My neighbour is feeding random cats in my garden. What to do?

My neighbour is feeding random cats in my garden. What to do?
My neighbour is feeding random cats in my garden. What to do? Image by Leng Kangrui from Pixabay.

This is a problem discussed on the Reddit.com website, an excellent social media site which I'd recommend. It is a site with throws up some interesting cat problems. Correction: human problems about cats because as sure as eggs are eggs this is a human generated problem, and the cat is the innocent victim. They say the following:

"For a while now I’ve been noticing this weird brown sludge in my driveway and couldn’t figure out what it was. Yesterday I came home and noticed a stray cat sat underneath my car with a pile of cat food, enough that someone must have placed it there. This morning the cat food was a wet soggy mess all over the garden, just like I’d previously seen. My boyfriend said he’s seen the cat chilling out underneath my car a lot recently too. I’ve started checking under my car every time I go to leave the house so I don’t run it over, but I just don’t like the idea of a cat being fed in my garden and what else the leftover food might attract? I was thinking of getting a little camera to see who is doing it? I don’t want it to continue but I really don’t know how to go about the situation?"
It looks like a neighbour is feeding stray cats on their property which creates a couple of problems, (1) trespass and (2) feeding stray cats is problematic albeit entirely understandable. 

In many ways feeding stray cats is excellent work. It is kindly and decent. Humans put the cats there through carelessness. Many people can't stand by and let stray cats starve and struggle to survive. I am one of those people.

However, it can cause disputes with neighbours because many people are insensitive towards stray cats. They see them as bringers of disease and unwanted noise and nuisance. And feeding cats outside willy-nilly can attract the kind of wildlife that some people describe as vermin. So, feeding them can cause neighbour disputes and you never want a neighbour dispute.

The odd aspect of the story is that the unknown person is feeding the cats in this person's property. As mentioned, that is trespass. However, it does point to the fact that the cat feeder lives very nearby, perhaps next door. It should be possible to find the person and have a word with them.

It seems that they are feeding dry food which becomes sludge-like after rain. I would knock on doors and find the person and discuss how together they could improve the lives of the cats concerned and at the same time discover if the cats were genuine strays or indoor/outdoor cats. If they are the latter find out who owns them and talk to them as well. You can check for a microchip either at a veterinary clinic or using a microchip scanner yourself. 

The downside is that all this means work and it might be tiresome to person involved.

It is doubtful that the cats' owner (if they have an owner) will respond to a request to keep them inside but if they are strays you might be able to get them to a rescue centre where they could be rehomed. 

The key is to find a solution by working amicably together with neighbours to help the cats. That, as I see it, is the decent and constructive way forward. The cats are the true victims not the person whose property is being trespassed upon.

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