I like cats. I have had cats as pets growing up. They are sublime beautiful creatures. However, they have their place.
My favorite cat growing up was a Calico Coon Cat. Her name was Annabel. She was an awesome hunter. She would eat her kills completely but always would dissect the organ sac and leave it for me perfectly surgically cut out. It was a little gross, but I knew she did it as an offering of respect. I could call her name out loud from my porch and watch her glide across the snow filled corn fields from half a mile away. When she got home to the kitchen her reward was raw chicken liver.
I don’t know where or how you think cats fit into the natural order of things. But they do not belong in a crowded suburban environments pissing and shitting over my front porch. The scent of male cat piss on my doorstep is nauseating. I do not own a cat at the moment. The scent of their piss, and the hair they leave behind all over my boat in my car port is unacceptable.
I do currently own a Rhodesian Ridgeback that is trained to leave cats alone. I clean up after my dog. Somehow, cats are exempt. They are allowed to go and do as they please. Yet my dog, legally, is required to be leashed and cleaned up after. I can tell you that given the choice between eating cat shit or dog shit, I would choose dog shit, and it would not be a close contest. A double standard exists that legally I am required to obey.
My neighbors keep about a half dozen strays and think they are doing everyone a great humanitarian service. These cats scream all night long and use my yard as a toilet. Please explain to me why I should tolerate these animals trespassing all over my fenced yard, pissing on my doorstep, digging up my garden and spreading disease to my well groomed fenced and leashed dog. I spend about $600 annually de-worming my dog as a consequence of her eating contaminated cat feces from my yard.
Frankly, the cats are more of nuisance than the few rats that get into the bird seed. Killing cats is illegal, rats are fair game.
What do you say?
Hi… thanks for contributing. You raise an issue that is quite often the subject of upset, argument and debate.
Despite the fact that I love cats I personally fully understand your sentiments and predicament. Although I don’t agree with everything that you say.
Firstly, let’s be fair. Cats don’t spread disease as you say. There are few zoonotic diseases (transmittable from animal to human) and in any case humans spread diseases to other humans far more freely. You don’t criticise dogs for spreading disease either.
You hint that you would like to kill your neighbor’s cats to solve the problem. This is unfair too as the problem is caused by people not the cat.
Address the problem with your neighbor and the local authorities and/or courts not the innocent victim of irresponsible human behavior, the cat. They are victims. People are the perpetrators of the wrong in this instance.
And it is not only your neighbor who is in the wrong here. There is a wider problem. There is a cat overpopulation problem in the USA and there is a feral cat problem. These are long term human problems that have gone unaddressed for decades.
You can’t fix the wider problems. All you can do is to talk to the person who is helping the stray cats. He or she is nice to help needy animals. She is a caring person. But she cannot cause a nuisance at the same time. I am talking about a nuisance in a legal context. “Nuisance” is a legal term. It is a tort, a civil wrong and a person can sue another for nuisance.
I am not suggesting that you sue him/her but it should be made clear to her that she should think of the neighbors as well as the cats.
Unfortunately as long as the wider problems mentioned above continue you will have difficulty in solving the local problems.
The cats should (must) not be harmed. Please deal with the matter through human channels as it is and always has been our problem.
In my opinion the neighbor should ideally build a cat enclosure and care for the cats in that way and adopt them out or take them to a shelter. Unfortunately the majority of shelter cats are killed rather than rehomed, which reminds us of the cat overpopulation crisis.
Thanks for asking. My answer is very much animal based but people who care about animals have to avoid alienating other people as it damages the argument for helping stray and feral cats and it is simply bad manners.