My cats are outdoor cats...

by Cheryl
(Colorado)

...but my neighbors complain about them all the time. It breaks my heart that my cats can't roam -- they are no more trouble than other wildlife, but because they are cats, everyone gets upset.

I just can't keep them in -- I think it's cruel.

I've always had outdoor cats (who have all lived to be 18+) and they are just so much happier...that first day as older kittens, when you bring them into the grass for the first time? It's just magical, the change in their attitude. I want to consider the "invisible fence" idea, but my yard is SO small that I might as well keep them inside. Darn small yards in this city.

It wouldn't be so bad if only they would have a tree to climb! My heart is breaking over the decision. I don't want angry neighbors, but just don't know what else to do!! :(

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Neighboring Complaints
by: SCGrant

We also got complaints about our cats, who spend the majority of their time outside. Our neighbor called, a very nice lady, and said that our cats were sleeping under her bird bath and picking off the birds one by one. She asked if I could put up a fence to keep the cats away from her yard. I explained that there probably wasn't a fence tall enough in the world to keep a cat away from a cache of birds. She agreed that there was really no way to keep a cat fenced out of a yard since they can climb over, around or under anything.

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Indoor cat's with outdoor hearts...
by: Skuitaress

I can relate so much to your predicament. I have 2, 3 year old kittehs. Fiona, who is purrfectly happy as an indoor lap cat and Griffen, who is very, very interested in getting outside everytime I open the door. I tried the leash. It may work, but it would require a certain amount of training. Griffen was adjusting to it ok, until I decided to by a pet stroller. Now, I walk about 3 days a week. He gets to be outside and I don't have to worry about him "out there", since he really never has been. He has no fear of man or beast and pretty much trusts everybody. I couldn't deal with it if he was hit or taken. Everybody who meets him loves him. I can't say for sure the the stroller ride is any kind of a replacement for Griffens desire, however, it seems to do the trick when Grif is bitching at the door for me to let him out!

Good luck and I hope you find a happy solution for you both!

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Cats affecting neighbors
by: Teresa

Hi Cheryl,
I am glad that I live in the country though that brings its own dangers for our cat. I haven't had complaints about him (Fidget) but I have had complaints about our dogs roaming and the key, I think, is to have communication with your neighbors and let them know they can talk to you any time your animal is a problem.
Cats will roam, that is a given, it's their nature. Aside from what Larry suggested about putting your cat on a leash (which cats generally hate unless you get them accustomed to it very early in life when they're kittens,) it seems to me you have only a couple of viable options: either keep your kitty indoors (which it sounds like he is not happy about) or let him roam and inform your neighbors that you're doing so and ask them to communicate with you if there is a problem.
Hope my comments are helpful!
Teresa

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Shame that your yard is so small.
by: Larry (Editor)

Hi Cheryl,

I'm sorry that you are getting grief from your neighbors about your cats.

Some people like to complain it's true, but at the same time cats can cause neighbors problems. You know how cats dig, and why they dig, if your neighbors are keen gardeners they ain't going to like that.

It's a shame that your yard is so small. If it's that small I don't suppose a cat enclosure would be a solution.

You could try training your cats to walk on a harness and leash, It won't be like the freedom to roam for them of course, but they could enjoy a time outside and would not get into your neighbors yards.

Whatever you decide I hope that you can solve your problems.

Larry (Editor)

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