Angry Neighbor Takes Residents’ Cats And Relocates Them 25 Miles Away

Cats

There is something fishy going on in a neighborhood in the UK — the residents say their cats are mysteriously disappearing.

Seven cats are missing from different families around the community and the pet owners desperately want their pets back. They handed out fliers asking for any information about their cats.

Then all of the families that were missing a cat received an anonymous letter from the “person responsible for the disappearance of your cats.”

The note said that the cats had been caught and driven at least 25 miles away and let loose. The person further explained that the reason why the cats were relocated was because the cats destroyed plants and shrubs in his/her garden, killed birds, and used the property as a toilet.

The catnapper stated that none of the cats were harmed, but then wrote that if any of the cats returned to their owners and were caught again, “they will be destroyed.”

All of the cat owners are distraught that their pets were taken away from the neighborhood and dropped off somewhere unfamiliar. One woman said, “It makes me so angry that someone feels that they have the right to take our cats like this.”

There are clues in the letter that may prove that there are others involved in the catnapping.

A police inspector said: “If the letter writer has taken these cats, then he or she is guilty of theft. Anyone who helped has aided and abetted an offender in committing the crime.”

Source: Daily Mail

74 Responses to “Angry Neighbor Takes Residents’ Cats And Relocates Them 25 Miles Away”

  1. k says:

    It’s absolutely appalling the way some people think they have a right to do things like this. I hope every effort is made to find out who did this and that they’re severely punished.

  2. shibadiva says:

    The cats destroyed plants and shrubs in his/her garden, killed birds, and used the property as a toilet.

    I guess that’s what cats do. Dogs too. And leaves fall on lawns. And it rains and stuff.

    I know it can be rough. My neighbour hoses down his driveway every day to get rid of the leaves and dust. I feel so bad for both of them.

  3. janet says:

    it’s a terrible thing that the neighbor did but the cat owners should keep their cats safely in their own yard or in their house. Cats roaming are in great danger from predators of both human and animal kinds. I can understand both sides. I once raised a baby sparrow and when it was safe to release it, I asked the neighbors to please keep their cat indoors for a few hours but they ignored me and the cat got the sparrow. It was just heartbreaking

  4. Don Earl says:

    RE: “It makes me so angry that someone feels that they have the right to take our cats like this.”

    Get a clue. It is making your neighbor angry that you think you have the right to use their property for a sandbox.

    I keep my cats indoors only. They’re my cats. Any benefit I receive from owning cats is mine. Any responsibility of owning cats is mine. I provide their food and I clean their litter box. If they make noise at night while I’m sleeping, I’m the only one it bothers. They’re under my supervision and I am in a position to nuture and train them as needed. I understand cat habits and understand that cat habits are likely to bother the people around me if I just turn them loose in the neighborhood.

    The worst part is irresponsible pet owners make it ten times harder for responsible pet owners to own pets. They create an environment of negative sentiment where burdensome rules and regulations are put into place to deal with the problems they create, which are then imposed on everyone who owns pets, not just the bad actors.

    When people don’t respect the rights of others, they eventually lose their own rights. Inappropriate vigilanteism is an early warning sign. Eventually the vigilante approach becomes the law of the land and instead of an angry neighbor doing the catching, you have storm troopers stomping through your lives with hobnail boots, aka “Animal Control Officers”.

  5. Jackie says:

    The more I read comments on this board, the more I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone! Why in the world would anyone think it’s OK to let their cat damage anyone else’s property? It’s WRONG. An owned pet is supposed to be kept safe from others and others are supposed to be kept safe from it (including property) - that’s just basic responsible pet ownership! A pet cat or dog has no more business wandering alone than a small child does - it needs protection!! Again, it comes down to some people feeling that they are entitled to do ANYTHING they want whenever they want and it’s tough luck on anyone else and that’s WRONG.

  6. Jill says:

    It may be wrong to let cats roam outside, but what this guy did was cruel and criminal. Did he tell the cat owners his problems with them and ask them to keep their cats indoors before he kidnapped them? I doubt it, if so, they would know who did it.

    Jill

  7. CD says:

    Thank you Jill! I agree–he should have given them a chance to fix the problem. And yes, what the kidnapper did, was cruel and criminal.

    It also is worth considering, that crimes against animals often are warning signals for potential crimes against people. It’s in the interest of that community to address this.

    If they can identify the person, they may be able to recover the cats.

    I hope their local newspaper would be able to help with stories about this, perhaps. If the person has any vestige of a concscience, they might come forward. I hope so.

  8. Don Earl says:

    Jill,

    What if instead, the neighbor had taken the pets to a shelter where they were subsequently euthanized?

    Now, if you want to argue this person acted wrongly for dumping the problem on strangers 25 miles away, you might have a point.

  9. ellis says:

    Irresponsible pet owners. The cats are either pets or strays, can’t be both.

  10. CD says:

    To Don Earl,

    The person acted wrongly because he stole cats from his neighbors. He did not attempt to resolve the problem with reason. He committed a crime instead. Animal cruelty is never justified.

    However, you raise a good point. This criminal may well have killed the poor cats.

    You seem to be implying the kidnapper resolved the situation correctly?

  11. SabrinaD says:

    Guys, in the UK they think it is cruel to keep cats inside all the time. I read an article a couple years back about it. There was some American who wanted to adopt a cat but he lived in a flat and wasn’t going to let a cat out. When he went for an adoption interview, they wouldn’t let him adopt because the cat had no access to the outside. While I believe cats are better off inside, the British don’t and they feel cats need the stimulation and exercise of going out.

  12. Jackie says:

    CD, that’s part of the point - the cats were NOT stolen if they were roaming around. Had they been in or on their OWN property, they would have been stolen. Picking up an unsupervised, roaming animal in not stealing.

  13. CD says:

    Jackie and Ellis….

    So you’re saying this person resolved the problem correctly? Because I think a reasonable response would be to make the pet owners aware of the problem and try to resolve it that way.

    And by the way, we don’t know the extent of the problem–we only have the word of a person who by admission has committed a cruel act.

    I honestly don’t understand the thought process that would lead somebody to think taking these cats is Ok. And yes, it’s stealing. When I park my car off of my property it’s still my car.

    I wonder why you are on these boards? Expressing different opinions is great, but the opinions you have are very disturbing to me, at least.

    I agree that people need to be responsible pet owners. I don’t agree that cruel behavior to their pets is a way to resolve it.

  14. Jackie says:

    CD - of course this person didn’t resolve the problem correctly. However, if the cats were kept indoors, there wouldn’t have been any problem to resolve!!

  15. Cheryl says:

    Once they find out who did this, maybe they need to leave him a present - say let loose a dozen mice on his property and then let him find out that cats aren’t all bad and that he now wants one. :-)

    The really sad thing is thing is that it isn’t like these cats are sitting where they were dumped, waiting for someone to come and get them. So even if the person is caught and says what he did - won’t help much. The other thing is his gall in dumping his ‘problem’ on unsuspecting folks 25 miles away. Why did he not complain to the town ‘council’ or police. Why did he not write letters to the editor about his uncourteous neighbors and their cats with bad habits. He had plenty of other options he could have tried first.

  16. Jackie says:

    CD - of course this person didn’t resolve the problem correctly. However, if the cats were kept indoors, there wouldn’t have been any problem to resolve!! Again, animals that are owned need to be kept safe. Letting them roam and go onto other people’s property is wrong. Letting them roam to be picked up by crazy people, to get hit by cars, to get poisoned, to get hurt in any manner is WRONG AND IRRESPONSIBLE and if some people don’t see that it’s very sad! I am on this board because animal welfare has always been my #1 priority. I have a strong animal welfare/rescue background and I don’t think that keeping our pets safe is a terrible thing. I’m sorry if you do! BTW, if this person had access to that many cats, you can bet that this has been an ongoing issue and these morons just continued to allow their cats outside, even as some cats went missing. We have 11 cats and would NEVER let anyone hurt them or let them destroy anyone else’s property! Why not use our love of animals to try to educate people about responsible pet ownership instead of coddling poeple who do the wrong thing? Again, we can’t just do anything we want and expect there not to be any consequences!

  17. Jackie says:

    SabrinaD - I never knew that about the UK - thanks for enlightening me! I just looked it up. There are raging debates going on in the UK and in Australia because more and more people are wanting to keep their cats indoors. I’m glad they’re having a dialog about it!

  18. Jackie says:

    SabrinaD - I never knew that about the UK - thanks for the info! I just looked it up. There are raging debates going on in the UK and in Australia because more and more people are wanting to keep their cats indoors. I’m glad they’re having a dialog about it!

  19. Jackie says:

    Oh my - sorry about the double posts - computer problems!

  20. Maggi Parker says:

    This is one of the reasons why our rescue group has people who adopt sign a contract stating that they will be INDOOR only cats. I hope that the missing cat owners find their animals soon as it is dangerous for them to be wandering loose. Maybe these owners will consider making their cats safe by not allowing them outdoors in the future….Just a thought

  21. Jackie says:

    Well said, Maggie - I hope so too!

  22. Lis says:

    This happened in the UK, not the US. That’s important, because in the UK, it’s considered cruel and unnatural to keep your cats confined indoors. The basic, culturally shared assumption in the UK is that cats “need” to go outside.

    So the cat owners weren’t being irresponsible pet owners by the standards of their own culture, which is actually not our culture, despite the shared language. The Brits think we are cruel to keep our cats indoors.

    The perp did not attempt to resolve things with the cats’ owners–despite the fact that he knew exactly who the cats’ owners are, as witness the letters they received after he stole their cats. Yes, stole, because they did have owners, he knew they had owners, he knew who the owners were, and he knew that letting the cats roam is considered normal, appropriate, responsible cat ownership. He stole them, he at least claims to have moved them too far from their own homes for them to find their way back on their own, and in fact we don’t know that he hasn’t killed them.

    Don, you muster up the presumed horror of taking them to a shelter where they might be euthanized, BUT, again, this happened in the UK, not the US. They mostly don’t have the high kill/quick kill policies that shame so many shelters in the US. (Which is why the Brits don’t understand why we’re so big on spay/neuter.) The cats wouldn’t have missed a meal, wouldn’t have been at risk of being killed by traffic in an unfamiliar neighborhood, and might have been back home with their own families in day or so.

    Which is presumably why he didn’t do it that way.

    This was not an understandable over-reaction to a problem; this was a crime, with a fairly feeble excuse. In my neighborhood, here in the US, even though most cats are kept indoors, we do have both ferals and some owned cats who roam the neighborhood–and yet somehow or other people manage to have nice gardens. I’m not saying that a rational person couldn’t be annoyed by roaming cats; I’m saying that only a serious whacko reacts to that annoyance by stealing the cats and abandoning them (assuming he really did anything that innocent to them), rather than talking to the neighbors or calling Animal Control.

    And people who harm animals, eventually harm people. They need to find this perp, not just to find the stolen cats and protect other cats in the neighborhood, but to protect people. The neighborhood kids, for instance, who are likely to annoy him with serious criminal acts like stealing apples out of his tree. Or riding their bikes too loudly past his house. Whatever.

  23. catmom5 says:

    With all due respect to the cultural differences in the UK, this world is not as safe as it once was. Look at all the awful things we read about people doing to animals just on this website. Certainly the cat owners had some inkling that this neighbor was not happy about the damage the cats did to his yard (sorry, it could have been a her). The cat hater in my neighborhood makes no effort to hide her hatred and to let everyone know that she traps the cats who get into her yard and sends them to animal control. (She even baits the traps, but that’s a whole different story.)
    My five are all indoor cats, with the exception of CJ who goes out in a fenced backyard when I am out there with her. Do I think they’d love to get out and hunt and explore? YEP! Would I be a responsible pet parent if I allowed them to roam? NOPE!
    There is enough blame to go both ways here. Regardless of the culture, if you know there are dangers and then allow your cat to be exposed to those dangers, then I question your judgement. If you have a problem with cats, then try to resolve the problem WITH those involved.
    The real victims here are the poor cats who were snatched and then dropped off in a totally unknown environment . . . if that’s what happened. I hope there’s a way to get those cats back to their homes. And I hope the owners will find a way to keep them out of the other neighbors’ yards.

  24. Traci says:

    “The note said that the cats had been caught and driven at least 25 miles away and let loose.”

    This is no indication the pets are safe and not dead.

  25. Eccles says:

    I just want to back up the comments regarding UK cats.

    Outdoor cats are the norm, indoor cats are very much the exception. Why else have cat flaps! The owners do not consider this irresponsible. All outdoor cats generally wear a collar with tags and often a bell and these days are often microchipped. I used to quite enjoy entertaining the local cats in my garden. May have been all the bark chips and gravel and the bird feeder and tuna and salmon…

    As for shelters in the UK, as far as I am aware many operate a “spay and release” program with strays rather than euthanize. Though it varies from organisation to organisation.

  26. 2CatMom says:

    Whoever did this better hope the neighbors don’t figure who he/she is.

    You want to talk about vigilantism, I just cannot even imagine what the cats’ owner will want to do to him (or her).

  27. Traci says:

    One of the cats needs kidney meds, it may already be dead.

  28. Kaffe says:

    I believe it isn’t normal for a cat or a dog to be kept indoors 24-7 just as it isn’t normal for us to be indoors 24-7.
    But I beleive that cats can adapt to a life indoors 24-7 if that is the only way to keep them safe and out of harm’s way.
    I know that there are many ways to allow a pet cat or a pet dog to enjoy the great outdoors while keeping them safe and out of one’s neighbors’ properties. But sometimes… pets escape despite their owners’ precautions and care.
    My cats are always supervised when on their daily romp in our fenced backyard. I make sure that they do not go near the fence to climb over it. They also have two outdoor enclosures where they can sun themselves when I cannot be with them outside. Despite my most excuisite care, there has been a couple of times that one or the other cat has jumped the fence and ended up in the neighbor’s back yard. Luckily my cats come back immediately at my call. But what if they don’t and wander around the neighbors’ yard instead, digging and sniffing as cats and dogs do? Will that give my neghbor the right to shoot my cat, or trap it or kidnap it and dispose of it? Sholdn’t that neighbor give ME a chance to solve the problem first? Its a good thing that all my neighbors are good people who don’t feel that they’re flower beds and vegetable gardens are more important than a life.
    Sorry Don Earl - I am not with you in this case. I think what the kidnapper has done is plain criminal. There is no justification for kidnapping or stealing or taking the law into one’s own hands.

  29. dog collar addict says:

    i’m not condoning what this person did, but i have had several shrubs & young trees destroyed by my neighbors cats. i feel his/her frustration

  30. CD says:

    Jackie,

    You wrote: “I don’t think that keeping our pets safe is a terrible thing. I’m sorry if you do! ”

    How could you possibly come to that conclusion based on my comments?

    And your assertion that what this person did was not stealing is not correct. Property or ownership rights are not surrendered as a consequence of the location of the property. Plus, the kidnapper knew these cats had owners.

    Frankly, I don’t want to prolong this back and forth with you, but I feel these two points, at least, needed to be clarified.

  31. Nancy says:

    I feel it’s irresponsible to let a cat run the neighborhood killing things and going potty where ever it pleases. How can you get upset when something happens to it?
    My cat is inside all the time, the only person she can bother is me. If someones cat was in my yard killing little things and going potty in my garden I would not like it.
    It was cruel for the neighbor to take these cats and just drop them off, however if you don’t want someone to do anything to your cats, keep them home.
    I also have 3 dogs, they are kept in a fenced yard when they are outside. These are domestic pets, not wild animals!

  32. EmilyS says:

    so in the UK if the norm is to have outside cats, how do neighbors with gardens they’d rather not have fouled with cat poo.. or for that matter who might be very allergic, or simply not want cat trespassers on their property… handle the situation?

  33. Anonymous says:

    Yep, I got it. If it ain’t the US way, it’s wrong. Does anyone realize there’s an entire planet out there? Why do you think the US is always right? No wonder the rest of the world hates the Americans. They are so right and everyone else is so wrong. Grow up, babies!

  34. shibadiva says:

    Here in Canada, many of us keep our cats indoors. In an urban environment, it’s just too easy for them to be hit by a car and, in a rural environment, they can be killed by wild animals.

    Too bad the Brit that took the time to drive all those cats for 25 miles (one-way) didn’t lighten up. It won’t be good for his/her health, especially if he/she lies awake at night grinding his/her teeth that some CAT may be Touching His Lawn. Did he keep all the cats locked up in a staging area and drive them at once, or did he make the 50 mile trip per cat?

    Gee, it would have been so much simpler to just communicate his concerns to his/her neighbours. Someone please tell me that he/she did and they all told him/her to stuff it.

    Reading some of the cases on this site (like the Serra-cat-killed-by-animal-control, the Iggygate situation, and this) makes ya wonder.

  35. shibadiva says:

    Re: keeping cats indoors in the US (as if), I’m reminded of a short film by artist Jack Chambers called “The Hart of London”. London is London, Ontario, a fairly large city in the southwest of the province. A deer made it into someone’s backyard, and animal control had to hunt it down. The film shows the deer wandering from yard to yard, amazed suburbanites pointing at it, and then it finally being shot by animal control.

    It also reminds me of a recent story here (Toronto) about a woman whose natural garden (they’re becoming quite popular) was considered to be a blight by her neighbours because in that suburb, everyone has a Standardized Lawn. They called the City and had the garden razed.

    http://redstarcafe.wordpress.com/2007/08/

  36. Traci says:

    Shibadiva,

    reading several of your posts here I have one comment”

    “Nature happens”

    Something that control freaks who want to be removed from it into an artificial, insulated, human-dominated world will never understand.

  37. Sky Eyes Woman says:

    We’re talking about a creature that has the mental capacity of a 2 year old child. If someone let their toddler wander around by himself outdoors and that kid got hit by a car, would you feel sorry for the parent who allowed that to happen?

    So cat owners in the UK think it’s cruel to keep a cat indoors 24/7. Well and good. If you feel you HAVE to let your cat outdoors, then YOU are responsible for it’s safety and well-being. NOT your neighbors, who might not want cats in their yards.

    If your cat can go outdoors but not off your property I really doubt it’s going to suffer that much from the restriction. If your cat always stays in your yard and your yard ONLY, anyone messing around with your pets at all will also be trespassing and be subject to the penalty for that as well.

    This isn’t the 1950’s anymore, people. There ARE sick and cruel people out there who look for the opportunity to do harm wherever they can. Yes, they are out there, whether you think about them or not.

    If your pets fall into the hands of people like that because they’re roaming loose off of your property, it’s YOUR fault.

  38. phiomalibu says:

    I think it is an outrage. Poor Pets!
    It’s so much better to talk things out!
    If you have any questions or want to give your pet something amazing go to
    PetLoverTips.com

  39. Traci says:

    “If your pets fall into the hands of people like that because they’re roaming loose off of your property, it’s YOUR fault.”

    That’s called blaming the victim. So you are letting the criminal off the hook? Guess we can apply that to all sorts of crimes…

    If I am walking alone down “The Ave.” to the Safeway at 1:00am because I need something not in the house and I get mugged or worse, is that my fault also?

    We, our children, and our pets have a right to live and do things without being worried by nutcases who wish physical harm on our persons.

  40. Blah says:

    There are a lot of comparisions to children and property in these comments. Cats and dogs are neither really. By the same token, how many seven year old kids walk to school on their own, or just a couple friend sof the same age? Or waiting down by the bus stop? Are they being neglected? If someone takes them on that walk, are they not kidnapped because they are not at home?

    There are many alternatives to taking the cats out into the wilderness, or to a shelter. That act was deliebratley harmful. It was done in spit eto punish and hurt the cat owners, not to solve the problem. If talks with the cat owners don’t work, there are many things that you do to keep cats away that don’t interfere with the function or appearance of your garden. Lava rocks are one thing, cats won’t walk on them. Talkign to authorities, or animal groups.

    This isn’t saying the cat owners are not being responsible. But that still does not justify the behavior of their neighbor.

    No one can be with everything they own, or every living thing they take care every second of every day. Blaming the cat owners is like saying if anything ever happens to a pet or child, it is the parents/owners fault.

  41. Anonymous says:

    At one point many of us thought living in the US would improve our lives. Now, no! Anything goes wrong, you people believe it is the victims fault. I like Europe better. Your name should be blame.

  42. Lis says:

    With all due respect to the cultural differences in the UK, this world is not as safe as it once was. Look at all the awful things we read about people doing to animals just on this website.

    In fact, in a boring by-the-numbers way, the world is safer than it was forty-fifty years ago. The difference is, forty or fifty years ago, or even twenty, this would have been a local story, never reaching the attention of people in other parts of the UK, never mind North America. The Ellen & Iggy story might have been reported in the gossip columns, but certainly wouldn’t have been reported as real news. It would have taken much longer to realize that there was a huge spike in acute renal failure in pets, much less realize that they were connected and contaminated pet food was the cause.

    We live with the illusion of an increase in danger, when actually we now have the luxury of worrying about stuff we’d never have heard of, in the past.

    Do I think the Brits should change their ways and keep their cats indoors? Yes, I do. But that big a cultural shift won’t happen overnight, and certainly not merely because people in another country think they should. As Jackie noted, the change has begun, the debate over it is raging–but it’s going to take some time. In the meantime, British cat owners are not bad people or irresponsible cat owners merely because, in a country virtually without natural predators, they have historically had a very different set of beliefs and practices concerning how they keep their cats, than people on another continent, where people in suburbia are careful not to leave food accessible to the bears, in the cities think about the presence of coyotes or raptors, or alligators in Florida subdivisions, and don’t assume the word “fisher” always refers to a man with a fishing pole. That is a big part of why we keep our cats in, not primarily the human dangers or even the traffic–and it’s a danger that doesn’t exist in the UK, where the fox and the badger are almost the only predators left.

    In the meantime, it doesn’t change the fact that this unknown person stole owned cats, whose owners he/she/it was aware of, and intentionally abandoned them far from home–and has threatened to kill them if they return. These are criminal acts, and acts of a kind that are typical of people who also hurt other people. Why anyone, especially supposed pet lovers, but really, anyone at all, would be defending or justifying or excusing this, playing a blame-the-victim game, is a mystery to me.

  43. Lorri says:

    bottom line here is the cats lose. The neighbor is obviously a pain in the ass, and shame on the owners for letting their cats roam.
    But the one’s that suffer are the CATS….

  44. shibadiva says:

    Traci, you know what you have to do. Lock yourself in and bar the door. ;o)

  45. CD says:

    This is a sore subject because I actually experienced something similar: I found out that a couple of teenagers on our street were planning to capture 3 feral cats on our block and ‘do something’ to them.

    Appeals to their parents didn’t work, they refused to listen. I managed to get the cats into my yard and eventually adopted them into the house. Between the coyotes and those teenagers I was afraid to let them out again, and felt terribly guilty about that every single day.

    One of the teenagers went on to climb into a neighbor’s fenced yard and kill their sweet little Golden puppy. The kid’s father said he would buy the family a ‘better’ dog and therefore he didn’t really see the problem. Though the family tried to press charges, nothing much happened to the kid. He was 16.

    So this teenager’s next project was shooting arrows into the little kids on the block. When he was finally caught, there were stories in our local paper, wondering just how this could happen.

    I don’t quite know how to make sense out of all this stuff. I feel the kitties have a right to enjoy climbing trees and rolling in the grass, but the risks seem greater than the rewards. For now, we’re all staying inside.

  46. Don Earl says:

    Sabrina,

    Thanks for the heads up on the difference in views on indoor only vs. outdoor in the UK.

    Personally, I had a very hard time making the call to keep my cats indoor only when they were kittens.

    When my Dad passed away about 12 years ago, I hadn’t had a pet since I was a kid. I inherited his two cats, which he kept as indoor/outdoor pets, and continued with what they were used to. Over the course of the next several years, one of them was killed, evidently by someone with a pellet gun, and the other was mauled to death in my own yard by someone’s free roaming dog. I had became very attached to both and the house seemed very empty without a cat.

    When I rescued 3 feral kittens some months later, I spent a lot of time online looking over the pros and cons of indoor only. For my Dad’s cats, going outside seemed to be a very big deal. As close as I can tell, the only con is that cats that are used to going outside, expect to go outside.

    In the end, my decision was mainly based on two things.
    1. I didn’t want to lose any more cats. I really, really, really didn’t want to lose any more cats. 2. I hate fleas. I really, really, really hate fleas.

    Having experienced both alternatives, I’d never again consider other than indoor only. Among other things, cats spend most of their time napping. According to those who study such things, about 80% of their time napping. With my indoor only cats, I get to spend the time they’re awake playing with them. In wide awake mode, cats are as much fun as kittens and very interactive. They sure don’t miss out on exercise and I don’t miss out on being with them when they are most interesting.

    Also, while I’d put food out for the ferals where I used to live, I was about the only person on the block who liked them. The things the neighbors didn’t like about them are the same kind of things one may expect from any cat outdoors. And, the complaints are legitimate complaints. There isn’t a whole lot that can be done about ferals, but problems with pets are simple to take care of by keeping them inside. If they go outside, they immediately adopt feral protocol while roaming. When the door closes, they stop being kitty snoozing in the window, and become predators guided by instinct. They mark out a territory about a half mile in diameter, so unless you have a very large lot, they are not on your property when they leave.

    I don’t think cats that have been raised to think they are people should be hauled off by anyone, but my sympathy is with the cat, not with the person who put them in a position to be hauled off in the first place.

  47. Kaffe says:

    We have racoons in our neighborhood. They have dug up my newly planted flower pots on the veranda. The morning I saw the destruction of my flower pots, I said, “Ay-yay-yay - naughty racoons.” Not for one milli-second did the thought enter my mind to rid the neighborhood of these racoons - or even attempt something to drive the racoons from ever entering my backyard. They belong to this planet just as much as I do. And heck - they’re Racoons!!! Instead, I thought of animal-safe ways to dissuade them from touching my flower pots again. I settled on specially constructed netting. There! Racoons and flower pots are now co-existing! hee hee hee.

    Gee, folks… I think the story about the missing cats is really about one lousy excuse of a human being.

  48. Donna says:

    If the cats were taken twenty five miles away, many will travel back home if they survived. My cats have access to the out side. I built a hard ware screened covered porch for them.They can go in and out the window at will.They sun them selves and catch bugs and do cat things. But,when “mom” is in side,………………..they want to be with me. Best in vest ment I ever made. I hope the person who took the cats is caught and turned over to the cat owners. That is justice.

  49. Gindy says:

    Yo Traci… CATS ARE NOT NATURAL PREDATORS IN ENGLAND OR THE USA.
    That said, it was wrong for the guy to kidnap the cats first without trying to talk to his neighbors. I have the same problem and I give my neighbors ONE shot at keeping their animals of ALL species on their own land. If they don’t I catch them or call the cops (animal control).
    Then the owners can find their “pet” or farm animal and go buy it back from the authorities. That has worked better than anything else I have been able to think up.
    Kaffe, raccoons are NATURAL predators in the USA. We have them too as well as skunks and the like. They eat the grubs that are in your flower beds (and help you out by doing so in the long run).

  50. pat says:

    this person has removed 7 cats. 7 cats. i live in a rural setting, with both feral and pet cats in fairly big numbers. i don’t see 7 total cats in my yard in a month of sundays. what is it about this guy’s yard that attracts so many cats? and how has he managed to capture all of these cats? it’s not as though a wandering cat is in any way inclined to stop and chat with the humans. how much time and effort has this nutter expended on luring, capturing and abandoning cats in the hinterlands? has he no life whatsoever? something is very fishy here.

    and just for the record, in my opinion there’s no justification for snatching an animal and abandoning it. it’s simply wrong.

  51. k says:

    Jackie, no one has suggested it’s okay to let their cats ruin others’ property, so there’s no need to build strawmen so you can then knock them down.

    The neighbour who kidnapped and relocated the cats was wrong, plain and simple. There were much better ways to resolve the issue, but this person apparently had no interest in even trying. He’s also punishing the animals for what he perceives to be a fault of their human owners, ie, “letting” their cats do things of which he disapproves.

    My personal belief is that cats are safer if kept indoors, and I would never let my cat roam unsupervised, but I recognize that not everyone shares that worldview.

  52. shibadiva says:

    Pat, I was wondering the same thing. My neighbourhood is full of cats too, and I’d only ever recognize one that comes anywhere near my yard.

  53. Nancy G. says:

    As someone pointed out, this was in Britain where, evidently, views on cats being outside are different from ours. As for comparing cats being outside to being “strays”, I think every law everywhere recognizes the different nature of cats and dogs, and that while the law can require dogs be on a leash or in a yard, such a law would not work with cats. So a cat out loose is NOT automatically a “stray.” At least in Britain, they don’t have coyotes and other large predators, like we do here in the US, although foxes would be a danger. With all the publicity, we can hope that someone, wherever the cats were dumped, recognizes the cats and can help rescue them. As for the perp, look for someone with a lovely yard, bird feeders, who has a crabby disposition. Why they think their right to a lovely yard and bird feeders trumps anyone else’s right to own a cat is a mystery, though. What they did is appallingly cruel.

  54. EmilyS says:

    “. Why they think their right to a lovely yard and bird feeders trumps anyone else’s right to own a cat is a mystery, though”…

    well, yes, I DO think that my right to enjoy my propeprty trumps a CATS right to trespass. (not someone else’s right to own a cat.. your premise is totally wrong).

    That’s what this is about: Who has more rights: a person or a cat?

    My neighbor has a right to have as many cats (or other pets) that he can manage humanely (I oppose pet limits). My neighbor’s cats have NO RIGHTS to the use of my property.

  55. Rhonda says:

    I have friends with indoor cats. They walk their cats on harnesses, just like you would a dog. It’s an easy solution. I kept a cat for a friend who was out of the country for a month. The cat had never been on a harness before, but after a few days (and a longer leash) we had no problems hanging out in the front yard. I would never let my dog roam the neighborhood. Cats shouldn’t either. One neighbor had a cat that loved the new pinestraw around my shrubs and would come over from 5 houses down just to use the bathroom at my house. I asked her to control her cat. She said she couldn’t control where her cat went. I also had to rescue a chipmunk that the cat was torturing by holding it down while it gnawned on it’s tail. The cat was hit by a car several months later. NO, not me. But I have to say I was somewhat relieved that the situation resolved itself.

  56. Velvet's Dad says:

    The old adage that “two wrongs do not make a right” clearly applies here.
    Yes, the neighbor has a right to have their property secure. However, they do NOT have a right to steal pets and dispose of them in the manner they did. They should be prosecuted for theft and animal cruelty. There are ways to resolve the issue, as others have pointed out. Clearly, the neighbor has no pets of their own or they would have at least attempted a resolution that did not hurt the innocent animals.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Rhonda said… ‘The cat was hit by a car several months later. NO, not me. But I have to say I was somewhat relieved that the situation resolved itself.’

    I CAN NOT BELIEVE that somebody on this forun would say such a thing. WoW, unbelievable!!

  58. Andrea D says:

    CD, you make an excellent point about the type of person who would do this. We’re not talking about someone who turned the hose on the cats if they were in his/her yard. We’re not talking about someone who tried to resolve the situation. We’re talking about someone who took the cats somewhere unfamiliar, dropped them off, and left them to either fend for themselves or die. THEN he/she wrote a horrible note to let the neighbors know what he/she had done.

    That’s remarkably unstable mental behavior. We’re talking about someone who did something illegal, and the letter writing is tantamount to bragging about the behavior. I find it extremely disturbing.

    I’m not sure if it’s on the same level as the sociopathic kids that CD is referring to (I knew a very similar kid - abused animals, then people, and finally, at age 12, shot and killed a man; somehow, there were people who had the nerve to pretend that they didn’t see it coming).

  59. why do u care about my name says:

    i would sue if this happened to my pet and i would put that person in jail that is stealing, abuse, and that’s not right!!!!! this story i sooooo sad that i cried!!!

  60. Sally says:

    I believe that an animal owner should be more responsible for there pets I own 2 cats and 1 dog I keep all 3 inside at all times except for the dog he goes out to potty I would NEVER let my animals roam these severly irresponsible pet.
    These owners deserve loseing there pets. The animals should have been trapped and sent to the city pound. and the owners need to take a class to learn how to care for an animal NOT let them roam free to destroy other peoples property. I have a beautiful yard and bird geeders and never a problem But if I found a stray in my yard it will go straight to the pound.
    Sally

  61. Don Earl says:

    RE: “My neighbourhood is full of cats too, and I’d only ever recognize one that comes anywhere near my yard.”

    If you have a cat, your yard is likely marked to let other cats know the territory is spoken for. Unfortunately, according to cat protocol, an unmarked yard is likely to be plagued by tourists using the restrooms while passing through town.

    Cats are very polite, but they’re polite by cat rules, not people rules. Where a cat would consider it rude to use another cat’s property for a sandbox, from their perspective, property without a cat doesn’t belong to anyone.

    The end result being the folks who are turning their cats loose to run around are driving anyone who doesn’t have cats crazy.

  62. shibadiva says:

    My two cats are indoor cats.

    But that’s a good idea for product development - a cat-marking spray that people who don’t have cats can use. With an unobtrusive-to-humans odour of course.

  63. Purringfur says:

    The neighbor who hauled these cats away was entirely wrong to do so without first trying to discuss the situation to resolve the problem. Many of the owners would have kept their cats indoors or made enclosures had they known the alternative.

    Although this person seems deranged by taking such extreme measures, apparently without warning, I can understand the frustration of dealing with damage to property and wildlife or simply just being a nuisance.

    My cat never goes outdoors except on a harness with me. I’d be afraid he’d be hit by a car, be dinner for coyotes, or that someone would steal him because he’s quite striking: a huge long-haired, orange striped tiger.

    My neighbor’s three cats come to my house all the time, urinate by the front door, use the garden for a litter box (easier to dig in tilled dirt) and camp out next to my bird feeders and even sit on top of my bird houses (with babies inside) for easy hunting.

    They’ve killed birds I feed and left the feathers all over, sat on my bird houses with babies in in the spring and have even collapsed the houses, tortured and killed chipmunks that come to my ground-level drinking bowl, leaving one chipmunk with severe neurological damage to just circle and circle, no longer being able to walk straight. I took the one chipmunk to the vet for cortisone injections, and it turned into a happy story where the munk became the “resident chipmunk” because the vet staff fell in love with it. It did improve a little, but always leaned way over to the side when it walked, like a ship with a deep list. And, I know it’s a cat’s instinct to hunt.

    I’ve spoken to the neighbor, making comments that the cats use my garden and front door as a litter box and that they are killing the birds, but nothing is done, except to once in a while, call the cats back home, maybe twice in the last five years.

    It seems as though I’m the one making the repairs or trying to come up with solutions to lessen damage to my property and the wildlife as much as I can. I’ve put out 4 inch PVC pipe for the chipmunks to have a safe tunnel from the forest to my food supplies, added extra guards to the bird houses, and finally threw prickly brush on the side of my yard for the chipmunks to have a safe place to run to if they see one of the cats. The cats have trapped chipmunks in my down spouts/gutters for hours and refuse to leave, even after I pick the cat up and take it home several times.

    I’d like to be able to enjoy the wildlife more. I’d like to have a rug outside my front door (without it becoming a urination mat) and have my front door area not stink like a urinal for two months every year. I’d like to be able to watch the chipmunks eat freely at my feeder without having to rush outside when the cats come around. I’d like to be able to go into my garden without having to watch where I step. I’d like to remove the brush pile from the side of my house. I’d like to remove the ugly PVC chipmunk tunnel from my yard. I’d like to actually use my motion detector light for security reasons, but it uses too much energy going on and off constantly because the neighbor’s cats use it as a heat lamp, sitting on my railing, washing their paws at night.

    I could go on and on about the damage and extra work these cats have caused, yet I realize that it’s their nature to hunt and that cats do roam. I do not want trouble with my neighbors of over 25 years, but sometimes, I just wonder how someone can just let their cats roam, even though it’s legal to let them do so. I look forward to January and February when the cats are indoors for a large portion of the day, and I’m a cat lover.

    I certainly wouldn’t resort to the extreme measures of the cat napper, but I can understand the frustration building up year after year. And yes, I think the cat napper should be prosecuted!

  64. EmilyS says:

    Purringfur.. you said it!
    I (dont) find it odd that none of the cat-defenders have offered any solutions to those of us who simply want to enjoy our own property as is our right, without the annoyance of unwanted wandering cats.

  65. catmom5 says:

    I think a lot of the “cat-defenders” understand that outdoor, roaming cats can be a pain for neighbors. Mine are inside cats! However, with that said, in spite of all the different POV, these 7 cats are the true victims of the inability of humans to work out a problem. I don’t much like the neighbor’s cats, strays and ferals hanging around my yard, either, but I certainly would NOT trap them and relocate them. I’d try really hard to find a way to keep the unwanted cats out of my yard (mothballs in flowerbeds, gardens, etc) or a way to work out the situation with the neighbor. BTW, when I am able I trap the strays and get them vetted then get them to a rescue so they can get into a good, forever home.

  66. Eccles says:

    EmilyS, there are dozens and dozens of commercial products available for detering cats from property. They range from the ecologically sound lion dung pellets through other natural scents, chemical deterents, ultrasonic and mechanical devices and on and on. Five seconds on Google.

    What I have found quite effective is to actually welcome cats and set aside a small corner that is obviously set up for the cats to use should they want. They will then use that area in preference to the rest of garden.

  67. Traci says:

    “I don’t much like the neighbor’s cats, strays and ferals hanging around my yard, either, but I certainly would NOT trap them and relocate them.”

    As I posted earlier, one of the cats is likely dead. It takes kidney meds.

  68. EmilyS says:

    Eccles, yes, I am completely aware of these products.

    I gather you expect ME to go to the expense of fencing out cats (the other products are of marginal effectiveness) ?
    And turn over part of my property for their exclusive use?

    This is exactly my point: cat owners expect the NON-cat owners to bear the expense of burden keeping out cats that they don’t want. Or to tolerate someone else’s pet on their property.

    Funny: if it were a KID coming on to my property and causing damage, I’d actually have some legal recourse.

    When did cats get to be beyond the law?

    And THATS why some non-cat owners feel they have to resort to extreme measures like the one in these story

  69. Traci says:

    “When did cats get to be beyond the law?

    And THATS why some non-cat owners feel they have to resort to extreme measures like the one in these story”

    When did the fellow using “extreme measures” (read: illegal theft and animal cruelty) get to be beyond the law?

  70. shibadiva says:

    You know what really bugs me? My neighbour’s grandchildren!

    Every time they come for a visit, they want him to set up a ladder so they can see over my fence in case my dogs are in the yard with me. They kick the fence to get the dogs’ attention, and they tried to open my back gate. Their dad gets awfully surly when I tell his kids that the dogs need to concentrate 100% on doing a poop.

    My car isn’t big enough to stuff them all in and drop them off somewhere in the suburbs. Should I get an SUV?

    Emily S, your posts amuse me. “well, yes, I DO think that my right to enjoy my propeprty trumps a CATS right to trespass. That’s what this is about: Who has more rights: a person or a cat?”

    Harrumph!

  71. pat says:

    i’m frankly troubled by the statements i’ve seen on this thread. my property my property my property my rights my rights my rights. if a cat pees on my property and violates my rights, it’s ok to kill it, but since i’m too much of a coward to kill it outright i will abandon it somewhere so that it can suffer greatly before it dies, but i don’t have to watch it; i’m too busy waiting for the next peeing cat to think about the pain i’ve caused. it’s my property and the sentence for peeing on my property is death death DEATH. me me me me me, my my my my my.

    yeah, the human race is really highly evolved.

  72. Tanya says:

    Pat:
    What amuses me about the whole “my my my” is that people don’t understand you do not have full and complete “right” to not be bugged now and then.

    You do not have the “right” to kill a wandering squirrel, fox, or zebra that makes it into your yard. you have to take appropariate measures like squirting water at it, or calling the authorites.

    If a bear comes into your yard, you do not have legal right to shoot it, unless you or your family/pets are in *imediate* threat.

    Where did people get the idea that owning property means they have some kind of invisible forcefield from which life’s little annoyances doth protect? If a child comes into your yard, you cannot shoot it, nor kidnap it - and you likely can’t even turn teh hose on it or yell at it. even if said kid does damage to your home.

    If the neighborhood kids play baseball and routinely break your windows, you don’t get to go out and steal their baseball bats from them, run them over with a car, nor start shooting rubber beebee gun pellates at them. You can call the cops, you can try legal remedies like Courts, but you’ll find in most cases, the courts say “too bad for you, shit happens”.

    It is insane to listen to whiny little brats saying “don’t come in my yard and mess up my beloved garden”. I know of no neighbor, relative, friend or acquaintance who whines about cats. that seems to be an Itchmo type extremism. “we like our birds, keep your cats away cause they are, ack, not “natural”.

  73. Esther says:

    Do any of the victims post here? I consider the poor pet owners victims. Two ferrals that I trapped, neutered and released and was trying to tame are now missing. We found evidence that our neighbor was baiting and, we assume, trapping. We found fur that appears to be from both cats. This neighbor never indicated that he was being bothered by the cats. His dog is constantly pooing in our yard and eating the food left out for the cats, but I wouldn’t dream of doing anything so cruel. I am having a very hard time dealing with this situation.

  74. mawmaw says:

    Our neighbor has 6 cats and 1 dog. Apparently before we moved in, someone called animal control on him for his dog-he said someone was complaining about his dog biting and barking at someone in the neighborhood. Apparently his dog broke the chain he was chained to in his front yard. I still don’t understand what he was trying to relay. I just know his dog is in the fenced backyard and doesn’t cause us any problems, not that I am aware of.
    Our problem is his cats. He had 3 females which one had a litter of 6. He took the 3 females and kittens and dumped them a few miles down the road. I told him he was wrong in dumping his female cats and kittens, he should have dropped them off to animal control if he didn’t want them. I asked him if he was going to get his 3 male cats neutered, he said NO! I than said he needs to neuter his cats or he will continue the problem with unwanted kittens. His reply was one I would expect from a Neanderthal or white trash trailer park boy, He said “ it is the females responsibility to take care of birth control not the males and that he was not going to “cut his male cats nuts off”” and thus the reason of dumping the females. I told him that he was responsible for his male cats and that he needed to “fix his cats” his cats are contributing to the over population of cats. He said it was not his problem! Yeah, it is your problem, if his cats continuing coming over to our house spraying and defecating in our garden. I will have animal control come remove his cats from our yard and they will neuter the cats- under the law in our county-dogs and cats cannot roam. His response “that’s a good way to get your neighbor mad” and I said ” explain your actions to animal control, I am sure you broke so many laws in dumping your cats… and letting your cats roam free. Some people should not have animals or children.

    I have rescued cats, dogs, birds, lizards, snakes, and frogs and taken care of them until they were healthy again, found homes, released back into the wild (birds, lizards, snakes, frogs). I have cats; they are inside cats and are spayed. I understand multiplication =overpopulation of animals. It is not right to continue this abuse of animals.
    Our family neuter dog is an inside dog and when I let him outside in our fenced in backyard; I do not allow him to disrupt other’s people life with barking. Don’t let your dogs bark continually, disrupting other people’s quality of life. (Some people work at night and sleep in the day, others work from home and barking dogs does not sound professional, babies are taking naps and mom’s trying to regenerate) Train your animals, it is not hard, but it takes work on your part and I think this is where the problem lies.

    If you have animals, control them as you would your children. Keep your pets inside and if going for walks pick up their poop and don’t let them do their business in someone’s yard. (You wouldn’t allow your children to defecate on your neighbor yard). The damage this does to a yard, especially when you have to keep re-seeding due to animals’ defecation destroying the yard. HOA fines if your yard is not kept pristine.

    Common sense and hard work… what makes an animal a true companion?


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