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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69258
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My next door neighbour keeps loads of cats… I think he keeps

Customer Question

My next door neighbour keeps loads of cats… I think he keeps perhaps more than 10 cats.
He loves and treats them well but his house is not too big.

The cats poo everyday in my garden front and back as well as dig everywhere too. The smell sometimes is unbearable. Sometimes they just poo at my front doorstep and i open the door in the morning and i can step on the poo.

My neighbour plays the card : " it is God's creatures " . And " God wants them to reproduce. I know he does not even think that because she even denies the cats are his. They are definitely his because his back garden is their permanent home. they sleep, play and hung around in his garden all day… I have pictures of the cats lying in his benches, shed roof etc…

What can i do legally ??
Can i collect the poo and leave it outside his door step ?? At the end of the day it is God's will.

Seriously… Help me !!
Thank you in advance.
Danai, SW London, Brixton, UK
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo,


I need your advice with regards XXXXX XXXXX neighbour having too many cats that they poo and dig in my front and back garden. The smell is unbearable and they destroy my climber plants too. They poo in my front door step.

how many cats is he allowed to keep in a 2 bedroom house ? doesn't he have responsibility towards the hygiene aspect of keeping cats ?? i spoke to him and he plays the " i dont know anything " card.

Where do i stand legally ??




Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

A person is allowed to keep up to 11 animals without needing a boarding establishment licence from the local council.

That does not necessarily mean that there are not other causes of action open to you but the fact of keeping 10 cats per se is not unlawful.

Cats are considered semi wild animals in law and an owner is not responsible for their conduct while roaming in the same way that they would be for dogs. There isn't a legal obligation upon her to collect her cat's faeces but you could always resolve it by throwing it over her fence which you are perfectly entitled to do and that would focus her mind fast enough.

If the cats are being neglected then that is a breach of the Animal Welfare Act and you can report that to the RSPCA.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69258
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you,


are you sure i can throw the faeces back in his garden without legal consequences ?? What if it is considered as … littering my neighbours garden ??


If the cat owner has no responsibility to pick up the faeces from my property, why am i allowed to throw faeces over back to his garden ??


The only reason i am asking is because i do not want to do anything … illegal.






Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, you need to prove that the faeces is caused by her cats which is the traditional difficulty with this type of thing.

But if you are able to do so then you are just returning her property. Like you would with over hanging leaves.

You are not littering her garden. She is littering yours.

The only claim she could bring is in nuisance or harassment and if you are able to prove that it is caused by her cats then that is going nowhere fast.

Probably a good idea to warn her first and, personally, I would collect it in a bin liner and then deliver it back.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.



Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.

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