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Letting Kitten Out & Neighbours

(17 Posts)
ValancyJane Fri 03-Apr-15 12:44:31

How did I not know there was a forum here for fellow crazy cat ladies?! I need some advice/reassurance about letting my cat out please!

We have a seven month old kitten who is in my utterly unbiased crazy cat lady opinion, an absolute darling. We are just starting to let him out a bit when we go into the garden as he's very inquisitive and eager to explore - we live on a really quiet estate so traffic isn't a huge concern. I let him out for the first time yesterday, just in the back garden for ten minutes and he really enjoyed it, but I scooped him up when he started to look a wee bit interested in the birds at next door's bird feeders, which is really the issue I'm worried about..

Our immediate next door neighbours are a little strange (we only moved in last summer - the lady is nice enough and seems friendly, but the man - her son I think - is quite odd, for example if we're out in the garden he won't make eye contact or even say good morning, just blanks us, and was really funny with us when we asked to put a ladder down the side of their house for five minutes so that a workman could sort our gutters out - he just seems quite particular about things in the garden, and is not particularly sociable - though we're always polite and have taken parcels in for him etc). They are quite big on bird feeders and have them dotted all around the garden. At least ten times a day I hear them banging pans to scare off pigeons from the bird feeders, so they take it quite seriously!!

There is a tabby cat that wanders around here, and I have just in the last ten minutes watched the lady wave something out the window to try and wave it off (fair enough) and then the man running across the garden shouting really aggressively at it to chase it off!!

I get that not everyone's a cat person, and fair enough they don't want the cat in their garden and wouldn't complain about them shooing my kitten or anything, but running across the garden at it shouting that loudly just seems a bit excessive... And I'm now REALLY worried about letting the kitten out, as he's blatantly going to go into their garden (their fence is only little) and he thinks all people are friends sad Also the corner he chased the cat into is completely the opposite direction from our house, and I'm so worried he's going to get scared by the neighbour, run off in the opposite direction, and then get lost sad

I've thought about trying to catch the lady in her garden and just explain that we're starting to let our kitten out and we've bought him a collar with a bell to try and make sure he doesn't get any of the birds... but I'm still really worried about it.

Any thoughts/advice/reassurance?! (OH thinks I'm worrying over nothing... Which to be fair I do a lot!!)

RubbishMantra Fri 03-Apr-15 13:30:20

I would have a word with the more approachable wife. Friendly like. That you're going to be letting your kitten out, and you've put a bell on his collar because you're aware of her hubby's fondness of birds except pigeons. And that if he seems lost would they point him in your direction.

I've had to approach all my neighbours, we all share a courtyard. My 2 cats seem to think they have rights into all their houses as well. I nicely asked them if the cats come in to say hello, would they be nice enough not to let them out the front. Not one of them told me to ensure my cat did not enter their house.

Then again, my neighbours don't bang saucepans at pigeons and chase and shout at cats. confused

RubbishMantra Fri 03-Apr-15 13:33:26

*I'm not suggesting she points her angry, cat and pigeon hating, saucepan banging husband in your direction if he's lost.

That would be horrible for you. And scary.

thecatneuterer Fri 03-Apr-15 20:59:14

Or, if you've got a lot of money to throw at the problem, you could cat-proof your garden with this sort of thing:

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 03-Apr-15 22:05:10

Put your own massive bird feeder up so puss doesn't have to travel for entertainment.

Sunflower hearts are VERY popular with birds.

Why jump a fence if you don't have to?.

ValancyJane Sat 04-Apr-15 17:25:08

Thanks all smile RubbishMantra I think I will have a word with the lady as she does seem friendly enough (and doesn't strike me as the cat-chasing type...) To be fair if she sent her husband/son (we're not sure which!) in my direction I would probably leg it in a similar fashion to the cat!!

Sadly garden not feasible to cat proof, nor do we have the pennies... Though I would be tempted if we could, I just want to wrap him up in cotton wool forever!!

We've already got a bird feeder (but in the middle of an exposed bit so the birds will have time to fly away when they hear the jingle of death approach!) - and incidentally have already planted some sunflowers this year, so perhaps that will keep him from venturing out.

Incidentally that bird feeder seems to have sparked 'competitive bird feeding' with the neighbours, I put a little feeder of peanuts out, and was quite chuffed when a pair of blue tits started munching their way through it, and quite enjoyed watching them. Neighbour noticed, and two days later later had put up six new bird feeders around his garden bringing the current total to twelve... I think they have too much time on their hands!!!!!

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 04-Apr-15 17:56:07

Why don't I get entertaining neighbours like that? The fun I could have with twee bird feeders.

cakewitch Sat 04-Apr-15 21:59:01

We've got neighbours exactly the same as this. They've Got a perfect right not to want my cat in their garden, and if they want to bang on windows, or whatever to scare him off then I've no problem with that. They've actually just brought a gorgeous new spaniel puppy home today, so am really hoping that ArchieCat will stop going in their garden completely.

ValancyJane Sun 05-Apr-15 10:08:55

Hmm, doubt they're going to get a dog unfortunately!

Fluffy if I hadn't known we were getting a kitten, I totally would have taken them on with bird feeders galore! ;)

RubbishMantra Sun 05-Apr-15 10:38:11

Competitive bird-feeding. Love it!

ValancyJane Tue 07-Apr-15 10:57:53

Just as a bit of an update, thanks for all the advice smile I followed it and mentioned our kitten to the lady, and she didn't seem utterly horrified by him which is good! So far no issues, we are only letting kitten out at the moment when we're around to supervise, and have discouraged him from their garden where possible. So far he is much more interested in ours - and turns out the bell is great as you can always find out where he is!

No attempts on the lives of next door's birds yet, but we'll see.....

SmokingGun Tue 07-Apr-15 22:09:13

If you are really worried or just a crazy cat lady like me then you could always buy him a cat jacket and a long lead so he can't get as far as the other gardens. SmokingKitten have us a bit of a fright at about 8mo old when he managed to get on top of our shed then jump onto the neighbours slipping roof and got stuck so I bought him the jacket and he is more than happy in it now. Admittedly I stopped using the lead and now just tie the jacket to the retractable washing line and he loves it blush

SmokingGun Tue 07-Apr-15 22:09:43

Slopping not slipping!

TheOneWiththeNicestSmile Tue 07-Apr-15 22:18:27

I have cats of my own, which have a distressing tendency to crap in my plant pots & dig up my plants. I recently discovered some spikey plastic stuff which I hope will deter them (they have nice litter trays inside) but while I was looking I also found this stuff:

You could stick it along your low fence & it might deter your kitten from going over?

ValancyJane Sun 03-May-15 15:05:09

Smoking I don't think OH would let me, though since he got stuck on top of the pergola the other day, maybe!

Smile I might get some of that anyway as he is annoyingly determined to wee on all my favourite plants!!

Just wanted to come back to this thread and say that it turns out I totally misjudged our neighbours. Odd bloke is still quite odd, generally non-communicative and scares off pigeons on a regular basis but his wife (turns out not his mother after all!) adores our kitten and admires him on a regular basis whenever we're out in the garden, appreciated that we had a bell on him, talks very disdainfully of the tabby that comes into the garden killing birds and said "they could have at least put a bell on him" and has plans to buy our kitten a catnip plant... And the other day when the kitten's collar came off, odd bloke brought it back and had a conversation at the door with OH saying that they were worried the kitten might have been stolen as a few had gone missing round here recently, and was glad that the kitten was fine. (I did ask OH if he said this in a slightly threatening 'SOME kittens have gone MISSING around here you know...' way, but apparently he was very nice and didn't).

So yes, long story short I was totally worrying about nothing and am delighted to have been proved wrong smile

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 03-May-15 15:14:24

That's nice.

Although it may change when he learns to hunt but hopefully they'll like him enough to forgive him.

RubbishMantra Sun 03-May-15 15:30:59

If ValancyCat cat decides he likes to hunt pigeons, it could be a win win though. NDN will no longer have to run about banging saucepans.

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