Sunday, April 11, 2010


The neighbor's cat seems to be hanging around my deck a lot the past week or so.

Okay, I'm not absolutely sure it's the neighbor's cat, but it sits on her deck sometimes, and runs there when it sees me come out to the porch. It also only appeared after she moved in about 18 months ago.

I have a couple of bird feeders, so this cat is hunting. And at the least, it's keeping birds away. I'm thinking I should go over and ask the neighbor (who seems nice enough, but I barely know her) to keep her cat in.

I know some cat lovers who think their cats absolutely NEED to spend the day outside once the weather's warm enough. And that would be fine IF the cat stayed in their yard, but this one isn't. And legally here, you have to keep your cat inside or on a leash or in your yard somehow. Just like legally, I had to keep my dog under control (which alas, didn't always happen) and clean up after him (which did happen).

I know, cats aren't "natural" in this part of the world, but neither is feeding birds. And even though cats don't do nearly as much damage as humans do, they're a part of the human damage. Still, I don't want this cat killing off the birds I'm encouraging to feed here.

NB Most cat owners I know are responsible and wonderful, and I'm happy to get cat therapy on occasion when they need someone to go by and feed and care for their kitties.


  1. Our cats have been 100% indoor beings for as long as we've had them.

    My aunt uses a harness, a leash and a brick to keep her cat in the yard. It seems to work, as the cat can't jump over the fence while dragging a brick.

  2. Anonymous5:25 PM

    This is frustrating: I also have a neighbor's cat who visits my back yard regularly, and when they first moved in, I'd find dead birds regularly (especially during spring cleaning). So this cat was hunting and not even eating.

    My solution (since the neighbors tried to put multiple bells on the cat's collar but were not going to keep him indoors): I feed the damned cat. Yes, I give him dry food at least once a day. And he eats it all. And for the last 2 springs I've not found any dead birds. He's now too fat to catch them;-)

    NB: I have two indoor cats--I love cats--but I can't imagine having them roam outdoors in the cougar/hawk/giant owl territory we live in.

  3. Following on AnnieEm's comment: stress to your neighbor the danger to the cat if she keeps letting it out.

  4. Yes - the life expectancy for a cat that goes outside? Like 5 years. For an indoor cat? 15-20. To my mind, unless you live on a farm and you have barn cats, cats should live inside.

    But I do like the idea of feeding the cat until it's too fat to hunt!

  5. I too like the idea of overfeeding the kittie! But not really, no. That would be mean to the kitty.

    Yeah, I'd talk to the neighbor & if that doesn't work then I'd call animal control.

  6. The leash-and-brick plan seems like the best for all concerned. It abides by the law; it spares the birds; and it isn't cruel to an animal that is used to going outside.

    Keep in mind that there are ethical implications of keeping a solo cat indoors 24/7. Even beyond the question of confinement and isolation, it's not uncommon for indoor solo cats to basically go nuts (and start harming themselves and/or others). I've known five cases where the cat had to be Put Down for insanity. (Voiceover's vet says this has been widely studied and that many vets now recommend either a pair of cats or limited outdoor time -- or, better yet, both.)

  7. So funny that you posted about a visiting cat...was JUST reminiscing with hubby about our old house, where someone's cat used to come lie on our fence in the sun. Never knew whose cat it was, but I have the cutest picture of our dog earnestly looking up at the cat, and the cat looking rather disdainfully down at our dog, like they're having a conversation. (Though my dog was probably trying to figure out how to climb up and chase the cat.)

    Not a very exciting story, but it made me nostalgic for our old, tiny home.

  8. To clarify, I meant that MY story was not a very exciting story.

    Yours is exciting, what with the mystery and the bird-chasing action scenes. :)