My neighbor threatens to hurt my cat. How can I stop him?

My neighbor threatens to hurt my cat. How can I stop him? Not an untypical question, but, I hope, reasonably rare. The sensible answer is to be proactive. There is no point calling the police after he has hurt your cat. It may bring some satisfaction – if the police turn up – but the objective is to stop your cat being hurt. Also getting police involved in general is not a good idea, neither is antagonizing your neighbor even more.

Person threatens to hurt my cat

Photo of angry man by Jan Tik (great photo, well done). Photo of cat by Michael. He is Charlie.

If your cat is irritating your neighbor either the neighbor hates/dislikes cats and/or your cat is roaming around his garden irritating a fairly normal person. Perhaps your cat is defecating on your neighbor’s garden? A lot of people hate that.

No matter how much a person loves cats and wants their cat to be content by behaving normally, the cat owner has to think of other people and comply with the law.

In America, the answer would be: keep your cat inside. In Britain the answer might be: if you have a garden of sufficient size, build a cat enclose. Or in both cases, if and when your cat goes out, supervise the trip or put your cat on a leash. Also, it is more socially responsible to pick up feces if he defecates in a public place, although I understand the difficulties of doing that. Your cat should be prevented from going onto your neighbor’s property if he strongly dislikes it.

All of this may sound tough, even impractical, perhaps, but the first call upon a cat caretaker is the cat’s safety and if your cat is unsafe wandering around outside because of threats to his health and welfare something has to be done, proactively.

Also it is important to try and keep on good terms with your neighbors. Neighbor disputes are the worst kind. They make you miserable. There are no winners. It is lose-lose.

In many neighbourhoods people won’t mind a wandering cat. Many people accept it and like it. It creates a more human and friendly feel to the neighbourhood

In this case someone does mind and you can’t take the risk that he is just making an idle threat. People sometimes trap a domestic cat on the premise that the cat is a stray. They take him to the pound or shelter where his lifespan might be only a matter minutes. Or they might put down poison. It is almost impossible to catch people poisoning cats or prevent people from hurting a companion animal. Shooting at cats is another nasty pastime for some people.

Facebook Discussion

Comments

My neighbor threatens to hurt my cat. How can I stop him? — 32 Comments

  1. Having lived through this now more than 14 years ago at our previous home,I can tell you it’s the most traumatic and horrible thing to live through. Our ex-neighbours decided they objected to our cats(not the two we have now) even being in our own garden, mostly through spite against us,it began with us realising that our female cat had been shot in the head with an air rifle, thankfully it had lodged in the skin and didn’t do any serious damage and Ruth was able to deal with it using her veterinary experience, we couldn’t prove it was them and they pretended to be sympathetic and said someone had been seen with an air gun nearby(we lived near a large field and open spave beyond that) but we later found out it was one of the sons.Then there was a period of throwing chicken bones over the fence to tempt them to eat the dangerous bones and setting their huge dog to bark at them whenever they were in their own garden, they finally put up a bird feeder above the party fence and fixed barbed wire to the fence so that if a cat jumped on the fence he/she would be injured.It got so bad at the end that whenever the cats were out day or night we had to have the patio door open and stand outside to make sure they were safe. By now it was open warfare and there wasn’t a civil word between us. In the end we gave in, gave up the home that we had bought and paid for and moved away to where we are now where people seem more inclined to live and let live, and thankfully we’ve never had any troubles over the boys we have now going out and about. Thinking back to that time still makes both of us feel really stressed, it was a nightmare.

  2. Having unreasonable cat hating neighbours can make you feel suicidal. People like that you just can’t reason with, I asked them nicely to stop their harrassment of us and our cats, that only made it worse.
    When they put up the barbed wire I actually phoned the police and the RSPCA and was told nothing could be done until a cat was injured!
    Being not only worried sick about our own cats but the other cats in the neighbourhood too we felt we had no choice but to move house quickly.
    The day we moved they took down the barbed wire!
    Our cats had never bothered them, like we have here we had an earth patch dug in our own garden for the cats to use.
    Yes our cats safety was our priority and that’s why we researched this house and neighbourhood here and found it a safe live and let live cat friendly place.
    My only advice to anyone in the same position would be to do as we did and move, if at all possible!
    We lost a lot of money on our house having to almost give it away to be rid of it, we still heard from time to time the misery those people were inflicting on their neighbours.
    Cat haters are cold hearted unreasonable people.

    • I hope you paid them a visit once you left..I’m going through this just now..my cats don’t defecate in their garden as it’s stone chipped..but use the fence to reach softer ground..they’ve stoned my cats a few times.

  3. Wow. Even when a neighbor puts up barbed-wire to let you know that they will not tolerate what you value in life destroying what they value in life — you still somehow manage to blame everyone else but yourselves. Astounding! Simply astounding. A built-in bind-spot bigger than your own brains. Then is it any wonder why people are shooting and poisoning your cats for you? You won’t stop your cats, so you force others to do it for you.

    • I have no idea what the point of your comment is. You comment is incomprehensible (that word means your comment is gobbledegook in case you were wondering).

      • That simple-to-understand comment is only incomprehensible to you because you too have that blind-spot. But I guarantee you this, ALL your neighbors perfectly understand it. It’s so simple, so clear, to everyone else who isn’t blinded by their cats.

        • Would you mind clarifying what you mean? My article is saying what I think you are saying that people should be responsible cat caretakers, yet you seem to be criticising me. Why?

          • I’m sure by now you realize I was addressing the two self-victimizing women who always blame everyone else to control and manipulate everyone.

    • You obviously didn’t read that our cats NEVER bothered our neighbours, they had their own earth closet in our/their OWN garden, they didn’t even go in next door’s garden.
      Those neighbours were ignorant bigoted cat haters just like YOU are Woody/Astonised and as I already said they/you can not be reasoned with. Just like you, because they hate cats they hate the people who love cats too.
      So YOU think it’s OK to try to entice cats to a bird feeder deliberately put there to cut themselves to shreds on barbed wire, do you? Your mind is even sicker than I already knew it was!

      • Oooops, you just caught yourself in one of your own HUGE lies.

        If your cat never went into their yards or climbed any fences, then you wouldn’t worry one bit that they put up barbed-wire. (And why a defense up so high if your cats don’t climb fences?) You would have looked at that act as being a complete waste of their time and money, not a threat to your cats, and it wouldn’t have bothered you one little bit. But it did! So much so that you knew your cats were going to eventually get harmed from YOUR irresponsible behavior that it even made you move to a new residence.

        Your cats were always under your control and supervision 24/7, right? If not, you cannot claim they never went into their yards because you weren’t aware of it. Even though they probably warned you many many times that that’s what your cats do and you refused to believe it. I surmise they only moved their bird-feeders to where the barbed-wire was to protect their animals from having witnessed many such cat-attacks in the past. Who would waste all that time and money and energy otherwise? Clearly your cats were a threat to what they valued, and they tried to protect it by any means necessary after asking you to keep your cats on your own property was a total waste of their time. (Just like this post to you now is also a total waste of my time. You still won’t comprehend this.)

        You explicitly show AND prove to the whole world that you had and have ZERO respect for your neighbors’ lives.

        What you are so hypocritically claiming, like so many cat-owners, is similar to those who worry about your cats being hit by cars and in the next breath claim you keep them indoors 100% of the time.

        Sorry, YOU are a a deceptive a manipulative LIAR. And you proved it to the whole world just now, all by your little self.

        • Just to clarify to that idiot incase he comes back under another name, the bird feeder was placed on a pole exactly between our 2 gardens specifically to entice cats to climb it and cut themselves on the barbed wire HALF of which was wound round OUR side of the pole.
          That ignorant idiot is saying that our cats shouldn’t even be allowed in our own garden!
          It’s those neighbours had ZERO respect for US and obviously of the same ilk as you Woody, desperate to convince everyone that cats and cats lovers are the scum of the earth.
          Well I’ve got news for you, YOU are exactly that with knobs on!

    • Why should someone be able to choose to hurt or destroy an animal that isn’t causing any harm? The only thing those people valued was to be able to bully the neighbourhood, probably a bit like yourself which is why you are able to understand their sick mindset. You need to get help for yourself, quickly.

      • And you are claiming that you don’t even respect your neighbors enough that they have the perfect RIGHT to put up a bird-feeder anywhere they so desire on their OWN property? How many more neighbors’ lives are you going to try to control and manipulate during your life by using your self-victimization cat-excuse and then blame others for it?

        This seems to be a pattern with you. If YOUR cats get harmed, that’s EVERYONE ELSE’S FAULT. Right? If not the neighbor’s fault, then the traffic’s fault, or a stray spreading feline AIDS to your own cat which has more right to roam, etc., etc.. It will never end with your kind. It’s ALWAYS something or someone else’s fault. NEVER your own.

        Guess what? The rest of the world is onto your sad and sorry self-victimization manipulation tactics to try to control everyone around you. Nobody puts up with that last-century game anymore.

        Guess who the REAL bully is wherever you live. It’s not your neighbors!

            • He reads what he wants it to say, he’s half crazed with his hatred of cats and those of us who love them.
              Goodbye you mean minded lonely freak.

              • Goodbye from me too Woody and don’t come back,you are a disgrace to the name of manhood,a bigoted self centred cruel bully.
                You need a few lessons from Micheal who is the very essence of a kind and compassionate gentleman,something you will never be if you lived a hundred years.

  4. Am I right in thinking those cat hater neighbours were anti social in other ways too Ruth?
    You usually find people like that think they own the entire street they live in and can do anything they like and woe betide anyone who questions their “rights”

    • Spot on Rose!
      Yes they were an anti social family of parents and 4 teenage sons and a huge noisy dog in a two up two down terraced house. We endured loud drumming music day and night, the street blocked off with the yobs and their pals vehicles, rubbish thrown into our garden, footballs bounced off our car and don’t even ask about New Year’s Eve, that was so bad we had to take our cats and go elsewhere overnight.
      They ruled the street by fear of retaliation.
      I think cat haters are very unreasonable selfish people!
      We can’t all like the same things but we don’t go around tormenting people just because they don’t like the same as we do, do we!

      • I just read this whole thing from start to finish, comments and all. Your experience sounds horrible. I’d really feel terrible to be in that situation. You did the only thing you could do which is move. Funny how the families who churn out the most kids have the least respect for anything. They shouldn’t be allowed to procreate.

    • rose said “You usually find people like that think they own the entire street they live in and can do anything they like and woe betide anyone who questions their ‘rights'”

      Oh, were you talking about the people that kept their dog/pet in their own yard? I was sure that you were talking about people who own cats and insist they have the right to roam anywhere and destroy everyone else’s lives and property. Weren’t you?

      • No I was talking about people who refuse to live and let live,who allow their kids to run wild,cheek adults and chuck rubbish around and own dogs that mess all over and bark constantly.
        If you read Ruth’s comments properly you will see that those NFH owned the street by bullying and you will also see that her cats stayed in her own garden,they were just another means of the creeps getting at her.
        God help us there are many like those low life bullies and it sounds to me as if YOU are one of them…….or maybe you are the cowardly idiot Woody back again with yet another alias.

  5. Thanks Marc, it was horrible beyond words, he was an older married man who got her pregnant at 15 and they quickly bred 4 sons who could do no wrong in their eyes.
    They had no cause to hate us or our cats, at the time we had 2 x 9 year old quiet neutered cats who never went from our own garden unless into the field beyond.
    Those people probably knew the thing to drive us out was to target our cats. Surprise surprise it turned out that one of the sons who had got his girl friend pregnant, eventually bought our house at a knock down price after the women who bought it first, moved out too because of their bullying anti social ways.
    Woody hates cats and cat lovers so much he didn’t even bother to wonder why we were so traumatised by those people and I think he is one of the very same ilk who bullies his way through life and tries to convince others that he is always right.
    There are some horrible people in this world.

  6. Ruth, it sounds like it never really was about your cats. They wanted to own the house next to theirs, and eventually did after driving out the subsequent owners. If the people who bought the house from you also couldn’t stand to live next to them it kind of points to your neighbors being bullies.
    And why does no one complain about dog owners who let their dogs roam? I was bitten by a dog in my own yard when I was five. When I was about twelve a neighbor let his huge dog roam. Very scary, because he beat that dog all the time, so we just weren’t sure how he would react to any sudden movement. I was sitting on a pier by the lake and that huge dog came right up to me, nowhere to run except to jump into the lake in late April (no thanks) but luckily nothing happened. At least if a cat roams (not that I support that practice in urban or heavily populated areas) no one is going to get attacked.

    • You are right Ruth, the woman who bought our house first had 2 little dogs and was sure she could handle those rotten neighbours, but they didn’t like her dogs yapping, oh it was OK for their dog with its loud bark to make as much noise as it wanted to of course.
      Yes dogs roaming are far more of a threat than cats and cause road accidents too.
      Our late mother was in a wheelchair after becoming disabled and a neighbour’s dog jumped at her and tore the skin of her arm, her own cats caused her no harm at all.
      Are there dog haters like Woody cat hater, who hate all dogs and their owners too I wonder?

  7. Hi I have indoor cats and I have strays in the back 2 to be exact who where born in my yard and bother no one. One of them gave birth else where and brought the kittens to us now after 2 months now they are playing among themselves in my neighbors yard in which they don’t mind as they are not hurting anything and the jerk next door to them starts spitting at them and mind you in the past this guy even though I have no proof but know in my heart it was them poisened serveral kittens on me he is just a hater!!!! He is a much older jerk who wants to grow all of this stuff in his yard and just blames the cats for everything. I just hate him and know one day he will have to answer to a greater power. Any suggestions I can do to get this jerk off my back?

    • I know what I feel like doing to someone like this jerk who hates cats and probably poisoned cats but being a neighbour you will probably agree that you have to keep the peace as best we can because you’re living next to him and if you are engaged in warfare with your next-door neighbour you’re going to be miserable and so will he although he wouldn’t admit it.

      It may be impossible to achieve but entering into a dialogue with him about how best to deal with the matter may get him to work with you rather than against you. You may be able, for example, to build a cat proof fence. There are some good products in America which can convert a yard into a cat enclosure. The objective I think is that you have to prevent your cats going on to his property. I don’t know whether they do go on to his property but there has to be some sort of visible guaranteed barrier preventing them which will satisfy him. You may not have the funds to build such a barrier but I don’t think they are that expensive. You may hate the idea but your welfare and the safety of your cats are at stake and there is nothing more important than that therefore thinking big and spending money is probably a wise thing to do.

      Of course, you could take the hard route and get evidence that he is trying to poison your cats or whatever (I am thinking of a covert video) but then you have to other sue him through the courts or try and get the authorities to prosecute him in the criminal court but all that will be nearly impossible and in trying to achieve it you’ll be at war perpetually with your neighbor. The answer has to be constructive. It’s a bit like the Israel versus Gaza war that is going on at the moment. No one wants to do anything constructive and everybody loses in the end.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please only upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks.