There are a lot of cats in the neighbourhood (two in my own home) and many of them are allowed outdoors. Not mine. Mine are exclusively indoor pets because the very thought of one of them hunting down one of my feathery or furry backyard visitors, killing it and then bringing it to me as some kind of gift stresses me. So, my cats don’t have a choice; they’ve been forced to live their feline little lives entirely inside the walls of our home. But don’t feel sorry for them. If you could see how pampered they are, you’d wonder just who is the master and who is the pet. I wonder about that myself, sometimes.
So my cats stay home but other cats don’t. And generally speaking, I don’t really care what other pet owners choose to do; whether they decide to give their pets free reign of the great outdoors or keep them inside at all times is entirely up to them. Many cat owners see cats as free, independent creatures that should not be confined. And I respect that. Even if I don’t practice it.
However, the conflict begins when said cats come into my garden and use the flower beds as litter boxes. PFFFFFFT...... That really upsets me. I keep finding cat feces in the flower bed in front of the house, and always in the same spot. I suspect that that particular area has been selected because one of my cats sits on the ledge of the window that is right over that flower bed to watch what’s going on outside. Perhaps there is a cat in the neighbourhood that purposefully poops right there to show my cat who’s boss. These animals can be quite territorial and quite aggressive as they try to establish their position in the social pecking order.
I honestly don’t care which cat it is or why it’s doing it. I’m simply trying to resolve this problem because I am sick and tired of cleaning up poop from someone else’s pet. And the owners of these animals are fortunate that I am such a huge animal lover because someone else might not be as lenient. There are individuals who take drastic measures -- like sprinkling the area with cayenne pepper that leave the animal in agony after it licks its paws, or wipes its eyes with a pepper-laden foot. I suppose this is effective if you want to punish and torment the cat, but my guess is that it’s very unlikely that the poor creature will associate that pain with having pooped in a particular garden.
Now, cat owners may ask how on earth someone can keep their cat out of another garden when it’s roaming around out there. And...well...that’s their problem, isn’t it? I’m afraid that the cat owner will have to figure that out. Because their right to let their cat out ends where someone’s right to a cat-free property begins. And if someone’s cat is using another person’s property as a toilet, and the owner of the cat just doesn’t give a rat’s ass, that property owner has the right to trap the animal and take it to the pound.
But I don’t do that. Maybe I should since I am a firm believer that people with pets are responsible for what their pets do outside their own yards. But I don’t. I usually try to find solutions that aren’t overly aggressive. Most of the time.
Which brings me to the point of this post.
After the lengthy rant above, all I really want to do is ask you, dear readers, to suggest safe cat deterrents. Do any of you have this problem? And if so, how do you handle it? What can I do that will discourage these furballs from visiting my garden and using it as their personal toilet? What can I add/change in my garden that will keep the cats out, but not physically hurt them?