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AIBU - Neighbour wars over our cats

(147 Posts)
ParsleyCake Sun 05-Jun-16 21:22:45

Our neighbour is a single mother who works full time and came home to find our cat had come into her kitchen. Her daughter (aged probably 7-10 ) was already home from school and in the house.

A few hours ago she came into our garden through the open gate while we had a friend round to celebrate our baby's first birthday and were having a drink in the garden while he played on the grass. She apologised for disturbing us and explained how she had found the cat in her kitchen, and that her daughter had serious asthma problems which meant it was dangerous for a cat to be in the house like that. She was very polite at first, though she didn't stay that way. We asked her which of our three cats it was, as we thought it was most likely it was our youngest cat as she goes into our friends house down the street sometimes. She just repeated her story - I suppose this meant she wasn't sure. At this point I explained to her that if it was our youngest cat I would catch her and do my best to keep her indoors, however our older 2 cats need to get out as they fight if kept confined. My partner asked whether she could close her kitchen window, pointing out (politely) that it was the only window (just because of how wide it opens) in her house (which has many windows, it's not like it's a one bed flat) where a cat could get in. At this she got angry, saying she shouldn't need to keep her window closed. I basically said that no, that's true but she moved into a neighbourhood full of cats (I mean it's all families in 2/3 bed houses with gardens) so it's sensible to take precautions and after all, I think it's a simpler and more reasonable situation than to ask us to get rid of our cat or keep them indoors where they would fight. I said it more nicely than that obviously. We've lived here two years and she moved in a couple of months ago.She said she wasn't asking us to do anything she was telling us the situation and we could do what we wanted but she would call cat protection (not that they deal with things like that!) if it happened again. She kept repeating everything and was getting rude and sweary and we tried to be reasonable but she wasn't listening to us. She stormed off to take her washing off the line and began loudly b****ing about us to the woman who lives in the next house over. That woman also hates us as I have a hearing problem and apparently 'ignored' her when she was speaking to me.

I just don't know what to do. Keeping cats who fight shut in a house with a one year old is just not an option. We moved to this big house with a garden precisely because we needed more space for the cats and were very happy until this woman kicked off. It's such a simple solution to just not leave her kitchen window wide open - she could still open it as much as 6 inches and our cats couldn't get in, but instead she's kicking up a fuss. Our cats are friendly but before we started letting them out there was a huge feral ginger which would pee everywhere and go into the houses and wreck furniture. Our cats chased him off. So obviously this is a neighbourhood full of cats and it's just our luck that it's our cat who went into this woman's house.

This lady is not a great neighbour either, she has very loud late night parties, at the last one there was one man shouting he was going to 'blow the whole street up' and they were in their garden and in the street as well as partying in the house.she has screaming matches with her ex husband all the time. My partner and I moved here to get away from that kind of thing as we lived in a rougher area before. We're not well off ourselves, before you think we are snobs or anything like that. When we decided to have a baby we moved to this nice area full of families and a good school.
I feel like I'm not being unreasonable, what do you think? We both get anxiety and to be perfectly honest this conflict has me seriously considering moving house as this woman was talking about getting my partner beaten up.

MrsRaegan Sun 05-Jun-16 21:27:57

Your cat got in to your neighbours house where her daughter who has a fairly severe asthma problem was. She came round to politely ask you to do something about it and it's her fault? hmm

You sound snobby. Sorry but YABU.

NeedACleverNN Sun 05-Jun-16 21:31:31

Cat proof your garden.

It's really the only option. Will cost you a little bit but it stops your cats from getting out and other cats from getting in.

I would not be impressed if you told me to close my windows so YOUR cat didn't get in. I speak as a cat owner toon

ivykaty44 Sun 05-Jun-16 21:32:25

Asthma is and can be very dangerous

But I have found clapping my hands together really seems to discourage cats from coming inside

We had a problem at work

I don't think that cats like the clapping sound. After two or three times the cat has not reappeared

ParsleyCake Sun 05-Jun-16 21:33:03

No of course it's not her fault our cat got in her house! I just don't understand why she has such a problem with having her window open 6 inches rather than wide enough for an adult person to climb in but thinks it's reasonable to swear and shout at us because we would rather not keep our cats indoors. I mean it's like saying you should never let your cat our if you live within wandering distance of any other human in case they have an allergy.

NeedACleverNN Sun 05-Jun-16 21:37:08

Cat proof your garden..

calamityjam Sun 05-Jun-16 21:39:20

You need to keep your cats away from your neighbours kitchen some how. I know this isn't easy, but she cannot be expected to keep her windows shut or barely open in hot weather because of your cats. Asthma is extremely serious, my next door neighbour lost her 8 year old son to asthma a few years ago.

ParsleyCake Sun 05-Jun-16 21:40:05

I just ... I mean no she shouldn't have to shut her window but it's such a simple solution and like I said, it can still be open, just not as wide. Is it really so unreasonable to ask her to do that?

NeedACleverNN Sun 05-Jun-16 21:41:03

Yes because it's her house not yours

If she wants to have her window open 10 feet wide she can do

willconcern Sun 05-Jun-16 21:42:06

WTF is 'cat proofing' your garden?

I agree with you OP. She should keep her window open enough but not so much the cat can get in. If I was her I wouldn't have even thought of coming round to complain about that.

CantGetYouOutOfMyHead Sun 05-Jun-16 21:43:42

Did I miss the bit where you apologised and asked if her daughter was okay? hmm

Coconutty Sun 05-Jun-16 21:43:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NeedACleverNN Sun 05-Jun-16 21:44:31

Cat proofing your garden is adding to your fence to stop your cat from getting out of your garden. Also stops other cats from getting in

SoleBizzz Sun 05-Jun-16 21:45:05

Yabu how dare you suggest she keep her window open six inches only because of your stupid moggy.

Twinkie1 Sun 05-Jun-16 21:45:30

I'd be placing a big old bowl of something toxic to cats in my kitchen if some bloody animal kept coming in endangering my daughters health.

GreenMarkerPen Sun 05-Jun-16 21:45:36

I don't like cats and our neighbourhood is full of cats.
we cannot leave windows open downstairs if not there to discourage cats to come in. not even on a tilt!
it's annoying but nothing we can do.
just don't get me started on the digging and shitting

AnneElliott Sun 05-Jun-16 21:45:39

I do agree with you op as an asthma sufferer myself. If it's just the one window, then I think she should keep it closed.

And is she sure it's your cat? My neighbour insisted one of mine used to lay on her bed. When I finally got the chance to go and get it ( neighbour told me that cat was there) it was a massive ginger Tom cat, and I had two small black and white girlshmm

Neighbour had been convinced it was mine though.

BombadierFritz Sun 05-Jun-16 21:47:05

Well i go with yanbu. They are cats. You are not expected to control them. We have cats in and out if we leave doors open

Moving on to the threats against your dh - report to police and log. Dont take any shit over that kind of thing or it just gets worse

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 05-Jun-16 21:47:17

I agree with you op, shutting the window is obvious.

biscuitkumquat Sun 05-Jun-16 21:48:02

OP, I had the same problem with our NDN's cat. He got into the upstairs bedroom window. I kept finding him in random parts of the house.

I just opened the top part of the window rather than the bottom.

Cats are, by their very nature, quite feral, and I certainly wouldn't have dreamed of asking them to keep their cat in their own garden.

If one of my children had asthma, I would be taking my own precautions to ensure this didn't happen, because I certainly wouldn't put any of my DC's health in the hands of someone else.

Octonought Sun 05-Jun-16 21:48:14

I'd be livid if someone else's pet came in through my window. Your pet, your responsibility.

Peppermintea Sun 05-Jun-16 21:49:10


Cats are classified as free roaming animals it's not your responsibility to contain them. She needs to keep her house secure if she wants to protect her daughter from cats. She sounds like an idiot.

LolaStarr Sun 05-Jun-16 21:49:41

She was maybe a bit out of order shouting and swearing about it but she has every right to be annoyed. I would hate it if some random cat was wandering into my house, especially if my DC was asthmatic. She shouldn't have to keep her window closed, it's up to you to stop your cat from going in, not her!

Taylor22 Sun 05-Jun-16 21:50:14

YANBU!! Cats are semi wild. You can't stop them and it's cruel to contain them. She is the one with the issue and if her problem is that severe then she can shut the window. If it's not your cat it could be another and that risk should be something she's aware of.

Peppermintea Sun 05-Jun-16 21:50:50

You DO NOT have to cat proof your garden! Look up any legislation on keeping cats. If someone else doesn't want to be disturbed by cats they have to take the necessary precautions. My neighbourhood is filled with cats roaming about its normal!

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