Rights of a cat living outside of the house – German Law

If your cats lives outside of your home, this article will be interesting for you to read. Have fun with it!

Defence claims against stray cats/cats living outside: AG Ahrensburg – Ref.: 49b C 505/21 – Judgment of 15.06.2022

The parties are residents of a German city and are not direct neighbours. It is a general housing estate which is rural and characterised by detached, semi-detached and terraced houses. There are several owners of “outdoor cats” in the estate, including the defendants, who are in any case the owners of a black and white patterned “outdoor cat”.

The plaintiff claimed that the defendants were the owners of another black “outdoor cat”. Both cats regularly visited the plaintiff’s property, whereby they also entered and wandered through the plaintiff’s house as long as the plaintiff left the patio door open for ventilation.  In the process, the defendant’s cats left soiling such as hair and excrement on the property and damaged, among other things, the plaintiff’s vehicle and a protective cover for garden furniture. On 15.02.2021, one of the defendant’s cats had destroyed one of the plaintiff’s bird boxes. In the house, the cats sat on freshly washed laundry and tampered with food in the kitchen.  The plaintiff is asthmatic and suffers from multiple allergies, including to animal hair, which is why she suffers from severe allergic symptoms after each visit by the plaintiff’s cats. Her own efforts to keep the cats away had been unsuccessful.

The plaintiff requests that the defendants be ordered jointly and severally to refrain from allowing their two domestic cats onto the plaintiff’s property and into the plaintiff’s house and to ensure that they no longer defecate on the plaintiff’s property, to threaten the defendants with an orderly fine of up to EUR 5,000.00 or orderly imprisonment of up to six months in each individual case for each case of infringement, and to order the defendants jointly and severally to pay the plaintiff €434.20 in extrajudicial legal fees plus interest at five percentage points above the base rate since 11 December 2020.

The defendants request the action to be dismissed.

They claim that keeping cats serves to reduce the number of mice.  Furthermore, the plaintiff does not have the right to sue, as she is only co-owner of the disputed property with her husband, the witness .

The action is in fact admissible. The lack of a conciliation procedure does not prevent the admissibility of the action, as § 1.2 no. 2 LSchliG is not relevant; cats do not constitute imponderable substances (see instead of many MüKoBGB/Brückner, 8th ed. 2020, BGB § 903 marginal no. 43 and § 906 marginal no. 168).

However, the action is unfounded. The plaintiff cannot demand the requested omissions under any legal aspect. The only possible bases for claims were § 1004 para. 1 BGB and § 862 para. 1 BGB in conjunction with § 1004 para. 1 BGB analogue.

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