I get quite a few emails asking how to stop cats pooping in your garden when the cat owner doesn’t give a poop about you or your flower beds. One I received a few days ago in particular had an air of desperation to it that is familiar to many a gardener.
Here’s the email…..
My husband and I are at our wits end with our neighbours cat. Don’t get us wrong, we know the right to roam law relating to the cat, we don’t dislike cats. But to cut to the chase, everyday we are subject to spoilt flower beds due to the neighbours cat digging and using the flowerbeds as a toilet.
The difficulty we have is that we have an extremely poor relationship with our neighbours.
We’ve been reading the law regarding cats and come across the same thing, cats have a right to roam.
Earlier this year I approached my neighbour and showed him photographic evidence of his cat fouling and digging our flowerbeds. It’s soul destroying watching your efforts being dug up and spoiled.
We were able to capture the cat on camera, it has been happening for a considerable amount of time now but without evidence we realise there is little you can do. But I did have a short conversation with the owner next door who agreed it was his cat and I gathered that he had had problems like this at his previous address.
He told me to put citrus peel in the ground, purchase cat repellent etc. and a parting note was that it would be a gesture to receive a contribution to purchase some of the damaged flowers. He agreed to pay a sum of £3 but never did.
The saga continues. The cat continues to use our garden most days. We now have cctv evidence, the same cat fouling in our garden.
Everyday I have to tidy the area, remove the cat faeces and dispose of THEIR cat excrement!
Last year I underwent treatment for a serious illness, my husband had our garden renovated for me to relax in and enjoy whilst undergoing chemotherapy. He is beside himself to see the garden being used as a toilet and the neighbour doesn’t give a monkeys because of the right to roam law.
I’ve read your site and felt a glimmer of hope. Surely the neighbours do have a duty of care towards us with this ongoing issue?
We’re obtaining more and more evidence now with our cctv and have made it our business to take dates and times and screen shots to compile this evidence.
I am galled that I have to clear the cats excrement, dispose of it with my own gloves and bags and put it in my bin. I want to throw it over the fence but I’m aware I need to do things in the right way and not land ourselves in trouble.
Can you give us any further advice Bob?
Unfortunately Tracey, you only have to read some of the comments left by cat owners here on Cats Away to realise that some of them simply do not understand how you can consider a cat coming into your garden and doing what cats do as a problem so I suspect you are beating your head against a wall when trying to reason with a cat owner like this.
The first thing I advise anyone trying to stop cats pooping in the garden is to tackle the cat rather than the owner once it becomes obvious they don’t really give a damn about you or your right to enjoy your own garden.
Collecting video and photographic evidence will obviously help your case should you wish to attempt to go the legal route and visit a Solicitor but there is no guarantee of a successful outcome and it is not going to be cheap.
Water Is Your Best Defence Against Cats Pooping In Your Garden
Your best and fastest course of action is to invest in a Contech Scarecrow (you can read my test report here) and set it up to protect the area your neighbours cat is currently using as its toilet or its point of entry into your garden.
Believe me, once the cat has received a blast of water from the Scarecrow it very quickly gets the message that this area is no longer a giant litter tray.
This is an American product that was developed to scare off a whole range of animals and it works great on cats. I’ve found it to be the best commercial cat deterrent I’ve so far tested. It only recently became available in the UK via Amazon and you can see it in action in the video below.
If the flower bed the cat is using cannot be protected by a Scarecrow due to its location (they aren’t really suitable for protecting areas next to a boundary fence for instance where you might end up giving a neighbour a soaking) then set up a few solar powered cat deterrents around the area.
These work by sensing movement and giving off ultrasonic noises that cats don’t like. These might not give the instant success that you get with the Scarecrow but usually after a few nights the cat will take the hint and stop paying your garden a visit.
Another option is to set up a simple frame around your flowerbeds and lay pea netting or chicken wire over it to keep the cat off.
Finally, as a last resort you might want to invest in a decent water pistol. Cats are intelligent critters and they soon move on to somewhere new when a garden suddenly becomes a wet area.
I am confident that with the use of at least one of the cat deterrents mentioned above you will soon be able to enjoy your garden without the need to approach the cat owner again.
Good luck and please call back and let us all know how you get on.