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Old 06.05.2021, 13:07
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My neighbour soaked my cat

Hello,
I think this might be my first post.. Ive been living in the canton Vaud for 2 years (from scotland)
We have two kittens who in February could go outside for the first time, of course they started to explore our neighbours garden’s too. So we went to introduce ourselves to everyone around our new appartment and to tell them that we hope our kittens are not bothering them, they get scared very easily so if they just shoo them away they will run back to our garden.
Our one neighbour behind us ( i had the impression he doesn’t like foreigners...) he struggled with my accent, though my french is fine, and would only speak to my husband. So that evening one of our cats came home soaking wet. I mean absolutely soaking wet in February. He was shivering, either scared or cold, and his eye was all red- so I’m guessing that the full jet hose went straight to his face!
We spent the evening drying him off by the radiator and holding him. I never seen him so sad and scared the poor wee thing.
My husband went straight to the neighbour, but the man was hiding inside, so he spoke to his wife, she was very upset with her husband and apologised to us. So we left it at that, as we thought he must have made a mistake, perhaps the hose pipe was accidently on full jet. Oh but she did tell us that our kitten was up their tree at the time! So I was concerned he had fallen too!

We also realised his eye wasnt just red it had became infected from the water that had been sitting in his pipe all winter. I spent the next few days wiping with camomile tea bags and drops of colloidal silver.

So now we are in May and this old farty neighbour shouted at my husband from his garden telling us that if we dont do anything about our cats (who have only recently started to return to his garden) he will soak one of them again. (Oh and he refused to speak to me, ‘Madame, it is your husband who i am speaking with’)

In scotland cats have rights to explore where they wish, owners of the property can certainly shoo them away or squirt a bit of water close to them, but not at them and certainly not to soak them.
does anyone here know what we can do, or who we can call to make sure our cats are safe from this man.

Side note.. our other kitten returned around the same time with a deep cut in his side, the vet thought it seemed too sharp to be anything but a blade.. i assumed he had jumped into someone’s tools or cut himself on a broken bottle.. we had to keep him inside for one month till his wound healed and i couldn’t help but wonder if our neighbour had something to do with it.

Thanks for reading this long story... any cat owners out there who can advise me? What rights do my cats have here. Any similar stories?
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Old 06.05.2021, 13:24
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

Definitely not OK. Using something like a light hand-spray that can't cause any harm might be viewed as acceptable, but I'd have thought a hosepipe on full could definitely be viewed as cruelty, and would be punishable.

I'd probably pop in to your local police station and ask them if they could pay a visit, based on the neighbour threatening repeat action. Explain what's happened before, ideally with any documentation like vet bills or photos, and see if they'll do anything about it.

It might seem over the top, but getting the police involved at an early stage is very much the Swiss way of working, and hopefully would be enough to get him to moderate his actions a little.

As for rights, I'm fairly sure that like in other countries there is no requirement or expectation for a cat owner to control their animals as would be the case with a dog. So the neighbour cannot take action against you for your cats getting into his garden, and has no right to be cruel to them just because they do.
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Old 06.05.2021, 13:31
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

Hi, welcome to the forum.

Read this other forum thread dealing precisely with the topic https://www.englishforum.ch/pet-corn...-nuisance.html

The normal outcome should have been your neighbor complaining about damage, not soaking the cat. In the end, it seems you're liable to prevent the cat entering other people's property if they complain.
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Old 06.05.2021, 13:32
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

It's just water.

Tom
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Old 06.05.2021, 13:35
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

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Hello,
I think this might be my first post.. Ive been living in the canton Vaud for 2 years (from scotland)
We have two kittens who in February could go outside for the first time, of course they started to explore our neighbours garden’s too. So we went to introduce ourselves to everyone around our new appartment and to tell them that we hope our kittens are not bothering them, they get scared very easily so if they just shoo them away they will run back to our garden.
Our one neighbour behind us ( i had the impression he doesn’t like foreigners...) he struggled with my accent, though my french is fine, and would only speak to my husband. So that evening one of our cats came home soaking wet. I mean absolutely soaking wet in February. He was shivering, either scared or cold, and his eye was all red- so I’m guessing that the full jet hose went straight to his face!
We spent the evening drying him off by the radiator and holding him. I never seen him so sad and scared the poor wee thing.
My husband went straight to the neighbour, but the man was hiding inside, so he spoke to his wife, she was very upset with her husband and apologised to us. So we left it at that, as we thought he must have made a mistake, perhaps the hose pipe was accidently on full jet. Oh but she did tell us that our kitten was up their tree at the time! So I was concerned he had fallen too!

We also realised his eye wasnt just red it had became infected from the water that had been sitting in his pipe all winter. I spent the next few days wiping with camomile tea bags and drops of colloidal silver.

So now we are in May and this old farty neighbour shouted at my husband from his garden telling us that if we dont do anything about our cats (who have only recently started to return to his garden) he will soak one of them again. (Oh and he refused to speak to me, ‘Madame, it is your husband who i am speaking with’)

In scotland cats have rights to explore where they wish, owners of the property can certainly shoo them away or squirt a bit of water close to them, but not at them and certainly not to soak them.
does anyone here know what we can do, or who we can call to make sure our cats are safe from this man.

Side note.. our other kitten returned around the same time with a deep cut in his side, the vet thought it seemed too sharp to be anything but a blade.. i assumed he had jumped into someone’s tools or cut himself on a broken bottle.. we had to keep him inside for one month till his wound healed and i couldn’t help but wonder if our neighbour had something to do with it.

Thanks for reading this long story... any cat owners out there who can advise me? What rights do my cats have here. Any similar stories?
Sorry to hear about what happened to your cats.

Although I understand cats like to wonder off to neighbour's garden, but unfortunately you also need to understand that all people will not like your pets (no matter how shy, friendly and sweet they are).

As an example, My neighbour's cat was also walking in my garden and I had no issues with that at first. But the problems started when it was doing "poop" in my garden and resting on my garden chairs. My children are allergic to cats.

Now I have fitted ultrasound animal repellers and they seem to do the job really well. Problem sorted!

I hope you too can talk with your neighbour and may be offer him to buy something to keep your cats away from his garden
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Old 06.05.2021, 13:40
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

Whilst I wouldn't deliberately harm the cat like shoot it or hit it up close with a high pressure water jet, I would hose it and I do even have an automatic sprayer in my garden which works very well, it will pretty much soak them if they are not fast enough.

Cats can be a real nuisance, there are loads around me and they come crap in my garden daily and spray on everything, including the cushions of my furniture. I'd love for their owners to be held accountable and come clean up after their pets. I can totally see how people get annoyed.

That said, blatant cruelty is obviously different, especially if you think the lovely neighbour might have even cut the cat.
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Old 06.05.2021, 13:45
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

Duct tape, the tried and true solution!

Tom
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Old 06.05.2021, 13:52
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

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Cats can be a real nuisance, there are loads around me and they come crap in my garden daily and spray on everything, including the cushions of my furniture. I'd love for their owners to be held accountable and come clean up after their pets. I can totally see how people get annoyed.
Not to mention the damage they do to the songbird population! My neighbour is sick and tired of the destruction of the neighbourhood cat, who lays in wait for the amsel nestlings, craps in her garden, sprays her furniture, and leaves cat hair on all the cushions she sometimes forgets to take in at night. Said cat doesn't come on our property...
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Old 06.05.2021, 13:58
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

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Not to mention the damage they do to the songbird population! My neighbour is sick and tired of the destruction of the neighbourhood cat, who lays in wait for the amsel nestlings, craps in her garden, sprays her furniture, and leaves cat hair on all the cushions she sometimes forgets to take in at night. Said cat doesn't come on our property...
The effect of cats and dogs in local fauna is something the world is not ready to discuss. If taboo needs to be exemplified, this is a good one.
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Old 06.05.2021, 14:38
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

Do you have a large garden with a fence that your cats would be happy remaining in? You can get spinning rollers for the top of your fence to prevent them leaving your garden.
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Old 06.05.2021, 14:42
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

I am sorry that your cats have been hurt, and I am sorry to hear of trouble with the neighbor.

There is a delicate balance between rights, welfare, and the practicalities of maintaining neighborhood harmony. Having BTDT (although I have dogs, not cats) I would advise knowing the laws - and then thinking about the most effective way to protect your cat within the intersection of those laws and the reality of keeping good neighborly relationships. Because in the end, conflict tends to put our pets at greater risk.

So the legal situation:

A good resource for information on the subject of animal welfare and Swiss law is the Tier Im Recht foundation. This group are experts in the various aspects of how Swiss law touches animals. Here is what they have to say about free roaming cats and Nachbarrecht:

https://www.tierimrecht.org/de/recht...duldet-werden/

'Must strange cats be tolerated on one's own property?'

Since you mention French, I'll assume you don't read German (apologies if I am wrong). so here is the DeepL translation:

"Unlike dogs, however, their (my note: cat) owners cannot constantly control them or train them to know what they are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do on their forays into other people's property. Here again, the question is what interference is reasonable for a neighbour and at what point it is considered excessive.

Excessiveness must be determined by the courts in each individual case. In most cases, however, it is not necessary to take legal action.

It is quite possible that it is possible to drive the cat away from one's own property with simple measures.
 However, the means used must always be in conformity with animal welfare standards. For example, strongly scented plants such as lavender or coffee grounds can be used. It may also be enough to spray the cat with water to make it leave. On the other hand, it would of course be punishable to use poison bait, throw stones at the animal or shoot it with a gun.

Extreme caution is advised when dealing with so-called cat scare devices. Even if they are readily available in the shops, most devices are not as animal-friendly as advertised. If such devices cause pain, suffering or other damage to an animal, this is punishable under the Animal Protection Act (TSchG). In addition, the defence measures must not endanger other animals such as hedgehogs or birds.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
"

My underline.

To my non-lawyerly ear, what you have written sounds definitely wrong - but whether it was illegal might be borderline. Squirting an unwanted cat visitor in order to send it away from one's property is allowed... but one may not do actual harm to the cat.

The question is, did the neighbot commit animal abuse in the legal sense? Again from TIR:

https://www.tierimrecht.org/de/recht...-tierqualerei/

Cruelty to animals is regulated in Art. 26 of the Animal Protection Act (TSchG). While the term cruelty to animals is often used colloquially for all pain and suffering inflicted on an animal by humans, the law defines cruelty to animals much more narrowly and restricts it to a few, precisely circumscribed offences.

In the legal sense, cruelty to animals is only committed by anyone who intentionally or negligently: mistreats, neglects, unnecessarily overexerts or otherwise disregards the dignity of an animal. Furthermore, anyone who kills an animal in agony or out of wantonness, organises fights between animals in which animals are tortured or killed, inflicts avoidable pain, suffering, damage or fear on an animal in the course of animal experiments or abandons or leaves an animal behind in order to get rid of it commits cruelty to animals.


My underline.

Keeping in mind that again IANAL, my guess is that it could be difficult to prove that what the neighbor did constituted animal abuse in the Swiss legal definition.

The guy is a jerk, IMO. But you might have trouble going further than that.

---

From my own experience of a neighbor intent on hurting my dogs, excessiveness can be subject to local interpretation - and anything but obvious outright abuse hard to prove.

As ACE mentions, ask the police for advice. Or if you are not comfortable doing so at this stage, perhaps first talk to your vet. A local vet is well placed to judge what l typical local attitudes towards animal abuse are, and to recommend next steps.

Another resource is your cantonal Veterinäramt. You could write them, explain what has happened, and ask if in their view the neighbor has crossed the line.

And a fourth possibility - write the folks at TIR. They do not advise of individual cases, but can point you to the relevant laws in your case. That could help you focus your next steps.

Another article from TIR - tossing this out as an FYI since posters on this thread have brought up damage caused by cats:

"Who must pay for damage done by a cat to another person's property?"

https://www.tierimrecht.org/de/recht...ck-hinterlsst/

Again, the Deepl Translation:

Unlike a dog owner, a cat owner cannot be expected to constantly supervise his animals. For this reason, they are not necessarily liable for damage caused by a cat on someone else's property. However, he is liable at least if he has already been ordered by a court to keep his cat from entering other people's property and homes and has still not taken the necessary precautions.


My underline.
---

Yes, in Swiss law cats are allowed to roam. And yes, for the most part absent a court order to restrain the cat, neighbors have to tolerate their incursions onto their property.

----
Now let's talk about some practicalities:

The sad reality here is that some people hate cats and dogs, and in their self-righteous wrath do things that will hurt our animals. Which, unequivocally, is wrong, wrong, wrong.

HOWEVER: My experience is that being in the legal right is cold comfort when my pet is in the ICU having been hurt by an irate neighbor. For my pet's sake, far better not to get to that point in the first place.

We pet owners need to think about what we can do to take whatever steps we can to keep our pets safe - which includes trying to pro-actively keep neighborhood peace.

At this point, I would:

Let the neighbor know that you know what Swiss law says about tolerating a roaming cat. Be polite, but be firm. Often just making others aware that you know what the law actually is can be enough to stop a conflict.

Then try to meet halfway. Are there things you can do to keep your cat away from the neighbor's property? (I'm not a cat owner, so cannot advise on practical steps. Hopefully the EF cat people can.)

And, can you reach agreement with the neighbor on what he should, and should not, do to shoo your cat away from his property humanely?

Try to have this discussion politely, without emotion. Look for common ground.

---

If there is anything I have learned in all my years here, it is that in order to protect my pets I often have to be the first to look for compromise, even when I am fully in the right with the law behind me. Because in the end, it is my dogs who will end up the victims of a neighborhood dispute. My primary job is to protect them.

---

I hope this can be resolved peacefully, and most importantly I hope thaty your kitties stay safe and happy.

All the best.
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Old 06.05.2021, 15:28
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

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The effect of cats and dogs in local fauna is something the world is not ready to discuss. If taboo needs to be exemplified, this is a good one.
Much as it is painful to say as a cat lover... https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms2380, and closer, even inkling of legislative action in the Netherlands https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2019/1...searchers-say/.
That said, there is no evidence that this, or family health concerns, is what motivates SamanthaH's neighbor. If it did, that would be easy to explain. But there is at least one common species that is more cruel than domestic cats.
Kudos to meloncollie for putting it all in perspective.
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Old 06.05.2021, 15:43
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

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It's just water.

Tom
The same said on clear night 1912 captain of RMS Titanic
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Old 06.05.2021, 15:47
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

I would definitely report this to the police, any kind of cruelty is not fine.

If someone did this to my pet, their vehicle would be up in flames or worse.
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Old 06.05.2021, 15:57
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

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If someone did this to my pet, their vehicle would be up in flames or worse.
Hopefully they would have a hose handy.
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Old 06.05.2021, 16:10
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

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I would definitely report this to the police, any kind of cruelty is not fine.
If someone did this to my pet, their vehicle would be up in flames or worse.
Agree, cruelty to animals is anything but fine! Now arson, OTOH, is a well-accepted method of patching up differences between neighbours. Friendly intervention by authorities often speed up reconciliation as well.
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Old 06.05.2021, 16:35
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

When our neighbour got a new kitten, she went around and gave us each an empty plastic spray bottle. She took a full one along, with which she demonstrated that it sprayed water widely, just enough to shock the kitten briefly, but not enough to really hurt it.

She asked everyone to please keep the bottle filled with water, near the windows or in the garden, so as to spray her cat immediately, should it roam onto our territories. She also asked us never to feed her cat, and if we wished to pet it, to do this only in her garden or in no-man's land.

Everyone did as asked. Within about a month or two, the cat learnt to stay at home, or to exit and re-enter her garden over one specific fence only, that didn't abut a neighbouring property, and to roam around in in the fields and forest, but never again in any neighbour's garden. Perfect.
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Old 06.05.2021, 16:38
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

I would just have pissed on it to mark my territory, no need for a hose!

Tom
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Old 06.05.2021, 16:45
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

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Whilst I wouldn't deliberately harm the cat like shoot it or hit it up close with a high pressure water jet, I would hose it and I do even have an automatic sprayer in my garden which works very well, it will pretty much soak them if they are not fast enough.

Cats can be a real nuisance, there are loads around me and they come crap in my garden daily and spray on everything, including the cushions of my furniture. I'd love for their owners to be held accountable and come clean up after their pets. I can totally see how people get annoyed.

That said, blatant cruelty is obviously different, especially if you think the lovely neighbour might have even cut the cat.

On the risk of earning groans and red blobbies!

I agree 100% with you there!

We are surrounded by people and farms with cats and they seem to think our garden is their private loo, as well as my vegetable allotment also their loo and playground.

Obviously, we are not happy when our freshly planted vegetables/flowers get dug up again, shat all over, the Kiwi trellis espalier is used as a scratch post as well as our newly erected wooden fence posts, mowing the lawn and walking in to a cat turd is also very pleasant, indeed ....
Those cats also leave half eaten birds and mice on our terrace.

It also angers me, that I managed at last to attract birds to our garden only for the pesky moggies to think it is their all you can eat buffett.

Our garden is fully fenced in, our dog is guarding her territory and allowed to chase the cats out of the garden. And that is all she does, she never ever hurted a cat!

For the time when doglet is at kennels during our holidays, we have those childrens pump-waterpistols that are used to chase the cats off.

I am severly allergic to cats to boot and don't like it when they sun themselves on the furniture on our balcony upstairs.
Many a time I wondered why I had a rash on my skin until we spotted the cats using our furniture.

Oh and the smell when a tomcat sprays your deck chair and its cushions is oh so yummy!
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Old 06.05.2021, 16:47
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Re: My neighbour soaked my cat

Oh i didn’t expect to get a reply, or so many so quickly.. thanks
I dont know how to tag people who posted.. thanks Ace1, i think it would be a good idea to report it to the police, because of the incident with the cut on our other kitten. i doubt this man has anything to do with the cut to be honest but i want to protect my kittens from him nevertheless, he made it clear that he will soak them again.

Thanks Melancollie for the detailed and thoughtful response, seeing it on the both sides..
We tried to start peacefully and infact went to all our neighbours to introduce ourselves and apologise about our kittens coming in their houses, even he was (at first) very friendly to my husband. The other neighbours around are friendly and some have cats.
I will look at the links you shared now..

i should note though that we built an outdoor kitty litter in our garden for the cats to go do their business. I spent a lot of time with them and I’m certain they are doing it there every day. I work from home and i see them there at the regular time, and clean it up every day. They dont really mark territory because they were both snipped.. (but who really knows!)
I can see it would be hard to be allergic to cats and have them in your garden.. and yes there are people finding ways to keep them away that are peaceful and dont hurt animals.
We are also trying to think creatively with our garden. Growing veggies with protective barriers for cats and birds.. using coffee grains around my herbs. There are other cats coming into our garden too but i wouldn’t ever consider using the hose pipe on full.

(My situation has nothing to do with the songbird population or local fauna but I know we all need to vent somewhere, I’m just looking for advice on how to protect my neighbour from wanting to harm my kitten)

Unfortunatly we cant do something about our fence to stop them. We tried blocking the gap they used to use but they just climb our tree and jump in to the other neighbours garden and get in this way. Its impossible to contain this pair.

I have photos of his soaking wee body and the eye infection i can take them with me to the vet or police to report it. I should have already done this but i gave the man the benefit of the doubt, surely he regretted what he had done or it was an accident!
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