Neighbour neglects her cat – insight and advice on how to proceed, please!

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 2
2052 posts
Buzzing bee

I would keep the cat for longer than just the day. Maybe if she thinks she’s lost him forever she’ll appreciate him more when you give him back?

If not, I would just call whatever sort of ASPCA type group you have there. Idk what the laws are in Canada, but here you’ll get at least a fine and your animal taken away for neglect

Post # 3
1965 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I would advise her to get the cat neutered and a cat flap installed so it could come as go as it pleased but im in the UK and I think our views on indoor cats are very different. 

If she really is neglecting the cat, then call the RSPCA and have them investigate.

In the UK you get a fine and a ban from keeping animals for so many years if you neglect an animal. 

Post # 4
2725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Call the humane society in your area, or the SPCA. They need to investigate this woman, and you need to document these incidents. Enough playing nice with this woman, she clearly can’t handle the responsibility of pet ownership, and there’s no reason this innocent animal should continue to suffer.

Post # 5
6691 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

I don’t think there’s anything you can do unless letting your cat outside in the cold is against the law. If you can’t take on additional pets, I would jus tlet her know that next time you see the cat out in the cold you’ll be calling animal control and maybe that will incentivize her to be mroe careful about not letting the cat bolt outside when she opens the door.

Post # 6
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

VeggieBee:  I’ve worked in Shelters and my FI in Animal Control officer. I of course, do not know what the laws or regulations are in Canada, but clearly she is not capable of taking care of her animal. I would do some research on what the local requirements are for cat ownership, which can be very different than dog ownership. I know that you may not want to take an animal to a shelter, but really, the chance of them finding a forever home is much better than freezing to death 🙂

Post # 7
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I second ChocolateLime:  I don’t see the problem in letting the cat out, but it needs a cat flap and a microchip if the owner is going down that route. TBH, I’m more concerned that the cat isn’t neutered… letting an unneutered animal roam is very irresponsible.

If it were me, I would take the cat to a local vet anonymously to get checked out (if kitty is not collared, neutered, or chipped, how do you know if it is even vaccinated?), and make the owner search for them a bit. Then, once the owner finds the cat at the vet, the vet will tear the owner a new one for not neutering or chipping the cat! My vet would probably neuter and vaccinate the cat on the spot and then charge the owner… so at least that means that kitty is not spreading diseases (sexually transmitted or otherwise) to other people’s cats!

Post # 8
1926 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I agree with PP that I would keep the cat at my house for a few days without telling her, so that maybe she actually worries.

Post # 9
6969 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’d probably take the cat to a no-kill shelter and donate enough money to at least cover the neuter.

Post # 11
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

ChocolateLime:  Rachel631:  I don’t think that her concern is just that the cat is outside, but that he is outside for hours while the owner is away when most of Canada is having record breaking low temperatures.  I don’t know how well cat flaps work in areas with sub-zero winters with 6+ feet of snow.

I’m not sure why the cat hasn’t been neutered yet, at this point I might offer to take the cat in for her.  You’ve tried talking to her about the cat multiple times, I would just go to the humane society now.  All it would take is for the cat to be outside one day when you aren’t there to let him in your own home for him to get frost bite.

Post # 12
2670 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 1996

Do you know anyone who wants a cat?  I would be tempted to rehome him and then feign ignorance of what happened to him if your neighbor asks. Thank you for doing what you’ve done so far. Lucky kitty that you’re looking out for him.

Post # 13
3077 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I’m surprised people aren’t seeing a problem with a cat being outside in CANADA in the WINTER. This isn’t 50 degree or 40 degree weather. This is below freezing.

I’d hang onto him until the humane society reaches you. She probably won’t even notice he’s gone. How pathetic.

Post # 14
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

pixiecat:  The answer is that they work very well in all weathers, if appropriately placed and serviced!

CL and I realise that the weather is pretty awful in Canada, but that’s the joy of cat flaps… they allow kitty to nip out quickly, pee and/or poop, and then get back to the warm!

We’re not saying “oh gee, kick the cat out!”. That’s a very old fashioned attitude. We’re saying that (and this is a cultural thing as well… we’re both UK based) if the owner wants to go down this route, she has to take appropriate steps to ensure the health and safety of her outdoor access cat, because outdoor access and indoor only cats require different types of care. At the moment, it doesn’t sound as if she is doing very well in either regard… an unneutered, unchipped, uncollared (and possibly unvaccinated) animal should NEVER go outside, cat flap or no cat flap!

So yeah, we’re saying that this owner is not doing so well as an owner… we are just coming at it from a slightly different angle to you guys. But we’re agreeing… this situation is far from great.

Post # 15
89 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

As a Canadian with a cat I can sympathize with wanting to take it in. You cannot hold the cat in your home and lie when she comes to the door looking for it! Do you know how much trouble you can get yourself into if she calls the cops and wants to press charges? I understand your concerns but the answer isn’t catnapping anothers animal. Just because an animal is being neglected doesn’t give you the right to steal it, do people have rights to steal kids who are abused – of course not. You also don’t know what that cat may be carrying that can make your own cats sick!

If she is not home to let the cat in when it is outside only then can I see taking the cat indoors for an extended period. And then once she returns walk the cat back over and have her take possession once again. I cannot express enough that she can turn this into a very nasty situation for you!

Next time she leaves it out and the humaine society hasn’t come yet make sure you document it, get pictures and video showing how long the cat was out, where she was… it is going to come down to a “he said she said” when they investigate and they’ll just leave. You need solid proof. Call the humaine society when the cat is out in the bitter cold and tell them it is an emergency situation. 

If the humane society does take the cat away perhaps you can file to adopt the cat as they’ll neuter it and check it out before adopting out.

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