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My cat got at the neighbour's birds


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Myself and my best friend moved into a new flat together a few months ago. I say new, but the place is older than dirt. It was an old house built in the forties which was bought, divided into one flat upstairs and one flat downstairs and mildly refurbished. A married couple live in the flat above us and we share a hallway.


A month or two after we moved in, we adopted a cat from an animal shelter. The cat had lost her eye and most of her teeth to cat flu and rehoming her was potentially tricky, so we took her on. She's a lovely cat, very affectionate and clean. When the landlady found put about her, I told a wee lie about finding her in the garden and taking pity on her, and no more was said about it.


The couple upstairs have birds, and I'd known about this for a while because they make a lot of noise. There is a pretty large gap under the door that separates our two flats, easily big enough for a cat to get under. I spoke to the neighbours about this and asked them to keep the birds caged when they're out (since I heard the man say he lets them fly around the flat) and I'd keep a strict eye on the cat.


So on Wednesday night, I come home from work late and discover that we're out of cat food. All the shops are closed, so I pour the cat a bowl of milk and hope she'll be okay until the morning. I put her outside for the night, but unknown to me before my friend left to visit home for the weekend she left her window open to air out her bedroom. The cat climbed back in, and at seven the next morning I hear this horrible screech.


The cat had slipped under the door, gone up the stairs and dragged down one of their cockatiels. I chased her away from it and it was a bit shook up, but otherwise unharmed. I ushered it into our sitting room to keep it from escaping and waited for the owners to come home. They didn't, because apparently they were off on holiday. In a bid to keep the bird and the cat separated, I put the cat out the back garden. She snuck back in again without me noticing, and on Friday she went up and got the other cockatiel. Again, this one was unharmed but shook up, I ushered it into the sitting room and pondered what to do.


I had called the vet when the first bird was caught, and he told me that as long as the birds were flying they should be fine, and thanks to my cat's lack of teeth they weren't wounded. They were even relaxed enough to perch on my computer as I was surfing the internet. At thsi stage i didn't think they had any more birds up there, but the next morning the cat came down with a budgie.


The budgie got a very bad fright, but he seemed to cheer up in the presense of the other two birds. I'd put out food and water for them, they were eating and drinking, but I wanted to get them back to their home environment. I caught one of the cockatiels and picked the lock on upstair's flat, but as I was doing that the sitting room door closed behind me and it locks automatically (because of the shared hallway). My keys, my phone and two of the birds were still in there and I had no choice but to borrow a phone from a neighbour, call my landlady and have her let me back in. That's how she found out what happened.


I got the birds back up to the flat, banished the cat from the house and apologized profusely to my neighbours when they returned. They seemed to accept it.


My landlady was by just now to collect the rent from both our houses, and I found out that the budgie died during the night, one of the cockatiels apparently has a wound on its chest (that I didn't see when I was examining it) and according to the man, my cat urinated in the flat too. (He claims there's a smell, which is more likely to come from the birds and the mess they left in the flat when they went away; I'm still scrubbing the bird excrement off of the furniture.) The landlord and landlady gave me a right telling off, about the smell the cat was bringing into the house, about the mess (it's a bit cluttered, but not dirty), there was a smell in the kitchen (sour milk, which I discovered yesterday) a smell in the sitting room (bird droppings) and the place was a state. I normally clean on a weekend, but in this chaos I wasn't able to.


After they left, I just sat in my room and cried. I did everything I could to prevent their birds from dying, and the cat was only doing what comes naturally to her. The neighbours left their pets unattended and flying around an empty flat for four days! When we went on holiday, we had someone come over every day to feed and play with our cat. I would have been happy to go up and look after the birds for a bit but they never asked. I am sickened over this and I'm not sure what to do to make it better.


Any advice? Sorry the post is so long, it's been a hell of a weekend.

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oh gosh, that really sucks. i agree both of you could have done a better job at protecting your pets - they should have blocked the door better, and you should have made sure that your cat couldn't escape from your flat. obviously, the cat was just doing what came naturally. and even if he wasn't hungry, he probably would have gone after the birds anyways. cats are hunters, they hunt for fun. my cat never went hungry, but he killed at least 1 bird or mouse everyday.


have the neighbors talked to you? i think you both should get doors that close fully so that a cat (or mouse or rat or whatever) can't get in

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If a cat can fit under their door...why didn't you just stuff the birds back under it....and vanish? LOL

Sorry you're having a rough time. You did want you could....

Clean the place up, and pitch the cat out. It can be an outside kitty, cant it? Let them know you're doing what you can.

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My cats never, ever, go outside. ats should be securely kept in the house. What happened with your cat is one of the reasons why. While this is not entirely your fault, the neighbors should never have left the birds alone like that, it was your cat that attacked them. My cats are very happy to stay indoors and all the birdies, and my cats, are safer for it. I have modified my house so they cannot get out, not that they try anymore. Move, these people are not cat lovers.

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First, you need to agree to buy them a new budgie since your cat killed it. Do it before you get served with a small claims lawsuit.


Next, make your cat an indoor cat, permanently. She will get used to it.. Indoor cats live a lot longer too because of the hazards of running around outside unattended and things like this. If she gets caught in someone else's house hunting birds they may dispose of her and you'll have no clue what happened to her.


Try to find a way to plug the gap under the door. You can buy seals to put under doors to prevent drafts that screw onto the door.

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If a cat can fit under their door...why didn't you just stuff the birds back under it....and vanish? LOL

OK, I shouldn't admit this ....


I did that once .... I have large livestock guardian dogs, Maremmas and a neighbor about 1/8 mi away had a dog (cockapoo? or something) on a chain in his yard. I assume the dog got loose from his chain and came up to my place. My blue heeler went after him and took him down pretty hard, then the largest male Maremema got a hold of this dog and tossed him about 8' feet in the air. Luckily I saw it all happen and got in the middle and rescued the dog. He had some bites on him but overall they were superficial. I took the dog back to the owners house and no one was home some I put it back on it's chain in the yard.


I sorta felt bad, but around here chaining a dog is called bait ... for mountain lions, a very unfair thing to do to a dog. Many have been taken from someones yard in the daylight.


I wasn't a total turd, I left a note and also warned them that if the dog got onto my property again, I might not be there to protect it and I did tell them the dangers of chaining a dog in the mountains.


A livestock guardian dog considers all dogs equal to other predators, live coyotes, mountain lions and bears. The statistic is that domestic dogs kill more goats than coyotes.

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Thank you for the helpful replies.


Of course I will offer to buy a new budgie (was going to do that anyway, but later as it might seem insensitive to replace a pet so easily) and I already told them I'd pay for any vet bills should the birds need to be looked at. They haven't been in a hurry to go to or even call the vet though, despite there being one just around the corner.


Making the cat an indoor cat isn't an option, unfortunately. The landlord and landlady have banned her from being inside full stop, claiming that she makes the place smell. (Actually, the smell has been in the house since we moved. The house is VERY old, was trashed by the last residents and upstairs' cigarette smoke wafts down on us too. The cat barely smells at all.) She was never that interested in being outdoors anyway, and I think the only reason she attacked the birds in the first place was because hunger made her opportunistic. With her one eye and lack of teeth she'd never manage a wild bird. The cat flu also damaged her lungs and she's quite weak.


The door can't be blocked, according to the landlord. Something to do with the bottom step. It's a door that belongs on a garden shed, frankly, and it's ridiculously easy for a big cat, a small dog or a bunch of rats or mice to slip through. I've taken to carrying the cat through the hall to the other rooms and closing the door on her now, to stop her from approaching the door ever again.


What really gets my blood boiling is the way my male neighbour made my cat a scapegoat. She attacked his birds, yes, and I took full responsibility for that, but the birds should have been caged. My cat did NOT urinate in his flat, she is fully house-trained and was only in the flat for a matter of seconds, when she caught the birds and dragged them to my flat. She did not cause the wound on the bird's chest, I would have seen it and rushed it straight to the vet and I told him as much. The man is in his thirties, I would have thought this kind of tattle-telling would have been done with in primary school.


If they want any more from me they know where I am, but they haven't come asking for anything. As sorry as I am that my cat attacked their pets, I think they were incredibly negligent and don't deserve to keep animals.


That was a really interesting story, just M.E.

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Hmm...I agree with the others about making the cat an indoor cat, but you've said you can't because your landlady won't let you. I don't know...I think I'd still do it anyway. I don't get the landlord saying the cat makes the place smell. I've had a cat for 14 years, and NO ONE has ever been able to smell her, even when I've forgotten to clean the litter box for a few days. I've even asked people if they can smell her, and they've all said no.


Also: Why is there a space under the door large enough for a cat to get through? That must be a pretty large space! Is there any way to fix it so that the space isn't so large?


As far as the birds are concerned, they really should've been in their cages while the owners were gone on vacation. I don't know much about birds, but I suspect that, even if there were no cats, the birds could have gotten themselves into some trouble (i.e. getting stuck somewhere, ingesting something poisonous, etc.) being left unsupervised and out of their cages for four days. I agree with you buying them another bird, but I also agree with you that they aren't great pet owners. I've never heard of someone letting birds fly around their house when they were on vacation -- really.


When I was in college, my roommate had two cats that were indoor/outdoor. Our neighbors had a cockatiel, that they allowed to escape somehow. They came around asking all of the neighbors if they'd seen their missing cockatiel, and we all said no. Well, a few days later, my roommate found it, dead, in our yard. It had clearly been mangled by a cat when it came into our yard. My roommate never told the people. She just let them think the bird was still missing. Technically, her cats should have been indoors, in my opinion (I don't believe in *outdoor* cats at all) but in California, at least, cats are not required to be indoors or kept on leashes, and the neighbor was negligent in letting the bird get away. I felt bad for the little bird, though.

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