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My neighbor has a cat her family adopted about two years ago. For the first year, they kept it inside exclusively, but now they let it roam at will, and tonight, she was out in my shrubbery in front of my house trying to break up a fight between her cat and the cat across the street, who had gotten out again, though they do try to keep him inside. She couldn't get to them, so she said they'd just have to "duke it out." I saw her later when I was taking out my recyclables and asked her if the cat made it home, and she said he "always" comes home, and she wasn't really worried, because her cat has claws and the cat across the street is declawed, so her cat is always the "victor."

I've pointed out to her before that I've seen her cat in the street, after she said it only goes in their yard and mine (as if that's just fine), and tonight she said the cat across the street and her cat have a "turf war" over my yard. I told her I went to let my dog in (I have a fenced yard, but the cat just jumps the fence) yesterday, and her cat was sitting there staring at my dog, who I don't think had seen her cat yet. I told it to go home, and instead, it ran into my bushes, and I had to stop my dog from following it. My dog recently ended up with a scratch on his eye, which the vet thought had come from something like a branch scraping it. It could have been serious, but fortunately, it wasn't, though it did involve a cone, eye drops etc. As I was taking my dog to the vet, I saw that same cat leaping the fence back to its own yard, so now I'm wonder if my dog went through the bushes after it. I pointed out to my neighbor that I was concerned that a)her cat could potentially end up in a fight with my dog, who, so far, has shown no aggression to other animals, and it's important to met that he remains that mellow, as I went to a lot of work to get him certified as a therapy dog--if he's suddenly aggressive to other animals, or becomes fearful of them after getting walloped by her cat's claws, that could become a real problem for me and b)an outdoor cat's life expectancy is drastically lower than an indoor cat's, and it's quite possible another neighbor might resort to less humane methods of dealing with her cat than just yelling at it. Her response to that was that she had had a cat for seventeen years that was exclusively an indoor cat but that this cat became "depressed" if they tried to keep it inside.
She seemed to think that its quality of life--that is, it's lack of depression--was more important than its potential quantity of life.

I think she does care about her cat, given the way she's talked about it, but it drives me nuts that she thinks it's just dandy that the cat roams the neighborhood getting territorial with other cats, which makes me worry that he might go after my dog as well. He is scared of me, but I'd like not to have to stand there and watch my dog every minute he's in my yard, and I don't think it's fair that he shouldn't be able to go out for any longer than it takes to go to the bathroom. I do take him for daily walks and play with him inside the house, but he still likes to go out in the yard when it's nice, even if it's just to nap in the sun. And hey, if he can't do that, he's likely to get "depressed" too. Since I'm the one who's following all the rules about having a pet in my city--pet license, all the appropriate shots, running loose in fenced yard only--and putting extra effort into keeping my yard free of fleas and ticks and training my dog to be a good member of the community (he has a CGC and CGCA), is it unreasonable for me to think that she could keep her cat home? Doesn't she have more of a responsibility than just neutering her cat so it doesn't create more feral kittens (and just for the record, my dog is neutered as well)?

And, as a side note, does anyone know of a safe, humane method of discouraging the cat from entering my yard that won't affect my dog adversely?
 

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It is not fair or right. That is your property and you should not have someone else's pet preventing you from using it. Since you have already tried talking to your neighbor I would call animal control.

On a side note.. It just pisses me off when people don't respect my personal property.
 

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The best solution is also going to be the most expensive solution and that's to top your fence with a cat proof fence. Here's one I was looking at when I was thinking I might have to keep a cat that I had rescued (he ended up being chipped and got to go home) Cat Fence: Purrfect Cat Enclosures and Cat Fences

Coyote Rollers may also work if your fence is higher then the cat can clear in one jump and there's no other possible way for the cat to enter the yard.

Next best solution would be to install motion detector sprinklers and turn them off when your dog is in the yard. The idea is that the cat gets sprayed whenever he enters your yard and learns to stay out of it.

Other then that you can try to make your yard as unappealing as possible by clearing out any possible hiding places, and cleaning up, then putting something like rocks on any area it may be using as a litter box.

If you want to get on possible feuding terms with the neighbor put out a live trap for the cat and take it to the animal shelter if you manage to catch it. You can let the neighbor know where it is, or you can tell the shelter what was going on that the cat belongs to your neighbor and keeps getting in your yard and causing problems with your dog, but that you want to remain anonymous.
 

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Same issue with a neighbor's outdoor only cat. We have a leash law that applies to cats as well as dogs. Her cat roams the neighborhood at will. When it began getting on my car and sleeping inside our front yard picket fence, I picked it up, put it in a pet taxi and took it to animal control.
 
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