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Secret life of domestic cats revealed BBC2 9pm

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


BarneyKent Report 17 Jun 2013 09:15

Agree with you entirely George. However my argument was, why should it be the garden owner who has to go to the trouble and expense of keeping someone else's cat out of his or her garden?

Maggie and Roll have confirmed what I always suspected, cats can do what they like and in law their owners bear no responsibility for what they do. Unlike the laws concerning dogs.

Whilst I do not condone their actions and I would never do it myself, I can understand why some gardeners resort to drastic methods such as poisons.

I am satisfied that I have got cat owners to confirm that they bear no responsibility for their animal's behaviour, the matter is now closed.


George Report 16 Jun 2013 20:18


I know it is a cost to people who do not want other peoples cats using their gardens as a toilet, and it just shows how bad some cat owners are who seem to think that it is acceptable for their smelly cats to do so, but unfortunately you and others will have to fork out to stop them.

I have no idea how large your garden is but have you tried splashing Jays fluid around where these pests do their toilet, I know that most cats do not like the smell of Jays.



RolloTheRed Report 16 Jun 2013 19:30

Are you really sure it is cats ?
By and large they like to bury the evidence of their visits, which is why freshly dug earth is so attractive.


BarneyKent Report 16 Jun 2013 15:46

Thanks very much Maggie and Rollo. You have both agreed that there is nothing I can (legally) do to keep YOUR cat out of MY garden, so the onus is firmly on ME. That is all I wanted, clarification on where the responsibility for the toiletry habits of a cat lies. You have now finally admitted that the responsibility is mine and not the cat's owner. I will have to live with that.

I still hope that eventually the control of cats will be covered by legislation, as it is with dogs and other pets, until then I will have to clear the cat pooh myself.



RolloTheRed Report 15 Jun 2013 20:25

There are tens of millions of cats in the British Isles. There are millions more in other countries.

A small number of these cats are feral, though many feral cats will adopt a home if given half a chance, even if the price is being chipped and neutered.

It is simply impossible to stop cats wandering around outside doing their own thing at any time of the day or night. As MaggieWinchester observes keeping them in is cruel and often results in a very stressed cat.

Some friends of mine in France breed Chartreux cats. These are closely related to the British Blue. They are sold at about € 1 000 each (!). Pretty obviously the breeders want to keep them in. In order to do so they have erected a cat proof fence around part of their property at a cost of several thousand pounds.

This sort of thing is not what ordinary owners could or would wish to do. It is the only way though to please StaffyKnot short of resorting to airguns and antifreeze as some do.

England, despite rumours otherwise, is a reasonably democratic country. A very significant proportion of the people who vote live in households with cats.

English legal precedent has established that those who suppose themselves to be owners of cats (*) cannot be held liable for what they get up to on other people's property.

So there you have it, the cats run free.

The Horizon program suggests that most cats do not go more than 100m from their home. Why not print off a few dozen terse letters warning your neighbours to keep their cats under control ? Should do no end for community cohesion in yr town or village.

(*) A long time ago I was the owner of two rare long haired red Persians. Rare or not they liked to sun themselves on the roof and visit neighbours. One hot June day a neighbour was having a wedding reception. There were about 50 prawn cocktails on fine white linen, the windows were open. One of my cats knocked over most of the cocktails and ate a fair few of the prawns before being discovered and doing a fast exit. The neighbour was a lawyer ( so am I ) and he sued me in court. He lost.

So there you have it, the cats run free. Sauve qui peut.

fwiw most cat owners are well aware of who is boss in the relationship.



maggiewinchester Report 15 Jun 2013 19:56

As I said earlier Staffy, a cat is a semi-domesticated animal.
If you insist cats are kept out of your garden, you should insist foxes, moles rats, mice etc should be kept out too!!
Cats are less domesticated than dogs, slightly more domesticated than foxes. Humans can't really control them. Try to keep them in (which I consider cruel) and they wil demand to be let out.
If you really don't want them in your garden, I suggest you move to the middle of nowhere.


BarneyKent Report 15 Jun 2013 16:58

I have posed the following question many times on this thread: Why should the onus be on ME to stop YOUR cat defecating in MY garden?

George is the only person to give a direct answer and he agreed with me that it was the responsibility of cat's owners to keep their pets away from other people's property.

Many cat owners have replied, all telling me methods to keep THEIR animals out of MY garden at MY expense and trouble, but that is not what I asked. Quite simply, the question is who should be responsible for controlling the toilet habits of cats, the owner of the animal or the person whose property is being fouled?

It is now over eight hours since I last posed the question and in the absence of a direct answer from cat lovers it is clear that the responsibility for stopping cats entering and fouling my garden rests on the owners of the animals.

20 years ago it was almost unthinkable that smoking in work places, public houses, restaurants, and other public places would become a criminal offence. Similarly it was not thought possible to make dog owners responsible for ensuring that their animals did not defecate in public places and to clear up any mess that did occur.

Both these things have now have happened due to public pressure and I look forward to the day when legislation is passed ensuring that cat owners are made legally and financially responsible for their animal's behaviour on other people's property.


BarneyKent Report 15 Jun 2013 09:17

Maggie, thank you for your comments.

In reply: I do not deter any wildlife in my garden, a squirrel visits, (I have a special nut feeder for it), a family of hedgehogs live under the shed, a fox visits regularly and a bird station satisfies the feeding habits of all varieties of birds. (The only birds I try and deter are feral pigeons which are nothing more than rats with feathers). None of these visitors damages my garden in any way, unlike cats.

Many people who throw bread and scraps on the garden for "the birds" are actually encouraging other pests such as rats and mice. Every evening as it is getting dark I sweep up the pieces of nuts and seeds that the birds have dropped so that the area under the feeders is clean.

I agree with you that the problem lies with un-neutered cats and I am of the opinion that there are no bad dogs or cats, just bad owners.

Another word to Rollo, I keep asking this question but no one has answered it yet:

Why should the onus be on ME to keep YOUR cat out of MY garden?


RolloTheRed Report 14 Jun 2013 19:03

There is a Horizon sequel tonight 10pm.

My cats come home round midnight all of their own accord and zizz until 7 or 8. If the weather is bad they are worse to get up than teenagers.

Staffy may not have picked up in the Horizon program that without cats to keep the rodents down farming and modern civilisation may not have happened at all. It also showed that cats remain the most efficient way to deal with rodents as my French farmer friends will agree.

Children who grow up with cats and dogs tend to have far better health and resistance to diseases and tend to be better adjusted. The EU are considering a law banning landlords from banning cats. btw Eurostar will not allow cats and dogs, not even in boxes, not even for the blind (!).

A friend in the Forest of Dean is also a keen gardener. She has to contend not with cats but with wild boar. Goodness only knows how Staffy would react to and deal with one of these! They taste good though.


maggiewinchester Report 14 Jun 2013 17:57

As was stated on the programme, Staffy, a cat is still basically a wild animal, that has been semi domesticated.

So if you object to cats, I only hope you object to other wildlife in your garden!!
Personally, I welcome the sloworms, hedgehogs, blue tits and blackbirds in my garden, but am glad there are no rats or mice.

Of course, with my own cats around, I don't feed the birds, but have plants they feed off - or should that be ruin?

I've also had unwelcome vicious cats - usually un-neutered males, who terrorised my cats, not only in the garden, but in my house.
They attacked, sprayed and generally stank the place out.
I had to keep my cats locked in for over a year until the un-neutered ones disappeared.
Not the cats' fault - it's the owner.


CupCakes Report 14 Jun 2013 17:39

Absolutely amazing 50 cats with trackers attached to them. 17 with video camera's.

Learned a lot.

Loads of people round here have cats. Least the foxes and grey squirals are minimal this year. Loads have those high pitch animal deterrents which buzz at night - who said you can't hear them


George Report 14 Jun 2013 16:55


You will never convince cat owners that their beloved "pet" can be a PEST and a bloody nuisance, all we can do really is try to keep the bloody things out of our gardens by various means.

A mate of mine who's garden is fenced also had problems, he strung a taught wire about 3 inches along to top of the fence, and the gate, which stopped the cats getting in, he was quite prepared to invest in one of those electric wires, a smaller version to what farmers use if that failed, but the wire seems to do the trick.

I agree with you, you should not have to pay out to keep other peoples PESTS from your property.



BarneyKent Report 14 Jun 2013 16:35

Jax - As I said in an earlier post, two wrongs do not make a right.
Even if its foxes, badgers, squirrels or any other animal spoiling a garden, it does not mean that a cat is innocent.

And no one has yet answered my question:

Why should the onus be on ME to stop YOUR cat crapping on MY garden?

Nolls from Harrogate

Nolls from Harrogate Report 14 Jun 2013 15:59

To stop cat pooing in your garden put down some orange skins it does work.


jax Report 14 Jun 2013 15:01

I live in a built up area and have seen about three cats walking through my garden in the 4 years I have lived here, my own cat stays in...but if I had my own way she would be let out, but it was some stupid clause in my tenancy is not easy trying to keep a cat in 24/7

Not seen any of these cats do anything they should not, but often find foxes crap and holes dug up in the lawn and flower beds where they have been trying to bury their food.

Flower tubs have also been damaged by squirrels burying their nuts (we have a cob nut tree) Not really a great deal we can do about it.

My neighbours have told us there is also a badger that roams the area and digs up their plants??? I am not too sure about that though...but there could be I suppose??


Mayfield Report 14 Jun 2013 14:50

Oh dear Rollo now you say my cat scarer is breaking the law, not to worry I think I have found a device on a US site to send off for it's called a Winchester Repeater! :-D :-D

NO NO cat lovers only joking!!!!!!! ;-)


Merlin Report 14 Jun 2013 14:20

I agree, collect it up an deposit it on their doorstep if you know who,s cat is responsible.Take care and enjoy your garden as I do.**M**.


BarneyKent Report 14 Jun 2013 14:09

Merlin, first, thank you for being a responsible cat owner.

Secondly, I do not consider myself fortunate, I spend a lot of time and money on my garden and it attracts every loose feline in the area. Its no use cat lovers telling me to scare cats with water sprays etc. It is during the night when I am in bed when they howl, fight, scratch my new seedlings up and pooh.

And if you are angry at someone poisoning your cats and say that you would make the punishment fit the crime by poisoning the culprit, I agree with you, it was a despicable thing to do and completely unjustified. However, by the same measure, I would be justified in throwing cat pooh into the homes of the owners of the cats which use my garden as a toilet.

Once again Merlin - many thanks for being a responsible owner.


Merlin Report 14 Jun 2013 13:55

My cats use litter trays,and stay in at night. You could consider yourself fortunate, I have had to resort to Locking the front gates securely to stop humans crapping in my garden.Now that you would,nt like, much worse than cats or dogs.**M**.


BarneyKent Report 14 Jun 2013 13:48

Why should it be ME who has to keep YOUR cat off my garden. If my dog came and pooped on your lawn or on a public footpath I would, (quite rightly), be liable to prosecution.

Responsible owners , and there are many of these, train their cats to use litter trays and do not let them roam at night.

I repeat why should the onus be on ME to keep YOUR cat off MY garden?