Legal options for dealing with wandering cats killing goldfish on your property.

If a cat is caught in the act of killing goldfish in a your koi pond what are your legal options in most cases. Can you kill a cat caught predating your fish (or other animals) or are you legally limited to trapping them for removal?

Usually, whilst an animal may kill other animals, there are consequences for killing owned animals.

I would always recommend that anyone ever contemplating killing a cat, hangs himself instead, in the hope that it will reproachfully deter kitty from doing whatever it is he or she wants to do.

You can do whatever you want, it just depends on how badly you want to go to jail. Havahart traps would be a bit more legal.

I am confused though on how someone can have a koi pond that is prone to cat attack, yet somehow avoid the nightly raccoon invasions. Unless you are in southern Utah, Arizona, or the parts of Nevada where nobody lives.

Whatever legal options you may have will (in the US) be a matter of state & local law. In other coutries I can’t say which jurisdictional level might apply. So of the umpteen thousand legal jurisdictions on Earth, which one are you in, good sir astro?

As best I know, in agricultural areas there are often laws permitting animal keepers to defend their revenue-producing stock using deadly force under at least some circumstances.

In suburbia using violence on your neighbors’ pets to protect your decorative critters, not so much.

You could certainly sue the cat’s owner for the value of the destroyed koi. And that’s probably the end of your legal remedies.

In Montana you shoot first and ask questions later. If you dispose of the body how would someone even know you killed it? Waiting nervously for expected backlash…

In a lot of areas, you can kill dogs that come onto your property and attack your animals.

However, you could easily chase off the feline in question–not so easy with a rampaging dog.

The pond is on your property and the cats belong to somebody else? Fish or no fish, I think you have the right to demand the cats stay off your property. Dogs, cats, kids, falcons, whatever, keep them off other’s property. I wouldn’t shoot the kids.

Chicken wire cover for koi pond.

I’d say you’re going to have to produce some evidence:

It is cats, not raccoons, skunks, possum.
It is actually ‘the’ cat you killed, not some other cat.
That there wasn’t some other, non lethal solution that would have worked. (cough, cough, chicken wire!)

Even then, I think it will go badly for you, assuming you live in the suburbs not the woods or countryside.

Someone started another thread today about birds, and there were suggestions for a motion-activated water sprayer, and for feeding the cat.

Uh um…isn’t that kind of what the OP is doing? Of course he may want to choose a less expensive feed than koi.

Alas, it’s my answerto everything…

I’ve used pond netting to keep raccoons out. It does tend to trap snakes, but I’d rather whack a snake than a coon or cat.

Ooopsy, I failed to mention one small detail about the chicken wire suggestion. You can install in just under the water level, so it won’t be an eyesore, and just around the edges where the cats are fishing from.

That is an excellent idea. I wouldn’t put it past coons to walk out on it, though.

Say $400 for the pistol, $600 maybe for the suppressor, $200 tax stamp, ammo is negligible… err… how valuable are these koi? I can’t imagine the largest Maine Coon hunting a $1000+ fish nearly as big as the cat.

Are racoons smarter than cats?

Well, if he uses it for everything…ATM withdrawals, paying for meals in restaurants, etc…then it might just be a paying proposition.

Good thing I reread the thread title; on first glance, I thought it said, “Lethal options…”

Shoot, shovel, shut up.

I’d imagine it’s legal to kill any animal to protect your property.

In my town it’s illegal to use a firearm, air gun, bow & arrow or similar weapons within the city limits. That’s why I shoot at the varmints with my air rifle from inside the garage, through a slightly open door so as to minimize the noise. I try to ventilate their ears instead of killing them, on the theory that a bunny which knows to stay out of my yard is better than a dead bunny. A dead bunny would just be replaced by another bunny which would not have an inkling of the danger in my yard.

In case you are wondering, bunnies are undesirable because they eat the pretty flowers.