General Question

crazyandbeautiful's avatar

How to deal with feral cats in my yard? And neighbors dogs barking that are left out all day?

Asked by crazyandbeautiful (551points) October 29th, 2015

I have neighbors that have dogs that are left out all day. And by 9pm start barking their brains out and makes it hard to sleep. Yes even with the windows closed. Calling the police does not work. I’ve tried.

The cat question I’ve tried to work out. My neighbor has been feeding stray cats since 2008. I’m allergic. She leaves cat carriers in her yard with food in them. They wonder into my yard. I’ve contacted Animal Control. They know my neighbor. They told me last year “There’s nothing we can do.” I’ve tried cat repellent, I’ve tried cayenne pepper. Nothing works.

How can ask my neighbors to have their dogs not bark their brains out at 9–11pm??

And how can I keep cats out of my yard??

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29 Answers

Pandora's avatar

Put in a water sprinkler in your yard to go off twice an hour for maybe a half a minute. Especially at night. After a while they should avoid your yard and they aren’t fond of wet ground.
I know in Japan they use to leave bottles of water around the yard. It was popular everywhere and I was told it was to ward of cats.
I don’t know if it really worked. I suppose out of curiosity some may have tipped the bottles and didn’t like getting wet.

Another option. Give them better food than the lady next door and have a trap ready for them and then call Animal control to come an get it.

Or get a bigger louder dog to deter the cats and annoy your neighbor back.
But out of curiosity. Have you spoken directly to her? Or did you simply just report it to the police without ever trying to see if she would be willing to fix it herself. She can’t know about your allergies or if you are disturbed by the noise if you smile an wave at her and act like nothing is going on.
She may be unaware of your allergies and that the noise disturbs you. Sometimes people get use to a sound and stop hearing it. And some people hear every little thing.

msh's avatar

Why would you call animal control? Do you want them killed? Stupid barking dog people will not spend the money to bail them out. The woman feeding the strays may be attempting to capture them in cages to go get them spayed or neutered. The problem there already exists, she is trying to help them.
Get some allergy meds for the time-being.
How are you going to do this without causing death to the animals?
Nor try to get people upset or angry. You can’t control everything here, Sweetie. Coping sometimes has to be a temporary solution, while taking research to stop-yet save, the animals @crazyandbeautiful

I’ll say that the dogs are sure keeping any trouble away from there! People with bad intentions do not need dog’s attentions. An alarm system with teeth. Are there any groups who are like Humane Alternatives? The dogs are suffering from lack of attention. Why have them to ignore? Is there a breed-specific, or save the dog groups who might intercede? It takes research. Please try. No animal control, please? Barking is like airplanes overhead, traffic, kids playing…etc.
The cats? Pepper? C&B-girl!
No Animal Control! Stupid dumps and doesn’t take responsibility for their felines.
I know for sure there are groups that will help her get them collected fixed. So what if they are around? So are squirrels, birds, and worms! Do not take what may possibly be the only thing that this woman enjoys in life- to have them killed? There are groups that will humanely help. Law enforcement and animal control are not the answer. Let the woman be! You find a vet who’s willing to fix cats and home them. Or just let it be. Allergies are in the air~
Don’t be the reason these animals are killed. I’ve seen so much ‘horrible’ done to animals.
Please- m’dear?
Pretty please?????

Coloma's avatar

@msh It is okay to not want to hear barking dogs or have cats in your yard all the time. I’m an animal lover too but passing the buck on someone else and guilt tripping them as to what might happen to the poor animals is not a solution. I am not a dog lover, I am more of a cat person and while I would never harm a dog having to listen to barking dogs all night is enough to make me want to kill. Not acceptable.

The dog owners need to respect others need for peace and quiet or be cited for disturbing the peace.

@crazyandbeautiful I do not believe in passive aggressive behavior. If you can confront both the dog and cat people and express your concerns, diplomatically but firmly, that would be the first step. After that if they fail to heed your concerns, call animal control.
If the cat person is actively trying to capture and take in stray cats you should be supportive of that.

Cats walking in your yard are not going to effect your allergies. If they are crapping everywhere and fighting then that is a problem.
The barking dogs should be reported, as often as they are an issue and the owners should know that they are violating peace ordinances if the dogs are barking all night long.
I could handle the cats but barking dogs would push me over the edge.

You can try sprinklers to keep that cats away or other repellents available in your local pet supplier like Petco.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Do you like dogs? Do you like these dogs? Could you offer to dog sit for the people? If the dogs are left alone a lot, the dogs are probably lonely and bored. Not ideal. I wouldn’t want to leave my dogs alone such a lot, but perhaps the people have no choice. Perhaps they have to work.

If you could look after the dogs during the day, it might reduce the number of cats roaming around your yard.

I do think you need to speak to the neighbours calmly and let them know their dogs are barking. See if you can work out a way to resolve the problem between you.

Buttonstc's avatar

I will echo the water sprinkler solution for the cats in your yard. It’s simple, does no harm and it works.

If this woman’s name is recognized by animal control then most likely she part of a TNR plan for dealing with feral cat, neutering them so their numbers don’t increase and creating a stable colony for them. TNR stands for TRAP, NEUTER, RETURN.

It has been proven to be the most effective method for dealing with feral cats.

For the dogs, you first need to research the noise ordinances covering your area. If there is no noise ordinance then you need to organize your neighbors to petition for them.

If there is already an ordinance which they are violating then you need to become more annoying to the police than the barking dogs are to you.

And document document document. Every time they’re barking at night call the police and document whether they did anything.

If this continues you likely have a civil case you can bring to small claims court.

Obviously speak to the owners and try to work it out with them. But if that fails then let them know that you are keeping a record and will resort to court if necessary.

There are solutions to both problems, the cats being the easiest. But it requires some effort on your part.

(I also fail to see how your allergy is significantly affected if the cats are outdoors (unless it’s more of an avoidance issue rather than a true allergy).

But a sprinkler solves the problem.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have one of the Scarecrow water sprinklers and it works great! The housing is plastic so it will break if the water inside freezes. (I know this from experience)
If you don’t have to worry about freezing weather this is perfect. The cats will stay away after getting sprayed just once.

For dog barking I have tried a device called Bark stop and it was totally ineffective. Not worth the money.
If the dogs are Westies watch this video from the Onion .

Seek's avatar

My rear neighbors have dogs, and I swear I can hear them barking inside their own house.

I have a noisy air purifier in my bedroom. The white noise filters out the barking as well as the dust.

msh's avatar

@Coloma – just the facts about what happens. Before getting lethal- consider the alternatives. (As others have said the same.) It does make a difference. I might also the leave a note to dog owners, message wording not going all Termanator on their bad selves, and no face-to-face escalation.

@Seek – smart! Great idea.

@crazyandbeautiful – hang in there. Humane Society can go after dog folks if dogs are not ‘properly cared for’. Not to take Fidos but to force owner responsibility…worth a try.

Coloma's avatar

@msh I agree that we should always do our best to avoid harming an animal but at the same time, while there are well meaning people out there, being a crazy cat or dog person just adds to the problem. Nobody should have too suffer from anothers negligence. If dog owners really loved their dogs they wouldn’t be leaving them outside all night to bark and while perhaps well intentioned I do not agree with the spay/neuter/release of feral cats back into neighborhoods or industrial parts of town. The animals still live outdoors year round, are subject to disease and fighting and lead a poor quality of life IMO.

Sometimes euthanasia is the kindest route to take.

msh's avatar

Nah- I only use that for the bad pet owners…
Point heard, @coloma.

crazyandbeautiful's avatar

We do have a noise ordinance where we live. And my neighbors with dogs did break it during the summer. It was so bad I did call the police at 1:30 am. The ordnance is from 8am to 10pm. This dog did not go in til 5 am. I was unable to sleep that entire night. This is in effect everyday. The police officer said he go over and check it out. I am not sure what happens. But the dog DID NOT GO INSIDE.

I have tried with my neighbor and my neighbors to do something about the cats. Nobody gets anywhere with her. She has 2 cats of her own. I am not looking to harm them more scare them out of my yard. I love animals. I am a dog person. I have an allergic reaction to cats for along time.

If I could get something so they would not poop or pee in my yard that would work.
I am making notes of all of suggestions and will look into them for next year.

crazyandbeautiful's avatar

@Pandora Can you explain to me why I would feed cats when I want to keep them out? That does not make sense.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@crazyandbeautiful The link @Pandora showed did not work for me. Maybe it didn’t open for you either. The device is called Scarecrow Motion Sensitive Sprinkler

Guaranteed you will forget about it and end up with a soaking wet line across your chest. Once.

I think the feeding comment was so you could trap the cats.

Pandora's avatar

Animal control told my neighbor that they couldn’t do anything about stray cats unless he caught them. If they are caught and you call animal control then I would think they would have to get them. Vise having your neighbor feeding them all the time and gathering all the cats from the neighborhood to always hang out in her yard and yours. Maybe if she saw you were turning them in, she would stop feeding them. One thing I don’t get is why would she expose her dog to feral cats. They can have diseases that will be passed along to her dog.

As for her dog, you could try walking past the dog as much as possible and ignore it. Dogs will keep barking if they feel it gets them attention. When the dog is quiet after you being outside for a while. Call it over and give it a treat.

Eventually it will realize that being noisy only delays getting a treat and won’t see you as a threat. Dogs bark to warn their owners that someone strange is near by. Once it no longer sees you as a stranger to fear, it will have no need to bark.

Of course this doesn’t mean it won’t bark at others passing by or squirrels or birds or whatever but it will bark less and learn to listen to your commands when you tell it to be quiet. It’s worth a shot since the neighbor is too lazy to tend to their dog and make sure it isn’t disturbing the neighbors.

Here2_4's avatar

I agree with @Pandora that feeding the cats yourself and trapping them to be taken away might be a good idea.
In some places animal control will provide the traps.

crazyandbeautiful's avatar

@Pandora you are missing the mark. I asked two different questions. First was about feral cats. I am not understanding why my second question about dogs comes into play. My neighbor has 2 cats of her own. She is feeding stray cats.SHE HAS NO DOGS!

My second question had to do with dogs barking. Which neighbors leave out all night long. So I think you got confused. The neighbor who has the cats DOES NOT OWN A DOG!

I’m trying to find a way that the barking stops. It’s ongoing.

@Here2_4 I did call for traps once and said if I did choose to trap them I would have to pay to get them removed. I don’t have the money to do it.

Pandora's avatar

Sorry. I thought the cat lady also owned a dog. I even re-read your statement above. It did not indicate that it was separate people. I know you said neighbors, but if my neighbor were to refer to my home he would say neighbors because there is more than one person in my home. Also you only said that she feeds stray cats. Not that she owned 2 cats. So no. If I knew she owned 2 of her own, I wouldn’t suggest catching the cats.

So you are saying the dogs are not right next door but maybe further away, and more than one dog at one home?
If that is the case, than, there is nothing you can do.
As for the dog owners. Just knock on their door and ask them if they can do something about the late night barking.
OR YOU CAN MOVE since calling the cops and animal control where your first steps and not actually talking to your neighbors.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Here2_4's avatar

Someone chooses who is helpful here by how cheerful we are. What I said has the potential to be quite helpful, for someone willing to be serious instead of wanting to be a chronic complainer without solution. The cats and dogs are not the problem. The problem is someone thinking they can live in the neighborhood and dictate the behaviors of all their neighbors. I stand by what I said. If it is unhelpful, it is only because it falls on deaf ears. Grow up and be a neighbor.

Coloma's avatar

@Here2_4 Up here in the Northern CA. foot hills where I live people are always exchanging stories of the city people that move to the country here and then complain about someones rooster crowing or their donkeys braying or their goats baaaing, or other assorted ridiculous and petty things. I am serious! What did you expect from living on a 5, 10, 20 acre property or more with all your neigh-bors ( haha ) living the same. People live in the country so they can have farm animals for pets, don’t tell me to get rid of my rooster, go back to your condo if you don’t want to hear the sounds of farm animal pets.

One of my neighbors that has 11 horses and a very nice horse property, beautiful paddocks, vinyl fencing, several stable workers, poop scooped daily, elaborate fly traps, pristine environment and the new city neighbors complain about her horses starting to whinny for their morning hay around 7 a.m. OMG! Maybe you shouldn’t have moved next door to a ranch full of horses if you can’t handle some whinnying and gate banging from the hungry herd once in awhile. lol

talljasperman's avatar

What you can do is play loud music all day so the dogs can’t sleep. So they sleep at night.

msh's avatar

I love the peacocks that guard some of the homes and farms around where I once lived.
You’ve should’ve heard some of those scary shrieks coming outta those trees, in the dead of night! I’m sure it could raise the dead….whew!

Seek's avatar

I used to have a sort of pet pea-hen. She adopted neighbours for months at a time and then moved on. I loved her call. “Aaah aai, Aaah aai!”

cazzie's avatar

The ferral cats are not pets. When I moved into the new place the neighbours have a kennel in the back which is between our two houses. They have a few dogs, but only one of their dogs ends up in the kennel. She seems starved for attention. One night, they left her out and she whined and cried most of the night. Next time I saw those neighbours, I told them it was a pitiful sound and if they needed a dog sitter when they went away, I’d take her in. I may also have mentioned that if I saw her in the kennel past 11pm crying, that I would go get her out myself and they could collect her from me when it suited them. They got the message.

Here2_4's avatar

Stray cats are not always feral. There is a difference. If they are feral, animal control will do something about them. If they are strays which are not feral, that could make a difference, depending on where you live. Feral cats are wild through and through, and will not approach a human no matter how good the chow is. They are highly unlikely to approach a home, especially in daylight, even if no human is visible.
With strays, you would be charged, in most places to turn them over, but if they are feral, it is the city’s responsibility to deal with them. They pose a threat to natural wildlife, and pets.
Here is the legal stance Florida has.

Seek's avatar

Also, in Florida if I remember offhand, if you feed a stray for, I think it’s a month, it’s legally considered your pet.

crazyandbeautiful's avatar

Here in NJ @Seek it is illegal to feed cats that are not yours. Because not only has AC said do they know about her…they can’t do anything about it. My neighbors have called. My one neighbor at one time said jokingly he would kill the cats. I said nothing. I love animals. He had enough and found them in his yard.

I’m definitely going to look into that sprinkler. No way am I going through this again this next year.

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