Welcome to Cats Away
For some time now it has been considered bad form to allow your dog to roam free to do its
business on the neighbours front lawn or back yard yet apparently it is still fine to throw out the
cat every day to let him go poop in next doors flower beds, dig up their plants and stalk the
wildlife feeding at their bird table.
Now I should point out that like most people I do like cats, I just happen to like gardening a
whole lot more and as any gardener the world over will tell you, finding the seedlings you lovingly
raised and planted out have been dug up by a local moggie will drive you to despair.
I am surrounded by cats. Both neighbours have them and our garden backs onto another property
who's owner also has one, so that's left, right and bottom. Add all the other cats who live nearby
and as you can imagine, I have a constant fight on my hands to keep my flower beds poop free.
Although a keen gardener all my adult life it was only when we retired to the suburbs that I
started having problems with cats. Whether our move coincided with a cat population boom or not I
I have read that since tougher laws were passed on dogs and dog poop that cats are now the
number 1 pet in the UK and more likely, I simply didn't notice them so much when I was working and
spent less time pottering around in the garden.
The first thing I did was to search online for advice and discovered that many of the solutions
that were offered as gospel were based on what is best described as old wives tales or perhaps that
should be 'old gardeners tales.'
For example, one of the most popular you will find on gardeners forums is the water bottle myth. A large clear bottle half filled with water
strategically placed in their path is supposed to scare cats away because the reflection looking
back at them is that of a bigger cat.
Of the half dozen cats I witnessed wandering past one of these bottles only 1 seemed mildly
concerned with the reflection and that was by no means enough to scare him off.
As well as all the various 'myths' doing the rounds you will find many commercial deterrents and
repellents and I have personally spent well over £200 on these gadgets over the last few years. The
effect of these was very hit and miss and their success depended on whether your garden was
suitable for that particular type of deterrent and also on the cats in question - cats are
individual critters and what works on one may not on another.
Sometimes something would work on the first cat and I would think I had finally won the battle
only for the next one to come along and do nothing more than pause and look quizzically at the
ultrasonic screeching, flashing device that I had just paid £30 for!
So, the best advice I can give is to work through the various methods listed below (starting
with the free ones) and see what works and what doesn't with the particular cats frequenting your