Posted: 22/01/2014 at 12:14
I used to regularly find cat mess in my borders from my neighbours' cats and would shoo them loudly out of the garden whenever they entered. Not any more. To my surprise, my neighbours (both sides!) asked me whether I would mind feeding their cats while they were on holiday. You should have seen the cats' faces when they first saw me walk through the door! I duly fed them and stroked them - in their own home -and have become their regular carer when their owners are away.
Since then, the cats have steadily extended their territory into my garden and - lo and behold - no more cat messes! The explanation must be that a cat does not defecate within its feeding area. As we live by a large lake, we do have to make sure that rat populations are kept well under control. I am pleased to report that the cats are doing an excellent job. They do take some other small mammals and birds too, but we have a very healthy wildlife population, so I believe the damage there is minimal. In desperation, and for the same reason, my mother used to put cat food out for her neighbour's cat and her garden became mess-free too.
It has to be said that both neighbours only let their cats out during the day and they wear collars and bells. They soon got used to them after a few days' of wearing them.