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Secret life of domestic cats revealed BBC2 9pm

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


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?


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.


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.


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.



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 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.


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.



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.