A neighbor’s pet can be cute, and an occasional visit from one that has briefly wandered into your territory can bring a smile to your face.
But for Redditor catsinhouse, one adventurous feline that has been making repeated visits onto their property has overstayed its welcome.
So they took matters into their own hands.
But when the neighbor made an accusation about the questionable tactic, they visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for trapping my neighbour’s cat for repeated trespassing?”
The Original Poster (OP) wrote:
“I had a new neighbour move in not too long ago with a pet cat. The cat is not confined to the boundaries of their house (there are low walls/fences around everyone’s houses) and frequently goes ‘visiting’ other houses on a neighbourhood tour.”
“At the start, I found it somewhat amusing to see the cat in my backyard and driveway but that changed once the cat started heading up to the bedrooms in my house.”
“This was alarming as I have a baby and I know that the cat has also frequently entered the drains outside our houses. I spoke to my neighbour about it but she dismissed it saying that there was nothing she could do and I’m fussing too much just because I had a child.”
“I’ve tried keeping the doors and windows shut as well as spraying cat repellant but somehow the cat has managed to find a way in, including eating food left out on the kitchen tables. In addition, the cat’s presence also attracts the neighbourhood stray cats, turning my front yard into a battleground late at night.”
“On a suggestion of a friend, I loaned some traps from a government animal welfare agency. So this program basically loans out traps to homeowners with stray cat complaints.”
“The agency picks up tracked cats and scans for identification tags. Stray cats will then be rehomed and pet cats returned to owners. The grey area here is using them for overly intrusive pet cats as it is an almost 1 hour drive to their facility to pick up your pet cat if it has been trapped.”
“I thought that doing that will perhaps prompt my neighbour into keeping her cat indoors since she’s unwilling to barricade her house. In addition, other neigbours have also raised this as an issue to her.”
“After 3 of such trap and release incidents, I’m surprised that nothing has been done on her end. However she seems to have found out that the traps were placed in my house and is accusing me of being cruel to animals. AITA?”
“Checked on window screens and the contractors said that major modifications would be needed for my existing windows. Not paying that cost out of pocket so I’ll go back to trapping lol.”
“For those who feel it’s the neighbour’s right to free roam her cat, the hypocrisy is real is if you think the same doesn’t apply for one’s dog.”
Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Redditors were divided with their responses.
“NTA, as a vet student we had an entire month on just the dangers of free roaming cats. It’s not animal cruelty, you’re trying to help the stray cats get adopted out!”
“Your neighbor just has a stick up their butt and doesn’t want to put in the effort of keeping their cat. And with a baby, an outdoor animal has SO many germs that can really harm the baby’s undeveloped immune system.”
“Tell them you are helping the strays find new homes, and if the neighbor doesn’t want to have to keep picking up their cat to keep it indoors, or atleast in their own yard (put some chicken wire or scrap at about a 45 degree angle, and the cat won’t jump up)” – KandyShopp
“NTA. The neighbor is responsible for the cat and the consequences. Are they issuing fines to the owner, or just turning it back to them. A little pain in the wallet might induce the neighbor to confine their cat.” – wind-river7
“NTA. This is how cats get poisoned or harmed. My cat stays on our property where I know she’s safe because she’s my responsibility, people need to take responsibility for their pets, especially if they know they’re bugging their neighbours.” – Lou_Bop
“Nta, you shouldn’t have to change your life bc someone can’t control their pet. It’s totally entitled for neighbor to move in and expect you to alter your behavior to suit her and her cat.”
“Plus, the fact that others neighbors have expressed the same issue, and she still does nothing, makes her an extra ah.” – TUGrad
“NTA, that owner is incredibly negligent if the cat is getting into your house!! Maybe if you catch it a few times she’ll get serious about actually paying attention to where it’s at!” – Lorraine221
“NTA… neighbor needs to keep her animal on her property and you should not have to shut up your home like Fort Knox because the cat won’t stay home.” – AndriaRenee
One Redditor thought everyone sucked here ESH.
“ESH, except the cat.”
“First, the cat poses no threat to the baby. Second, every time you trap the cat, the cat suffers trauma. You also run the risk of the possible euthanasia of the cat for being a cat. That said, it is not unreasonable to expect your home to have only your own animals residing.”
“But she is also responsible for the cat and for dealing with issues that arise. And she is simply not doing that. And that makes her the much larger ah here.”
“Unfortunately, it is the cat that always pays the price. Time to talk with the neighbor again.”
To which the OP replied:
“The cat poses no threat to the baby because you say so? Said cat takes a bath after coming out of the drains and entering my rooms?”
“I secure it to the best of my ability but what you are implying is I deserve to have a cat inside because I forgot about one window or if I opened one for fresh air and forgot to close it.”
“Secure the baby? There’s a baby cot.”
And another user accused the presumed female OP of not properly securing their home.
“She’s an irresponsible homeowner causing trauma to animals because she’s lazy. Who the duck leaves doors or windows open for so long cats get in? It’s weird as f’k again, I had a neighbor with 8 cats.. I left windows open, but you know, paid attention like a normal human & again… no cats. Not hard.”
“Same with every other person who leaves a window open since there’s a good chance there’s always a cat outside close everywhere there’s so many. Get reaaaaal.”
Another user went after the OP.
“I was originally gonna say e s h except the cat of course but seeing your replies is a bit alarming. You just leave windows open with no screens?!?!”
“You say you’re concerned about your baby but do you not know insects carry diseases? Birds and other animals can get in too! Install some damn screens man, and not just for the cat, it’s a good investment to keep insects and other animals out of your house!”
“Especially if you’re gonna keep windows open so much! YTA.” – WhiteArchania
Redditor antera111 said:
“NTA anyone that says Y T A cause you don’t have screens are idiots that don’t realize some parts of the world don’t have an insect problem and it’s not your responsibility to cat proof your home. Free roaming cats are dangerous and your concerns are valid.”
Overall, many of the comments were divided, but a good majority of them believed the neighbor was an irresponsible pet owner than the OP was a “lazy” homeowner for not putting up window screens.