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!
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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