Cats in the Garden - more grrr than purrr!

I understand why some people like cats.

Really, I do. All that companionship, stroking, purring stuff. But, as a gardener, I have to put my gardening gloved hand up and say, ‘No to cats.’  Here’s why.

They poop in my veg garden. There, I’ve said it. Honestly, I spent ages the other weekend preparing the soil in readiness for my carrots, parsnips, lettuce, radish and every other veg currently known to gardeners. Weeds and stones out then rake this way, that way and every other way to create what is ubiquitously called ‘a fine tilth’ (or ‘proper nice surface’ in real English).

Unfortunately, that fine tilth has attracted the interest of a cat.

Now, I haven’t seen the cat but its pawprints are a giveaway. As are its carefully dug pits. As are the deposits.

‘But they are animals,’ I hear cat lovers shout. Yep, I kind of know that (fur is the giveaway!) but they aren’t wild animals and therefore should be controlled.

‘Oh, it’s only a bit of poo. Nothing to get worried about,’ they go on. Actually, hold your horses (domesticated horses are not allowed to roam wherever they want) - I should get worried about warm cat poop. Or cold cat poop. Or indeed any temperature of cat poop.

Toxoplasma. Google or other search engine it. Not nice.

So, I say all cats should only be allowed to roam outdoors on leads. Like dogs. The local wild birds would be happier as well as it is estimated that cats catch 55 million birds. 55 million! That's a serious amount of birds. OK, some are already a bit peaky, others fall from nests, but having watched a cat studying a nest of blackbirds, waiting, just waiting, to pounce, you can’t help being on the side of the wildlife. I shooed the cat away and the birds lived for at least another ten minutes.

But I know cat owners don’t actually care about their pets pooping in others’ gardens. If they did, they would do something about it. So, sadly, that falls to me. If I can’t influence the owners, I am forced to deter the cats.

There are, and I am trying them all, various gels and sprays currently available. But will the rain, the incessant 2018 rain, wash them all away? I’ll report.

I do have some large holly in the garden so maybe a few appropriately placed branches will deter the cats? Obviously, I would never hurt animals but to deter is OK.

The veg patch is away from the house so a well-aimed water pistol is out of the question - maybe my own tip of a plastic 2 litre bottle half filled with water will put them off (relies on light reflecting off the water so only effective on a moonlit night?). It also uses plastic in the garden as opposed to bunging it in the landfill or ocean, I suppose.

A trip to Twycross to get some lion poo?  That might do the trick.