Hello. Thank you for using JustAnswer.
As a birder myself, I can certainly understand your concern and frustration.
Unfortunately, you are in a position where, to protect your interests, you have to be proactive.
Morally and legally, the neighbors need to take care of their pet.
Clearly, they are shirking their obligations.
But, absent them taking care, you are in the best position to remedy the situation.
You can trap the cat with wet cat food (in a tin) and a "have-a-hart" trap (racoon size and available from most hardware stores).
If you were motivated enough, you could trap the cat, send it to a shelter, and bill your neighbor for the expense (bait and trap).
Alternatively, you could call a pest removal service to come out and trap the cat. Again, this expense could be billed to your neighbors.
If they refused to pay, you could sue them in small claims court to force them to pay. In addition, you could request a court order prohibiting them from letting their pets trespass on your property.
Please let me know what follow-up questions you have. If my above responses have been helpful, please click Accept so that I get credit for the time/effort. You may always restart the thread and ask follow-up questions at any time by clicking the “Reply” button at the bottom of the question/answer thread. You can access this thread later in your profile under the “My Questions” tab.
I am so happy you understand this. I was afraid you might laugh at my problem. I have 5 feeders, plus suet, peanuts, etc. They bring me so much joy, this breaks my heart.You mention I could request a court order prohibiting them from letting their pets on your property. Is this difficult to do?
The court order takes time, energy and money. It is the surest way to proceed, but it's a commitment.
If it were me, I would inform the neighbor that you have discussed the matter with the local authorities
and legal counsel and are giving them one last chance to keep their pet on their property or you will be forced to trap it and take it to a shelter.
At that point, I would either call the pest removal services, but, more likely, trap the animal myself (as I am comfortable doing that).
I also have an "airsoft" gun that shoots a non-lethal plastic BB, that I keep next to the window where I observe our feeding station.
It stings, but does not hurt the animal. It is very effective, but not a complete cure (the animal will eventually come back).
You can get a dependable airsoft gun for less than $30. And a have-a-hart live trap is about the same cost.
The Town of Bourne has called them already, about a month ago, telling them that legally I could trap the cat. They did absolutely nothing. I cant get near this cat because as soon as it sees or hears me, it is gone. Do you know about how much (a rough estimate) it would cost to get a court order?
Here is a web address to a critter control company in your area:
As for the court order:
you could go the small claims route. The court provides you with the forms and instructions to file your lawsuit. You don't need an attorney.
The filing fee is less than $200.
Here is a guide that describes the small claims process:
You have been so very helpful, Mr. Hazelbaker. I will move forward with this advice. Enjoy your birds! It is very good for the soul. I will hit the accept button now. Again, thank you so much.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).