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Vincent2013
Vincent2013, JustAnswer Expert
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified solicitor and barrister (non-practising) with 7+ years experience
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What are the laws on cat mess and their owners

Resolved Question:

What are the laws on cat mess and their owners
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Vincent2013 replied 3 years ago.
Hi, thanks very much for your question. My name's XXXXX XXXXX I'm going to assist you with it.

Does this relate to cat fouling on the private premises of an individual other than the owner?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Vincent,that is actually my question.I hope you can help.


 

Expert:  Vincent2013 replied 3 years ago.
No problem at all.

There are, in fact, no specific laws that relate directly to the issue of cat fouling. Unlike dogs, they can lawfully roam and (generally) foul areas other than their owner's garden without the owners being held accountable. This is because the relevant law on animals and trespass excludes cats. Nevertheless, even though they might not be trespassing, if they are causing a legal nuisance, this may still be actionable against the owner.

First, depending on the level of the nuisance, it might be an issue for the Environmental Health Department of your Local Authority. There is legislation in place that means that the Local Authority can act if the manner in which an animal is kept is prejudicial to health or is a nuisance. However, this will only be relevant where there are large number of cats that are responsible for the fouling and they are all owned by the same person. In such cases an anti-social behaviour order could also be an appropriate sanction.

If this is the case, the first port of call is the Environmental Health Officer, as they will investigate whether this is a statutory nuisance.

If the Local Authority do not act, the second type of nuisance action would be a common law one based on a private claim in the civil court. The court would need to be satisfied that a nuisance had occurred and, if so, may award damages or an injunction. However, I should stress that the threshold to show nuisance would require a party to show a material discomfort or inconvenience and, again, cat fouling would have to be substantial and from a large number of cats.

All things considered if this is one or two cats and the fouling is an annoyance that would not reach these thresholds, there are other actions that can be taken. Below is a link is a helpful guide on the topic from the RSPCA which gives some useful humane deterrents.

http://www.rspca.org.uk/servlet/Satellite?blobcol=urlblob&blobheader=application/pdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=RSPCABlob&blobwhere=1116061670302&ssbinary=true&Content-Type=application/pdf

I hope that's helpful and do let me know if I can clarify anything for you.
Vincent2013, JustAnswer Expert
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 213
Experience: Qualified solicitor and barrister (non-practising) with 7+ years experience
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