Author Topic: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically  (Read 2694 times)

Offline David in MN

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Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« on: October 22, 2018, 09:17:42 AM »
We have a number of strays (maybe 3 or 4) that now call our block home.I might have mentioned before that I am deathly allergic but it hit a headwind the other day when a stray tried to come cuddle up next to my daughter. They eyes are open now. Turns out my neighbor is feeding them.

I'm not some heartless jerk who would 'get the shotgun' or leave out a bowl of antifreeze (both things my grandfather did and I can't abide). But I also don't want to fry a cat turning on my car on a cold day or find a cat squatting in my shop. I'm also not thrilled about people leaving out food for wild animals because we aren't that far from state land and our town routinely has sightings of bobcat, lynx, badger, skunk, and worst of all mountain lions.

I'm also not the type to call the police and make a big stink because I'm sure every last one of us violates some stupid edict about zoning and I like our quite block. But I also don't want to live in some European backwater where mangy strays rule the roads.

I'm avoiding the conversation with the neighbor. I get it. They have a kid and putting out some cat food seems like the nice thing to do. They're just being kindhearted so I'm being nice about it.

Is there a simple way to get a cat to avoid my yard? I've thought about fencing the back yard as one of my great fears is finding a pile of kittens in the garden. Maybe I just need to mellow out and let cats roam my yard. I don't know. Any feedback or ideas would be appreciated.

Online chad

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2018, 09:52:50 AM »
Maybe a live trap?

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2018, 10:57:07 AM »
You cant just live trap cats, because people are allowed to have cats and cats jump and climb, we cant lock them in our yards like dogs.  A live trap will catch other peoples pets.  If your neighbors are feeding, it is hard to draw the line, they may be rightly classified as pets by now. 

That said, does your area have a low cost/free spay neuter program for feral cats ? Find out, either yes or no offer to help  pay the spay fee to the neighbor so you do not get kittens.  So, nip it in the bud. 

You do need to up the barriers to keep cats out of at least the back yard.  Oh, it looks like you dont even have a fence yet ?  OK, of course you need a fence, but you want it to be of a design or material to discourage cats climbing over it.  Explain to your neighbors that you are not being unfriendly but you need to have a cat free area to go outside in.  Out here fences are redwood, but that is easy for cats to climb as their claws stick to it, it is like climbing a tree.  Possibly chain link and high enough that they cant just jump to the top.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2018, 02:05:31 PM »
We had 6 feral cats in the area when we had out townhouse.  We used live traps to catch them.  Then called animal control.  Animal control took them away and would deliver them to a shelter.

In my county, if you can show that a neighbor is feeding them, then that neighbor has claimed ownership.  That neighbor is then required to do all the stuff that comes with owning a pet.  License for each of them mainly.  But the county also required rabies shots for each of them and some other counties require other shots for every pet.  Putting all that money out will certainly stop them from feeding a stray.

And I have to disagree, it is NOT your responsibility to keep someone else's animal out of your yard.  It is that neighbor's responsibility to keep their animal under control.

A tin of herring will guarantee you catch something.  Of course it could be a raccoon, which animal control in my area will not take, I had to release that into a nearby park.


Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2018, 02:18:56 PM »
No matter your opinion, you cannot contain a cat like a dog, so no, it is not considered the owners responsibility to keep their cat out of your yard.  If you trap and relocate cats you know to be someone elses pets, you can and should be prosecuted.  If you have a real issue, go thru animal control. 

 Out here, if you believe they are feral, you work with animal control and they authorize if you can use a live trap, loan you one, and you give the cat to them.  If someone is feeding them, they are usually considered a pet, and yes, then they need shots and to be spayed and neutered, which will be done for free out here for semi-ferals, and then they notch the ear of the cat, so people can see it has been spayed.  You cannot just catch all cats that go into your yard.  The ferals and semi-ferals are released to people who agree to set out food and water for them, and they live out their lives outside but not having new kittens.  It is the tame ones, that dont know how to live outside, that can end up killed at animal control

If I was allergic, I would have a fence, as that is the only way to be safe

It is illegal to relocate racoons and other wild animals also, not just out here, everywhere I have heard of, it is considered crueler than just outright killing them, according to authorities and animal rights people, I guess they often either starve or get killed in a territorial dispute when dumped somewhere by a property owner.  SO they say. 
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 02:27:21 PM by mountainmoma »

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2018, 03:40:04 PM »
Dog?

If you can fence your yard, a dog inside ought to discourage most cats. 

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2018, 04:55:49 PM »
No matter your opinion, you cannot contain a cat like a dog, so no, it is not considered the owners responsibility to keep their cat out of your yard.  If you trap and relocate cats you know to be someone elses pets, you can and should be prosecuted.  If you have a real issue, go thru animal control. 
I think this is directed at me.  Everything I did was through animal control.  I contacted them when the cats became a problem.  I was instructed to catch them and to call animal control to collect them.  If they are pets, they are required in this county to have a collar with a license attached.  None that I caught and had animal control pick up had collars.  And when I spoke to the people feeding them, I was told that they were just feeding strays.

Offline KellyAnn

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2018, 05:36:41 PM »
I wish I knew the best answer to this question.
The apartment complex I live in has a MASSIVE population of stray cats, at least 50 or 60.  Probably more.
There are some "do-gooders" that leave plates of food out for them.  I do what I can, and go around collecting the food and throwing it in the trash, I've tried talking rationally to the people doing this, I've tried shouting irrationally at them.  The police don't care, because the people are putting the food on the apartment complex's side of the fence (feeding cats on the other side of the fence would be a violation) and our complex won't press charges.
I don't want to poison these cats, I'm not that sort of person, but I'd love to find something to make the food less palatable.  Cayenne pepper maybe?  Something that'll make the cats and other critters think "yuck" instead of "yum".

It's not just the cats that are the problem.
It's that with the cats come the skunks and the raccoons, and rabies.  Our family doesn't have pets, but a lot of our neighbors do, and some of them have kids that aren't smart enough to leave the critters alone.  I'd hate to see someones cat, dog or child get rabies.
Ironically, a mountain lion probably would help control the population, but as we're adjacent to trail used for walking, jogging and biking, a mountain lion would probably be destroyed or "re-homed" as soon as it was spotted.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2018, 11:45:31 PM »
Dog?

If you can fence your yard, a dog inside ought to discourage most cats.

Yes.  Great idea.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2018, 11:53:04 PM »
I wish I knew the best answer to this question.
The apartment complex I live in has a MASSIVE population of stray cats, at least 50 or 60.  Probably more.
There are some "do-gooders" that leave plates of food out for them.  I do what I can, and go around collecting the food and throwing it in the trash, I've tried talking rationally to the people doing this, I've tried shouting irrationally at them.  The police don't care, because the people are putting the food on the apartment complex's side of the fence (feeding cats on the other side of the fence would be a violation) and our complex won't press charges.
I don't want to poison these cats, I'm not that sort of person, but I'd love to find something to make the food less palatable.  Cayenne pepper maybe?  Something that'll make the cats and other critters think "yuck" instead of "yum".

It's not just the cats that are the problem.
It's that with the cats come the skunks and the raccoons, and rabies.  Our family doesn't have pets, but a lot of our neighbors do, and some of them have kids that aren't smart enough to leave the critters alone.  I'd hate to see someones cat, dog or child get rabies.
Ironically, a mountain lion probably would help control the population, but as we're adjacent to trail used for walking, jogging and biking, a mountain lion would probably be destroyed or "re-homed" as soon as it was spotted.

They need to be caught and neutered and put back, then they sill stop reproducing.  It is not a police issue, talk to animal control about shots and spay/neuter so this population can stop growing.  That is alot of cats, but causing them more suffering, starvation, does not sound like a good solution. That is what your are trying to do, have them not get fed.  Best practices, from what I am told, is to give them their rabies shots, spay neuter and release to a place where people will feed them to live out their lives without creating more kittens.  That is what all the animal control does out here, and it is working. 

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2018, 12:02:34 AM »
I think this is directed at me.  Everything I did was through animal control.  I contacted them when the cats became a problem.  I was instructed to catch them and to call animal control to collect them.  If they are pets, they are required in this county to have a collar with a license attached.  None that I caught and had animal control pick up had collars.  And when I spoke to the people feeding them, I was told that they were just feeding strays.

I was responding to this part of what you said
Quote
And I have to disagree, it is NOT your responsibility to keep someone else's animal out of your yard.  It is that neighbor's responsibility to keep their animal under control.
How is it that cats are kept out of anothers yard by owners ? Keep a cat under control ? That is not the nature of cats, and it is not required that a cat owner keep a cat out of anywhere as it is not possible.

If you went thru animal control, you did it right. I was talking about in general trapping someone elses pet cats, as the cats around Dave may be pets to teh people feeding them.  You cant just trap them, you have to check the other neighbors also want them gone or consider them their pets

Sounds like your population was known strays, as you checked with your neighbors, which is the right call.  As far as collars for cats, good luck with that, your area may require them, but the logistics are not good, they are not dogs.  Some may keep their collars on, others will not, just depends.  Cats have to have breakaway collars because they climb.  Because they climb collars get caught on things, so to keep them from hanging themselves and choking to death, all cat collars are ( or should be, unless someone is putting a small dog collar on a cat) break away collars, so when the cat snags the collar on a tree branch or something, the collar breaks open, and the cat goes free, collarless.  I tried to keep collars on my cats for a while, they never lasted long enough. 

Offline David in MN

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2018, 09:29:01 AM »
Sad to say this is a messy issue and not just for me. I can't get a dog; I'm allergic to them too. That's hard because I actually like dogs and wish I could play with them without the hives. I also get that a pet is part of the family. Part of the reason I can't hurt stray cats is that they got dropped off at the family farm and grandma did her best and eventually died with somewhere in the area of 15 cats. So I've got a weird hangup using traps on cats and dogs I don't have for other critters. I might not like (I don't) how my neighbors care for their dogs and cats but the animals are outside that calculation.

I also agree that it shouldn't be my responsibility but I'm also trying to be nice. A lot of this 'I feed the cuddly wild animals' bullshit is from nice people who grew up in cities and don't see wild animals the way those of us from the rural fringe do. My gun club has DNR permission to shoot all beaver on sight for the county because of flooding and guys from town don't believe it.

It's a rock and a hard place. I have no hostility to either the neighbors or the cats. People think they're doing a nice thing and the cats are just cats. So I'm in a position where I have to crap on a neighbor (either by talking or calling animal control) or put up with it and build a shield. I don't want to upset the neighbor or their kid but I also don't want my kid playing around stray cats and/or their poop.

It's rather telling that amongst us who generally agree it's still a hard issue. I get livid when people let their dogs lick me (I'm allergic and it's bad) but I don't want to see animals suffer needlessly. What can I say? It's a gray area.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2018, 11:31:56 AM »
You started this post, so I am going to respond, but I realy do not get it. 

You are very allergic.  regardless of stray cats,  your neighbors will have pet cats.  And,  pet cats are outside some, alot or all the time and there is no effective difference for your problem whether it is a stray or pet, you are allergic to cats.  Cats climb and jump very well, they go everywhere whether pets or strays.  I dont get what the dillema is.  If you are that allergic, you realy have no choice but to make your backyard as cat proof as you can. 


[PERSONAL ATTACK DELETED BY MODERATOR]

Quote
..the reason I cant hurt stray cats....
   The reason one does not hurt stray cats is that it is wrong to hurt animals.  We even have laws for food animals and hunting with the purpose to not hurt, to have a quick clean kill.  We also have societal norms to not kill animals without clear need or reason.  There is no correlation between the beaver story and the cats.  The cats are not causing that kind of problem, you personally are allergic.  The solution to stray cats is to catch and give shots and spay/neuter so that they do not carry disease ( see, the disease problem solved....) and do not reproduce and end up with starvation and suffering. 

You havent addressed this normal, supposed best practices solution:

-- call and ask animal control about free or very low cost programs that may exist to get shots and spaying to feral cats
-- ask your neighbors how attached they are to the various strays, and likely they are attached and like them hanging around, feral cats are often not strays, but they are just not tame, often they are just feral, outside cats
-- broach the topic then of having the cats get shots and spayed, so there is no disease and no starving kittens later on
-- the cats then are back in the neighborhood, the ones the neighbors area attached to anyways, disease free and not reproducing.

Responsibility.  Well, you are allergic.  How is that any of your neighbors responsibility ?  As they find out, they may learn to hold their dog back from licking you or not dump kittens in your lap, but I find that people have so much on their plate that they cannot seem to remember these things very well, the ones you are friends with at least should be able to.  But, you can do things to minimize your chances of exposure.  A fence.  Cats kept from reproducing.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2018, 06:52:45 PM by Mr. Bill »

Offline KellyAnn

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2018, 12:25:34 PM »
They need to be caught and neutered and put back, then they sill stop reproducing.  It is not a police issue, talk to animal control about shots and spay/neuter so this population can stop growing.  That is alot of cats, but causing them more suffering, starvation, does not sound like a good solution. That is what your are trying to do, have them not get fed.  Best practices, from what I am told, is to give them their rabies shots, spay neuter and release to a place where people will feed them to live out their lives without creating more kittens.  That is what all the animal control does out here, and it is working.

It's a bit trickier than that.  First, because there IS a group that is doing the capture/spay(neuter)/release, but they're fighting an uphill battle at this point.  The area is a known dumping point for people that want to abandon their pets.

It IS a legal issue, as feeding animals on the multi-use trail is a violation of the local law.  If the police enforced that law then this would be a lot less likely to happen.  There's plenty of natural prey in the area for a population of cats, even one of this size.  If people *really* want to feed these cats, they can.  That's fine.  But they shouldn't be doing on the apartment complexes property.  There's plenty of non-residential space very close by where they can put out food.  But the people are too freaking lazy to walk a couple hundred feet up or down the trail, they'd rather park at the complex, put the food out (in front of their car), and then get back in their cars and drive away.

The people that live aren't the ones feeding these cats, but we ARE the ones that have cats sleeping on our cars, under the car hoods, cats pooping in our plants, dogs getting skunked, skunks spraying other critters and having a huge cloud of stink wafting where we live, and just all the general mess and mayhem that raccoons bring to the party.
If these people care so damn much, they should feed the strays on THEIR property, or at least walk down the trail a bit and leave the food where humans are living.

Offline Sailor

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2018, 01:53:35 PM »
My neighbor has so much junk on his property he is getting over run with rats.  I spent 5k on a fence to keep them out  because I could not bear to set rat traps, that would be cruel. 

Our animal control also advised us to live trap any cats and call them.  BTW, it is very evident when whether or not you have a feral or pet cat in a live trap. 

Offline Ranger Red

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2018, 08:03:46 AM »
If you want to own a pet you are responsible for what it does. Including getting into the neighbors yard. Either keep up with it or I will. I shouldn't have to cat proof my yard when i don't own one, you should yard proof your cat.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2018, 07:06:17 PM »
MODERATOR NOTE:

Folks, we've had previous discussions on this topic, and they always get angry and personal.  People feel strongly about stray cats, one way or another.

Please keep to the topic ("Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically"), and don't veer into personal attacks or hints about cat-killing.  Thanks.

Offline KellyAnn

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2018, 07:31:44 PM »
As a side note...there's a way in the profile settings to put people on an ignore list.
It's a great feature :)

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2018, 08:55:44 AM »
Since we already have a moderator moderating this thread, I'll throw my 2 cents in as a contributor.  This should be a simple problem to handle.  Regardless of how someone feels about stray animals.  The logical point of this thread is to find ways to combat the prevalence of stray and nuisance cats and to do it ethically (Which simply means, not poisoning or shooting them or using classic paw traps that can injure them).   

From a logical standpoint, using live traps to capture the animals and turning them over to animal management or the local humane society would be the single most ethical method for handling them.  Since they are a nuisance and legally an issue for local government, the processes of handing the animals over to the local government serves 2 purposes.   First, it takes care of the nuisance problem in the first place, and 2nd, it puts the pressure on the local government to take care of the problem, possibly by making higher fines for those caught dumping animals to help pay for the cost to care for them or more patrols or cameras in areas where animals are dumped to catch the perpetrators.     

This isn't a "Some animals are pets while others are vermin" conundrum.  Any animal that becomes a nuisance is subject to being removed.   As an example.  I have a friend who came home with his daughters one day and when they got out of their van, they saw some dead chickens in the yard.   He went inside to get his rifle in case the animal was still around while he checked it out.  (His wife and daughters left the van and were walking to the house) in the process of checking the chickens, he saw one of his neighbors (about a half mile away) dog in the yard.  it had broken open the rabbit hutch and killed his daughters pet rabbit.  As he walked toward it, his daughter saw and started running toward him and the dog, the dog started growling and protecting it's kill, and with his 6 year old daughter running toward the dog, he had no choice but to shoot it.   That was not a problem, there was nothing unethical about it simply because it was a dog.   The situation deemed it necessary.     

Yes, Dogs are pets, and so are Cats.  But that doesn't mean that once abandoned in the wild they do not become feral, or dangerous.  (I have seen cats starving to death in areas due to overpopulation of strays, it's heartbreaking). 

Of course the neighbor was livid and did everything he could for the next 6 months to make their lives a living hell.    The fault for not controlling the dog was on the neighbor.  They did absolutely nothing wrong.   This just indicates that the owner is and should always be 100% responsible.   

Strays cats are no different.  They can decimate local bird populations  (particularly ground or bush nesting birds and rabbits and other balanced indigenous life).  Even if an animal is live captured and turned in and later euthanized, the onus of that responsibility is still entirely on the owner.   

Ridding an area of stray cats can be done ethically.  It may not be easy, and it can be very time consuming.  But it can be done. 

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2018, 10:03:34 AM »
Putting out adulterated pet food is illegal and cruel. Adding something to the food so they dont eat it -- well, 2 things will happen, they dont eat it and likely go hungry and starve, or they do eat it anyway and get sick and suffer.  This is not a way to help a situation of stray animals. 

It is also illegal.


But, to stay on topic for this thread, which is how someone allergic can have a cat free environment.  Someone allergic is also allergic to everyones pets, so it is not an issue of how to deal, or not deal with stray cats so much as how to minimize cat exposure and how to have a cat resistant, if not cat proof, area to hang out in
« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 10:11:28 AM by mountainmoma »

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2018, 10:09:22 AM »
It is wrong and illegal to trap all cats that come into your yard.   We have a forum policy to not advocate  illegal activity....

As has been stated many times here,  go talk to your county animal control about proper procedures.  If you do not own or understand cats,  find out more about their expected behavior, they are not dogs and do not train or stay in fences.  These animals are domesticated and most are pets.  Even ones that are feral are often legal pets.  Talk to your neighbors,  dont just hurt or take their pets away.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2018, 10:13:34 AM »
As a side note...there's a way in the profile settings to put people on an ignore list.
It's a great feature :)

This is off topic and should be moderated and deleted

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2018, 10:18:23 AM »
If you want to own a pet you are responsible for what it does. Including getting into the neighbors yard. Either keep up with it or I will. I shouldn't have to cat proof my yard when i don't own one, you should yard proof your cat.

While this is your opinion, it will not fly legally.  Cat owners are not obligated to do this, and it would be impossible  Please talk your county animal control about this.

The keep up with it or I will is a threat  -- what is it you are threatening ? To hurt, kill or take away your neighbors pets ? When your neighbor is doing everything legally , are you advocating breaking the law ? This is your first post on this forum ?  Did you read our policies on not advocating illegal activiity

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2018, 10:30:47 AM »
Ok, dave, here is something that might be helpful !

I had forgotten about motion sensers on sprinklers.  Obviously you only have this on when you are not outside yourself, but it is a likely way to train cats to avoid your area and no-one gets hurt.   This is the same type thing as people put here use to discourage racoons from the garden. 

Also, here is an article with similar ideas

https://www.neighborhoodcats.org/how-to-tnr/colony-care/keeping-cats-out-of-gardens-and-yards-2

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2018, 10:34:06 AM »
They also explain Trap, neuter, release, TNR, and why it is seen as best practice

https://www.neighborhoodcats.org/how-to-tnr/getting-started/what-is-tnr

Offline Sailor

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2018, 10:46:11 AM »
In my area it is legal to live trap cats, or kill animals that are injuring your livestock on your property. 

It is also illegal to let your cat or dog off your property if it is not under your direct control "leash". 

Check your local laws, if you have problems, talk to your neighbors and try to resolve things before escalating things.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2018, 11:42:57 AM »
Ok, dave, here is something that might be helpful !

I had forgotten about motion sensers on sprinklers.  Obviously you only have this on when you are not outside yourself, but it is a likely way to train cats to avoid your area and no-one gets hurt.   This is the same type thing as people put here use to discourage racoons from the garden. 

Also, here is an article with similar ideas

https://www.neighborhoodcats.org/how-to-tnr/colony-care/keeping-cats-out-of-gardens-and-yards-2

That might work... Obviously I can't spray water until May(?) but that would really be a good system in warm weather. I like that it's not harmful and not a trap. Just a little discomfort and "please don't be here".

Also a little sad reading the article about cats pooping in sand boxes. I have an intent to build my daughter a sandbox and having her play in stray cat poop is low on my list.

MODERATOR NOTE:

Folks, we've had previous discussions on this topic, and they always get angry and personal.  People feel strongly about stray cats, one way or another.

Please keep to the topic ("Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically"), and don't veer into personal attacks or hints about cat-killing.  Thanks.

Sorry. I know it's a tough one. It's maybe one of the hardest things to deal with and do right by the animals and keep neighbors friendly. That's how people like me get bottled into being kind and putting up with it. Almost every solution is horrible.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2018, 12:39:54 PM »
Most sandboxes are covered when not in use, a flexible cover is easiest to move ( canvas paint tarp, other tarping)

Offline KellyAnn

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2018, 01:09:13 PM »
Also a little sad reading the article about cats pooping in sand boxes. I have an intent to build my daughter a sandbox and having her play in stray cat poop is low on my list.

The trick is to have a sandbox that you can cover when it's not in use.  A side benefit is that a cover of some sort would also help keep rain and snow and leaves and crud from getting in the sandbox.  The downside is that you have to be careful that you don't build a cover that could hurt your kid or other family members.  (Mostly the kids.)

Offline bigbear

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Re: Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2018, 02:15:04 PM »
https://www.americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/trapping-cats/

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In most communities, it is not illegal to trap stray animals. Cats that are allowed to roam at large, outside the control of their caregivers, are indeed considered stray.

It seems most states have more defined stray dog laws.  But not many have stray cat rules (as MM says - cats are cats and dogs are dogs).  Either way, it seems like trapping is fine if you don't kill it and check the trap daily.  I always have a few traps open around my chicken coop/garden for raccoon, possum, rabbit, squirrel, and the like.  And I've trapped the neighbor's cat once (and released it).  It's what happens after live-trapping that can potentially cross a line.  If you do decide to trap, make sure you check it daily.  And close it when you're away for more than a day. 

Check with animal control about your options.  And then talk to your neighbor about your health concerns and potential options.  It could be as simple as he stops feeding them and they are off to greener pastures.  But if he doesn't know (or care) that he could literally be killing you or your daughter by his actions, then that speaks volumes.

https://www.outdoornews.com/2017/12/21/feral-cats-pose-threat-pennsylvania-wildlife-species-can-anyone/

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The mystery behind feral cats in Pennsylvania is both puzzling and frustrating, and I’d love to have further clarification on the matter. Unlike the native wildlife species protected by the game code, which is upheld and enforced by annual Pennsylvania hunting and fur-taking license sales, feral cats seem to fall into a gray area of jurisdiction. We know they rob us all of wildlife, but what can anyone do about it?