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Cat trap in my neighborhood

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I had to go get my cat from the pound the other day and while I was there a neighbor showed up to get their jailed cat. Seems an angry neighbor had put a baited trap up to catch animals in his yard. I was quite angry myself to say the least and now my cat is sick with something.
The animal shelter worker said the angry neighbor wished to remain anonymos so I have no way of even knowing and keeping my cats away from his area - lest I make 3 indoor/outdoor cats purely indoors and my neighbors having to do the same.
I wrote the supervisor explaining that most of my neighbors have cats and I have spoken to lots of them warning them about the trap and all are very upset. They are going to end up picking a cat up everday! No word from him. Beings the trap had food in it - geez - it's just an invitation for them to go into his yard whether they were going to or not. I was just wondering if anyone has ever had to deal with this sort of situation or knows any laws about animal traps. I live in Seattle and the animal worker that was called to pick up our cats from the trap said it was legal if there was property damage. !!!!
We live on the edge of the city and there are raccoons as well - maybe that's his intended target. Also both the cats had collars on and he didn't let them loose or bother to call either of us. My cats collar was torn off and the catcher brought it with him when he brought my cat in but left it in his truck where I made him go get it. So I got no phone call since my cat and his collar were seperated. He also said he thought my cat was ferrel since it fought with him so much when he took it out of the trap even though he is a very clean, strong, handsome cat and had to have been scared out of his mind! While we were speaking to him my cat sat on my lap as I sat on the floor in a room full of strangers! Pretty ferrel huh! Sorry to drag this on but I had to Vent & need any information about traps and such you might have. Thanks :P
post #2 of 22
I am sorry you had to go thru such a difficult ordeal

But with that being said, I have to say I believe it is legal to "trap" an animal that is on your property. Where I live you can get a trap to catch just about anything if its on your property and you don't want it there. Most people use it for the likes of racoons, skunks, etc, but if your cat is ticking somebody off ( ie: using their yard for a litter box ) they have every right I believe to trap that animal and turn it in.
I am disappointed that your neighbor didn't tell you first though, you could have avoided this by keeping your cat indoors if you had known that the neighbor would go to such extreme measures. Hopefully it wont happen again.

Good luck, I hope your kitty isn't too traumatized.
post #3 of 22
That really stinks!! I guess we are just lucky in my town. Cats are free roaming animals and you can't disturb them unless they are causing property damage. The neighborhood I used to live in had several neighborhood cats. They had been abandoned by people being transferred out, and everyone fed them. Some kind soul even had 1 of them spayed and kept her shots up to date. She stayed mostly at 1 house, but would visit all over. The cats in the area liked to hang around my backyard by the pool. They liked to sun themselves on the diving board, and I had even seen the playing on the slide. They would climb the steps, slide down, and jump off before they hit the water. Some nights there would be 10 or 12 kitties playing in my yard. Mine would stay inside the fence or on the deck, so I could let them out to play. I miss that house!
post #4 of 22
That is really sad. I would be very angry, too!! I guess one thing I might do in this situation is to put a small add in the local newspaper addressed to the person who is trapping our cats, and then ask them if they would please let you know who they are, so you can try to keep your cats off of their property, without having to go to the pound everyday to retrieve them. Ask nicely, and see what happens.

It may do no good, but is worth a shot.

I think Hissy had a similar problem once with one of her neighbors, but I'm not sure.

Also, you mentioned the cat was feeling ill now...you should take the cat to the vet right away to have it checked out...this neighbor could have possibly put some kind of poisen in the bait he used to lure the cats into his trap. In a nearby town where i used to live, their was a guy who was putting rat poisen in little balls of raw hamburger and throwing them about in his yard. My step-children had a cat where they lived, and it was close to this guys house...the cat got very sick, and the vet said it had been poisened. The kids were both little at the time, and I will never forget how they had to go through watching their little cat suffer and having to have it put down. I wanted to kill that guy!!! TThe police were notified, but nothing ever came of it.
post #5 of 22
Though I have never spent the money to buy a trap, I have been known to sit outside with a squirt gun in the past.

I have three indoor cats - I NEVER let them outside. Two houses down, the neighbor was a vet assistant and she had four outdoor cats. One in particular, a big gray tomcat - was always coming over to my house and peeing under my front steps - it really stank, but mothballs can be dangerous to kids, so I wouldn't go that route. I talked to the neighbor and her response was that it was an outdoor cat they do stuff like that, so I could deal with it. I was ripped, but the police will do nothing, and the animal catcher said I had to catch the animal first.

One day in the summer, this same cat came onto my back deck, ripped through the screen door and came inside my house and attacked one of my male cats. I managed to get it out - had to rescreen my slider, and again the owner said "Oh well, cats do things like that." She refused to pay for a new screen because I had no "proof".

Thankfully for me, she has since moved. But not before another neighbor did trap her cat and bring it to the humane society.
post #6 of 22
I have to say if a cat was coming in to my yard and I found it a nuisance, especially if this cat was urinating or defecating on my property, I would not hesitate to trap it and bring it to a shelter. I know it may sound cruel, and I know the flaming will begin now , but thats how I feel. And if someone trapped my cat for the same reason, I would not be angry because I would not want it happening on my property.

I am very particular about my yard and house, I do not let my own cats use the yard as a "litter box" and if one of my neighbors cats did, I would be ripped. My cats are outdoor cats, but they come in to use the litter box, and hardly ever leave my yard. They are not a nuisance to any neighbors and the first time I thought that they were they would become indoor only kitties.
post #7 of 22
I figured I would hear back on my opinion, too! :-)

I have no problem with cats being let out - depending on the area. My parents live in a dead end neighborhood and their cat always heads straight for the woods or river.

In this neighborhood we are the shortcut to one of Lake Champlain's boat accesses. Boat traffic in the summer time goes fast - too fast - my first cat was hit and now has permanent, but mild, brain damage, so near a busier road - I am dead set against outdoor cats - I learned the hard and expensive way!!! Now I have a cat that has to permanently wear a victorian collar/cone or he literally tries to rip his ears out of his head. The best the vet has offered is that the swelling of the brain must have caused a permanent ear ringing - if we take the collar off - even for a minute - he scratches his inner and outer ears and the sides of his face bloody. It was a hard lesson for both of us to learn.

As for the neighbor, if she had tried to make an effort to keep her cat out of my gardens and yard, I wouldn't have had a problem - but her whole "Oh, well there is nothing I can do attitude - especially the second time when her cat tore through the patio door screen and attacked my Siamese - I will never forgive her for that. I was more than happy to sit outside and chase it off with a squirt gun.
post #8 of 22
IMHO, cat owners should be expected to be as responsible for their cats as dog owners are expected to be. Both my cats are indoor cats that we walk on harnesses (carrying a pooper scooper and a bag for the rare time they do this outdoors).

This being said, I make exceptions for the feral cat colony nearby (to which I contribute food and cash and get to know the cats involved, as I am a strong advocate of TNR). However I do feel strongly that cat companions with "forever" home should not be allowed to trespass on other people's property. Saying that it's "just cat nature" is negligent in my opinion.
post #9 of 22
Luckily, none of my cats wander to the neighbors, since we live several miles away, but if they did, I would totally respect the neighbors wishes and understand if they trapped my cat AS LONG as they were upfront about it, and called and told me what the problem was, so I could keep it from happening again. I mean if they won't tell her who they are, or what the cat has done, it is hard to make ammends.
post #10 of 22
The neighbor may have complained in the beginning to other neighbors and gotten no satisfaction so he/she gave up and took matters into his/her own hands. He/She also may not have any idea who the cats belong to, so he/she has no way of knowing who to complain to.

Does your outside cat have identification that would help them know who to complain to?

If I could afford a trap, I would have had one for this cat, but now that the owner chose to move, I don't need to worry. There are other neighbors who let their cats roam free, and none have caused any problems, so I don't mind. But I do know that two that frequently come into my yard now, an orange tiger and a Siamese- neither have collars, so if they were to cause problems, I have no way of knowing who they belong to. There are 90 houses in this neighborhood, so I would have to do a door to door search, and there just isn't time in my day to have to do that.
post #11 of 22
Originally posted by autumngirl
The neighbor may have complained in the beginning to other neighbors and gotten no satisfaction so he/she gave up and took matters into his/her own hands. He/She also may not have any idea who the cats belong to, so he/she has no way of knowing who to complain to.

Does your outside cat have identification that would help them know who to complain to?
She said the animal shelter told her the angry neighbor wished to remain anonymos...so I don't think they are really wanting to communicate the problem.

As far as my cats having identification, I would NEVER put a collar on them...there is too much risk of them getting caught on something and being choked. I only have 4 neighbors anywhere near me, and that isn't even very close, and they all know me, and know I have cats, so I would be the first person they called if there was ever a problem, and luckily for me, they are all very nice people who would not just trap my cat and take it to a shelter, without first calling me, and explaining the problem.
post #12 of 22
In a a small area that works. I am not for collars on outside cats either, but it would help for identifying a pet so that I didn't have to have the pet put down or whatever, but then again I don't like seeing cats outside anyway. There is too much risk, especially around here with rabies a huge threat, truck/boat and farm traffic. There is a cat killed every other month on this road and it really just isn't worth it.

But when there are 90 houses around me, I just couldn't take the time to find out who owns what cat. But there is also a problem here that the animal shelter will no longer take strays and pets from citizens that are not residents of their town, so if there is a stray on my property - I am stuck now. All I can do (and I do see a lot of dogs, especially at the end of summer since we are a summer home town on the lake) is chase them off and hope they don't return or if I call the animal control who also is no longer able to take animals to the humane society for the same reason - if the animals are unclaimed, he is being forced with putting these animals down. I know at last count, he had adopted 15 stray dogs, but there are only so many animals he can keep and he doesn't have the budget to get the others shots up to date and spay/neuterings done for adoptions like the Humane Society does.
post #13 of 22
As far as a means of identification aside from a collar.....your cats can be microchipped. One of mine is (although he never goes out). The Humane Society here does it automatically if you adopt from them. With a microchip, any shelter or vet with a scanner can identify the animal.

As to the whole trap issue....many cities and towns have ordinances that prohibit cats from roaming freely, much like leash laws for dogs. At the apt. complex I used to live in, they set traps for roaming cats, and some of the security people checking the traps were less than humane to the animals they found in them, I was told.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
I would have much rather heard from the person with the trap upfront -because he wasn't necessarily after my cat - but I would have rather paid for anything MY cat had done to his garden - or picked up the crap if that's what his problem was but since all this happened I have spent over $200 - he now has a respritory infection from the pound and this has gone on since the 2nd of August and he's on medication. So considering I at least would have done the right thing - I can't speak for all my neighbors whose cats roam as well - I figure he's an ass for trapping any and all animals that may go to his yard just for a bite to eat out of his pathetic trap. If that's the only way to handle this situation so be it but he can sure as hell expect an awful lot of pissy neighbors who I have all made aware. No cat needs to go through hell like that - true the Owner is responsible - so SPEAK to the OWNER!!! And grow some .....!
post #15 of 22
When I took my lastest feral in to have her spayed, they tattooed her back leg where it is white in dark blue. I was given a card with a number and told she goes on a new registry (all this done for free) This is to help in case she does wander off, and also since she is with my colony now, it is easy to see she was spayed. I was surprised at this new procedure they are offering, but my vet has always gone over the top to help me with ferals. He told me it was my involvement with them that got him thinking about ways to help more ferals and he found this solution was being offered. It was sad though, McKenzie's number is quite short as it is a new program, but the numbers out there are in the millions for ferals- and one of these days, they just might run out of cat when they are tattooing before the problem goes away.
post #16 of 22
You are right, Ouisch. This neighbor would have been a lot more "neighborly" if he voiced his concern and gave warning of his intentions up front. His action speaks more of revenge than anything else. Sad to say that this is the case often these days.
post #17 of 22
But I still wonder - did the neighbor know whose cat it was??? If the cat had no id listing an owner or address - he/she may not have known who to contact.

There are at least a dozen cats that roam free in this neighborhood - I can only name the owner of one of them.
post #18 of 22
Well, she said that the cat had a tag on, but had gotten separated in the shelter's vehicle. I think this guy who is trapping the cats is just being a jerk (in this particular instance). He wants the problem taken care of, but doesn't have the gumption to actually TALK to people. He's being lazy, like most of the world is. If he had talked to other cat owners about his concern, I would think that the people she talked to could have narrowed it down to who it was. I guess my thought is that at least this guy is just turning them in to a shelter. It could be a lot worse...I've heard of people baiting traps to sell cats to "research" facilities, and we've obviously heard of the horrible abuse cases.

Just my 2 cents...
post #19 of 22
I would also like to add, thay if you read her first post about this...she says there that the neighbor who dropped the cat off at the shelter, did not want them to tell the owner who they were..they wished to remain anonymous. I think that answers the question.
post #20 of 22
I might. But the neighbor might also be incredibly shy and afraid of confrontation due to past experiences with other neighbors. I try not to judge anyone until both sides of the story come out...
post #21 of 22
Originally posted by autumngirl
I might. But the neighbor might also be incredibly shy and afraid of confrontation due to past experiences with other neighbors. I try not to judge anyone until both sides of the story come out...
That's always a good idea..I try to do that too, but sometimes in some cases, it is really hard.
post #22 of 22
Well that really stinks. We have two people in our neighborhood that are known cat haters and they, too, have trapped cats that had to be retrieved at Animal Control. The cowards wanted to remain anonymous, as well.

I hate to say this, but this is one of the reasons my four cats had to be transformed into indoor cats. The only way that I could make my 4 male cats, with hunting instincts embedded in their little brains was to build a big Safe Cat Enclosures .

It's a cheap investment, but now I can sleep at night knowing that some jerk in my neighborhood isn't out trying to exterminate my pets, too.

I'd love to catch the cowardly trapper in the act....Of course, I might end up in jail for poking the trapper in the cage and setting the kitty free but HEY! I'll take my laptop to jail and keep everyone here well informed. LOL!

Good luck to you!
the neighborhood cat lady
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