Anyone who comes up with the definitive answer to this will be a multimillionaire.
But there are gadgets out there, particularly if you’re not a cat owner. After all, what cats leave behind can be pretty disgusting. There are the movement and ultrasound sensor gadgets which trigger off a sound that we can’t hear but the cats do. I’ve had clients who’ve found that effective.
"There’s an idea that lion poo puts cats off if you put it on your borders – but what’s worse, lion or cat poo?"
Putting out pepper onto the flower beds particularly where cats toilet is another one. Usually cats will want to toilet in the same place. If you identify that place, which isn’t very difficult to do, you put the pepper around that area and dot it around the garden. That can work as cats hate pepper, as they go around sniffing everything and when that goes up their nose, it has an unpleasant effect on them, just like it does to us.
Motion sensor water spray repellents are another one. Cats do not like the wet – you don’t often see moggies dancing in the rain. They also seem a little less spiteful than the ultrasonic sound ones, as the cats have very sensitive hearing so it could be considered cruel. Whereas water isn’t going to do much harm. Water spray repellents take some setting up and some commitment though and the cat isn’t always going to walk past it in the same direction, so it’s all a little bit hit and miss.
There are things you can plant too. If you put a curry plant in, cats don’t like the strong smell, and I’ve heard they don’t like lavender either because of its pungency. But then they’ll just avoid those plants and find somewhere else in the garden or else you’d have to fill your entire garden with lavender.
There’s also the idea that lion poo puts cats off if you put it on your borders – but what’s worse, lion or cat poo? Besides which, none of these answers work for all cats. If it’s a problem, it’s unlikely there will be just one solution, you’re going to have to try a few before you find the one that works. But I wouldn’t want to do anything that might harm any cats. You’ve got to respect animals.
I love cats, so if a cat came into my garden I would want to welcome it. But if it’s constantly pooing among my plants, I’d probably want to try and discourage it and hopefully encourage it to poo in its own home or garden.
Some cat owners let their pets out to have a poo but don’t think about where that might be, and think it’s not their problem. Unfortunately, that’s what some dog owners are like too – and I am a dog owner myself. They don’t go around picking up after their dogs when they’re pooing in public places or in other people’s gardens. But with cat and dog owners, they wouldn’t like it if they found unsolicited poo on their own doorsteps or gardens – so do to others as you would do yourself.
It infuriates me when people aren’t responsible or considerate about what their pets deposit in inappropriate places. So, if you know the owner, be polite and ask if they provide toilet facilities at home and, if they don’t, suggest it might be a good idea.
Basically, whatever plan of action you choose, be gentle and nice with both cats and owners. And if all else fails, get a dog. Or a lion.