How Do You Stop Your Neighbour’s Cat Entering Your Yard?

Your neighbour does not care that her cat constantly comes into your backyard and attacks the birds that you are feeding with a bird feeder and even terrorizes your dogs. There is an 8 foot wooden fence between you but your neighbour’s cat scales it quite easily. You talk to your neighbour and she is concerned but does nothing to prevent her cat coming onto your property. What do you do? Answers on a postcard, please!

Melanistic f4 savannah cat climbing fencing

I do not advocate this sort of barrier for a cat because this is a tight enclosure or a large cage, which I dislike for obvious reasons. However, some sort of effective barrier such as a good sized enclosure or a well constructed fence is a possible solution in a neighbour dispute about a cat. The picture was taken by me in Oklahoma, at A1 Savannahs. You may have seen it before. The cat is an F4 melanistic (black) Savannah cat

Almost all solutions offered up by most people will possibly result in the cat being hurt in some way or other. The main solution involves trapping the cat and getting animal control involved but this seems to be a one-way street to euthanasia to me (the phrase “animal control” is an American term and the solution is an American one). I do not think this is a humane solution but I see the frustration in the owner who wants to prevent a neighbour’s cat coming onto her property. The solution should be 100% humane vis-à-vis the cat. As for the person, different rules apply! and

The general consensus is that a person has a right to peaceably enjoy his or her property, which is correct. When a neighbour does something that interferes with that right it could be called a legal nuisance and, potentially, legal proceedings can be started to stop it. Although this would be a complicated route and it can be expensive ensuring that 99% of people will shy away from it, together with the simple reason that it will cause a rift between you and your neighbour.

I believe the best solution is to put aside all the legal arguments, all the rights that you have and which you might wish to insist upon and find a practical, pragmatic solution instead, while simultaneously avoiding conflict with one’s neighbour. A neighbour can be unreasonable but you still do not want to argue with an unreasonable neighbour because you need to be on reasonable terms with your neighbour even if your neighbour is not reasonable.

There are a number of devices which are meant to keep cats out such as a high-pitched sound generator. I do not think they work. You can squirt water at a cat and it will run away but firstly that is not very nice and secondly you cannot keep on doing that indefinitely.

My suggested solution may cost a bit of money but the money would be well spent. A wooden fence, even one that is eight-foot tall is simply not going to work as a barrier for a typical, healthy domestic cat. What I would do is consult with a company who build cat fences and then modify your wooden fence so that it becomes an effective barrier. This could mean placing an overhang at the top of your wooden fence or some such extra barrier which would not harm a cat but which would be 100% effective.

In America, I wouldn’t think that would cost an awful lot of money to construct. Let us say about one thousand dollars. That may seem quite a lot of money to some people but if it solves the problem, it is cheap.

This is because a dispute with a neighbour that is ongoing and long-term damages the amenity of the environment in which one lives to such an extent that, if you could value it, it would be worth much more than one thousand dollars.

That is my practical solution and it is certainly unfair on the people who have to spend the money because the obligation is on the cat owner to prevent her cat going on to her neighbour’s property if her neighbour is upset by it. A lot of neighbours do not mind, but if one’s neighbour does mind then you have no choice but to behave responsibly and do something about it. But if the cat owner behaves irresponsibly under these circumstances the best solution is to bite the bullet, fork out the money and do what you have to do to solve the problem without creating a neighbour dispute. That is what I think. What do you think?

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How Do You Stop Your Neighbour’s Cat Entering Your Yard? — 14 Comments

  1. I wouldn’t live in a neighborhood where cats couldn’t run free. I’ll stay rural so I never have to face it. I can offer no solutions to the above problem.

    • I can fully understand that. And I agree with you. But what if a neighbour of yours became difficult how would you deal with it? if my neighbours became difficult about my cat then I would move basically. But I would not argue with them because there are no winners in an argument between neighbours.

  2. An issue all the time here.
    Moving really isn’t an option, because most neighborhoods are alike. Some don’t mind; some do. It’s always a struggle. But, in the end, I’ve found that most neighbors just accept it.
    They don’t have to like it. They just have to live with it.

    • Good, the reason why I raised the subject again is because it constantly resurfaces. On the Internet the discussion of cats entering someone’s garden is constantly mulled over and the answers are not always humane. In fact the views of people are quite polarised between taking harsh, inhumane steps to taking very humane steps or accepting it as you state. I am pleased that most people accept it.

  3. My cats have always lived indoors so I am not sure about how I would react.
    I can tell you how my late father would react….he would shoot them with a BB gun. Yep.
    Believe it or not, I come from a long line of avid hunters, on my Fathers side. It was torture growing up.
    Don’t get me wrong, he was a great dad to me and loved me very much but we had different beliefs and I think he unknowingly played a huge part in it. Sometimes I wonder if I would be as much of the advocate as I am if it were not for him. We use to have these huge family get togethers for Deer season, so I had to go when I was little. I ended up being banned from going when I got older because of my little picket signs and home made flyers I would hand out to everyone on the hunting trip. LOL
    As for the cats, he hated cats, he would say “The only good cat… is a dead cat”
    Maybe you can understand why I keep my cats indoors. LOL
    Scary that there are people out there like that.

  4. its always a hard deceison to know what to do. i have a neighbour as ive said before in previous posts. We try as much as possible to get along. He hunts. always try as much as possible to keep our cats safe. Thankfully they can go outside but they dont go away for long. There prob come the time as there is already talk with that idiot Garath morgan he reackons and has put cameras in wellington where he reackons 39 cats visit s his area. He hopes to put more cameras up and for the law to change so cats cant wander on people gardens. I think he wants the same thing for dogs where they are licensed i guess. Was very upsetting for me to watch it as just hate that man so much. I guess can only wait and see wht happens.

  5. I’ve been through this and the neighbours went as far as spending a ton on motiob activated sprinklers to keep our 2 cats off their plot.

    Here’s the thing tho everybody. It’s bloody simple.

    In cities and towns you have people. Where you have people you have things related to people. People have dogs, cats, cars, children, bikes, air conditioners, things that make noise – you name it. There’s alot of stuff…. If you live where there are many people then you should bloody well suck it up and deal with it and shut the f**k up or piss off and move.

    If you don’t like society then go. You won’t be missed. But you can’t pick and choose. You can’t say I want this but not that. So stop trying and buggar off the countryside already. Out there you can hunt and shoot animals to your hearts content too if that’s your thing.

    If you want to pick and choose then it is you who must protect your space without bothering anyone else. Build a fence. Do whatever you want. Ask nicely and I’ll discourage my cats from spoiling the odd flower in your garden. But you have no standing trying to rid society of cats – and living in society and repelling all cats inhumanely in whichever way you choose is completely antisocial ad basically means you are stark raving mad and belong in the countryside away from people anyway.

    Just my two. Cats were here before your stupid garden.

    • exactly marc thats the same thing here. all cats and dogs and humans deserve to live with one other and need to get along.

  6. ‘The general consensus is that a person has a right to peaceably enjoy his or her property, which is correct’
    So what about dogs? We can’t enjoy our property, we are pestered here all day long and sometimes in the night by barking dogs, one side of us a Rottweiler, he shakes the very foundations with his bark, it comes from the depth of his stomach and a also terrier, he yaps. The other side we have 2 terriers that bark all the time the people are out, one has a high pitched Wooowooowoooo which drives me insane.
    I’m driven to using very unladylike language at times about them! lol
    But we have talked to both sides, we accept dogs bark, so now the big one is taken in by 10pm at night and we at least get some sleep. The other side they agreed to leave the windows closed so their barks are muffled. Not ideal, but we live and let live and we don’t want to fall out with our neighbours because they do keep their dogs under control, they never run loose.
    When we had the NFH at our old home, we moved, our cats didn’t go in their garden but they hated any cats around, in fact they hated us too and made our lives a misery. They were the sort of people you can’t reason with so with people like that the only solution is to move.
    There are deterants garden worshippers can buy to keep cats away, plants cats hate the smell of, water sprinklers, garden ornaments with glowing eyes which somehow deter cats.
    I think everyone should live and let live, most of us have to put up with other peoples screaming kids and barking dogs, so why do some people make such a big thing of cats disturbing their precious peace?
    I HATE it that some cats can’t have their freedom because of those self centred people.

    • I agree that everyone should live and let live. It does take a considerate approach to others to make this work. If a person keeps dogs that bark all the time which disturbs others they are creating a nuisance and not allowing others to live peaceably. My opinion about a neighbour who creates a nuisance like this is that it is a major problem because there is no easy solution. You can either move home which of course is a last resort or you can report the matter to the local authority who probably can act under local laws and issue a noise abatement order of some sort. Although of course that would cause friction but it should be noted that the person who is initially causing the friction is the person with the dogs. Although impossible to contemplate, you can sue under the tort of nuisance at least potentially. Clearly that is not an option but they are remedies but they are almost unworkable.

      I agree a person has to be tolerant and except some barking and some neighbourly nuisance. It’s a matter of degree and how bad it is. I’m pretty sure that you are tolerant of neighbours but even you will have a limit. I have quite a low threshold to noise and would hate having to put up with barking dogs all the time.

      • yea the worse thing for me is where we live there is another neighbour close by and they always having parties till late in the morning on the weekends and am forever hearing dogs barking. But do u see me complaining about it NO. Cause dont want to cause an uproar i just tolerate it and smile

        • We had that at our old home Kylee, loud music next door day and night and it got so bad we had to move.

          • Yea Mostly get along with most neigbours and we do keep to ourselves as i believe thats the way to go. As if you keep to yourselves dont get into too much trouble. Its a very Quiet neighbourhood just have the old occassion when its slightly noisey. I guess shouldnt be complaining as dont live in a city. Which im sure is a whole lot worse. 🙂

      • Being Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators we looked in to reporting the barking dogs to our council, on behalf of other neighbours too, although they aren’t as badly effected as we are between two lots of them.
        We’d all have to keep a noise diary for at least 3 months, then the council would investigate and if it proved to be a nuiscance it would go to court and the offendors be warned. But to be realistic how can they stop them barking? It would all only cause bad feeling and unpleasantness in our friendly cul de sac.
        At least now they try to co-operate, the chances are they might move away, the noise does drive us mad at times, but for the sake of peace on our bit of earth lol there’s not much we can do.
        Babz said if she bought a trumpet and sat out on the patio blowing it hour after hour, what would happen? They’d probably say they couldn’t put up with it and Babz would say but we have to put up with YOUR choice of noise, dogs barking! She’d likely get arrested for disturbing the peace then lol

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