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Justin Hopkins

Hi there, I am new to this forum and thought I would join in the hope of getting some advice and also new ideas.


I have been searching hi and low for ways to keep problem cats out of my garden for years. I have yet found anything that does not require spending an absolute fortune, for not much more that a 50/50 chance of success.


So I have bitten the bulllet and decided to take a little action, and thought that one or two of you may also be interested. Don't worry, perfectly legal and non harmful.


I have set up an E-Petition to make cat owners responsible for their pets. I don't think it will rock the world, but if nothing else, it may get our voices heard. I know many gardeners that have a similar problem as me, where by, neighbours cats, let alone strays come into the garden and use it for thier toilet. I am often angered by cat owners reactions to any complaints and always get the standard answer, that cats are wild animals and therefore cannot be trained, and we are not responsible.

Any how, I have set it up, Please have a read and if you agree to the sentiment behind it, please sign and then get your friends to do it too. I only need 100 signatures for it to be passed for consideration, so it's do-able. 


Here is the link:

Please do not misunderstand me,  I know there are many responsible cat owners out there, and this is not directed at them. 

Thanks for listening. Justin. 


"always get the standard answer, that cats are wild animals and therefore cannot be trained". I'm afraid they're right, Justin, whether you like it or not. Experts will tell you the same. Try soaking teabags in diluted Jeyes Fluid and spread them around the garden, lightly covered with soil. Should work, if not, take it easy and get a cat yourself, it will chase the others away and also give you much pleasure!

Justin, first of all welcome.  Nice to have you here.

I do get cats coming in.  They don't seem to do any damage but I'm aware when they can.  Seed sowing time....cats love the fine tilth and invade. So, I cover with fleece.  After that I try to keep the ground surface damp with the hose until the plants have grown.  I have a dog too....guess his presence helps.  if I see a cat I chase and if I happen to have the hose I squirt it at him.

Foxes visit me...sometimes they leave a "calling card" which is very foul smelling.  Not,often but now and then.

I know cats are a real problem...prob more so in the towns and cities.  Not sure the owners can do much or ourselves. 

Justin Hopkins

See I have a problem with that....Rabbits are wild animals, yet people have them as house pets. Rats are wild animals, yet people have them as pets.....if people want to have a cat then they should take it for walks just like dog owners do, and yes I mean on a lead.

Yes it will look silly initially I accept that. But it wasn't that long ago that to see a dog on a lead was strange. I fully believe that if when the cat is a kitten, it is trained by the owner on a lead to go in its own garden, and gets taught the bounderies then training IS possible.

Maybe, if it was made law, people would think twice about owning a cat in the first place. After all, they are in most cases lazy. The get up in the morning, feed the cat then open the door and let it out......then last thing at night they open the door to let the cat back in.....THAT IS NOT being responsible, that is not caring for the animal. If a dog owner did that, he/she would be fined, maybe even banned from keeping another dog. 

I just think it is too easy to own a cat, without accepting that you are responsible for what the cat does and where the cat goes. 

Look - a lot of people have problems with cats-but there are more important things to worry about then them crapping in your garden and I dont want my money as a taxpayer wasted on some daft idea to train owners and cats

You cant train cats-plain and simple

You seem you think you have discovered the wheel-do you not think that others had had this brainwave before you?

So please stop trying to waste my money on some half-baked idea




Say what !!

Hey, I'm a cat owner, you saying that I am irresponsible. Then you don't know jack russell !!!


I'm a cat owner / lover & I KNOW for a fact that my cat only uses MY garden for the necessary. This is primarily because ALL the neighbours in our road have (big) dogs (often several - we are very rural) & also because I am the only person for a goodly distance who has a garden with beds / borders / seed beds / veg beds etc. He has a little routine whereby he nips out for his morning constitututional after breakfast, does what he needs to do (I can see him) & usually comes back in again for the rest of the day.

So, - yes it's not nice digging up cat poo when you're planting / weeding, and yes - it's irritating watching him scrab around where I've just put in new plants but I have to tell you he does hardly any real damage - unlike the squirrels, pigeons, rabbits, mice, runaway dogs and, worst of all the muntjac that I have to contend with.

I think the government have more than enough on their plate without worrying about disturbed seedlings and cat poo. How on earth would you police this? CCTV? For cat poo....  Get real....


I understand how frustrated you feel about the cats but there is nothing you can do about it.  When I find myself getting cross about them digging up my seedlings, pooing, killing plants by laying on them (including several grown from seed aquilegias in their first year), scratching my gate to bits when they climb over it - I just force myself to calm down and think about something else instead.  All my neighbours have cats and I don't want to fall out with the neighbours so I put up with their pets.

I have read somewhere that under English (only English) law a dog owner is legally   responsible for what the dog does but a cat owner is not responsible for what the cat does. So you are going to have to change the law if you live in England. I don't know about the law in the rest of the UK .

Justin Hopkins

Hey people, everyone has a right to voice their opinion and that is all I am doing. 

As far as how it would be policed.....well it already is, we have dog wardens don't we? Why cannot they be made Dog and Cat wardens?

All I am suggesting is that the basis of the law regarding dogs is extended to cats. Should cost no more money to impliment, in fact, when you add up the fines it may even pay to introduce the issue. 

And Top Bird, I salute you for being a responsible cat owner! If only the other cat owners were as responsible. 

I am getting ever increasingly fed up by cats coming into my garden. The most popular advice I am given is to get a cat of my own.....What a crock!!!! 

I don't have a cat or a dog, and I would not have one. So why do I have to put up with other peoples cats? At least if I see an unattended dog roaming the street I can call the dog warden, but if I have a cat problem, I am supposed to put up with it. Well that's not right.....Oh and by the way, I pay my taxes too, and I could name many initiatives that I would rather my money spent on. 

The fact of the matter is this, if all cat owners were as responsible as TOPBIRD, then I and thousand of other people would not have this problem.


Hello Justin. I do gardening for a living and yes cats are a problem but then so are many other animals. I wear gloves ALL the time but I'm sure if I can live with the animals you can too Is it really worth raising your blood pressure over? I can think of more important things to get hot and bothered over.


You've got a problem mate, perhaps you should see a doctor!

Hey Justin

Just thought I would let you know -came out this morning and some bird had crapped all over my car-well of course I immediately phoned the dog/cat warden and they suggest I catch all the birds put them on leads and explain to them about using public toilets

Thought you might like to be aware of this cracking idea and could add it to you petition which has now got-I see 5 supporters-going well??

Get  the PM on board -and you have a winner

My garden is used as a  toilet by about three local cats, because a lot of neighbours have dogs. Its also strange that cats never seem to dump in their own gardens! My next door neighbours cat is a regular! Lovely if your not being as attentive as you should when weeding!  Short of buying a Jack Russell any tips would be appreciated. The water filled bottle thing just doesnt work. They lie against it when it gets cooler in the evening! Graeme - that bird has just been over my place and done exactly the same thing. Maybe we could have it arrested for causing criminal damage?


Quite how you can train a cat to not do something which is instinctual is rather a difficult task. As people say, there's far more in the world to worry about. I have two cats, I regularly pop round my neighbours, esp the more elderly ones to have a quick check with my scoop. Another solution would be to limit the number of cats, but I prefer some cat poo rather than legions of rats resistant to poison. There is some sort of motion detector thing you attach to a hose for about £40 that sounds the most promising, it starts a sprinkler everytime it is triggered.



if you want cats to stay out of your garden then you have two choices, either use 45 degree angle on the top of your fencing to stop them getting in and out that way or make your garden unpleasant by using a super soaker water pistol aimed at the body of the cat (not the head!) you have to make sure the cats can't see you when you 'shoot' them, otherwise they learn that the garden is only out of bounds while you're visible. the shot of water has to be akin to an 'act of god' to be really effective.

safe, cheap and unlikely to upset your neighbours and fellow forum members. as for the petition... you're wasting your time, and dog wardens? birmingham has one for the whole city, so good luck getting central govt to cough up for 'cat wardens'.

Can't cats be trained just to go in a litter tray? That is to say, if a cat is litter trained will it not just go in it's tray (accessed via a cat flap I assume) and not people's gardens? I have always wondered why this wouldn't solve the problem.


Dog crap is easily sorted so why do I still see loads of it, not just standing all proud on a, all decked up in their sunday best.

I have started wondering, why go to all the bother of picking it up, bag it, only to throw it back onto the front of my front door ? 

Hey....lets start a e-petition ?!?!


Justin Hopkins

Well, well, well.....I am surprised at some of the responses on here. But hay-ho.

Obviously you like smelling cat sh*t and urine, jayes fluid and orange peel, where as I like smelling the flowers. 

Some of the responses have made me laugh. 

Despite all your responses, I still feel that what I have suggested is doable. My guess is, that either you are all cat owners, or maybe cats are more able to train humans, than humans are able to train cats.

I have spent some money on and electrical gadget that supposedly repels cats, well I will see if it works. What brought me to make the decision to set up the e-petition was looking at the feedback on some of the products. I looked at three different products on Amazon and was amazed to see feedback by over 4000 people, all feeling that they had to purchase these products. Bearing in mind that not everyone who bought the products left feedback I figured the true amount was a lot higher.

With the average cost of these gadgets at about £30.00 then having unwanted cats in your gardens is a very lucrative business opportunity, and perhaps that is why cat ownership is not legislated for.

Everyone seems to think that cats cannot be trained, I have three Cat owning friends in different parts of the world, one of them has five cats. They are all trained, they are all very much looked after and they are no problems to their neighbours. One of my friends takes their cat for a walk several times a day, on a lead. Sure she says that it looks odd, and sure she has had many comments (some believe it or not, telling her that she was cruel). Don’t figure.

Anyway, like what I said, or not. It doesn’t much concern me. You carry on with your endless tasks of putting orange peel and jeys fluid around the garden and getting cat sh*t in your boarders. When all the wild birds have disappeared from your gardens, you may one day wonder if anything should have been done. At least I can say, at least I tried.

What I have done is preferable to a minority of people who kill the cats that come into their garden, I have heard stories of people shooting them with air-rifles and even laying down poison which I would never condone. There were eleven cats last year in my area alone that were found to have been deliberately poisoned, not sure if the culprit was found, but I hope so.

What I really do not understand, is what is the point of having a pet, if you are not going to look after it. Just providing a roof over its head, and feeding it, is not looking after it.

Thank you for reading, the e-petition is still up, and as I am unable to get the word out, it will grow slowly I am sure, maybe not enough to do anything about it, but one never knows.

Regards, Justin. 

Get a water scarecrow.  That does the job, the ultrasonic cat repelling efforts are a waste of your money.  The contech one looks the best, I will be getting one of these in a few months when I move, as I KNOW the house I'm moving into is used as a public latrine for most of the furry vermin (cats) in the area.  You connect the water scarecrow to the hosepipe, place in the area of your garden you want to protect, and it squirts a jet of water at anything the motion detector picks up.  As you aren't in the garden at the time, the cats start to associate that area of your garden as having bad mojo (they go there and an odd thing squirts them with water), and give it a wide berth.

I'm a dog person and not really a cat person, I have kids and don't want them coming in after playing out covered in cat poo, it's bad enough picking up dog poo, but I knew I'd have to do that when I got the dog, I do get fed up of picking up cat poo (dog is old and can no longer catch the buggers).

What you're suggesting is impractical and a waste of everyone's time and money.  The horse has expired, stop flogging it and lay out some readies on the contech scarecrow, then come back all excited and tell us you've figured out how to keep out cats.