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Neighbour's pond

(11 Posts)
Morifarty Sun 07-Aug-16 09:23:06

I need some ingenious ideas please as I am at the end of my tether and don't know what to do.

I have a cat. He's about 2, and he's neutered. We live in a rented house and the landlords of our house live next door. They are lovely people, we get on with them, they are animal lovers and they love the cat.

However, Mr Cat has developed a taste for the fish in the pond next door. It used to be frogs he would bring back but that wasn't too bad as he never killed them, we would scoop them up and return them. Now it's fish, and they aren't scoopable.

When it happened the first time we got a sonic repeller for their garden. We have tried squirting him with water whenever he returns with something. We have tried hanging around in the garden all day for days on end, squirting him over the fence when he's near the pond. I've tried orange peel. I've tried keeping him inside but it's unbearable. I can't have windows open at all as he can push them if they are ajar, he's a hefty cat. If I close the windows he yowls to go out. For hours. I work from home, on the phone, so that's untenable long term. And he'll do anything he can to get out, and when he does - straight over the fence to the pond.

I've looked into cat proofing the garden but it's not feasible due to the flat roof situation on our house and theirs (we are two halves of a semi). I could cat proof the fences but they can get on the roof and go house to house like that.

I don't know what to do. The fish cost money. And our housing situation depends on the goodwill of the landlords next door. We've been here for 5 years and they haven't raised the rent once, even though prices have risen in the area. I've even thought about moving to stop the fishy murder situation but we're talking about being hundreds worse off every month, not taking into account moving fees. And I love it here. We have a good landlord, friendly (not for much longer at this rate).

I know he's doing what cats do. If we owned it would be different I suppose. But we don't.

I'm hoping that someone will have a wonderful idea. Because of the position of the pond, it's not possible to net it. And I don't think it would stop him. He's not the cleverest of cats and he's nearly died in netting before, just throws himself at it.

FireflyGirl Sun 07-Aug-16 09:35:01

Have you tried speaking with your neighbours and seeing if they can think of anything?

Is he put off by water at all? If so, could you try rigging a bucket near the pond? A bit more water might be enough to keep him away.

Good luck!

Morifarty Sun 07-Aug-16 09:44:45

I've spoken to them, they are reluctant to do anything that will cause him harm as they are softies.

He doesn't like it when he's hosed but it doesn't stop him and the pond has a sprinkler which doesn't seem to bother him.

They don't have loads of fish in the pond so when a couple go missing it is noticeable. I'm so worried they are going to get pissed off and serve us notice.

JellyBellyKelly Sun 07-Aug-16 10:03:57

Get one of these professionally fitted? You said the pond isn't in a position to net, but I'm sure they're used to fitting in awkward spaces?

www.pondsafety.com/pond-covers.html

anoldiebutagoody Sun 07-Aug-16 10:36:49

What about fitting a solid/stiff mesh panel over the pond like this www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-25mm-Mesh-Panel-Galvanised-600mm-x-900mm/p/187722
I'd be able to sit on it and look at the fish but wouldn't be able to catch them.

UnexpectedBaggage Sun 07-Aug-16 10:41:17

Those look really ugly when they are fitted. I wouldn't want one on our pond.

Not sure what the solution is OP, but I'd be very miffed if I was your neighbour. Maybe if you replace the fish at your expense?

JellyBellyKelly Sun 07-Aug-16 11:06:43

The ones I linked to can be fitted just under the surface of the water, so don't look too bad.

You may not want it on your pond, unexpected but who knows what the OPs neighbours would want?

Morifarty Sun 07-Aug-16 14:49:03

Thanks for the link Jelly, though they are small fish and I think he could get one through the gaps. At least in the summer, when the fish are coming to the surface.
I'd happily replace the fish, but it doesn't stop him, hat gives him a continuous supply! I wouldn't be happy either if it were my pond. And I wouldn't see why I should have to cover my pond because of my tenants, which is why I'm so anxious about it. I feel awful, I've never known a cat who did this!
I'm at the point of thinking I either need to ask them to let us pay to get it sorted (if it's even doable) or send him to live with my MIL which makes me feel awful but at the same time I can't piss of my landlords because of it.

Morifarty Sun 07-Aug-16 14:49:29

Thanks for the posts by the way, I appreciate the help!

Dingdingdong Mon 08-Aug-16 09:47:51

Maybe have an honest chat with the neighbours ( I'm sure you already have so sorry if this sounds patronising!), offer them solutions you have thought of, ask them if they have any and then be really honest ( but not in a guilt tripping way) and say you are thinking it may be best to send him to your MILs as a long term solution and see what they say. If you can make it so they could say yes if they really would prefer him to go.

I know it would be hard rehoming him (for him and you) but it sounds like the situation is stressing you out, and you are right it isn't fair on your neighbours ( or the fish!). I know people say you can replace them but the neighbours may find the constant fish killing upsetting even if they are replaced. Hopefully they may go for a netting solution and it might work!

Morifarty Mon 08-Aug-16 15:13:51

Thanks dingding I think you are right.

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