Britain is renowned for being a nation of animal lovers and this is obviously reflected in the vast variety of pets we keep. Dogs, cats, goldfish, budgies, parrots, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and even some species of snakes and lizards are just a small proportion of the many different animal species that are kept as pets.
However, as a pet owner, it is our responsibility to ensure that we not only look after and care for our pets in the correct and proper manner, but we also have a duty of care to our neighbours too with regards to our pets and to ensure that they do not interfere in any way with our neighbours’ ability to enjoy life in and around their own homes, too.
Common Pet Problems
Pet problems among neighbours can range from the most common, such as Persistent Dog Barking, dogs fouling the payment, and Aggressive Dogs when out and about but dogs are by no means the only culprits.
Other complaints include cats straying into your garden and digging it up or fouling it and people who keep birds such as pigeons whose droppings can become both a nuisance and a health hazard. Then, there are also associated issues such as pet neglect.
The Legal Position and Who To Turn To
Nuisance pets and pet owners who are irresponsible can have legal action taken against them, which would usually come under anti-social behaviour and both noise and smell nuisance laws. There is legislation in place to cover all of these issues which usually falls under the responsibility of your local authority’s Environmental Health Department under the Environmental Protection Act. It would be this department you would contact first if you were experiencing these kinds of problems, and where you’ve not been able to resolve the matter directly with your neighbours.
Advice on keeping certain pets and training advice, if appropriate, can be offered to pet owners but where persistent or serious offences are being committed, fines of up to £5,000 and pet removal, in certain circumstances can result.
What if you Think the Problem Is Pet Neglect?
In circumstances where you have proof or a strong reason to suspect that pets are being neglected, then you should contact the RSPCA. They will take up the issue and go out and inspect the house involved, speak to the owner, and examine the pet in question. They may also consider whether or not there is a case to pursue an animal cruelty charge, and might also need to determine whether a particular residence is suitable for the pet which is being kept.
In certain instances where a crime may been committed, such as being bitten by a dog or the destruction of property due to a pet not being kept under control by its owner, you may need to get the police involved. But your local authority’s Environmental Health Department or RSPCA will be your first port of call if you’re encountering pet problems that you’re not able to directly resolve with your neighbours.
Usually, speaking to a neighbour amicably, and even mediation where necessary, is sufficient to resolve most pet problems. Installing ultrasonic noise emitters and taking other preventative action like putting out certain smells such as citronella can prevent other neighbours’ pets from coming into your garden. Therefore, wherever possible, you should try to sort out the matter using alternative means to avoid putting extra pressures upon external organisations.
However, you should not refrain from contacting one of these relevant organisations directly without any previous consultation with neighbours if the situation is serious enough to warrant that. Not only do you have the right not to have other people’s pets ruining your own enjoyment of life, you could, in some instances, be helping to save the life of a neglected or mistreated animal.
Hi everyone could really do with some advice…
I live in a block of flats that allow pets and have two cats. My neighbours dog when let out in the garden runs for my cats and you can tell he’s really after them like he’s not just chasing them away he’s trying to catch them with a serious amount of aggression. I know this as I had to get between them! I really politely asked that she keep him on a lead if she knows my cats are out and to that she refused as she said he has as much right to be out there as them apart from my cats are too afraid to go out when he’s out there. Should she keep him on a lead when my or her other neighbours cats are out?
Ecstock - 26-Apr-22 @ 2:10 PM
I have a neighbour who lives upstairs I have two birds which is no problembut then I adopted a stray cat and all I get from upstairs is him putting signs up in his window saying his flat smells of the cat. I have been in contact with the tenancy officer who tells me they won’t do anything because if he wants to do it they can’t stop him. I also had to ask them to try and stop him spraying air fresheners up and down the hall as I’m asthmatic and also have co.pd and they won’t do nothing about that I’m fed up of people getting away with this sort of thingplease can anyone give some advice or help
Lizzy - 22-Aug-21 @ 6:48 PM
Hi wondering if anyone can offer advice I have lived on my street with my cat for 5 years who is neutered and just sticks to the gardens never had any bother with other cats. But over the last few Months there seems to be a cat who keeps coming to attack mine I have witnessed this other cat come onto my drive and just charge at my cat and attack him leaving cuts and minor wounds . I have tried spraying the troublesome feline with water and scaring it off but it keeps returning to attack my cat also keeps trying to get into the house! Really becoming a nuisance.
Sophie - 5-May-21 @ 9:32 PM
My neighbour is feeding cats that come into our shared property they are not their catshowever I am terrified of cats and know that I can’t relax in the garden so I won’t go and sit outside I’ve tried talking to them but they continue to feed them I don’t want a big fallout but it’s very inconsiderate of them Please help as I don’t know what to do
Bella - 25-Apr-21 @ 7:41 PM
Hi!!! I live in a bloc of flats and I have a lovely dog. She’s so friendly but One of my neighbours have a cat. All the time when she see a cat want only to run to her not to hurt or something like this . If the cat stop she doesn’t know what to do it. My question is witch person I can contact to find rules for pet dogs and cat because today my neighbour so upset about to trainee my dog to not run to her cat . Thank you
Nicoleta - 19-Apr-21 @ 6:15 PM
My neighbour has a cat that’s tied up on a lead Neva no water no proper bed sleeps in the cold in a table what do I do
Coco - 1-Apr-21 @ 10:53 PM
Can someone help me please? I have 3 male cats hanging round my house it's been 3 days not they are constantly crying and if I open my front door always trying to get into my house I have a female who is currently waiting to get spayed (I know I should have done it when I got her and I do regret not having it done now) the 3 males won't go away and can become aggressive towards us when we go outside anyone know a temporary solution to keep them away??
Emz - 17-Feb-21 @ 10:23 PM
My neighbor Steven is my best friend and has helped me watch Miss Ellie when I was sick in the hospital but we keep having problems with him putting food on his back door that is old and is luring my puppy Miss Ellie over to his house when I try to take her for a walk it is totally sabotaging my puppy training and I have called the police and they refused to help me today when before they had given him a citation he is putting old pork and old baked beans and old rice out his back door I took pictures of it and I put it in the garbage but the police were no help today I'm going to call the humane society for attempted animal cruelty I don't know what else to do I am at my last wits other neighbors are doing the same thing my neighbor Stanley put pretzels and peanut butter and peanuts out his back door they are all attempting to sabotage me trying to walk Ms Ellie off leash for even a minute to give her time to run she was coming back to me when I called her but now she is running to their back doors it is so frustrating we live in the country and we are supposed to be a solid community I can't even run my dog for a minute I need to build a dog run like a clothesline pull with a wire to hook her leash onto but until that is done I am going out of my mind I just had back surgery and I'm supposed to be on physical restrictions but instead I am running
Miss Ellie - 9-Jan-21 @ 9:37 PM
My dog still has both of her testes. Every time my wife and I take her for a walk, we have other dog walkers telling us what a handsome boy she is. To assist with this issue, I hand-stitched her a smock of the finest pink silk, yet still we have these comments. HOW RUDE! Any suggestions?
Dr Wan - 23-Nov-20 @ 12:10 AM
my husband Richard keeps feeding our dog hotdogs, because of my vegan diet I amvery against feeding him anything containg meat as it is not healthy and my dog could get cancer from the meat and other animal products my husband gives him, my dog is gaining weight and has stopped losing so much fur I consider this to be bad as I no longer have anything to use as stuffing for my pillows and my husband says he's consindering moving in with his parents if I keep the dog on a vegan diet I don't know what to do and he wants to take our kids and dog with him.
cockfox - 22-Nov-20 @ 11:34 PM
A cat has been visiting our house and only entering when our doors were open. We was advised to put up a poster in the local area & leave our number which we did. My husband is now receiving threatening and abusive calls from the owner about the cat I am trying to contact RSPCA to seek advise Jus worried about the cat !
Nicky - 20-Nov-20 @ 3:45 PM
It is winter, and it looks like one of our neighbours is leaving their cat outside.
She is staying in our garden, she is very cold, sometimes wet and very hungry.
I decided to let her in and feed her but she poos everywhere and attacked our cat so I had to take her out again.
She looks sad and very stressed but I noticed that at about 7 she disappears so I think she has an owner.
I feel very sorry for her. How can I help her?
Nathaly - 15-Nov-20 @ 8:45 AM
My problem is with some next door neighbours who slam their external doors from 5am for a dog, and waking me every time.
The council/police were involved but nothing. I’ve written note after note as politely as possible, but they get louder and louder every time. I’m 73 with health conditions, but this noise is ruining my life.
Juliet - 19-Oct-20 @ 9:37 PM
I have no problem with cats as i love all animals,i have 3 of my own dogs but cat fouling is just to much. We made and area for my autistic son to play in safely and we used play bark for it m. Now we are finding cat poop all over it my child even had it on his hands!! We have tried pepper,mint,infered. Nothing is working,i know you carnt tell a cat where to poop but they are still a responsibility to there owner. We knocked and kindly asked if they could come and remove there cats poop and we were told f*****f.! Every other pet people have we have to pick up there mess but if you own a cat you can leave it any where its not right! And cat poop is potentially harmful to humans and even more so to pregnant women. If some one askd me i would pick it up as its the kind and right thing to do! I think from now on my dogs could have a new pooping area ; )
Mindy - 12-Aug-20 @ 9:07 AM
I live in the country quite remote and have dogs and cats etc . I also have a neighbour across the fields if you like who has a ginger Tom , he’s attacked two of our cats who are all neutered and comes in the house at night and sprays and inevitably the dogs go after it down the Lane !! We have proof it comes in but she refuses to have it casterated or do anything as she wants to breed farm cats (there are thousands of unwanted cats ) . I’ve asked politely for to get something done as we are fed of being woken up in the small hours this has been going on for months ! Any suggestions or who do I complain to?
SueT - 28-Jul-20 @ 11:12 AM
Got a neighbour in a private property that likes to complain about really stupid things, the odd fire and the odd noise in the back garden, well this time it was about my pet guinea pigs. They squeak when they hear food, usually around half 11 at night, apparently the squeaking is keeping them awake but I honestly cannot hear them in the room beneath them, to be honest I think it just them being idiots, really needing advice
AngryNeighbour - 9-Jul-20 @ 3:06 PM
Its sad that horrible people like you nat3ski have nothing better to do than persecute defenseless animals who are teretorial creatures keeping the vermin rat population down .WE all know what hatred led to during world war two .leave the animals alonestop adding more suffering to the animal atrocities thats already rife .LIVE AND LET LIVE .
Jin - 31-Jan-20 @ 12:03 PM
I need to complain about the neighbours got dogs and cats and rabbit we been told not to have cat or dog in the building
Julie - 25-Jan-20 @ 9:47 PM
I live bottom floor of a 3 floor condo. My neighbors above me at night throw cat feces off there balcony down by my condo. I have to clean it up every day or so. I mentioned to wife that someone has been throwing cat feces along with all kinds of food down, and she denied it would be them. What should I do to get this to stop! It smells and I am unable to sit on my back porch without having to deal with this mess. I am so tired of having to clean it.
Debra - 8-Jan-20 @ 1:47 AM
My neutured male cat is an outdoor cat but unfortunately we have 2 un-neutured Tom's that live close who keep causing my cat terrible injuries and stress, therefore causing me massive vet bills and stress myself. I cant not let him out as he goes crazy but can I report owned, un-neutured cats? We are also concerned that they are not vaccinated and therefore could be riddled with disease that my cat could catch. Please help, its causing a lot of upset in our house!
Ao - 23-Dec-19 @ 12:00 AM
My neighbour has rubbish all over his yard rotten food tin cans black bags it's totally disgusting sheds everywhereooh and pigeonswe never see anyone going to them to feed or clean out.dont know much about pigeons,but I would have thought you'd need to keep pen s clean and feed them.iim scared of saying anything to them as they can be nasty Tennant's I mean. Can anyone advise me
Nan1 - 21-Dec-19 @ 5:16 PM
My neighbour suddenly reported us for dog poop (The other 2 surrounding neighbours couldn't smell anything, neither could I, I spoke with them when I bumped into them today. They were shocked and appalled about the report) this week as I was back at work - long shifts, away for 24 hours as I work in supported living for learning disabilities and challenging behaviour and the poop had spread in a corner of my garden because I wasn't here to lift it for a couple of days and my partner is disabled so he can't.
My dogs poop on the fake grass out back btw and the area is bleached and scrubbed every 2 weeks.
Environmental health had been at my property today because of the report while I was walking my dogs!
I had work shifts together, took my dogs out for walks upon returning this morning and wouldn't have much luck out gathering poop the day before anyway, a storm was afoot.
Instead of speaking to me she called in environmental health the first opportunity to get me in poop, literally.
I just spent 6 weeks with a broken foot in a support boot out picking up poop every day. I had a mental first week back at work last week and she reports me...
She didn't have the respect to speak with me. I would have worked with her and found a way if it bothered her, even though it didn't bother any one else and usually isn't even about to be an issue.
The worst part is... her cat poops in my front garden every single day! It's scratched my car too.Cat poop is disgusting. I don't allow my dogs to poop in the front garden because it's difficult to get scooped in grass and it's DISGUSTING when we mow the grass and have tonnes of cat crap everywhere.
Honestly. What response does this warrant?
Kai - 9-Dec-19 @ 9:16 PM
If you get that upset about a few innocent cats (friendly, harmless animals, who only visit gardens because they enjoy the company of humans) visiting your garden, I think you should maybe accept that it is you that has the problem, and you could save yourself a lot of money, and stress, by just learning to be more compassionate and tolerant. I have 4-5 cats visiting my garden, every single day, and I don't lose a minute of sleep over it. Because it's really not a big deal.
Ceej - 11-Nov-19 @ 1:05 AM
My neighbour as 2 cats that gets kept in a room on their own as she lives in the bedroom and she does not open any windows for them they don't come outside the flat the room looks dirty from the window curtains really dirty the cats are weeing and pooing in the room it's got to be bad for their health surely it can cause them breathing problems
Dolly - 13-Aug-19 @ 5:57 PM
Cat owners like you are the reason I had to put up an electric fence. Silent roar doesn't work, and placing lion dung down to get rid of cat droppings is a very hollow victory at best.
I note that you don't feel keeping a wild animal as a pet is cruel, but feel keeping it inside is. Ruining someone's enjoyment of their hard earned property is cruel, especially when it's entirely of your making.
I hope cats become regulated to the same extent as dogs as there are too many irresponsible cat owners who let their cats do whatever they wan and expect everyone else to clean up after them.
Such people sicken me with their lack of consideration for others....
Nat3ski - 3-Jul-19 @ 8:45 PM
For those with neighbourhood cat issues, don't waste your time with the council they won't do anything. The deterrents are expensive and ineffective for the most part and I don't recommend them. While I did have some luck with the motion activated sprinkler, I think I got hit by it more times than the neighbourhood cats.
I solved my cat problem in my garden by erecting an electric fence, low powered designed for cats and dogs, and it's the best 200 pounds I've spent. Not a single cat or associated droppings since I powered it up and I would highly recommend looking into this if you are having trouble with the other suggestions.
Nat3ski - 3-Jul-19 @ 8:31 PM
My neighbour has started keeping doves. I work in a loft conversion in my house and the doves sit on theedge of the roof making a lot of noise and putting excrement over the Velux windows. Do I have a right to ask him to contribute to the cost of putting up anti Pigeon protectors on the roof?
Bobs - 13-May-19 @ 2:47 PM
My neighbour has built a dovecot
And is keeping doves.I work in a loft conversion and the doves Land on my roof and relieve them self over my three Velux Windows As well as making a lot of noise. I need to pay acompany To put up anti Pigeon Protection. Do I have a right to ask my neighbour to contribute?
Bobbie - 13-May-19 @ 2:44 PM
my son has two huskies. beautiful dogs and happy cared for dogs. one is in heat. the other is male . the neighbour has just knocked at his door to tell my son she is reporting him for allowing the dogs to mate 3 days in row in back garden. the garden is fenced off high.
my son is at work during day but his partner is at home. the dogs get taken for walks etc but the male dog about 18 months old is wanting the female all the time. the female does not bark at all. the male rarely if at all barks.
what can my son do to protect his dogs and is he doing anything wrong if allowing dogs in back garden and they mate. neither dog is distressed. in fact they enjoy playing together and never fight.
have the neighbours got a right to complain as both dogs are very quiet and its the mating this week thats the issue
loki - 13-May-19 @ 11:36 AM
How can I deter pigeons from coming onto mybalcony.Spikes do not work