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My neighbor's cat


waitforufo
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Last fall the house next to mine changed hands so now I have new neighbors. They have no children and I would guess they are in their late twenties.

 

They have a cat.

 

This cat has decided that my fenced (7ft tall cedar) back yard, particularly my raised vegetable garden makes a great latrine. So now my back yard is constantly fouled with cat crap. By the way cats do not always burry the crap. I find it on my grass, on top of the dirt, and partially buried.

 

My understanding, confirmed by my local health department, that I shouldn't eat vegetables from a garden where cats crap, so I guess it is flowers this year.

 

For those of you that do not know, cat crap and urine smell particularly bad. So much for enjoying the fresh spring air. Also, I have very many dead spots in my grass from the urine.

 

So I tried a few things like crushed red pepper to make my yard less appealing to the cat but all to no avail.

 

So I talked to my neighbors. I was very pleasant. Were they apologetic? No. The said that their cat was a dumb animal and they could not help it if the cat preferred my back yard for doing its business. When I suggested they buy a litter box and keep the cat indoors they said the cat "needed fresh air."

 

So the next week I spoke to them again. Again very pleasant. I said they should come and clean up my yard. They were shocked I would even suggest such a thing. I showed them pictures of their cat in my back yard. They said I could buy products that would discourage cats from entering my yard if I had a problem with cats. I told them if they purchased me such products I would be happy to try them. The said it wasn't their problem.

 

So I checked with the law. If the cat enters my yard it is a stray and I can call animal control. I called animal control and they told me I could use a humane trap and then I could bring the cat in to them. They would not send an animal control officer for a stray cat. They told me if I caught the cat, turned it in, and it had a license, they would contact the owner. If the cat was not spayed or neutered, that would be done at the owner's expense and they would also have to pay a fee to get the cat back. If they did not want it back they would attempt to adopt it out. If the cat did not have a license, they would hold the cat for claim for 24 hours, and then they would try to adopt it out. Cats held for adoption were euthanized after 24 hours. The cat does not wear a collar.

 

I don't want the cat dead but I don't want it crapping in my back yard. It's not the cats fault that its owners are irresponsible.

 

So this last weekend I collected all the cat crap I could find and put it on my neighbors front porch about 1 foot from their door. About 2 hours later the police came to my house. I showed the officer the photos of the cat in my yard, I showed him the trap I borrowed from anamal control (not yet set), and explained to him that I was only returning to my neighbors their property (cat crap). The police officer thought this was rather humorous. He said I was within my rights to return the cat crap. He went next door, spoke to the neighbors for a few minutes, and left.

 

Since Sunday was the first nice day in a long cold winter/spring the neighborhood was out doing yard work. Since my other neighbors saw the police in the neighborhood they were curious and asked both me and my next door neighbors what was up. I simply told them we were having an issue with their cat waist in my fenced back yard. I'm not sure what the cat owners said but there was lots of arm waving. A few of my neighbors explained to me the positive uses of antifreeze. I told them my problem wasn't with the cat.

 

So eventually my next door neighbors came over to explain to me that I am a jerk. I said I knew that already. They asked me what I thought they should. I told them they could keep their cat indoors, they could get rid of the cat, or they could move.

 

I asked them why I should I be responsible for their pet, particularly the unpleasant aspects. They told me that was part of being a good neighbor. I guess I'm not that good.

 

This morning their cat was in my back yard. I left another pile in front of my neighbor's front door.

 

So, do you think my actions are justified? Do you think they will learn?

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Dude water bottle...NO even better...Water Gun. Super soaker. Train the cat to resort or other measures.

 

Side effect:

 

Fun. Humor!

 

There nothing morally wrong with it. Think about it. Unless there are people who think water is harmful? They complain, tell them to be a good neighbors and not ruin your fun.

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Dude water bottle...NO even better...Water Gun. Super soaker. Train the cat to resort or other measures.

 

Side effect:

 

Fun. Humor!

 

There nothing morally wrong with it. Think about it. Unless there are people who think water is harmful? They complain, tell them to be a good neighbors and not ruin your fun.

I second this. It also works for irritating housemates.

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tell them that part of being a good neighbor is not destroy your neighbor's property (your vegetables).

 

I would keep doing what you're doing and start some serious, but legal, cat torture. Not only will you drive the cat insane, this will cause no end of grief to your jerkwad neighbors.

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Honestly, I've never had this problem - part of the benefit of having a greyhound who's eaten cats is that people take the whole "keep the cat out of my yard" thing pretty seriously. Cats may be quick, but it's hard to beat a 40mph top speed (with cheetah-level acceleration).

 

IMHO, the best option would be a water gun, possibly loaded with lemon juice or something else that smells noxious but is harmless. Part of the trick is to make sure the cat fears the yard, not you, so you can't just wait in plain view. Crack a window and just read for a while nearby, squirting the cat every chance you get. The important thing is to give it no obvious clues about whether or not you're watching, so it can never tell if it's "safe".

 

In the meantime, keep dropping the cat feces off at your neighbor's place until *they* learn.

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Honestly, I've never had this problem - part of the benefit of having a greyhound who's eaten cats is that people take the whole "keep the cat out of my yard" thing pretty seriously. Cats may be quick, but it's hard to beat a 40mph top speed (with cheetah-level acceleration).

As an aside, my mom works to adopt retired greyhounds. Awesome dogs. I actually have a 12 year old mini greyhound (Italian greyhound) myself who *loves* chasing cats. Even though he's only about 15 pounds and 16 inches high, he's fast (I clocked him a few years back on my bike going 30mph). He gets so wound up that he's nearly put himself through the window a few times when he sees cats in the backyard. :)

 

 

As per the suggestions, what if the cat is pissing in the yard when you're not around? I work and have a life, so I can't exactly sit in a "cat blind" like a hunter waiting to shoot. Also, I'd be concerned using one of those ultrasonic jobbers with my dog and all... What then?

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There was a nice old lady that lived across from me. One winter she placed a pile of dog poop in a paper bag and put it inside of the storm door. I carried the bag inside and forgot about it. A while later I had a foul odor in the house. I was rather curious about what had happened when I looked inside the bag. You see I did not have any pets.

 

I never said anything to the woman. I knew she meant to well.

 

Cat piss is horrible. We had a rotten cat that pissed in the garage. That smell is still there and it has been years.

 

I'd call animal control and have the animal removed.


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If you are finding difficulty in getting people from the local government to assist you in this ask them, "What if one of my friends' small kids crawling around the yard ends up putting cat crap in their mouth?" That should get someone's attention.

 

This cat is a health hazard. I know I've had cats with horrible habits.

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I've seen places in Texas here that sell a kit for a motion-detector activated sprinkler. Put one of those suckers in your yard and the cat will never come back.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Contech-Electronics-CRO101-Scarecrow-Motion-Activated/dp/B000071NUS

 

It may be a bit expensive, but if you're gardening you can consider it an investment in keeping rabbits, deer and other animals out as well. And it'll keep the plants watered a bit.

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There was a nice old lady that lived across from me. One winter she placed a pile of dog poop in a paper bag and put it inside of the storm door. I carried the bag inside and forgot about it. A while later I had a foul odor in the house. I was rather curious about what had happened when I looked inside the bag. You see I did not have any pets.

 

I never said anything to the woman. I knew she meant to well.

 

Cat piss is horrible. We had a rotten cat that pissed in the garage. That smell is still there and it has been years.

 

I'd call animal control and have the animal removed.


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If you are finding difficulty in getting people from the local government to assist you in this ask them, "What if one of my friends' small kids crawling around the yard ends up putting cat crap in their mouth?" That should get someone's attention.

 

This cat is a health hazard. I know I've had cats with horrible habits.

 

Yes. She sounds like a very nice old lady.

 

Maybe you could introduce her to the OP. She will know what to do.

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This shouldn't cost you any more than it already has. I think the next bag of "returns" should be accompanied by a friendly note:

 

"Dear Neighbor,

 

Per your suggestion, I am using the measures at my disposal to discourage your cat from using my garden as his toilet, since I have found out that my health is at risk if I eat vegetables contaminated by feces. Animal Control has provided me with a humane trap, but I wanted to let you know about their policy on collarless pets turned over to them. If they can't contact the owner, they will euthanize the animal after 24 hours. Since this was never my intention, I would urge you to purchase a collar with your contact info on it, so Animal Control knows who to call. Please check with them about the cost of reclaiming your cat. I didn't ask them about that part.

 

The Gardener Next Door."

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Depending on the cat, it's important that the cat does not see you when it's hit with water from the super soaker. You want the cat to associate the water with the garden, not with you in person.

 

A smart cat will quickly understand that the toilet is open and safe when you're not in the garden.

 

This automatic sprinkler installation - will it not also chase all birds and other life away? (Or, alternatively, isn't it going to be triggered all the time, by wind, cats, birds, yourself if you forget to turn it off, etc.?)

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Gutz's suggestion was actually suggested by our vet, when our cat injured his leg after a fight with nextdoor neighbours cat. The nextdoor neighbours cat, lay claim to our back garden as territory before we got our cat, and it's persistence to keep coming into the garden, means our cat is getting so stressed, it's licking the fur off his legs.

 

However, the flaw in a super soaker is obviously you have to be there when the cat is doing it's business.

 

I've seen places in Texas here that sell a kit for a motion-detector activated sprinkler. Put one of those suckers in your yard and the cat will never come back.

 

My parents have one of these for their pond, and it works a treat. It sounds like there's no reasoning with your neighbours waitforufo, so the appliance of science seems the only way forward. I think your actions were justified, you made them aware of the problem, the cat is their responsibility, and they didn't take any steps to remedy the problem. The fact that the problem was persistent, despite you being reasonable (although we do only have your side of the story) then more drastic measures had to be taken.

Edited by Snail
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Yeah you shouldn't have to spend more money...BUT obviously these people are dense. They wont ever see the problem.....seriously come on...you can constantly harass them but you will become stressed...I think the 60 dollars is worth the fresh vegetables, especially with current markets and all. Who know where stores get their stuff.

 

I suggest super soaker simply because it was cheap and fun...but that system is way better. I'd go for it....and I'd get the supersoaker as back up...maybe even spray the neighbors sometimes...."OOOPS! sorry trying to get the cat!..Oh No now your all soaked, Hoooowww (very expressive) careless of me". You guys have no idea how cruel I can be to people who act like these types. I've pretty much had it living around people that don't want to think or even try to be considerate.

 

It's not cruel to the cat, I love cats...I like cats more than alot of people....they are always the most intelligence creatures.....kinda have to motivate them.

Edited by GutZ
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Although I don't agree with the described behaviour of the neighbors, I am not sure exactly where to draw the line. Keeping the cat inside is definitely an option, but I know plenty of cat-lovers who will find this unacceptable. It can be hard to reason with animal-lovers sometimes :D

 

Just playing the devil's advocate here:

In the Netherlands, we have really lots of birds. Sea gulls can really shit a lot, and during the breeding season actually dive-bomb people and also have fun to aim for the windows.

Sea gulls are nesting on the roofs of buildings, where the natural predators (fox, cat, other small egg-eaters) cannot come. Is it the responsibility of the owners of the buildings to keep the sea gulls off?

I think not. Sometimes you have to accept that nature just makes a mess.

 

Note that a pet cat is not exactly nature anymore, and I think it is the cat's owners responsibility to prevent it from shitting in the gardens.

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As I said in the OP I did try crushed red pepper. I also looked in to chemical repellants and checked them out at the local farm supply store. In my opinion the chemical repellants work by smelling worse than cat urine. They are also expensive and have to be reapplied each time it rains. I also looked into the motion activated sprinkler. Because of the layout of my back yard and house I think I would need two of them. Also I run a timed set of sprinklers off my hose bib to irrigate some of my more water hungry trees and shrubs so I don't over water the rest of my yard and garden with my underground system

 

As iNow points out, I have a life and don’t have time to while away the hours in a ghillie suit waiting for the neighbor's cat to hear natures call.

 

I really was a nice when I spoke to my neighbor the first few times. I have been a pet owner in the past. I know first hand how attached people get to their pets. An attachment as protective as parents to children.

 

When speaking to them they seem to already know that their cat uses my back yard as a latrine. They seemed to think that this was the natural order of things. On the other hand perhaps they are just upset that I burst their bubble about the magical cat crap pixies. Maybe they just can't believe that their precious adorable pet actually produces excrement.

 

The funny thing was that when I complained the woman next door seemed to think I was making a big deal about nothing. "It's only cat poop for goodness sake." When she found it on her front porch she said it was "just disgusting!" When I smilingly told her "It's only cat poop for goodness sake" I thought she was going to blow a gasket.

 

So yesterday afternoon I set up the cat trap in my back yard. I made sure it was in full view of my neighbors back balcony. It has a safety catch so you can bait it without having the door snap closed. I left the safety catch engaged. This morning when I was getting the newspaper she was waiting to give me a piece of her mind. When I told her I leased the trap from animal control for 5 bucks a month plus a refundable deposit and told her about their policy for unlicensed stay cats she said I was just despicable. The cost to her would be for the surgery to fix her cat plus 80 bucks.

 

I'll keep you posted.

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Although I don't agree with the described behaviour of the neighbors, I am not sure exactly where to draw the line. Keeping the cat inside is definitely an option, but I know plenty of cat-lovers who will find this unacceptable. It can be hard to reason with animal-lovers sometimes :D

 

I love cats too. For a 25 year old I can tell you its weird to see cat mugs cat stuffed animals, feline t shirts all over...I have them all. There is fine line. If my cat can't stay in the yard, it gets a leash, it doesnt like the leash it stays in the yard.

 

Everyone thinks their offspring or pets are "OH so cute and special"...others don't have the same attachment....you have to respect that. I hate it when people are so blindly ignorant letting their child run around in stores touch everything and smiling "how cute!". NOooooo.

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Well, first of all, cat crap isnt deadly. Only in the view of city-slickers that dont know any better...its fertilizer, people. Granted, I wouldn't want to eat vegetalbes that had already sprouted with cat crap on them, but if your garden is just freshly plowed then you've got nothing to worry about.

Little farming knowledge is good for people ;)

 

Second, you have every right to shoot the cat if it comes onto your property. *at least where I live*. Ive shot 3 dogs and 3 tom cats that chased my cattle and killed my other cats, respectively. Each time, it was a pet and the owners tried to take legal action, but you have EVERY RIGHT to kill any creature that threatens your pets or yourself on your land.

 

If you dont want a lethal solution, then sorry.

Hope this helps

 

--Feral cats, the other white meat. Meeeowww, phhht, thud :D

Edited by Lan(r)12
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Well, first of all, cat crap isnt deadly. Only in the view of city-slcikers that dont know any better...its fertilizer people. Granted, I wouldnt want to eat vegetalbes that ahd already sprouted with cat crap on them, but if your garden is just plowed then youve got nothing to worry about.

Little farming knowledge is good for people ;)

I agree. A little farming knowledge is good for people, which is why it's important that you know what you've said in the opening of your post is simply wrong.

 

 

First, nobody really said it's "deadly," just harmful. However, it can, in fact, be deadly in some rare instances. Doesn't matter, though, it's harmful, and THAT's the point.

 

 

http://gardening.wsu.edu/stewardship/compost/petpoop.htm

While many animal manures make valuable soil amendments, parasites carried in dog and cat feces can cause diseases in humans.

 

Dog and cat droppings often contain roundworms and other parasitic nematodes. Gardeners can ingest roundworm eggs from soil contaminated with dog or cat feces. Contaminated soil often is carried to the mouth by dirty hands, especially among young children, or the edible parts of fruits and vegetables. Infection by just a few roundworms usually causes no problems, but more severe infections may cause fevers, bronchitis, asthma, or vision problems.

 

Another concern with cat feces is toxoplasmosis, a parasite that infects humans and other animals. Of all creatures, only cats are known to excrete oocysts--a form of the parasite that can survive in the environment for years and is resistant to most disinfectants.

 

Toxoplasmosis is a serious concern for pregnant women, persons with AIDS, and patients receiving immunosuppressive treatments. Most others who contract toxoplasmosis exhibit mild symptoms, such as headaches, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, or sore throats. Humans become infected with toxoplasmosis primarily by injesting contaminated food and water. Gardens are a secondary source of infection.

 

 

For a much more full review of the issues of cat feces in your garden, you can also look here:

 

http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/h238manure-dog-cat.html

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