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Thread: How to keep neighbor's cat out of our yard

  1. #1
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    How to keep neighbor's cat out of our yard

    I have already been extremely annoyed that our neighbor's cat is always in our yard, but now it has also been leaving dead rodents on our patio. My kids are always playing in the backyard, and I have had it with this cat and the dead rodents. Any suggestions on how to keep the thing out? And are there any laws about keeping your pet off other people's property?

  2. #2
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    Have you talked to them at all? the times of day the cat goes out have alot to do with how easily it will be able to hunt.

    you might want to talk to your own vet, if you have one, just to call and ask for suggestions.

  3. #3
    Are these friendly neighbors that will calmly listen and try to help solve the problem without resorting to invoking laws?

    Our small town has a leash law for both dogs and cats. For the first violation the fine to retrieve the pet is $35. Second violation is $75, third is $150. Since the fines continue to keep doubling most people keep their pets closely confined.
    The cardiologist's diet: - If it tastes good spit it out!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADM View Post
    Are these friendly neighbors that will calmly listen and try to help solve the problem without resorting to invoking laws?
    I really don't know much about them. They don't speak English very well, so I am not sure how a conversation about it would go. I will try it though before proceeding further. I looked up our municipal ordinances, and the rules were a bit vague. Maybe I'll call just to find out what their responsibilities are before I speak to them.

  5. #5
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    Here's an article on the aspa's website with tips to humanely keep cats out of your yard.

    http://www.aspcabehavior.org/article...Your-Yard.aspx
    Last edited by oct2189; 03-18-2012 at 09:37 PM.
    Jill

    "Be kind to your neighbor... he knows where you live." -Brian Copeland

  6. #6
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    As a cat owner (several) who are indoor/outdoor (gratefully more indoor than outdoor since we have relocated), I fear you cannot dictate where a cat will go and where he will hunt. You can make it unpleasant, and perhaps they will stay away (what about a fake owl that moves its head back and forth? or a statuesque dog figurine??) .
    Since you mentioned children, you probably don't want to spray your yard or deck with anything. Noise that is unexpected would also make the kids unhappy.
    If you sit out there and catch him in the act, you can try to scare it away but I cannot think of a safe, rational (and kid-safe) way of doing it.
    We recently had what we think is a stray,come in through our kitty door and spray the office....UGH!!!!!!!
    Our county says we are allowed to trap and have it fixed (there are volunteer services that will do it free of charge) so at least it will spray less (and less of that horrid smell).
    Can you try to catch it in a trap a few times so that it finds it horrible and refuses to come back?

    I feel your pain and also feel your neighbor's pain. I cannot imagine what we would do if someone complained about our babies since we have no control over what they do once they are out.
    Best to you and the meowie.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by wallycat View Post
    I feel your pain and also feel your neighbor's pain. I cannot imagine what we would do if someone complained about our babies since we have no control over what they do once they are out.
    Best to you and the meowie.
    You may not have control over where the cat goes when it is out, but you should realize that your cats being in someone else's yard is a huge burden on them. We have a ton of outdoor cats in our neighborhood, and they have basically rendered our backyard useless to us. They hiss at us when we try to go out and use the grill. They made it impossible for us to allow the kids to go out and play without close adult supervision.

    My dd was scratched by one that jumped off the porch when she left to go to school one day. She did not approach it, just forgot to carefully check from the window before opening the door. One got into our garage and sprayed dh's car. They are really a nuisence.

    We've tried some sprays we got at the garden center, and talking to the neighbors, and spraying the cats with water, and calling Animal Control.
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    Walking Towards Wellness, my personal challenge to walk 10,000 steps per day in 2014 while living with and managing a chronic illness. Walk with me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1grl1by View Post
    We've tried some sprays we got at the garden center, and talking to the neighbors, and spraying the cats with water, and calling Animal Control.
    Did animal control help you?

  9. #9
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    Spray the cat with the hose every time you see it in your yard. Or, if your hose is too hard to get to, keep a loaded super-soaker type water gun on hand. There are also motion detector sprinklers you can use for this. We've considered getting one to keep the raccoons and opossums out of our yard.

    http://www.amazon.com/Contech-CRO101.../dp/B000071NUS
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. ~E.B. White

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1grl1by View Post
    You may not have control over where the cat goes when it is out, but you should realize that your cats being in someone else's yard is a huge burden on them. We have a ton of outdoor cats in our neighborhood, and they have basically rendered our backyard useless to us. They hiss at us when we try to go out and use the grill. They made it impossible for us to allow the kids to go out and play without close adult supervision.

    My dd was scratched by one that jumped off the porch when she left to go to school one day. She did not approach it, just forgot to carefully check from the window before opening the door. One got into our garage and sprayed dh's car. They are really a nuisence.

    We've tried some sprays we got at the garden center, and talking to the neighbors, and spraying the cats with water, and calling Animal Control.
    I feel badly for you or anyone having to deal with someone else's cat(s) and especially if their yard is made uninviting. It is your yard.
    Most cats (at least every place I have lived) are terrified of strangers (even my cats would run from anyone besides us). I agree about the hose/water.
    You can clap your hands loudly and cats will run away. Wave some aluminum foil at them and they run as well. The problem is you need to be there when you see it and do it often enough.
    If you can tape a barking dog and attach it to a motion sensor, they may avoid the area.
    I cannot imagine a cat getting onto a porch with strangers there.
    Even when we try to take care of ferral (or neighbor) cats with feedings, water and try to make them safe, they bolt the moment they see us (yes, even non-ferals).
    I hope you can find something that will work.
    Nothing worse than neighbor issues and pet/animal issues.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  11. #11
    The thing is, as a homeowner, one should NOT have to come up crazy schemes to keep unwanted, domesticated animals out of your yard. You should be able to enjoy your home and yard without the frustration and/or fear of someone else's pet disturbing that enjoyment. Yes, you may not be able to control where your cat goes, but a responsible pet owner keeps his/her pets (cats or dogs) under control. I'm sorry, but if you allow your pet to go outside, it should be kept under control, either by a leash, fence, or cage. Even if there isn't a leash law, a pet does not have a right to roam wherever it pleases. Pet owners still need to keep their pets under control, if for nothing else, for the safety of your pet.

    Sorry, but this issue really burns me up.

  12. #12
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    I'd rather cats, than possums, raccoons, and armadillos.

    Try talking to your neighbor.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zwieback View Post
    The thing is, as a homeowner, one should NOT have to come up crazy schemes to keep unwanted, domesticated animals out of your yard. You should be able to enjoy your home and yard without the frustration and/or fear of someone else's pet disturbing that enjoyment. Yes, you may not be able to control where your cat goes, but a responsible pet owner keeps his/her pets (cats or dogs) under control. I'm sorry, but if you allow your pet to go outside, it should be kept under control, either by a leash, fence, or cage. Even if there isn't a leash law, a pet does not have a right to roam wherever it pleases. Pet owners still need to keep their pets under control, if for nothing else, for the safety of your pet.

    Sorry, but this issue really burns me up.
    Thank you. That is exactly how I feel about it too. I looked at motion detectors, etc. last night, but I don't feel that I should have to go spend money to keep someone else's pet out of MY yard. It isn't as if it is just harmlessly passing through. It is causing a potentially big problem. We spent a large amount of money to fence our backyard to have a safe place for our kids to play, and I do feel that the neighbors are the ones that have a responsibility to find a way to keep their cat out of that area. Hopefully I'll see them outside soon, and I will bring the subject up with them.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallycat View Post
    I feel badly for you or anyone having to deal with someone else's cat(s) and especially if their yard is made uninviting. It is your yard.
    Most cats (at least every place I have lived) are terrified of strangers (even my cats would run from anyone besides us). I agree about the hose/water.
    You can clap your hands loudly and cats will run away. Wave some aluminum foil at them and they run as well. The problem is you need to be there when you see it and do it often enough.
    If you can tape a barking dog and attach it to a motion sensor, they may avoid the area.
    I cannot imagine a cat getting onto a porch with strangers there.
    Even when we try to take care of ferral (or neighbor) cats with feedings, water and try to make them safe, they bolt the moment they see us (yes, even non-ferals).
    I hope you can find something that will work.
    Nothing worse than neighbor issues and pet/animal issues.
    You don't know this. If you are allowing your cats off of your property, loose and unsupervised you have no idea what they are doing.

    And all those tactics? Yeah, no one should have to do them to keep someone else's pet out of their yard.

    Quote Originally Posted by zwieback View Post
    The thing is, as a homeowner, one should NOT have to come up crazy schemes to keep unwanted, domesticated animals out of your yard. You should be able to enjoy your home and yard without the frustration and/or fear of someone else's pet disturbing that enjoyment. Yes, you may not be able to control where your cat goes, but a responsible pet owner keeps his/her pets (cats or dogs) under control. I'm sorry, but if you allow your pet to go outside, it should be kept under control, either by a leash, fence, or cage. Even if there isn't a leash law, a pet does not have a right to roam wherever it pleases. Pet owners still need to keep their pets under control, if for nothing else, for the safety of your pet.

    Sorry, but this issue really burns me up.
    I agree completely. If you have a pet, keep it in your yard and/or under control.

    Quote Originally Posted by charley View Post
    I'd rather cats, than possums, raccoons, and armadillos.

    Try talking to your neighbor.
    I dunno, my raccoon is much better behaved than any of these wandering cat stories!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robyncz View Post
    Spray the cat with the hose every time you see it in your yard. Or, if your hose is too hard to get to, keep a loaded super-soaker type water gun on hand. There are also motion detector sprinklers you can use for this. We've considered getting one to keep the raccoons and opossums out of our yard.

    http://www.amazon.com/Contech-CRO101.../dp/B000071NUS
    I agree with Robyn on the use of a water hose or a water gun. I might need to start doing this myself for the loose dog that keeps coming in my yard and following me on my walks with my dog.

  16. #16
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    If it were solely my choice, they would be indoor cats, FYI.

    But yes, I do know they would run because I see what happens when the doorbell rings
    Not every cat reacts the same way and I truly feel the pain of anyone forced to deal with this.
    We had a very nice, large yard in our Brookfield home and the neighbors would allow their 2 border collies to terrorize our cats, in our own yard...so YES, I do get it and I feel for those dealing with this.
    I am not an uncaring person and agree that this is not an ideal situation. Things that should be done are different from what IS being done and if you want resolution, sometimes the onus is on the person dealing with the ick. Is it perfect and right? No...will it make the offense stop and make someone happier...more so than just wishing it away.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  17. #17
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    Beware the cat that likes to play in water--I had a cat many years ago that my dad would spray with a hose to keep out of the garden. But she decided she liked the water spray, and would follow him out there to get sprayed! Then he tried spraying leaves with hot sauce/water mix--also turns out she liked things spicy!

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this. This is one of the many reasons I choose to keep my cats inside. It's not always easy. One of them tries constantly to sneak out when we open the door--the other got savvy at popping screens out of windows. But it's my job to keep a step ahead of them. I talked to my neighbor about it & told her my cats are strictly indoor kitties, so if they are out digging in her garden or something, to let us know right away. That's actually how we discovered the screen-popping cat--the neighbor saw her jump out of the window (I've now attached closures to all screens to hold them in place better) & came over to tell us. But it IS my responsibility to keep them under control. I don't want them pooping in other kids' sanboxes or in vegetable gardens, killing birds at feeders, or dragging baby bunnies out for the neighborhood kids to find dead--all things that I've had outdoor cats do.
    As the arc of history bends towards justice, it's a new, more progressive day. --Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, 11-07-12

  18. #18
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    I'm one of the folks who has had major sections of her vegetable garden destroyed by house pets. We spent $12,000 to fence the yard to keep the neighborhood dogs out but that doesn't help with cats. One year they repeatedly dug up both of my 3' x 10' carrot beds - I replanted both 3 times and ended up with a lousy crop. I trapped the culprit (at least the one I knew about) 3 times and took it the the humane society with a note explaining the problem. The last time I left a note with it for a bill for 100 pounds of organically grown carrots and the local landscaping/gardening fee for the hours I'd spend planting, replanting, etc. I never saw that cat again - I think the 3rd time pick up from the humane society was somewhere in the area of $300 at that time. This is my family's food supply we are talking about and nobody's pet has the right to destroy it. There have been numerous other problems. I now cover every bed with black plastic with holes large enough for the vegetables to grow through it. I hate using plastic but it's the only thing I've found that works to keep cats from digging stuff up.

    I am a dog and cat owner myself. The dog is trained not to enter the garden area and the cat is not allowed outside unsupervised since I can't stand to let her kill birds.

    Our neighbor had to remove their bird feeder since the neighborhood cats would use the birds as their supplementary dinner source.
    Anne

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea_2 View Post
    Did animal control help you?
    Once. But they usually could not get someone here fast enough and now, with county budget cuts, they have really been gutted and just don't have the manpower. I **think** they will provide traps and then if you trap the cat they will come get it, but I don't want to do that.
    ______

    Elizabeth

    Walking Towards Wellness, my personal challenge to walk 10,000 steps per day in 2014 while living with and managing a chronic illness. Walk with me.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by zwieback View Post
    The thing is, as a homeowner, one should NOT have to come up crazy schemes to keep unwanted, domesticated animals out of your yard. You should be able to enjoy your home and yard without the frustration and/or fear of someone else's pet disturbing that enjoyment. Yes, you may not be able to control where your cat goes, but a responsible pet owner keeps his/her pets (cats or dogs) under control. I'm sorry, but if you allow your pet to go outside, it should be kept under control, either by a leash, fence, or cage. Even if there isn't a leash law, a pet does not have a right to roam wherever it pleases. Pet owners still need to keep their pets under control, if for nothing else, for the safety of your pet.

    Sorry, but this issue really burns me up.
    Yes. This. Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea_2 View Post
    Thank you. That is exactly how I feel about it too. I looked at motion detectors, etc. last night, but I don't feel that I should have to go spend money to keep someone else's pet out of MY yard. It isn't as if it is just harmlessly passing through. It is causing a potentially big problem. We spent a large amount of money to fence our backyard to have a safe place for our kids to play, and I do feel that the neighbors are the ones that have a responsibility to find a way to keep their cat out of that area. Hopefully I'll see them outside soon, and I will bring the subject up with them.
    Yes. This as well. I feel like I have lost value in my house and property because we can't use our yard. We had a lovely swing set installed when the kids were young, but they were hesitent to use it and I was hesitent for them to be outside by themselves with the loose animals.
    ______

    Elizabeth

    Walking Towards Wellness, my personal challenge to walk 10,000 steps per day in 2014 while living with and managing a chronic illness. Walk with me.

  21. #21
    Get a dog. Aside from an occasional cat hanging out under the car parked in the driveway, we rarely see cats in our yard-and there are several in our neighborhood allowed to roam free at their discretion. Reason-our Border Collie scares them off and I have no doubt she would tear one to smithereens if given the opportunity. Or maybe the cats in the neighborhood are quick learners & they've all been terrified enough to stay away from the house with the Border.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cakebaker View Post
    Get a dog. Aside from an occasional cat hanging out under the car parked in the driveway, we rarely see cats in our yard-and there are several in our neighborhood allowed to roam free at their discretion. Reason-our Border Collie scares them off and I have no doubt she would tear one to smithereens if given the opportunity. Or maybe the cats in the neighborhood are quick learners & they've all been terrified enough to stay away from the house with the Border.

    ROFL! That's just trading one set of problems for another.

  23. #23
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    My part Border Collie would give any cat fits, and my lab would probably scare them off before they found out she is really a wus. Actually, she's not that cat-smart. She would let our two cats totally intimidate her (they were living with us first, so the Border Collie was usually good with them too), but she thinks nothing of going after a squirrel, racoon or possum. Have you seen the teeth and claws on those things?

    My cats almost never went past the driveway outside the side door or the herb garden just beyond that. They would venture to the front yard is we were working out there, but they were mostly indoor cats.

    I'm sorry some of you have such problems with other people's cats. We had a couple of occasions with loud cat fights on our driveway (with both cats indoors), but the only visitor in recent times is a welcomed friend. She would sit under my bird feeders and calmly wait for the hunt -- not the birds. She didn't bother them. She came in the late day when the birds usually weren't very active. She was mousing. It appears she took care of the mouse problem I had with my neighbor (they came over from their yard and may have been living under their deck), so orange kitty can come back any time she wants. As long as she leaves the birds alone.

  24. #24
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    Had an interesting development last night. The doorbell rings, and it was some other neighbors at the door asking us to come and remove "our" cat from their yard. They said it would not leave the yard and kept scaring their kids. I guess that darn cat spends so much time in our yard that even other people think it belongs to us. We informed them who it belongs to, so at least we have someone else on our side now.

  25. #25
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    Ugggh. How frustrating.

    But I was thinking about this last night, and I don't think you're doing yourself any favors by letting your frustration build up by waiting to run into the neighbors outside. If the problem is bothering you this much, you owe it to yourself to seek them out and have a conversation.

    Another thing that occurred to me is that you said you "shouldn't" have to make an effort or spend money to keep someone else's pet out of your yard. And I completely agree in principal, but if it's really bothering you and there's no enforceable ordinance against wandering pets in your municipality, I don't know what your other choices are. You can be angry and indignant (and rightfully so), but that's not going to make anything better for you or your family. I'd think that finding a simple (and legal) solution that would end the problem would be more satisfying than the indignation of continuing to suffer simply because, in principal, it's not something you should have to deal with.

    On the other hand, I have a family member who gets more satisfaction from righteous indignation more than just about anything else. Personally, though, I'd just rather solve the problem.

    Just more thoughts on the subject. . . Good luck!
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. ~E.B. White

  26. #26
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    When I was a kid, our dog was let outside on a chain that hung from a cord stretched between the house and a tree, so the dog could run the length of the yard and could also move side-to-side for a distance. The neighbor's cat learned to sit just outside of his reach, so the poor dog would drive himself crazy. My dad was furious, but the neighbors thought it was hysterical. They weren't so amused, however, when my dad tied a slipknot into the cord and released it the next time the cat pulled that trick and our dog chased the cat up a tree.

    Hope you can find a solution to the cat problems.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarbaraL View Post
    When I was a kid, our dog was let outside on a chain that hung from a cord stretched between the house and a tree, so the dog could run the length of the yard and could also move side-to-side for a distance. The neighbor's cat learned to sit just outside of his reach, so the poor dog would drive himself crazy. My dad was furious, but the neighbors thought it was hysterical. They weren't so amused, however, when my dad tied a slipknot into the cord and released it the next time the cat pulled that trick and our dog chased the cat up a tree.

    Hope you can find a solution to the cat problems.
    I'm sorry but the mental image of that very shocked cat is cracking me up.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
    I'm sorry but the mental image of that very shocked cat is cracking me up.
    Me too!

  29. #29
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    I have struggled for years with free-roaming owned and feral cats in my yard. Last year I resorted to chicken wire stretched over my raised veggie beds to prevent them being used as litter boxes. Local animal control has a "you trap them, bring 'em in and we'll kill them for you" policy and I just can't do it. My neighbor keeps complaining about the vet bills for her declawed cat when he fights with the dominant feral tom. Duh?

    Sadly or not, depending on your perspective, a certain natural balance seems to have evolved over time. Hawks, owls and free-roaming dogs, especially pit bulls, have reduced the feral cat population and the feral cats, hawks and owls have reduced the rat, squirrel and possum population.

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