Reader Help Needed: A Tricky Neighbor Situation

Ok, readers, I’m going to need your help on this one. It has to do with our neighbors directly across the street. A little back story:

Last fall, maybe 3-4 days after Olive was born (at home, remember, so we were HERE), I was home alone with her when someone started pounding the SHIT out of my front door. Now, it was an angry, unfriendly “knock” from the first knock, so my inclination would have been NOT to answer it anyway, but since I was alone, half-dressed, and nursing a newborn (and also had maybe been downstairs 1-2 times since her birth), I obviously ignored it.

Well, I didn’t exactly ignore it. My bedroom window is above and kiddie-corner from our front door, so of course I was carefully trying to see who the hell it was. The “knocking” (because, really, it was more like pounding) went on for a long time. It FELT like 20 minutes, but it was actually probably more like 5-7 minutes. POUND POUND POUND. Brief pause. POUND POUND POUND. It went on MUCH LONGER than a person would normally knock and wait for an answer.

From my perch, I finally saw my across-the-street neighbor, arms folded across her chest, as she stormed around to the BACK door to do more pounding. We’ve lived in this house for almost 7 years, and we’ve never had problems with this neighbor. But we never (ever, ever) SEE them. In all those years, I’ve never even seen their black-out shades open. Not ONCE. Nope. They live in that house with ALL the shades pulled 24/7/365. They have a 7th-ish grade daughter that I see coming and going, but that’s the only sign of life over there.

Anyway, I didn’t answer the door, and a few days later she caught up with David and aired her grievance, which is basically that our cat is sometimes in her yard, and she’s “actively trying to trap it” and turn her in. She insists that she WILL turn it in (which would cost us headache and $$), even though she knows it’s OURS, because it’s “illegal” for our cat to be in her yard. She cites leash laws, which are probably true; I haven’t fact-checked.

She also BAITS her traps with fish oil and has turned in, according to her, FIVE neighborhood cats SO FAR. (That was as of last fall; who know what the count is now.)

Ok, so yes. Our cat is an indoor cat that quite frequently gets outside. You guys, she is SO FAST. She gets past David and me… the kids don’t stand a chance, and don’t even THINK a visitor to our home can stop her from getting out. (We have visitors in and out of here pretty frequently; friends dropping stuff off, neighbor kids, etc.) Late last summer, we (read: *I*) got really lazy about chasing her down every time she escaped. I was mongo pregnant AND contracting at every move, and the more she got out the more wily she became… and yes, we basically gave up.

It should also be stated that, while I’m sure the cat goes in her yard at times, she mostly sticks around our yard, hiding in our bushes. She’s pretty timid. (But pretty hard to catch, as well.)

Anyway, after the neighbor was here, we reset our game and stepped up our efforts to keep her in. In fact, it became very stressful, especially for the kids, when she got out. They’d be sobbing “the neighbor is going to TRAP HER” and frantically trying to catch her. GOOD TIMES.

Well, then it was winter and the cat didn’t want out.

But now it’s not winter again, and the cat sneaks out.

And my neighbor was over here again the other day and WOW. She’s PISSED.

She told me my cat “sprays” on her porch (she’s a spayed female so NO) and uses her garden as “a potty” and that my husband and I were now responsible for coming over and cleaning out. She also said the cops are getting mad at HER for turning in so many cats (which she BAITS, remember, which is possibly why she has this problem to BEGIN WITH), so she’s going to have to come up with “other methods” of dealing with it. (I took this as a death threat.)

I tried to explain to her that our cat isn’t MEANT to be outside, but that we have a houseful of little kids and that she simply escapes. (This cat is SO FAST, you guys. Honestly.) I told her we were sorry, that I didn’t actually WANT the cat out because we live on a fairly busy road. She told me to get a leash. I responded that we’re not LETTING her out, that a leash isn’t going to fix anything because she darts. She claims that “cats don’t just dart out.” She says she has 5 of them and they never EVER get out. I told her we’ve had cats in the past that didn’t escape as well, but this one DOES. She repeated her “cops are getting mad/death threat” explanation.

This all happened while ALL FOUR of my small children looked on. I asked her “So, even if you KNOW it’s our cat, if you catch her in your trap, you’ll turn her in.” Without missing a beat, she said YES. She was FURIOUS, you guys. Almost looked like she was going to cry. Kept saying my cat uses her garden as “a potty.” I mean, my cat had, at that point, escaped the house 3-4 times in 6 months, so I hardly doubt we’re talking about MOUNDS of cat poop here (especially since her cat box is still… USED.)

I finally got pissed and mouthed off a tiny bit. I thanked her for doing the neighborly thing (yep, I said those words. “Thanks for being so neighborly…”) of baiting our cat to her yard and turning it in, and I ended the conversation. She STOMPED away.

So. What do I even DO? Our cat continues to get out. She got out probably 8-10 times today. We caught her every time, but we were all home, so there were plenty of us to do it. Often, if it’s just me and the baby (or even if Marin is around), I simply can’t chase her for 20 minutes, leaving Olive unsupervised.

Our kids are pretty gaga over our cat, so they would be devastated if something happened to her.

Plus, the whole thing feels so GROSS. I HATE having bad blood with people who live so close. It’s like the big black rain cloud over our otherwise happy existence here. It’s STRESSFUL, because as I said, the cat is FAST and she’s MOTIVATED to get out, now that it’s so nice outside. Ever since the neighbor was here, there’s TENSION in our house, as we’re all so afraid of the cat getting out. It really sucks.

Last fall, I had the idea of making them some cookies and adding a fun, lighthearted little note apologizing for our cat going in their yard, being sincere and kind and trying to smooth things over. Now that I’ve spoken to her about it myself, though? I’m nearly positive that a gesture like that wouldn’t help. I’ve talked to her other neighbor (who lives behind her and has for 15 years), and he agrees. He ALSO has a cat, and he says she’s crazy and won’t budge. (He also, hilariously, goes over and sets off her traps whenever he sees them. But his yard is up against hers, so he can do this easier than we could.)

(I’ve seen her “traps”. They look like basically pet taxis that must slam shut when the cat goes in. BECAUSE SHE USES FISH OIL TO BAIT THEM OMG.)

So, my question has two parts:

1. What would you do about the neighbor? My natural inclination would be to… do NOTHING. And yet, there’s that whole “the cops are mad so I need a new method of dealing with the problem/death threat” aspect.

2. What can I do to keep the stupid cat from escaping? We have a water bottle by the door and have tried squirting her when she’s near it… but we also have like 5 doors, so it’s hard to train her from going near ALL of them.


[Edited to add 3 4 things:

1. I just remembered I HAVE had another negative interaction with this neighbor. Once, when Marin was maybe 18 months, he (the man that lives there) was out in their yard with their dogs. (Another weird thing: they have several dogs, which I also never EVER see.) Marin saw the “puppy” and started tugging on my hand to walk over there. So we did. As we approached their front lawn (he was on the side of the house) I called out “Hi! We’re here to say hi to the doggies.” And he WHIPPED AROUND and shouted at me “Please leave! My dogs will attack you! Please leave!” and just then his dogs came TEARING at us, teeth bared, and he did some sort of whistle/call and they stopped immediately. I was PISSED (we retreated immediately). I kept thinking YOU HAVE ATTACK DOGS AND YOU LIVE ACROSS THE STREET FROM THREE SMALL GIRLS????? But only one of the dogs is big and “attack-like”, and like I said, I see those dogs MAYBE 2x per year. Also, I don’t think he even KNEW we were the neighbors from across the street, as it all happened too fast. Weird.

2. One of the only details I know of these people is that he’s some sort of retired military. Now, my dad is retired military, so normally this wouldn’t phase me AT ALL, but there’s just something off/dark about these people. I feel like he’s probably got a bunker in his basement or he’s training his dogs to kill zombies or something. We went trick-or-treating there only ONCE, and I’m not sure what it was, but the place gave me the MAJOR CREEPS. However, it’s easy to forget that they’re creepy since we NEVER see them, ya know?

3. They have one daughter, a child they fostered-to-adopt. They also sometimes have other foster kids, high-school-aged only. I don’t think they get many placements, as there’s only been a few times when I’ve seen other (again, older) kids over there, or a teen’s car parked out front (like a teen friend visiting the teen foster kid). Also, this is a small county, and I know several of the social workers in town (and used to be bff with the human services supervisor, before she moved), so…. I’m not TOO worried about Mr. and Mrs. Creepy being foster parents. But STILL.

4. We had a cat disappear several years ago. NOW I’m wondering if they did something to our cat… or if our cat is ALIVE and in that house. HRRRMPH.

I’m adding these three things for context, because it might make a difference in your response. Basically, in a nutshell? I’m a bit afraid of these people. I’m pretty sure my upper limit of asshole-ish things I might do to handle the situation (call the cops, call a lawyer, etc) and THEIR upper limit of asshole-ish things (KILL MY CAT) are very different upper limits. They would out-do me in a SECOND, I fear. SIGH.


35 thoughts on “Reader Help Needed: A Tricky Neighbor Situation

  1. I think I’d find out about those leash laws and also see if maybe there aren’t animal cruelty laws against trapping a cat like that. I’m sorry, what a frickety frackety pain that is.

    • That was my first thought as well. Call the ASPCA or the local Humane Society or whatever and find out…is it considered kosher to set out traps and bait them for the purpose of catching cats? Because it seems like if you’ve got a lot of strange cats coming in your yard, and you don’t like it, the last thing you’d want to do is put out something that ATTRACTS CATS. Unless you were maybe some kind of psycho.

  2. Oh that is a tough one. I know where we live there are NOT leash laws for cats. Cats are free to roam although the city will come out and pick one up (if they can catch it) if someone calls about it.

    Is your cat microchipped? If not, you should have the vet do that ASAP – it is not expensive. That way if she gets out and is caught and “turned in” the animal control/humane society will be able to call you to come pick her up.

    We used to have an escapist cat and one thing that helped reduce the darting significantly was to let him outside (supervised). When we were all hanging out the backyard he came out and roamed around for a few hours. Then when we went in, we retrieved him from whatever bush he had settled under. He got his outside time in and thus was much less likely to purposefully escape.

    We also weird, reclusive, across-the-street neighbors but thankfully the neighbors don’t care at all about out cat.

    In case all that fails I guess you just eat chocolate and hope for the best.

  3. So I think your neighbor is insane. Like not in a jokey way, but in an insane way. I’d find out more about the leash laws, and find out if it’s legal for her to be baiting for cats. Maybe if it’s not the police can ask to knock it the eff off? Or you can have a lawyer friend write her up a quick note on some official stationery?
    Otherwise I’d give up on her and try to figure out how to keep the cat in the house. It’s totally impossible with mine, so I have no idea how to do it with yours (extra doors?) but I’d concentrate my efforts on that.
    And now I am going to go thank my lucky stars for my awesome non insane neighbors. Man, this is just the kind of situation I HATE as well, you have my sympathy.
    You could also try directing this question to Sara over at, she answers a lot of cat questions for people and has a lot of readers who offer solutions.

  4. Could you put a bell collar/harness and leash on the cat? For some reason, it seems to be easier for me to catch a moving leash than the escaped animal…of course, this would only work if you weren’t worried about the cat getting the leash tangled up on something inside….maybe put the leash on her when all of your little people are home and more likely to be opening doors?
    Good luck! I hate neighbor issues =(!

  5. I suggest a bag of flaming cat poop on the front stoop. Oh wait… that might not help. (Bet you’d feel better though.)

    That sucks. The cats we have now we started spraying with water when they would get near the 2 direct-to-outside doors, when they were tiny babies. It seems to help, but it’s something we started right away because our old cats used to get out all the time. one in particular was especially sneaky and fast and also kind of mean if caught. It’s very hard to keep them in when they really want out and yeah, the kids aren’t especially fast. We have coyotes all the time so I’ve been known to screech “SHUT THE DOOR!” a lot.
    One thing that helps is that we have a screened in back porch so we can let them out there to ease the “wanting out.” However, it’s much harder once they’ve had a real taste of the outside world; they always seem to want more.
    In short, I don’t know what you CAN do except what you’re already doing. (and the flaming present for your neighbor.)

  6. It sounds to me like she’s stuck in a reality problem loop: she wants to INSIST that reality bend to her wishes, but in a way it won’t do. And instead of thinking “Huh, guess I need to find one way or another to deal with this, then” (like, either by stopping insisting, or by finding coping mechanisms), she’s continuing to insist. It’s not a place from which she can have a rational conversation.

    My neighbor and I had a thing about my cat, too. They’re dog owners, and they feel it’s unfair that cats don’t have to be on leashes when dogs do. (I’d double-check if I were you, as I did in my situation, but as far as I know there are no leash laws concerning cats. Cats get to go where they want to and dogs don’t, fair or not fair.) They thought I should just keep my cat out of their yard—which is preeeeeety much impossible. What your neighbor is doing is making things way worse: she’s teaching cats that there are treats in her yard. (This makes me wonder if she’s gone even further over the edge and is actually creating the problem in order to react to it. Time will tell.)

    I looked into various things (the crystalized pee of some wild big cat—pather? puma?—to sprinkle along their fence (but this would agitate their dogs), those special fence/collar systems that keep an animal in your own yard, etc. What finally worked was spritz bottles. The neighbors kept some spritz bottles handy, and every time they saw my cat they spritzed him (with my enthusiastic permission). It took about a dozen spritz , and now he never goes over there. Well, not NEVER: once in awhile he’ll appear over there, but it only takes one spritz to remind him.

    I recommend discussing this with her as “something your friend had luck with in a similar situation.” If you don’t mind fibbing a little, I suggest telling it as if your friend is the one who didn’t want the cat in her yard: psychologically-speaking, this makes it look like you’re on your neighbor’s side in this, because you’re friends with the cat-disliker (otherwise it looks like you’re even more against her: even your FRIENDS let cats go into other people’s yards!!). I’d say that your friend found that baited traps taught the cats that there were treats in her yard, which made the problem even worse, and that she couldn’t use the crystalized panther pee because it agitated her dog, but that what finally worked was plain old squirt bottles. I suggest bringing over a couple of squirt bottles; it’s worth the money to get good long-range ones if you can find them. Water guns would work too, but increase the hostile feel, which might be a plus or a minus (i.e., she might get out some aggravation if she feels like she’s shooting the cats—or it might give her ideas/practice).

    If that doesn’t work, like if she continues to flip out and/or doesn’t seem willing to try it and/or claims it doesn’t work and/or claims YOU should have to do the work of this, then I would phone the non-emergency police number and ask their advice. They will know who she is, I’m guessing. I’d do it low on the complaining tone, high on the confused tone: you can see she’s upset, but you don’t know what to do about it and do they have any advice? They might just be WAITING for a neighbor to complain so they can take action.

  7. She is trying to catch your cats. She WANTS to catch them. I don’t think you can try to speak to her rationally.

    I like Swistle’s idea of asking the police if they have suggestions and mentioning the death threats against your cats. Also, I like Elizabeth’s idea for asking Tomato Nation for suggestions of keeping your cats in your yard.

  8. This woman sounds batshit insane. So sorry you have to deal with this! I agree with other posters that most municipalities don’t have leash laws for cats, as long as they’re licensed / wearing tags / microchipped (requirements depend on the area). You should make sure your cat has all three of those things in order, just so you’re fully on the right side of the law. Beyond that, I had a cat that escaped a lot, and one way I sometimes was able to catch her was by putting up an extra barrier. So, in my case, she escaped out the front door and onto the porch, so I put up a baby gate across the steps down from the porch so that she’d get slowed down a bit. It gave me a little more time to catch her before she could bolt off the porch.

    Sadly, I have no advice for you about the batshit insane neighbor.I can see how it’s a little annoying to have neighborhood cats constantly in your yard. Our yard seems to be the hangout for all the cats in our neighborhood, and I finally had to put little skewer barriers in my garden plot around all the veggie plants so that the cats couldn’t poop there and make us sick. But emphasis on the word LITTLE. This is just not that big of a deal. I mean, c’mon, if you really can’t just roll with this kind of minor annoyance, maybe you should go live off the grid in the wilderness somewhere. I hear there’s lots of room in Alaska. Maybe you should slip some real estate listings into their mailbox to subtly suggest they relocate 🙂

  9. You’re not going to like my answer… mostly because I’ve seen something like this go down before. My old neighborhood was full of outdoor cats (and because of that, lots of wild strays born from those outdoor pets). I’m not a cat person so this drove me nuts. A neighbor’s outdoor cat took up residence on my front porch and had kittens in my bushes and all she ever really said was “it’s an outdoor cat!” and the leash laws were on her side. Things got bad when some of the kittens were hanging out on the porch next door and my neighbor’s dog got so aggravated by the cats sitting on his porch that he jumped through the window while she wasn’t home – causing the dog (and the window) great harm. Needless to say, the dog owning-neighbor was pissed. And the cat owner took no responsibilities because the kittens weren’t hers – she only claimed ownership to the cat mom. And like Swistle said, fair/legal or not, the lax rules around unleashed & outdoor cats can make dog owners see red.

    Anyway, I’m not saying you are an irresponsible cat-owner. But I’m saying this lady could be on her last straw.

    Here’s the issue from her side: “I hate outdoor cats! They poop in my garden, aggravate my dogs, and carry pests (fleas, ticks) to my yard! Why do I have to go through such lengths to keep my dogs under my control but cats can just roam and poop wherever they want?! I need to do SOMETHING to keep these damn animals off my property!” And again… I can kind of sympathize. While I never even trapped a cat on my property I did have fuzzy thoughts about leaving some kind of poison on my porch. I NEVER DID IT, but yeah, I admit thought it. (What I did do – hose them down with the garden hose when I could and grumble to my husband about the neighbor’s damn cat and unfair cat laws).

    So, she’s at her wits end and maybe a touch crazy to begin with and she thinks she’s being ignored by her neighbors and law enforcement. I think you can do a couple of things 1) Offer her the spray bottle/hose suggestion and get better about keeping your cat inside (work closely with the girls about this, too). 2) Get a bell collar so the cat is easier to catch when she slips outside. 3) Send the husband and/or kids over to her yard 1-2x a week to clean up cat poop. Even if it’s not from your cat the gesture should help. 4) call the police to get clear rules about leash laws, her rights and your rights. And tell them about the threats if things don’t get better.
    Good luck!

  10. I agree with kakaty that you have to see it from her side. Not because she is right and you are wrong, but its clear this woman is in a position to hurt something you love and I would say job number 1 is trying to do something to get her to like you or at least feel neutral toward you and yours. How about a note in the mailbox (with cookies?) apologizing for losing your cool at your door (I know, I know, she should be apologizing) and saying you can appreciate how frustrating it must be for her to have cats in her yard, etc, but you are doing your best and have your hands full right now but, short of being able to prevent the cat from darting, what other things might you be able to do to help?

    You are obviously a gifted writer so see if there is some way to connect with her, woman to woman, in the note and if the kids can do a poop clean up once or twice or some other gesture to identify your family as the rare ones who “get” why she is so angry, maybe she’ll put you further down on her “people to harass” list. I know none of these suggestions are things you should have to do, but they might help. She’s not going anywhere and neither are you so sometimes you gotta meet crazy where its at.

    And I would definitely mention in your “I totally get it” note that you had a relative who tried bait once and that it only made the situation worse. I would have to think the cats will back off some once she stops baiting.

    good luck! neighbor problems are the worst.

  11. I don’t have any advice about the neighbor that is better than what others have said, I just couldn’t resist commenting that I am a total screeching harpy with my kids about closing the door before our cats get out.

    Before these cats, we had two other cats who were outdoor/indoor because they were adult strays who absolutely refused to stay in (property destruction, yowling etc when efforts were made). Eventually one of them was killed by a coyote in our front yard and the other was hit by a car. The whole family was depressed by both events. This time we got two kittens and they’ve been indoors all their lives (tehy are currently 4 YO). Nevertheless, one of those f’ers is CONSTANTLY trying to get out the door. So my 2 YO has spent her entire life hearing me screech “close the door!!1!!1” MY 9YO is old enough to remember how crappy it was to have the other cats killed so he polices the door himself. Despite being a harpy, at least semi-annually the one cat gets out and we have to grab him. Those are times when I wonder why the hell I keep getting cats. ARGH.

  12. I’m sorry to say it, but, I suspect your neighbor will in all likelihood try to poison your cat. She doesn’t sound like someone having an appropriate reaction to what is an annoyance, even if it’s very annoying. Your neighbors (actually both of them) sound diagnosable. They sound dangerous. I would touch base with the police about what has been happening-not in a make formal complaint way, but in an I’m not sure how to respond and am actually concerned for my family’s safety way. And I would share the concern with the dept of youth and family services-if they are a foster family and are having that reaction with you-it may be wise to have their license re-evaluated or at least for the agency to know what is going on. Additionally, I’d seek advice from the local Humane Society or animal shelter; perhaps they have someone who can touch base with the family.

    When I noticed my neighbor’s cat use my freshly planted vegetable garden as a litter box last year, I googled about it and learned humane ways to discourage cats from your garden-it was easy! We sprinkled a pound of unbrewed coffee grounds (we’d bought it from a school fundraiser and the cofee was terrible anyway) over the dirt, and then generously sprinkled it with pinecones. Cat stopped using it immediately.

    Your gut tells you that something is not right with these people-listen to it. I hope things get better…

  13. Something to try – keep cans of compressed air (computer cleaner stuff) near the doors. When you go to the door and the cat crowds in, hit with a blast of compressed air. You’ll have to be consistent for awhile but it should at least make the cat more cautious about approaching the doors. (compressed air hint courtesy of Robyn at Bitchypoo)

  14. I’d check the leash laws to be certain but agree with the above that this woman is taking the situation to a whole new level. Some great suggestions above for deterring cats. Maybe offer to set up the coffee grounds/pine cones/etc. in her garden FOR her? If you think she can handle that? And do what you can to keep the cat indoors as best as you can. I too fear that this woman will attempt to poison your cat.

  15. I second the baby gate suggestion, but in addition to ones on the outside (porch area), I would suggest the big folding kind that you can add to/subtract from/ control the shape of (like the kind that go around Christmas trees, etc.) and erect some half hexagons around your doors. The don’t need to attach to anything, just to touch the wall and create a barrier that the cat cannot get past. So, anyone going out the door would move the gate away from the wall, everyone who was going out the door would enter the gated area, then you would place the end of the gate against the wall. You can then see the cat is not in the gated area and not able to dart out the door. This should make things somewhat better about visitors entering as well. Though the cat may hawk the INSIDE of the gated area in the absence of anyone looking. So, post a sign on the outside of you door warning them? We’ve had cats who dart and I’ve spent may a dark and wintry night tracking the furry fiends down, so I know exactly what you’re talking about and just trying to use your feet, especially if you’re a kid, is not going to work.
    Good luck!

  16. There are motion detector air compressor thingies – we used one called “ssscat!” to get the cats off of the counters. So you could set those near the doors and it would teach her to stay away from the doors in general.

    I also suggest calling the police (non emergency number) and finding out what the rules/rights are here since she does bait her traps. That’s a big difference than trapping an animal on your property – that’s LURING.

  17. We recently had a neighbor’s dog come into our house. And it totally didn’t bother me at all. Maybe because our dog used to do the bolt thing when the door was unguarded…my toddler had a hay day with that.

    Anyway, my point is, normal people don’t go insane about stuff like this. This person clearly sounds insane to the point of lining those baited traps with poison. It bothers me significantly that she would threaten to harm an animal, even an animal she finds annoying, because to me that is beyond the pale. Everyone’s suggestions are really good, like trying to approach her like you agree with her, but particularly getting clear on the law, making sure your cat is chipped/registered. You want to be on the right side of this and I would say if she threatens again, you should involve the police.

  18. We have this problem too! Except our neighbors didn’t approach us and instead called Animal Control and reported our cat was out. We have NO clue which neighbor complained which makes us all tense. We are good people. Our cat is only out for a little bit. At least you know who the problem is versus feeling like everyone is out to get you.

    We are always yelling at the kids (who go in and out ALL day long) to watch for the darting cat. I understand your stress. 😦

  19. Don’t know if anyone has stated this idea (which I’ll go through and read the comments in a minute, but my brain is fried (thanks boys) and I’ll probably forget my idea if I don’t state it immediately) Can you underground fence your yard? It’s expensive to set up at first and I know some people would be horrified at the thought of your precious kitty being ZAPPED trying to excape your yard, but it seems better than what could happen with your neighbors. And then you wouldn’t have to worry about chasing her. The system I got cost about 200 dollars (I found one made for cats ) which was for dogs but I think the smallest coller probably wouldn’t hurt your cat. Just an idea…don’t hate me! lol

  20. LOTS of good suggestions here, but one thing I would definitely start doing is documenting the entire situation. Make careful notes, report each scary/threatening interaction to the police/whomever is appropriate so that it goes into the record, etc, so that if she DOES lose her fool mind and do something insane or horrible then YOU will have the materials you need to protect yourself (and the cat).

  21. Plain old black pepper works to keep cats from using gardens as a potty too. Has to be re-applied after a rain, but it’s cheap.

  22. I have two indoor only cats. We are paranoid about them getting out. One of them is a little more curious about it than the other. I’ve started keeping a box of 4th of July pop-snap thingies on the porch, the little tissue wrapped ball that you throw and it pops when it hits the ground. Sometimes I sit on the porch and leave the door open and when I see the cat in proximity to the door, I throw one on the cement. (not at him, just somewhere on the porch.) He is becoming less interested in the door area. Is that mean? We adore our cats, this seems to be a good method for us.

  23. Can you have your kids go out through one door??? like a door from a mudroom or garage so that there are 2 doors they have to go through??? I don’t know how realistic it is, but maybe the cat will stop trying if she stops succeeding. Also, you could spray her with a water bottle before you open the door… maybe she will stay back. Definitely look into the leash laws and maybe complain about HER to police because she is trying to trap your cats! The next time it happens i suggest telling her to stop ATTRACTING them with fish oil!

  24. I just turned on the TV and there is a People’s Court episode that is ABOUT THE SAME THING! Indoor/outdoor cat. Neighbor who tempts cats to her balcony with treats. And then she STOLE THE CAT and GAVE IT AWAY. Here is the preview:

    I am totally going to watch the whole case now just to find out if Judge Milian has any words of advice for you. (Currently, she seems pretty sympathetic to the cat owners and NOT to the crazy crazy neighbor.)

    Anyway… Not really HELPFUL, per se… but it made me think of you.

  25. my neighbour has got it in for my cats she hits them with water in the face and got a dog hopping it will attack the cats they are stressed but rspca dont want to know where can i go

  26. Pingback: Grateful Sunday | Life in Tiny Town

  27. Frankly, you deserve what you’re getting, and you’re being very irresponsible letting your cat out. At this point, you know that the cat darts out, you know that she doesn’t like, and you know that she’s in the right, because your cat has no business being in her yard.
    The solution is simple. Put a leash on your cat, indoors and out, and if she attempts to dart, the leash is trailing behind her, and can be easily grabbed. Second, before you open a door, put her in another room, or tie the leash to a table leg with a loose knot (so it will come undone in 3-5 minutes, so she’s not stuck there, but can wander the house), so she can’t follow you to the door.
    You are behaving in a deeply entitled and rude manner to your neighbour, and it’s no wonder that she’s trapping the wandering cats and handing them in to the authorities, no doubt in the hope that they won’t be allowed to come back to such irresponsible owners as you are.

  28. What ever happened to this situation? do you have an update? I recently had my Roger trapped and dumped 1.5 miles away on the other side of interstate 5 freeway…there is NO WAY Roger got there on his own. There is a neighbor on our street that is obsessed w catching any critter that goes into his yard. Im sure he did this but cannot prove it. Roger is sweet and very trusting of humans, this got him dumped but luckily returned to me by a nice lady after having him scanned for a chip. I wouldn’t even mind if the a-hole neighbor would turn my cat in to the animal shelter…that would be better than being dumped and me crying worrying what happened to my guy. He was gone for 2.5 weeks and came back very skinny, dehydrated, and tired. That should fall under animal abuse in my book. Im not only upset Roger was captured and dumped but upset he never even approached us to let us know there was a problem. There are other neighborhood cats in the area but are much older and tend to stay on their porches. Roger likes to explore but mainly stays within the same 2 to 3 houses. I wasn’t even aware Roger was going to that neighbors house and I would even venture to say that he doesn’t go over there and this guy didn’t even capture Roger on his property. Im working now on keeping Roger indoors but its been tough. hes truly unhappy and I hate that people cant let go of the small stuff. If given the opportunity I would have offered to pick up all cat poop from his property 2x a week, sprinkled coffee grounds in his flower beds and I would have even paid for motion detection sprinklers. Im not oppose to helping find a solution. I wont be allowing Roger to go outside anymore but I don’t want to live in fear that if he does get out he will go missing. It was a terrible 2.5 weeks without him. searching everywhere, talking to people and a lot of nights crying. People don’t sweat the small stuff!!! we all live on the same street. communicate with each other. I don’t know what to do to keep Roger happy indoors. Help.

  29. I am not understanding. Aren’t these people worried that they might get cruelty charges?
    I have several cats and I wait until everyone has left for work then I might let one out that comes right back. If she does not come right back I know something is wrong. If I have several out in the front yard with the dog then I am sitting with them. The neighbors get
    the picture that they are like a little family.
    I also documented time/date/and what was said when a problem with the neighbor. They
    like to yell at them and scare them. I don’t like that because I have worked too hard with
    them. I don’t mind letting the neighbor know how I want it handled.
    I use a “come with me kitty” harness and they know that I am serious.
    I tell the animal control lady if I have any problems and we have a good relationship.
    She says to take all threats seriously. If you can just watch your cat with the kids on nice days outside. remember- document. document, document.

  30. I have the same problem except my neighbor of whom just moved in across the street claims that my cat goes inside her house because she leaves her doors open for her cat to go in and out at all times. She trapped him and had him taken to the pound even with a collar one with our address. She told us to keep him inside because she will not just close her door . It’s harassment plain and simple .

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