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Problem with neighbours - cat related!


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#1 andrew1979

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 04:25 PM

Hello all,

Got a bit of an issue with neighbours in the next street. We have a 8 year cat called Ted who we adopted 4 years ago from the RSPCA. Very faithful, never used to wander. Until a few months ago. He kept coming back smelling of cigarette smoke, then he started staying away more and more frequently. Being worried, we got a locator device which goes onto the cats collar and allows you to see what direction the cat is (very useful bit of kit!).

My partner traced the cat to the neighbour's house (who smoke). My partner spoke to the neighbours who were fine, saying that Ted wandered in frequently when they had the door open. They said they fed it prawns and let it up on the bed. My partner asked them to stop letting the cat in, which they agreed to do. They also gave us their phone number so that if he disappeared we could check where he was. Brilliant we thought.

A few days later he disappeared again. The locator device wasn't working (we bought a duff unit) so we decided to give them a ring at about 9pm. We tried ringing twice, and it rang out twice. My partner goes to see if the cat is there. She comes back with Ted, but was quite upset. The neighbours were really quite aggressive, saying that we don't look after our cat, and in any case they're not going to close their door as they have cats and if Ted comes round at 3am meowing they will let him in. I then went around and they said the same thing. I told them that the cat is well looked after and if they have concerns, they should feel free to call the RSPCA. I also asked them not to let the cat in, and if he wanders in to shoo him out and not to feed him.

We kept the cat in for a few weeks, before fitting him with a functioning locator device and allowing him out for a few hours each day (he's an outdoors cat and wouldn't be happy if he had to stay indoors all day). For a few weeks he was coming back fine (the locator on the collar bleeps when triggered). In the last week though he is coming back smelling of smoke again. Today my partner looked for the cat, traced him to the house (which had both doors closed). As she got close she noticed the front door open, the cat being pushed out and the door closed again. Obviously the neighbours heard the bleeping and pushed him out.

To be honest we don't want the cat going into their house and having asked they still aren't following our request (they are also lying about him wandering in when the door is open). What can we do? I've come up with the following options:

a) Speak to them again (this probably will result in them being aggressive again)
b) Send them a letter firmly wording what we require them to do - i.e. not feed or let in our cat and turf him out if he comes in
c) Speak to the Neighbourhood Officer at the station (worried that they'll just laugh!)

#2 Professional_Cynic

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 06:41 PM

teach it to defecate on demand when exposed to cigarette smoke

#3 SkinSte

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 06:47 PM

Get the cat some nicotine patches?

#4 Windhill

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 06:47 PM

A tricky situation.

I myself have been in this same situation however on the other end. About 2 years ago our neighbours cat (Tom) started to come round to our house and come in the house, we used to throw him out and try to put him off but he kept coming back. Our neighbours were quite aggressive towards us but there was physically nothing we could do to keep him out.

After a few weeks we noticed that Tom was starting to get thinner and (having decided to not speak to the neighbours at this point) that we would feed him once a day to see how he reacted. 2 years later and he lives with us now, about 6 months ago we spoke to the neighbours and they were fine with it.

There is a phrase: 'A cat chooses its owner, you cant choose a cat'.

I appreciate its different... they seem to be deliberatly coaxing the cat and for them to be aggressive to you is way over the line.

Perhaps you should try going over there together, or inviting them round and sitting down with a cup of tea and discussing adultly a way out of the situation.

I think a formal letter would get screwed up quite quickly. If you do sit down with them and this comes to nothing then perhaps a NH officer or PCSO might make them think twice after a knock on the door.

But, and this is the harsh bit..... the cat may well have just made up his mind.

#5 Londonbased

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 07:02 PM

Get the cat some nicotine patches?


I love pets and have two dogs and three cats.
I honestly don't think that there is anything that you can do about it.
I'm surprised that you are having rows with your neighbours over this as you are both cat lovers.
A cat has at least five "homes" in the vicinity where they go to chill out on other peoples furniture, grab a bite to eat or just keep out of the rain when you're not home. One of my cats virtually lives next door but our neighbours are fine about it and they have a cat themselves.
Cats do what they please and won't be dictated to about where they prowl.

I don't think you can force your neighbours to throw your cat out. You can't do anything to stop it entering in the first place.
I once had a neighbour say "Can you keep your cat out of my garden?"
He wasn't defecating in it or anything but I couldn't see how I could do anything about it.
I replied, "I'll have a word with him!"
Is your only problem with the neighbours smoking in front of your cat? I wouldn't worry about that and it's sad to fall out with people over something like this.

#6 TallGuy

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 07:41 PM

My previous neighbours cat was so cute and friendly that it was hard to evict from the house, so one day when it wandered in through the patio doors and trotted upstairs I followed it and opened the shower door. In it want and I closed the door behind it, reached over and turned the shower on, hoping that the unpleasant experience would discourage it from returning. However on opening the shower door the cat just trotted out hopped up on the bed and wriggled around on the duvet to get dry! It then sat looked at me, smiled and I'm sure I heard it say "what next".

It would jump in my car at every chance and even went to work with me one day. It jumped in my car one night coming off shift and when I went out the next day it was sat there on the drivers seat waiting to be let out, no mess.

If my neighbours couldn't find their cat they would always knock on my door. I never encouraged their cat to come in the house and if I ever heard them calling for it I would tell them if it was in my house.

Cats will go where they want to, my neighbours cat would sit on my doorstep, lay in my garden, sleep under my car, but just go next door to be fed. I made sure I never fed it else it would have never gone home.

#7 David

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 08:48 PM

Thing is, it's a cat. Ultimately, being a cat, it will do what it wants to do.

#8 Professional_Cynic

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 08:58 PM

or you could have it put down and get a dog instead :unsure: :unsure:

#9 Basil the Rat

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 09:13 PM

Am I alone in finding this situation hilarious?

#10 Hades

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 09:30 PM

I've got an adopted cat too. I've named him Bogart.



I find it bizarre that you'd think of getting the police involved... I have to be honest, I'd find it really rather hard to pretend I was interested if I attended that job!

#11 Londonbased

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 09:33 PM

Am I alone in finding this situation hilarious?



No you're not.
I find it amusing and I say that as a cat fan myself.

#12 HarryB

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:11 PM

Am I alone in finding this situation hilarious?


No, I'm just trying to resist the urge to get the word pussy in here :unsure:

#13 E29NP

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:49 PM

Is this thread for real???

It's a bloody cat for Christ sake, not an 8 year old child!!!

Edited by pmtts, 02 May 2010 - 10:51 PM.


#14 adslegend

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:53 AM

The cat obviously likes the neighbours more. Not much you can do about it really.

My ex's family had similar problems, this is one of the things that in hindsight makes me realise they were a bunch of oddballs. They kept getting more cats but wouldn't accept that they would go where they wanted and spend time with who they like. It got to the point where they just locked five of them in the house despite them itching to get out. In the end, their 'love' of their cats was just mistreatment and condemned them to a miserable life.

#15 Whopper MacBig

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 08:52 AM

Got a bit of an issue with neighbours in the next street.



I don't think you do. I think you've got an issue with your cat.

#16 jay bird

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 01:16 PM

I dont think theres a lot you can do about it either. Is it just the smoke that bothers you (it obviously doesnt bother the cat or he wouldnt go in there!!). My cat spends a lot of time in my neighbours house, she has tried to discourage him as he eats her cats food but as she has a catflap he just lets himself in & when I'm looking for him i often see him curled up in their conservatory. Her cat doesnt come into my house as I also have dogs & he doesnt like the dogs. As others have said a cat will please itself where it goes!

#17 Fenix

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 05:31 PM

This is not a police matter.

The only part that could be is the aggressive behaviour.

#18 andrew1979

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 07:38 PM

Ah excellent. I start a thread on "Help Me" and I get a wide range of posts that are decidedly unhelpful (along with some that are actually helpful). The whole point of posting was to get help on what is to some people a trivial topic, but nonetheless I was looking for advice on, especially if someone had been in this kind of situation before.

To go into a bit more detail - I'm not bothered about the fact they smoke! (It was more of an indication of where he was going!)

My problem is that they are feeding the cat and encouraging it to go into their property. If the cat was wandering in and out of his own accord, not really much they can do about that (as some posters have mentioned). As a cat owner I would never feed another cat for a variety of reasons - they tend to associate your house as "home" and you have no idea if the cat is on a special diet etc. Also, the neighbours are closing the door on the cat when he comes in so he stays.

#19 Capt. Carrot

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 07:44 PM

I'm sorry that you haven't had much help, but this is possibly the wrong forum to seek advice on what is actually a civil matter.
I don't think your neighbours are committing any criminal offences, I couldn't even call it anti-social behaviour.
Have you considered why your cat has chosen to adopt your neighbours? You haven't suggested they are prowling the streets for Ted, he seems to be going to their house quite willingly. What are they offering that he wants?
I'm not a cat trainer by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd suggest you need to find a way to make him want to come to your house and not theirs.

#20 Londonbased

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:00 PM

I'm sorry that you haven't had much help, but this is possibly the wrong forum to seek advice on what is actually a civil matter.
I don't think your neighbours are committing any criminal offences, I couldn't even call it anti-social behaviour.
Have you considered why your cat has chosen to adopt your neighbours? You haven't suggested they are prowling the streets for Ted, he seems to be going to their house quite willingly. What are they offering that he wants?
I'm not a cat trainer by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd suggest you need to find a way to make him want to come to your house and not theirs.


The cat goes there because the neighbours feed it.
Cats are very fickle.
But there isn't really anything that can be done.

#21 Corbs

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:39 PM

Capt. Carrot, I'm not sure that's relevant as the other topics in here are about tyres, phones, fabric softener and firefox! :unsure:

#22 abdesignuk

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 07:53 AM

Same thing with us, the cat is always on our property, sleeps in bushes etc.
Does come in and sleep on bed and other areas of the house, but that's because he wants to, when he wants to go out he tells us and he goes out.

Nothing can be done, as many have said a cat chooses who it likes and where it likes to go. Where as if it was a dog it would be different.

#23 Stevie6544

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 05:20 PM

Before you let him out, give him an animal emitic or a worm tablet.

The first time he leaves his bowel contents on their bed, they will defo lose interest in him.

#24 Steve Collins

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 06:08 PM

If the neighbours are feeding him prawns get some Caviar in, and maybe some of those little wafer thin crackers, a nice glass of Chardonay and a mouse for desert. I doubt he'd stray very far then.

#25 Rocket

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 06:16 PM

Many many years ago we had exactly the same issue with our cat Zoe. The Mrs and I were just married, 1st house, mortgaged up to the gunnel's etc.

Zoe went missing for days on end and came back to us less and less regularly. Turns out an old lady up the road was feeding her fresh salmon - how could we compete with that?

We 'lost' a cat, but we knew she was happy and being looked after.




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