“My neighbour’s dogs keep attacking my cats, is there anything I can do?”

The question is on a social media website. The person who posted it says that his neighbour has some big dogs and has a backyard but he doesn’t have a lock on the gate. Sometimes the dogs open the gate. His cats are indoor/outdoor cats. The dogs have attacked his cats a few times. They have not been injured yet but there have been some near misses.

For example, he said:

“Today was the last straw, both dogs chased my one-year-old cat down the road, and jumped into my window, the cat barely made it in, then similarly my other cat flew in no longer after, and the dog tried to jump in with it and chomped down right next to his head, BARELY missed.”

Neighbour's dogs repeatedly escape neighbour's yard and attacks a man's cats
Neighbour’s dogs repeatedly escape neighbour’s yard and attacks a man’s cats. This is neither the cat nor the dog in the story. Pic in public domain as assessed.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Dog owner uncommitted to protecting the cats?

His neighbour says that he has got a lock but the cat owner is worried about his cats’ safety. Can he contact somebody? What can he do?

Feel free to chip in. This is a neighbour dispute in which a couple of cats’ lives are jeopardised by a couple of dogs. And I don’t think there is an easy solution. It depends where you live.

And it also depends on how sensitive the dog owner is to his neighbour’s cats. And whether they will agree to keep them in their backyard. It also depends on the cat owner keeping his cats indoors full-time until the problem is resolved.

Cat owner uncommitted to protecting his cats?

It is a bit surprising in fact that he hasn’t already confined his cats to the indoors until they can go outside safely. He has to keep them indoors until his neighbour has proved to him that his dogs are confined to the backyard and can’t escape.

I guess that shouldn’t be a criticism of him but allowing them outside under these circumstances genuinely does jeopardise their lives. It’s that bad.

I think he has to get a bit tougher with his neighbour which may cause the relationship to deteriorate even more. That is something you don’t want to happen.

Dangerous dogs under the law?

He could call the police but I don’t think the police would be interested because it seems that no crime has taken place although a crime may take place. This is a civil matter it seems to me at the moment. If the dogs are dangerously out of control that would be a crime. But are they? In the UK the dogs are close to being classified as ‘dangerous’ but they would have to attack and harm or kill the cats to be in this classification. If they were classified as dangerous, they’d be subject to restrictions.

Would animal control in the United States become involved and seize the dogs to protect the cats; the property of the owner?

This is one of those circumstances where the law is waiting for a cat to be killed before action can be taken which seems wrong to me.

Move?

I would even consider moving home which sounds extreme and probably is, but if you really value the lives of your cats, you can’t allow this to go on. Something has to change and it seems that his neighbour can’t be trusted even if he says that he is going to keep his dogs in the back yard.

And if you can’t trust your neighbour to keep his dogs away from your cats then you’ve either got to keep your cats indoors for the rest of their lives if you stay at the same home but if you find that impossible to imagine you’ve got to move home and start again.

Below are some articles on neighbour disputes.

1 thought on ““My neighbour’s dogs keep attacking my cats, is there anything I can do?””

  1. Some places in the United States allow residents to terminate “stray” dogs. They are categorized as nuisance animals it it’s legal to remove their threats. In some cases it is required and if one overlooks the opportunity, one can be fined.

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