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I also have 2 cats which use an outside litter tray which is under a table on which is my cold frame but they do occasionally err to the garden. My proven prevention methods are placing plastic netting (plastic clematis netting is good) over the vulnerable plants. Wire hanging basket frames and plastic bell cloches work well on emerging shoots such as peonies, lilies and delphiniums. This year I also placed branches from my Christmas tree and some holly in the open spaces between plants (which I have now removed) and had no problems at all. What also works are small canes stuck in the ground between plants, restricting the space for them to scratch the earth up. My cats cannot get out of the garden, nor any others get in, because I have a product called 'purrfect fence, which enable them to have the rune of the garden and the climbing steps I have put in without the risk of being run over.
The link below regards cats and the law..
.. and for anybody unsure about this, how about a lawyers perspective..
Nobody is saying it is ideal, its just the law, a fact of life.
wow. hmm well thats given some clarity.. thank you.
The best way of keeping cats off your flower beds is to cat proof your garden. I don't think this is workable for everyone but i've finally achieved this. It has cost me a lot of money (£2000) but i'm surrounded by cats and lazy owners and have been battling both for years. I've tried every conceivable trick to stop the cats from using my raised veg beds as a toilet. Nothing worked.
In desperation i cat proofed my garden. I'd read a lot about being able to cat proof a garden so pet owners could keep them in their garden. So i thought surely the same principles could be applied to keeping them out. I did a lot of research on cat behaviour and how to keep cats in a garden and went on a shopping spree. Since i finished the work, nothing but birds come in my garden. This is an added bonus as since all these cats kept coming in, not a single bird would come anywhere near my garden. Now i'm treated to the most amazing sight everyday.
I wish i'd done this years ago.
This seems to have become removed from gardening problems, to who loves and who hates cats. I used to live next door to a lovelly lady one side who had 21, you can imagine the result in MY garden. The other side a couple who went out to work all day, left their back door open to let their dog into the garden, but NEVER picked up after him, the resulting stench stopped us going into OUR garden in the end. I have a dog, have almost always had cats. All treated monthly so they pose no health threats. My Daughter has a terrible problem, actually gave up in her garden completely, and was crying her eyes out, 2 toddlers at the time, I have put spikey plants in her garden, plastic "bird" spikes all around, (they sometimes poo on them!) Have just about everything, including a sonic device. About to try chilli pepper, have read they do not like the smell, fingers crossed!
She wasnt a mad live alone lady, they were lovelly cats (all neutered!), mostly pedigree, the dog the other side become the worst problem in the end, it was back in the 70s. I got over it!!!!! Still gardening, still finding cat poo, in my veg plot, have resorted to chicken wire and netting for the seeds and seedlings
I have a big piece of netting that I throw over the flower bed and keep it in place with canes, both seem to deter the cats, the netting is in a messy heap so maybe they dont know what it is or if they will get stuck in it, anyway it does the job, also from birds who eat my seeds.
You can buy special fencing that will keep cats in your own garden. You can then let them out anytime you like and clean up after them at your will.
Cats are animals that are the responsibility of those that own them. It's not my responsibility to spend time and money preventing other peoples pets from messing or damaging my garden.
If you do not wish to keep house cats and are not prepared to spend money on fencing to keep them on your property then do not buy or keep a cat.
It's that simple.
I think it's important for cat owners to realize the impact (financially, emotionally, and time-wise) that THEIR cats have on their neighbors.
I realize these posts keep coming up, but we are always having new members join that maybe haven't realized the impact of their pet on someone else's gardening pleasure (and health).
I have just noticed this thread and have to agree wholeheartedly with "Clari" and Blue Onion......I am not a cat lover and suffered years back with neighbours cats messing in my garden and raiding my bins!
At the risk of being shot down in flames for this I think the majority of cat owners buy cats for an easy life, I regard cats as a lazy persons pet........the nature of cats is to roam free, which is usually in a neighbour's garden. At least dog owners (in the main) are responsible, but cats aren't so easy to control. Any cat-owning neighbour that I had the misfortune of living close to never cared about what their cats got up to. Yes, cats will and do roam free, usually in someone else's garden.......so I used one of those water blaster things that children play with and big jugs of water to throw at the cats when they came into my garden. I high pressure hose is always handy and effective on the cats........but the owners were usually less than happy about this.....tough!
I used to think gardeners were a relaxed bunch, not so according to this thread. I actually dont mind any animal roaming my garden and apart from the neighbour cats we have foxes who dont mind where they go to the toilet and squirrels who dig up plants, I had newly planted plugs dug up this morning and in each place there was a peanut, then the magpie who swoop on small birds midflight, yes they are wild animals but still as disruptive, just nobody to blame. But cats are not like dogs they really are a wild animal who 'allow's us to partially domesticate it. I would rather have the neighbours cats in the garden than hear their kids shrieking, and I just clear up the foxes mess and replant the plants. Relax, thats what gardening is about.
I agree Tricia to a point, although cat or fox poo in my veg patch was a health risk as well as annoying to pick up. I pick enough dog poo up while walking my dog... so I tried all sorts to prevent it (I don't mind so much in the flower beds as long as I see it before I tread in it and can't smell it when sitting out so I do pick it up).
Actually when I investigated it wasn't my neighbours cats but foxes who had a run across the garden each evening, my neighbours cats lounge in my garden as if it were their own and pay rent by catching the odd field mouse .
I tried the water scarecrow that others mentioned in this forum and the foxes appear to have gone elsewhere, its been a few months so I'm happy, the cats are happy, the neighbours are happy and well thats that really...
Relaxing whilst scraping cat poo off my hands again is a bit difficult. I choose not to have pets for so many reasons. My garden being the main one. I have so much to put up with with my neighbours. They are very difficult to live near. Their cats are just one of many issues. I don't want them in my garden. I don't think that's too much to hope for. I've spent a lot of time and money sorting this. Now i can relax a bit.
i hope other gardeners manage to get their issues sorted too.
When gardeners spend so much money, energy and time in their gardens it's so infuriating to have it spoiled by a neighbour's cat. I am fortunate is as much as I live in the country to have no neighbours or their cats to worry me.....just the wild rabbits that eat everything they fancy. This is nature and doesn't worry me, I had dozens of Spring bulbs eaten by field mice recently, annoying yes, but that's nature. I had dozens of Hellebores eaten by the darling littlle rabbits as well. But having to put up with someone else's pesky cat is more than nature and I don't want cats in my garden. Sadly cat owners don't care about their own cats destroying other peoples gardens..........they just let them wander, but that is the nature of cats and why I would never have one........I regard cats as vermin. Which is why I used a high pressure hose years back when I had neighbours.....the big problem is that cat owners don't see the problem they are causing to others.
So it's just nature when your cat scales my 6 foot fence, and my lurcher catches and kills it? That's nature, isn't it? I shouldn't feel sad and remorseful that my animal was doing exactly what he's been breed to do as I gather up the lifeless body and toss it into the garbage can?
No different than your cat catching and killing the quail nesting in my brush heap, right? That's just nature.
I had no idea what a huge issue this actually is. I thought it was just me having to deal with other peoples pets. Everyone dealing with this has my sympathies and understanding. Hopefully we can carry on gathering hints and tips on how to help fellow gardeners deal with what is obviously a genuine major problem.
I have 3 cats, 3 large, covered litter trays, indoors, & a small section of my garden, at the back, which I keep dug over & 'patrolled' regularly. Their bit of garden is nicely dug over & loose, which makes it easy to keep clean. 1 of my cats will only use the litter trays....doesn't like the nasty, dirty soil on her paws, the other 2 use my dug over patch as well as the trays. To encourage them to use that area at first, I included a little of their cat litter, for them to get the idea. My neighbours have all been asked to keep an eye out for my lot, & if they look like they may be about to toilet, spray them with a water pistol or the hosepipe. To prevent toxoplasmosis, cats (&dogs) need to be wormed every 3 months, which mine are. They're also called in, before it gets dark, & the catflaps locked. Silent Roar is a big cat based product which I find effective, as well. It is a small clay granule, impregnated with the scent of big cats urine (lions, tigers, etc). It will last at least a month unless there is torrential rain to wash the scent away. It is sterile, so not harmful, & biodegradeable.