Dilemma over our cat.

(14 Posts)
veganburgerqueen Sat 15-Oct-16 19:49:52

I am conflicted.
Our cat recently attacked the neighbours' chickens. Puss is a terror and regularly brings us 'presents',sometimes several times a day. confused
The chickens are free roaming during the day and often spend the day outside the garden on the shared path adjoining our properties. However, that day our cat ventured into their garden and attacked them there.
The cat has never tried to kill the chickens before, although this doesn't make it any better, I know. As you can imagine the neighbour was very upset, as they are family pets.
We apologised profusely and we immediately offered to keep our cat in (we have a rather large garden and as it is a rented listed building we are limited with what we can do as far as cat-proofing it goes).
So, kitty has been kept inside ever since, although she is harness trained and we take her for walks occasionally. She has also escaped a couple of times but we've discovered this very quickly before she has managed to pay the chickens a visit!
What I want to know is, are we doing right by everyone? I know I would be upset if I was our neighbour, but then I see kitty's little face pressed against the window and I feel so sorry for her...hmm

I would really appreciate your thoughts (apologies for the long post - I'm a newbie).

thereinmadnesslies Sat 15-Oct-16 19:55:12

I'm really surprised she managed to attack the chickens - we have cats and chickens and the chickens chase the cats out of the garden.
You are being responsible. Could you build an enclosure in the garden so the cat could get some fresh air. Omlet (chicken cage company, ironically) sell freestanding 7ft high metal runs.

veganburgerqueen Sat 15-Oct-16 20:16:25

Thank you for that there. I just needed some reassurance smile.
She is a little monster and has caught a squirrel before now! Fantastic idea about the outdoor cat pen. I'd forgotten that the breeder we bought her from had one...

madgingermunchkin Sat 15-Oct-16 20:16:40

No you are not being reasonable. If a cat chooses to stay in, then fair enough.

But you are deliberately preventing a cat that is used to being out and roaming, the chance to go. She is effective in prison and will go stir crazy.

If you own chickens, you accept that at some point, there is a fair decent chance they will get had.

Let the poor cat out or rehome.

veganburgerqueen Sat 15-Oct-16 20:34:26

Madginger - thank you for your POV.
I totally agree with you. It's very unfair on the cat, but as we rent and are fairly new to the property and we have the same landlords as our neighbours, I am worried about upsetting them, I suppose.
I have had cats all my life and this particular one is the only one we have ever chosen, all the rest have been rescues. She is quite a character and I would hate to lose her but at the same time I want her to be happy ... <sighs>

luckylucky24 Sat 15-Oct-16 20:36:12

I used to have chickens and they were pretty good at fending off the chickens. I would say let the cat out. Maybe you could come to an agreement when the chickens are put away every other day and on those days you cat can go out?

nennyrainbow Sat 15-Oct-16 20:40:51

This might sound a slightly wacky idea but hear me out. Could you keep some chickens yourself and get your cat used to them so that she doesn't hunt them?

We have a small terrier who chases anything on legs - cats, rodents, pigeons...A few years ago, we got some chickens with the intention of keeping them free range. We kept them in the run for a few days to let them get used to their new surroundings and also for the dog to get used to them. Then we let them out whilst holding the dog on the lead to see what he did. Absolutely nothing! Because he had accepted them as belonging here, he didn't chase them and never has done ( but still goes crazy barking at pigeons when they land on the conservatory roof when he's having a snooze in theresmile). Last year, we took in a stray cat. This time, as well as worrying about the dog chasing the cat( he did at first but then accepted her when he realised she was staying), I was worried about the cat killing the chickens). But I think because the chickens were already established here, the cat accepted them although she happily kills sparrows.
Might sound wacky but I do think pets have an understanding of who is 'family' and who isn't. And if the cat can see that the chickens are 'family', then chickens are not to be chased.

Liara Sat 15-Oct-16 20:46:50

I have chickens and frankly they are more likely to eat the cats than vice versa.

Unfortunately we also have a lot of foxes around here....

nennyrainbow Sat 15-Oct-16 21:00:06

Although I've just noticed your username! Maybe my suggestion of keeping chickens to a vegan isn't one of my better ideas...grin

Rozdeek Sat 15-Oct-16 21:05:09

Um if you're going to let chickens roam free round your back yard with no protection you take responsibility for whatever might happen to them.

Round here the foxes would have had them in 5 minutes.

Broken1Girl Sat 15-Oct-16 21:05:15

It's unfair for you to keep your pet in so theirs can roam free. Poor cat.
The chickens risk getting attacked/ injured if they roam free, as does any animal.
I'm surprised a cat attacked chickens as pps are, did she actually injure them? Did she have injuries herself? It's possible the neighbours understandably interpreted what happened as your cat being the aggressor when it was more a mutual fight. You might find there are no more issues as they have learned to coexist. Could you let cat out under your supervision to see? Otherwise you could find some kind of compromise.

veganburgerqueen Sat 15-Oct-16 21:10:42

Nenny- I love your suggestion! The kids aren't vegan and have been secretly hankering for more pets. I do agree that pets need to learn who is family and who is not. Now how to break it to DH grin.

Lucky - I also think talking to the neighbours and trying to come to some arrangement on a kind of 'time share' regarding the outdoor space might work.

You guys are such creative thinkers! I'd been stuck for solutions for weeks. Thank you smile.

veganburgerqueen Sat 15-Oct-16 21:36:49

Rozdeek - I wouldn't let mine out unsupervised either, as I would be too scared of predators. Our cats seem to be the first in the neighbourhood.

Broken - no she wasn't injured luckily. I wonder if my neighbour panicked a little when she saw the cat in the garden. She didn't pick her up but ran to our front door and shouted at us to 'come and sort our cat out'. Puss may not have gotten too close as she was nowhere to be seen when we went to find her. Maybe the neighbour's not a cat lover or has lost some chickens before ...

Well it's clear that some compromise is required if everyone's pets are to be happy. I was just worried about upsetting the neighbours so soon after moving in blush.

newmumwithquestions Mon 17-Oct-16 21:10:09

You've had some good suggestions.

Just wanted to add we've got chickens. They're pets. I'm too scared about foxes to let them free range unless I'm around but if I did and a neighbours cat was a problem I'd find a 'timeshare' access to free ranging a great solution (I assume that although the chickens free range they do have a run as well). In fact I'd think you were being very reasonable.

That said I used to have cats so probably understand more than some the issues they can cause!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now