Your neighbor’s cat has taken up residence in your garden without your permission. Smells, meows, excrement can be the source of real inconvenience. What remedies? Our answers.
Despite all the qualities of this animal, you want to push it away from your home. Legally, what are you allowed to do? What can’t you do? What are your possible remedies? Amicable recourse, civil liability, abnormal neighborhood disturbance, legal action… The law offers possibilities for the victim of damage caused by a cat to put an end to it. Or even get compensated. While strictly sanctioning the author of animal abuse.
Can I invoke abnormal neighborhood disturbance when my neighbor’s cat comes to my garden?
Abnormal neighborhood disturbance is constituted by nuisances that exceed the normal inconveniences of the neighborhood. It must therefore be repeated and regular to be constituted.
The odors emanating from the excrement and urine of your neighbor’s cat can constitute an abnormal neighborhood disturbance. But for that, they must be regular and not occasional.
Beyond the smell that can bother you, loud and repeated meowing can also constitute an abnormal neighborhood disturbance. If your neighbour’s cat comes regularly to your garden and causes you an abnormal neighborhood disturbance, you can take action.
What recourse against the neighbour’s cat?
- Attempt an amicable settlement to put an end to the trouble
Before taking any legal action, always prefer amicable settlement. You can send a letter or go directly to your neighbor to explain to him the nuisance that his cat is causing you in your garden. The goal is to find common ground with him.
- Hire a mediator
Before any legal action, calling on a justice conciliator is mandatory. This process is free. The goal is to find an amicable agreement between you and your neighbor about the nuisance caused by the presence of his cat in your garden.
In case of agreement: a statement is signed by the parties in which they commit to each other.
In case of failure: the legal route is open to you.
- Obtain proof of abnormal neighborhood disturbance
If amicable means fail, the legal route is open to you. But it will only succeed if you provide proof of abnormal neighborhood disturbance caused by the presence of your neighbor’s cat in your garden. In this case, you must prove noise and/or odor nuisance.
Proof can be provided by any means: photos, neighborhood certificates or a bailiff’s statement.
- Go to the competent court
If, despite your various amicable steps, the abnormal neighborhood disturbance persists, you can seize the court by summons or by request. In terms of abnormal neighborhood disturbance, for disputes under 10,000 euros, the local court is competent.
If the judge considers that the nuisance from your neighbor’s cat in your garden is really causing you an abnormal neighborhood disturbance, he can:
- Order your neighbor to pay damages.
- Pronounce all appropriate measures to put an end to the disturbance.
Can I claim civil liability when my neighbour’s cat comes to my garden?
Pets, such as cats, can cause different damage. Especially in the neighbor’s garden.
More precisely, there are 3 distinct damages;
The person responsible for the damage caused by the pet is its owner or the person who had custody of it at the time of the facts. One or the other is required to compensate the victim for his damage. (Civ. Code, art. 1243). We are talking about public liability.
If your neighbor’s cat causes you proven damage, you can turn against him to obtain compensation under civil liability.
What are the penalties for animal abuse?
Under no circumstances should you retaliate with violence if your neighbor’s cat comes into your garden. Be aware that the fact, publicly or not, of exercising serious abuse or committing an act of cruelty towards a domestic animal, or tamed, or held in captivity, is punishable by 3 years imprisonment and a fine of €45,000(article 521-1 of the Penal Code).
When the facts lead to the death of the animal, the penalties are increased to 5 years’ imprisonment and a fine of €75,000.
Here is a sample letter to let your neighbor know about the inconvenience you are having with his cat coming to your garden. But also to ask him to take measures so that he no longer comes to your house.
You now know all the remedies available to you if your neighbor’s cat comes into your garden. We always advise you to favor amicable means before going to court. In any case, never commit acts of mistreatment towards the animal, they are severely punished.