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Should I have neighborhood cat neutered?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm seriously contemplating doing something both illegal and immoral.
An elderly woman who lives 2 1/2 blocks from us has an unneutered male domestic shorthair that is driving everybody crazy. He marks all over, leaves loads in everybody's vegetable patches - which I can accept as normal feline behavior - and is attacking the rest of the cats in the neighborhood, no matter whether they are male, female, neutered or unneutered, kittens or old cats. The last cat this woman had didn't attack other cats, but made a real nuisance of himself. I offered to take him (the last cat) to a vet of her choice and have him neutered and inoculated at my expense (she doesn't drive and has a meager pension, according to my in-laws), but she refused. That cat disappeared a few months ago, and I'm still wondering if somebody poisoned or shot him. Anyway, now she has another unneutered male, roughly two, that she got from a nearby farm. He attacked our neighbor's 18-year-old, timid female two weeks ago, and really chewed her up. She's now afraid to go outside. This past week he has been sitting on our fence and emitting "war cries", which are upsetting our cat, and yesterday he attacked JC (I grabbed both cats and got bitten for my trouble - JC is bigger than him and almost as mean with other cats, but I'm afraid he'll get FIV or something like that from this cat). I asked a woman from the humane society to go have a talk with the cat's owner (I told the former I would pay), but the woman "doesn't believe in inoculations or neutering". Anyway, I've been bribing the cat with canned salmon, which he goes out of his mind over, and am sure I can pick him up and put him in a carrier. I'm really thinking about making an appointment with a vet near where I work (25 miles away), passing the cat off as my own, and having him neutered. I could take him in before work and pick him up at 5 or 6 p.m.., and probably keep him in our spare bedroom for the night without the "old lady" becoming too concerned. I know there's always a risk with the anesthesia, and it doesn't seem right to decide to take it for somebody else's cat, but - as an unneutered male, he really risks being run over or, if my suspicions are correct, disposed of by an irate neighbor. I'm not asking you to condone my behavior - what I'd like to know is if you think neutering the cat would help change his behavior? JC has been neutered since he was 6 months old, and he still marks outside and fights with every cat who has the "nerve" to approach him. If I'm caught it will mean a fine, but since it is a misdemeanor, no "record".
post #2 of 18
I'm not clear as to who's cat bit you, was it your or hers? I know that there are laws that if an animal is vicious it must be controlled by it's owner or there are fines or even jail time. I would also call animal control as ther are laws that need to be enforced as to getting shots and licensing. I know here in CA you are supposed to license your cats.

I would take the cat and neuter and micro chip it with her name and address as well as having it tested for any infectious diseases. The nieghbor who's kitty was attacked should be informed if it is ill and can also sue this woman for their vet bills as well.
post #3 of 18
That's a tough one. I cant believe some people... honestly *sigh*

What will happen if you do this, then she sees her cat and realizes he's been neutered? I wonder if she can bring some kind of charges against you. Not sure what the law is about this kind of thing, because you are doing something for the good of the cat. I bet animal control would back you up if you had a problem in the future though.
post #4 of 18
Well, I don't know if it will help, but I really agree with your reason to do it. If you take him to a vet who doesn't know you, and pay cash, do you think you can get away with it? Stupid woman, what reason would she have for "not believing in" inoculations and neutering? Her cat is a neighbourhood menace.
post #5 of 18
I think that cat would calm down a bit if he is neuter . But my consern is with you . Since you already offer her to neuter him and she see that he is fixed she may try to do something about you . If you do neuter him , I would not go to my reguler vet so she can't check there if you brought a cat to neuter in . I am sorry that you have all the problems with that cat . I may would do something myself if it would be me .... Good luck in any thing you do .
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
The other cat, not mine, bit me - but I don't blame him at all, because I grabbed him, and his reaction was to be expected. He isn't vicious with humans, but I frightened him. The humane society told me there was nothing they could do - cats don't have to be licensed here, nor is there a law requiring cats to be inoculated or neutered. I can be sued for "property damage" if the woman notices her cat is no longer intact, which would mean a fine of a couple of hundred, provided she figured out that I was the culprit (I've never approached her about this cat - I contacted the humane society instead, because I thought I might have to go behind the woman's back, based on my experience with her last cat). Ditto if my neighbor sues because her cat was injured, particularly because I don't trust the courts here to put much value on an old cat. That's hardly worthwhile pursuing, in the public's view. The woman would have to find the vet I took the cat to. I don't want to take him to a local vet, because the vet who does the castration shouldn't have to pay for my duplicity. The question is: based on your experience with cats - should I put the cat through all the fear and pain? If it helps save his life, it will be worthwhile, but I'm not sure it will help. I don't want him to be poisoned, shot, put in a shelter, etc., but if neutering doesn't change his behavior, my efforts will certainly have been in vain. My impulse is to "steal" him, which is stupid. He certainly doesn't deserve having to suffer for his owner's shortcomings, but what right do I have to play "God" in his life?
post #7 of 18
You have quite a dilemma on your hands, I'm afraid. Even if you DO take this boy to the vet for vaccines and castration, what's to stop a car from hitting him or that "irate neighbor" you mentioned from doing him in anyway? You will have gone to the trouble, expense, emotional investment and risk to take care of him and yet potentially still achieve the same bad end results.

I fully agree that it is best for this cat to get the proper care but I am not certain this is the "right" way to go about it.

I tend not to "sugar-coat" things, so if it were me (it isn't, but if it were) I might ask this lady to tea one afternoon and issue a nicely-worded ultimatum. Tell her that her kitty has been a major source of negativity in the neighborhood and in order to protect him, you've decided to donate the money, time and transportation for him to go to the vet for appropriate care. If she refuses to allow it, then and only then take matters into your own hands.

Or, you could hold an impromptu neighborhood "meeting" of sorts and get others opinions and ideas as well as possible commitments of future financial assistance for this lady to have her kitty receive the proper care.

Sorry I couldn't offer anything more productive ... but I am wishing you continued best of luck with this matter. I hope you will come back and update us as to what happened.


post #8 of 18
That is a moral decision you have and I really feel for you having to go thru this.

I found a 10 year old unneutered tom at my apartment - he was spraying, coming up to the patio screen door and terrorizing my cats. No one admitted to owning him, so I caught him, neutered him, found a foster home for him as an interim measure, then moved him out to the house that I currently live in. He became the most docile cat that I've ever had - so happy that he didn't have to fight for everything in his life, glad to have a warm place to sleep and regular food and water. The odds are that neutering will calm him down, but of course every cat reacts differently.

If this cat has been terrorizing the neighborhood, can you rally the neighbors and have all of them petition her to get him neutered? Also get her some educational material on the benefits of neutering? Some folks just need education and they come around. I would hope it would be an easy sell - she has lost unneutered cats in the past, and if she cares for this one at all, she needs to take steps to prevent that from happening again. It's gonna wander off one day and wind up in a shelter.

Personally, I have on 2 occassions (many years ago) had neighborhood cats neutered when the owners would not take responsibility for them. It was done discretely. The cats were in better shape afterwards and lived a much longer life because of it. Being older now, I would probably try the educational approach.
post #9 of 18
Hmmm, this is so difficult. No doubt neutering is what the cat needs, but since he's not your cat you do run the risk of getting in trouble should someone notice his revised state or something go wrong.

It's not clear how much feedback from from your neighborhood and/or animal welfare the "old lady" has been given but before taking steps it's probably worth exhausting that route. Let her know what her cat is doing and give her another opportunity to make the right decision herself.

Of course this could just make her more subborn, but at least you know you have exhausted the legitiate routes. I'm very conscious having an older father that people often assume "old" people can't make the right decision. Often they can, they just hold different opinions to many of us. And whilst it's frustrating to try and argue a position it's something that should be done.

I'd hate to see you in trouble because of your actions...but completely agree that the cat is putting other animals and himself at risk. Good Luck
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you - you guys gave me a great idea - threaten to sue! We went to visit the woman this morning, along with the neighbor whose cat was bitten and scratched. I showed the woman my hand and the antibiotic pills the doctor prescribed, told her the situation was intolerable, and that we were going to a lawyer if she refused to have the cat tested for FIV & FeLV, vaccinated and neutered, since he was a "menace". Success! I now have written permission from her, also signed by two witnesses (though I'm not sure if my husband can be considered an acceptable witness), to have Tobey tested, neutered and inoculated! She can't afford to pay for everything at once (my in-laws think that's why she is "against" inoculating and neutering; maybe she's too proud to accept "charity"). My husband figures we're going to get stuck with the bill, but it will be worthwhile. I'm going to call my vet for an appointment and advice (castration first or starting the shots - he needs the whole "series" that kittens get, so this is going to be a matter of several weeks) tomorrow. I don't want to give the woman too much time to change her mind. I forgot to talk to her about microchipping, but definitely will do that. Thanks again for the advice.
post #11 of 18
WOW , that is awsom . I am sure you guys scared the living daylight out of her with what you all said to her . But I don't blaime you at all and I need to say that you were very barve to do that . Did you guys also explaint to that woman why it would be better to neuter her tom cat ?
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yes, we did give her all sorts of good reasons, but I don't believe she's totally convinced. The woman from the humane society had given her several leaflets on the benefits of neutering, and they hadn't persuaded her any, either. I think we did convince her that it is much better for the cat to be inoculated, though. She hadn't thought about Tobey being a danger to other cats. She really seems to love her cat, so it's not a matter of her not caring what happens to him. I also believe her when she says that she wasn't aware that he was causing so much trouble. We're 2 1/2 blocks down the street, and Tobey always seems to be hanging around our block.
post #13 of 18
I belive that this woman had no clue what her cat was up to all the time living so far away . I am glad you all went and talked to her and also show the damage he did . I am happy it turnt out the way it did for you guys
post #14 of 18
This is just GREAT Congratulations - it takes guts to confront people, even when you know you're right I really admire you.
post #15 of 18
AWESOME, you go girl!

Please keep us posted on this situation!
post #16 of 18
Originally posted by Tobycat
This is just GREAT Congratulations - it takes guts to confront people, even when you know you're right I really admire you.
Same from me!
post #17 of 18

I'm so glad she's agreed to this. Reading this thread from the beginning, I would have suggested you get him neutered and have the vet implant "neuticles" so she wouldn't notice! - I wondered what use they would be when I first heard about them , but sounds like this would be one!

I'm sure glad you worked it out in a simpler manner. Bravo!
post #18 of 18
I'm really glad you got everything worked out and she has agreed to the neuter.

I had a tom cat come here about a year ago,not sure if he belonged to anyone,but he is now neutered and stays here all the time.

I had another tom cat come here about a month or so ago,and he is now neutered and inside my house recovering.Not sure if he belongs to anyone or not either.

I also have a neighbor that has an unneutered male cat that drives me crazy.He comes down here and picks fights with my fixed cats(one is the other tom and a feral I had spayed)and also my other neighbor's neutered cat that stays here all the time.
He sprays on everything,even my front door,and it's not too nice to smell tom cat pee everytime I open my front door.
I cannot catch this cat(they can pet him though).I have tried to coax him with all kinds of food and he will not get near me.I'm going to try and borrow a trap and catch him and when I do he will get neutered whether they like it or not.I really don't care if they call the law or whatever.
I really don't think these people will even notice that something is "missing".I just found out the other day that they just feed him dog food,so I guess that's why he comes to my house to eat all the time.

Anyway good luck and glad everything worked out.
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