Posted: 14/12/2014 at 14:44
Threads about cats can get quite heated, so I'm taking my courage in both hands here
It may only be poo Catnip, but it's carnivore poo and pretty unpleasant when you plunge your bare hands into a pile of it, and it's more than a little annoying when you find all your seedlings scratched up and scattered across the veg patch. And I'm a cat lover. I've kept cats for most of my life.
Cat owners can control their cat's behaviour to quite a large extent if they are so minded. My son's cat does not poo in gardens, neither does my daughter's - they are both very fit and healthy housecats. Son's cat never has been outside and daughter's cat only goes into their walled garden when daughter is with her because they live in a second floor apartment.
When I lived in the countryside I had cats and provided them with sand trays in my garden log store and my neighbours said that my cats did not poop in their gardens. However, everything changed when a person with 27 cats moved into the cottage behind us. But that's another story ...
It may only be poo - but cat poo can carry toxoplasmosis which can be transferred to babies in the womb and cause horrendous physical and brain damage. I worked with a child who had been damaged in this way - she was incredibly severely disabled, and the lives of the rest of her family were changed for ever.
I don't hate cats - I love them - but if an owner cannot keep their cat indoors (and I acknowledge that to deprive a cat of access to the garden when it had been used to it would not be kind) then they should do all they can to encourage their cats to defecate in their own garden rather than other peoples'.
It's not simply a matter of live and let live - it's a matter of being a responsible pet owner and a kind and considerate neighbour.