Aug-17 04:35:54

This is a bit long but I'm a bit upset and so it's hard to be concise! Our flat has access to a very large communal garden. Our cat is elderly, very well behaved and goes out for a little patrol or a snooze in the bushes a few times a day. Usually this is supervised. The only exception is in the mornings my partner will feed her and open the back door on her way to work so the cat can go out if she wants before I wake up. There is a dog who lives upstairs and before we moved in used to be let out unsupervised. They kindly stopped this because of our cat.

Anyway cat was out in the morning before I woke up. The neighbour didn't see her so let the dog out which then chased the cat out of the bushes and went for her, before grabbing her leg and dragging her down the tree she was trying to escape up. The owner at this point pulled the dog off and shooed the cat back inside.

I (being asleep) knew absolutely none of this and so woke up, heard her bell jingle under the bed (where she often spends several hours napping or hanging out with a toy) and carried on with the day. In the evening I thought something was off so tried coaxing her out with food and treats but nothing- we had to pull the whole bed apart in the end to find that she couldn't get out because her back leg had gone limp. At this point our vet had closed and so we took care of her until we could
rush her in first thing. With her age and mysterious onset the vet had to run every test to try and identify the cause (it could have been a clot or something neurological). A day and a £550 bill later the vet found two of her lower vertebrae to be quite crushed (worsened by arthritis) and severe bruising to her leg.

Two DAYS later the owner of the dog has come round and told us what happened, after another neighbour told them our cat had been mysteriously injured. Apparently at the time they tried to say but they left it because 'nobody was home' (despite the back door being open hmm).

I am angry about what happened because of the pain my lovely cat is in, but I realise it was an honest mistake, it's a dogs nature and with sharing a garden accidents happen. I am however LIVID that they left it almost three days to mention it, and only because someone else guilted them into it. Not only could I have taken the poor cat to the vet much earlier and gotten her out of pain quicker, we could have halved the vet bill by not having to explore every avenue. I just feel that if it had been reversed and it was my dog, I would have been round a few times that morning at least to try and let the owners know asap. AIBU? Some people I've told agree with us, but others have said we should be grateful they said anything at all. I don't know what to think and I'm up anyway so I thought I'd ask what you think.

tl;dr: neighbour's dog attacked my cat and then they took two days to tell us

KinkyFruits Mon 21-Aug-17 04:42:49

YANBU at all! I would be fuming. The neighbor should pay at least half of the vet bill.

MoggieMaeEverso Mon 21-Aug-17 05:12:00

Half?! They should pay the whole thing obviously. The injury was entirely due to their negligence.

What are they planning to do to ensure this never happens again?

SabineUndine Mon 21-Aug-17 06:01:27

They obvs wanted to hide that it was their dog that had done it in case you asked them to pay the vet's bill and wouldn't have said anything if your other neighbour hadn't told you. I'd be asking them for the money.

engineersthumb Mon 21-Aug-17 06:01:41

Cats and dogs don't share well. They have already changed their behaviors to accommodate your cat, whilst it's unfortunate it's not their fault. I doubt they realised at the time that the cat was injured and figured it wasn't anything to mention. Sorry to hear that your cat has been injured and hopes he makes a speedy recovery.

Broken11Girl Mon 21-Aug-17 06:08:25

I would be fuming. Not bc the dog attacked your cat per se, it's what they do. Bc they weren't adequately supervising their dog and then didn't bother to tell you, if they thought you weren't in they needed to keep trying, several times a day not 2 days later ffs angry They need to pay the vet bill and take measures to stop their dog doing this again.

Broken11Girl Mon 21-Aug-17 06:09:13

And hope your poor cat recovers quickly flowers

Tiptoethr0ughthetulips Mon 21-Aug-17 06:09:42

I don't think it's their fault. You're sharing a space, I think it's lucky she got the dog off your cat. It does seem unfair they didn't tell you but since the cat ran off she probably thought it was fine.

As a dog owner if my dog got out and attacked a cat in the cats garden then I'd class that as my responsibility to pay vets bills, if the cat was in my garden I'd take no responsibility at all. It's a tricky one with being communal area but you equally were not supervising your cat.

Ilovetolurk Mon 21-Aug-17 06:15:31

Someone who knows will be along but I expect they are liable for your vet's bill, all of it.

Sorry about your poor cat 🐯

AJPTaylor Mon 21-Aug-17 06:16:18

Blimey. Opposite view here. Sounds like you both try to be good neighbours and compromise. But realistically unless you have a timetable neighbour cant physically check a large garden for a cat. Presumably dog goes out every morning? Agree they should have knocked.

Greyhorses Mon 21-Aug-17 06:55:22

I don't think it's their fault either. It's inevitable that a dog and a cat sharing a space will make contact eventually. Mine would chase a cat in our garden too and it's impossible to police where the cat is all the time.

If my cats go out and get injured I take responsibility as I chose to leave them unsupervised.

They are rubbish for not saying anything but they probably were worried about what would happen.

StillDrivingMeBonkers Mon 21-Aug-17 07:36:12

You should have your cat insured.

Osolea Mon 21-Aug-17 07:43:01

I don't think they have any responsibility to pay your vet bill. It was an honest mistake, and it was probably very hard to tell that the cat was properly injured. If it was able to run back to the house and past you without you noticing, then they probably thought the cat was fine and there wasn't much to tell.

If they have tried in the past to be considerate and not let the dog out because of your cat, which will have been an inconvenience for them, then they're not bad people and this is just one of those things that unfortunately happens with cats. I hope your cat recovers soon.

5rivers7hills Mon 21-Aug-17 07:44:13

Its shit didn't say anything anything but I don't think they should pay the vet bill.

I feel you have a free ranging animal it might be attacked or get into fights. The dog has just as much right to be in the communal garden as your cat.

Sad and annoying but just one of those things.

Vinorosso74 Mon 21-Aug-17 07:45:12

Is there dog insured? If so there should be something about injuring third parties (ie. your cat) which could cover it. As a non dog owner I'm not 100% sure if it covers cats.
Hope your cat recovers and they are complete arses for not letting you know what happened.

JennyOnAPlate Mon 21-Aug-17 07:50:28

This is a tricky one because the dog was in its garden, not running loose on the street. It would be nice if they offered to split the vet bill with you, but I don't think you can force them to.

I hope your cat is ok flowers

gingertigercat Mon 21-Aug-17 07:52:48

They absolutely should have told you straight away. Hope your little one is feeling better flowers

caffeinestream Mon 21-Aug-17 07:56:29

I don't think they're responsible for your vet bills - your cat should be insured and if she isn't, then it's a risk you take as an owner that she could get injured or sick and need treatment which you need to be prepared to pay for.

I'm sorry your cat was injured but like a PP said if she ran off into the house and didn't appear to be bleeding or in pain they probably didn't think she was hurt. Cats mask their pain incredibly well.

I hope she recovers okay flowers

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Mon 21-Aug-17 07:57:03

Of course they should have told you straight away.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 21-Aug-17 07:59:57

They should have told you sooner. But they are doing everything they can to manage the situation.

I don't think they should pay the vet bill or even held, necessarily. Nice if they offered but no obligation to do so.

Witsender Mon 21-Aug-17 08:05:19

They should have told you, but probably assumed the cat was ok as it ran off. Cats and dogs tussle all the time, it was probably only when they heard that it was injured that they realised and came to see you. I would assume good motives, especially given that they have been accommodating in the past.

They had no way of knowing that your cat was in the garden, as you say yourself. It isn't anyone's fault.

Urubu Mon 21-Aug-17 08:27:08

They look like giod neighbors, they changed their habits of letting the dog go unsupervised for your cat's sake, and on this instance you weren't supervising either so can't blame them for not realizing the cat was there.
Re letting you know, if you were in bed they couldn't really come in and tell you even if the back door was open. Maybe at this point they didn't realize the cat was harmed. Or they thought you would see it yourself - which you didn't even though the cat was in your home.

ScruffbagsRUs Mon 21-Aug-17 09:13:53

AFAIK, cats are classed as wild animals (so much harder to train than dogs, and they aren't required to be registered or licenced with the local council), so I don't think there is anything you can do to get them to pay for the vet bill (it would be like someone telling you, that you have to pay the bill because your cat hurt a squirrel or some other similar animal). Unfortunately your cat was let out unsupervised, and if your cat is uninsured, the vet bill may well be your responsibility totally.

I hope your cat is OK, OP, and recovers as well as can be expected.

RainbowPastel Mon 21-Aug-17 09:31:36

Not their fault. It's a shared garden not solely for your cat. You made a choice to let your cat in the garden. They should have let you know what happened but they shouldn't be liable for the vet bills.

Felicitychipmunkx Mon 21-Aug-17 09:35:17

There's no liability as its a shared garden.

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