'My neighbour's cat uses my garden as a litter box - they won't clean it'

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The woman is at her wit
The woman is at her wit's end with her neighbour's cat (stock photo) (Image: Getty Images)

If you live in a neighbourhood with pets, you might know how frustrating it can be when your neighbours decide not to clean up after their furry friends - especially if you have communal areas such as alleyways or garden spaces that end up being a minefield to walk through.

But one woman is at her wit's end with her neighbour's cat, because the moggy keeps using her garden as a litter tray, and her neighbours refuse to do anything about it. The woman explained she spent several months discouraging the cat from going into her garden and eventually, it stopped but has now started using the communal walkway outside her property - and the neighbours still expect her to clean it up.

In a post on Mumsnet, she said: "I live in a maisonette. It's above a small parade of shops. There are stairs at the side of one of the shops that lead up to a pathway where there are 12 separate properties. Each property has a walled-off yard area that's a decent size with a garden gate to the walkway. Basically, they are terraced houses, but up a flight of stairs. The walkway and stairway are council managed. On my rent each week there is an £8 charge, which is divided between 'grounds maintenance' 'estate care taking' and 'communal cleaning charge'.

"When I moved in about six months ago now, the front yard had been being used by a local cat as its litter tray. It was disgusting. We cleaned it out but the cat returned for a while. I ended up spraying citrus scent everywhere and 'scaring' off the cat when it appeared. Eventually, it stopped visiting. Instead, it has taken to using the walkway. I know specifically which neighbour's cat it is - one three doors down. However, it has chosen the space outside my next-door neighbour's property. A space I never go to as it's the opposite direction down the pathway to the stairs."

The woman said her local council are refusing to clean up the mess despite it being in a communal area of the houses, and now her next-door neighbour has demanded she starts cleaning it - even though it has nothing to do with her.

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She added: "The council are refusing to clean it up. So my next-door neighbour has come to the conclusion it's my responsibility to clean it up, as I forced the cat out of the area it was using prior onto the communal walkway. The owner of the cat is physically disabled (according to the next-door neighbour, I've never met them just seen the guilty cat in their windows) and can't come and clear it themselves. So the neighbour is adamant it's on me to clean up.

"I don't want to clean up after another person's cat when it's not even on my property, it's outside someone else's and I pay the associated fees of living in a property with a communal area for stuff like that to be done. I'm busy, I work 13 hours shifts four times a week, I'm a single mum of 3, and my own house upkeep is stressful enough without adding someone else's. If the owner of the cat is incapable of doing it, then surely it falls on my next-door neighbour if the council are refusing to clean it? Not me?"

Commenters on the post were firmly on the woman's side, with many of them saying they wouldn't clean up the mess as it has nothing to do with her, but said they would at least tell her neighbour how she deterred the cat from her garden in the first place.

One person said: "I wouldn't, once you start it's harder to say no, it's not your responsibility. If you were feeling generous you could tell your neighbour how you discouraged the cat from using the other area," while another added: "I'd say not my cat, not my problem. But I would give them the info on the citrus spray and maybe buy them a water pistol to scare it off."

Zahna Eklund

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