I am sure this is a problem many of you have faced or are facing these days.
With the cat population increasing massively due to a change in our culture.
Our garden is surrounded by no less than 6 cats all of which would use it as a killing field and toilet.
This is a huge distressing problem for us as we have tried for many years to provide areas for wildlife, with some success.
Also as a keen veg grower finding cat mess all over the garden is a real pain as is finding seedlings ripped up.
It has become so bad that a new group has been set up just to advise on this subject!
I am currently trying three ultrasonic cat repellers.
Two are mains powered and set on random.
One is a RSSB endorsed PIR battery type.
It did seem we were having success until last night one of the cats from the new neighbours was seen threading its way down a uncovered area of the garden
So I'd like to ask whats the answer legally?
Personally I think there should be a change in the law to protect non cat owners from this issue.
After all can you imagine the outcry if your dog jumped over the neighbours fence, messed on their lawn, dug up a few plants and killed a few animals
We are feeling very much like giving up on the garden, stripping out all the bushes and decking the lot.
I just can not understand why this issue has gone unaddressed for so long.
With our petition already attracting votes I would be grateful for any legal based advice on how to proceed.
I understand Australia has a far better legal way of dealing with this matter?
Cheers and thanks for your time.
I completely sympathise, I'm fed up with finding my neighbours cat mess all over my garden, in my borders and on my gravel driveways and patio, and it rips up my flowers, kills the birds, I found a rat ripped to pieces and left on my door step, yuck, I was greatful that the rat was gone, but on my doorstep, please....... I love cats I used to have two myself, but had no idea just what a pain it was to be on the recieving end of their mess. My cats were house cats, couldn't get them to go out for love, money or food so I don't think they caused anyone any grief they certainly didn't suffer for not going outside.
There isn't one law that I could find controlling Cats and their owners, no fines for owners who don't clean up after their mess, or scratch or bite people or cause accidents or kill wildlife.
I was in the park the other day with my children with signs everywhere saying 'in the interest of hygene please keep dogs out' and there in the middle of the childrens sandpit was a cat doing its 'business' right where children play, they carry the same diseases as dogs, yet, no controlls to restrict them. Where was the owner to clean it up, some poor dog is going to get the blame no doubt.
I know it wouldn't be easy to make or enforce a law, they can't even enforce the dog laws effectively, but it's only fair that something be done. I could then at least make my neighbour clean up all the mess his cats leave in my garden! I shall seriously consider signing your petition and wish you luck with your endeavour.
Very sensible comments there.
Like you I have no actual problem with cats!
They can be attractive and funny animals.
The problem is just like you say, its long over due for some kind of control to be introduced.
This could all be right at the start of a long road but then we do have to start somewhere!
Please feel free to join my Yahoo group where you can get help and advice and keep up with developments.
Also please sign the e-petition, its a start and if we get big numbers we can point to this when we write to MP's etc later.
I am very interested to find out how Auz deals with cats
They don't -- see, for example, http://www.feralcat.com/sarah1.htmlI am very interested to find out how Auz deals with cats
Good point. We can't control people who own dogs that'll rip your face off.British readers have only to look at the Dangerous Dogs Act to see the sort of problems involved with any legislation of this sort.
The single most effective way to keep cats from your garden is to get your own cat. Moth balls are also very effective, and cheap.
Thanks for the replies.
Along with many others I don't want to buy a cat.
The single most blunt fact for me is that other people should keep their animals under control and out of my garden.
After all, it is fenced and walled on all sides.
While I acknowledge that controlling dogs can sometimes seem hard at least there is a well established legal process to at least try to control them.
For cats, there is nothing!
You have to start somewhere after all.
It is going to be hard but we must find a way before its too late.
We should not have to put up with other peoples cats in our garden.
Provided we have taken reasonable measures to preclude access (fence/wall etc) then we need a law be it a bylaw or statute to prevent cat owners from allowing their animals to roam free.
By all means keep a cat, but keep it on your own property.
However, I think it's easy to get the problem out of perspective simply because the animal is a pet - i.e. there is someone you feel should be responsible; someone you can blame:
What about all of the ownerless creatures that enter your garden, defaecating and causing damage: foxes, magpies, hedgehogs, gulls, badgers etc.? Often they create worse damage / mess, but there's nobody to blame so it's easier to just shrug your shoulders and say "Oh well: that's nature".
In our suburban garden, we have about 5 regular feline visitors (no cats of our own), but by far the worst mess is caused by foxes and magpies. And frankly, cat mess pales into insignificance when you've experienced badgers digging up your lawn and using it as a toilet.
Almost any visiting animal will think of your garden as a potential toilet, so to stop them you have to compete with them: Sprinkle dilute urine around your garden every few days. Seriously! It doesn't smell as strong as moth balls, and the smell (to humans) fades quicker, but it will certainly go on deterring cats as well as badgers and foxes. Remember though, you need to sprinkle for long enough to break the invader's "trespassing" habit.
If you do have badgers and foxes then I am sure it is worse.
However for the majority of us cats are the problem.
They are not nature by any means!
They are a creature of human making.
In that they are well fed, medically cared for and given all the shelter they could want.
Then when they are thoughtlessly set free (or use their cat flaps) this creature is let lose in a finely balanced natural world where they can do massive damage.
Its also apparent (by observation) that they don't kill outright but instead torment the unfortunate creature, delivering more and more fatal wounds until it does die.
The wild creatures you speak of are at least just trying to survive and while it can be annoying to find birds mess on your freshly cleaned car its unlikely to happen the next day.
With cats, it seems they just won't stay away.
I am not looking for a person to blame, I just want the owners to have some control over their animals.
I hope this reads as reasonable?
I'm not saying you are looking for someone to blame. I meant that the very fact that there is someone to blame (someone who should know better but doesn't care) makes it all seem worse to victims.
I agree that cats aren't native to these Isles - but then again neither are Homo Sapiens. It all depends on how many thousands of years you want to go back. Cats have been well established in Britain at least since Roman times (probably well before). Indeed only a small minority of current British flora and fauna are native species.
I don't think it's fair to accuse owners en masse of acting thoughtlessly. Part of the medical care you refer to often involves speying / neutering. If it wasn't for a large body of thoughful owners who do this, there would be many, many times more cats (semi wild with no Whiskas Supermeat to take the edge off their appetites) roaming our towns and countryside. Two environments which are, in fact, already far removed from the "finely balanced natural world".CatControl wrote:...they are well fed, medically cared for and given all the shelter they could want. Then when they are thoughtlessly set free (or use their cat flaps) this creature is let lose in a finely balanced natural world where they can do massive damage.
So are cats. Unfortunately, they aren't capable of thinking "I won't bother pouncing on that bird: there's a can of Whiskas Supermeat waiting for me at home". They just do what comes instinctively to them.CatControl wrote:The wild creatures you speak of are at least just trying to survive...
I hope you'll note here, that I'm defending cats themselves - creatures that are just trying to cope in a fairly unnatural world. I'll reiterate: I'm not defending thoughtless owners at all. But the problem does need to be seen in a much wider perspective.